Technology and R&D

The long read: A new test for trackers

The benefits of deploying bifacial solar panels on single-axis trackers are touted like snake oil these days, with promises of anywhere from 5 to 50% gains in energy output compared with a monofacial panel. Unfortunately, the field data that might delineate the actual energy gain of a bifacial panel on a tracker are hard to acquire, and the data that are available typically describe small-scale tests under tightly defined conditions.

US scientists create MPP algorithm to measure PV panel degradation

The algorithm is said to be able to examine the relationship between weather forecast data and the projection of electric circuit parameters. Through this innovation, Purdue University researchers claim they can interpret the routinely collected maximum power point (MPP) time-series data, to assess the time-dependent “health” of installed solar modules.

PV installations in Q2 fall by half

In the second quarter, India installed solar projects amounting to 52% less capacity quarter-over-quarter, due to uncertainties around trade cases, module price fluctuations, and PPA renegotiations prompted by record low solar tender bids.

New efficiency record for perovskite-CIGS tandem

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, have set a new record 22.4% conversion efficiency for a tandem cell combining a lead-based perovskite layer with CIGS technology. The record has been confirmed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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Solar performance polluted by urban haze

Research conducted over several years by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) demonstrates that air pollution in cities can put a dampener on the performance of PV panels which, if not taken into account, can threaten a project’s viability.

India’s solar dreams need storage push – IESA

With a rapid reduction in costs, solar plus storage can be an effective alternative for customers buying peak power from the grid. At the same time, utilities can avoid investments in peak capacity or eliminate load shedding by utilizing these resources.

Cygni Energy raises US$6.4 million, aims to triple solar DC capacity

Hyderabad based Cygni Energy plans to utilize the capital to triple its solar DC solutions production capacity from 4,000 units to 12,000 by H1 2019, develop new technology-enabled products and streamline the product lifecycle, as well as expand nationally and internationally.

Funding the key obstacle to renewables in Asia

Banks categorize renewable energy projects as risky and believe they offer lower rates of return than fossil fuel schemes, making them reluctant lenders.

Minister outlines plan to become global renewables leader, at Intersolar Europe

Underlining India’s commitment to becoming the global renewable energy leader, Shri Anand Kumar, secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said the country plans 500 GW of capacity by 2030. He also underlined plans to become a solar and storage manufacturing hub; and said the International Solar Alliance needs to widen its membership.

India to launch its own battery cell production

India’s PV sector is expanding at a serious pace, creating jobs and further securing energy supply for many businesses. Yet, sourcing battery cell technology at the current rate resulted in annual foreign exchange of Rs. 1012 crore creating deficits, that hopefully can be averted in the future.

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