World

The long read: Laser focused

Solar manufacturing’s recent move toward larger wafer/cells throws into focus the need for effective cell-cutting techniques to handle the processing of these cells into half cut or even smaller formats. pv magazine looks at the landscape for cell cutting, as the technology reaches maturity and moves into the mainstream of cell/module production.

Analyst expects recovery for PV and storage supply chains

U.S.-owned analyst Wood Mackenzie expects solar demand to decline but predicts the market will recover, with the prospects for the energy transition remaining intact.

The long read: Stored potential

Demand for batteries is going nowhere but up, as new factories seem to appear almost every week with promises to power electric vehicles, consumer electronics, and grid-connected storage. But the lithium-ion technology that all of these rely on is not without drawbacks, and a whole host of new storage solutions is eager to get out of the laboratory.

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Is green hydrogen necessary to balance a renewables grid?

A report by Norwegian energy consultant DNV GL has considered the opportunity for long-term energy storage to play a role in balancing annual supply and demand fluctuations in a renewables-led grid. Using 58 years of Dutch weather and energy consumption data, the study found long-term solutions such as green hydrogen could make a valuable contribution – but perhaps not as much as some analysts believe.

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The long read: Renewable energy procurement comes to China

An growing number of companies globally have set sustainability targets to address the climate emergency. More than 700 companies are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint, write Caroline Zhu and Jiayin Song of Rocky Mountain Institute, and over 200 companies have publicly made the RE100 commitment to procure 100% of their electricity from renewable energy.

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Korean researchers announce flexible CIGS solar cell with 20.4% efficiency

The thin-film cell was manufactured through a low-temperature process and doping with alkali elements.

Trade shows postponed over coronavirus fears

As the contagion continues to spread, its impact is beginning to be felt on the solar industry outside China with the cancellation or postponement of major trade shows and conferences that were set to take place over the next few weeks.

Integrating stress and temperature sensors in crystalline silicon cells

Fraunhofer ISE researchers have integrated stress and temperature sensors within a PV module. They claim that the devices cover a very minimal part of the cells, and that their interaction with the module and the cell itself is quite limited. The sensors can be manufactured as part of a regular cell manufacturing process.

The long read: The hidden contest of the cell makers

Predicting which technological pathway will dominate in solar cell production is somewhat of a fool’s errand. A battle is currently underway between several of solar manufacturing’s big guns regarding both wafer size and p-or-n-type technology, and the outcome remains to be seen.

Recycling lead-acid batteries for perovskite solar cell manufacturing

Researchers from China are proposing to use spent battery lead for creating a perovskite that can be used in the production of solar cells that are based on this promising material. The proposed one-step process, which was tested in the production of a 17.38% efficient perovskite heterojunction cell, is said to be cheaper and less energy-intensive than other recycling processes for waste lead from lead-acid batteries.

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