World

The long read: All about albedo

With analyst predictions going as high as 40 GW for annual bifacial demand by 2023, it is imperative for stakeholders across the industry to understand the behavior of these modules in the field. Ground albedo and the way that diffuse and reflected light hits the rear side of the modules are the key concerns. A better understanding of these factors, gained from sophisticated yield-modeling simulations and bifacial test installations all over the world, has already helped to identify the challenges and opportunities in optimizing projects to maximize bifacial energy yield.

A clean energy world would support millions of new jobs

A study from Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology has predicted solar and other renewables can provide a global energy jobs revolution – just as four European operations revealed recent struggles.

The long read: Back to the drawing board

The combined use of trackers and bifacial modules can result in significant power gains, but they are not distributed equally. For single-axis tracking R&D teams, the process of optimizing the output from arrays that use bifacial modules requires experimentation and a steep learning curve in terms of what is going on underneath the module.

Energy Storage: Top 5 Li-ion battery trends to watch out for

The Internet of Things, cloud analytics and artificial intelligence will find their way into battery management too, enabling OEMs to precisely measure and improve the life of their deployed assets. Lower battery costs and increased adoption in high-power commercial electric vehicles and grid support are the other trends shaping the market.

Half-cut modules from Sharp

The Japanese electronics giant has unveiled three monocrystalline half-cut cell modules said to provide 2-3% better performance than standard, full cell panels. The claimed efficiency of the modules exceeds 19.5% and Sharp says power output ranges from 330-395 W.

Stretching exercises for crystalline silicon solar cells

Researchers from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have created flexible solar cells made of crystalline silicon. They claim to have stretched a crystalline silicon cell’s surface by around 95% while maintaining conversion efficiency of around 19%.

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The long read: Quality management and our new robot overlords

When talking about processes to ensure quality in renewable energy – whether in the production of materials or the operation of a power plant – it can be a struggle to avoid excessive jargon and keep things simple enough to translate into effective improvements on the ground. Experienced project manager Nabeel Ismeer decrypts some of the geekspeak from the world of quality.

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‘India will add 14 GW of solar this year’

The annual global outlook report for solar published by IHS Markit notes there was no real uptick in the amount of new capacity added last year, compared with the returns seen in 2018. That is likely to kill any hope India has of overtaking the U.S. as the world’s second biggest solar market in 2020.

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100% renewables means 95% less water consumption for conventional power generation

According to a new study by Finland’s LUT University, solar PV consumes between 2% and 15% of the water that coal and nuclear power plants use to produce just 1 MWh of output; for wind, this percentage ranges from 0.1% to 14%. Under the researchers’ best policy scenario, water consumption could be reduced by 75.1% by 2030, compared to 2015 levels.

COP25: India calls for speedier expansion of International Solar Alliance

Launched in November 2015, the alliance aims to collectively address key challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in member countries that fall between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Out of 121 prospective member countries, over 83 have already joined it in a period of just four years.

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