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Soiling – a multibillion-dollar issue

A new report by the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA-PVPS) estimates that lost revenue from PV module soiling amounts to more than €3 billion ($4.6 billion) per year – an amount that is only set to increase as PV systems grow larger and more efficient.

Queensland group map pathways for perovskite PV

Perovskite solar cells have created excitement in recent years, given their potential to improve virtually every area of PV, but we have yet to see such devices produced at scale. Scientists in Australia have outlined some of the challenges holding them back.

Longi launches all new back contact module, promising 22.8% efficiency

Longi has launched a series of modules featuring an all-new hybrid passivated back contact cell technology, with which it claims a maximum module efficiency of 22.8% in mass production. It will initially offer the modules in 54, 60, 66 and 72 cell formats, targeting rooftop and distributed generation applications.

Putting bifacial modules to the test

US scientists recently put different bifacial solar cells and modules through a series of tests at elevated temperature, humidity, voltage and mechanical stress levels. The tests revealed a range of light-induced and potential-induced degradation mechanisms that modules will likely suffer in the field.

Flexible, roll-to-roll printed perovskite solar cell hits 16.7% efficiency

A team of scientists from the CSIRO have demonstrated a flexible perovskite solar cell using roll-to-roll compatible “printing” type processes, which could potentially be applied in large-scale manufacturing. Of particular note is the development of a viable roll-to-roll process to deposit the electrode layer, which has thus far been a major challenge. Cells fabricated by the group achieved a maximum efficiency of 16.7%.


Growing consensus on 100% renewables

An international group of researchers from 15 universities has said that there is growing consensus among scientists that an energy system based on 100% renewables could be achieved cost effectively by 2050.


Light-scattering structures to boost solar performance

An international team of scientists developed a nanoparticle structure which, when added to a solar cell, was shown to scatter light and potentially reflect it many times within the cell, contributing to a noticeable jump in current.


Study finds 100% renewables would pay off within six years

New research from Stanford University researcher Mark Jacobson outlines how 145 countries could meet 100% of their business-as-usual energy needs with wind, water, solar and energy storage. The study finds that in all the countries considered, lower-cost energy and other benefits mean the required investment for transition is paid off within six years. The study also estimates that worldwide, such a transition would create 28 million more jobs than it lost.

Reverse bias – a hidden challenge for perovskite solar cell stability

Research from renowned PV scientist Martin Green and colleagues at UNSW reveals that perovskite solar cells may struggle to deal with reverse-bias caused by uneven shading or other issues likely to appear in the field. Both the reverse-bias itself and resulting build up of heat can cause several of the materials commonly used in perovskite solar cells to degrade, and these issues have received only limited attention in research published to date. Solutions, however, are at hand.

Recycling process promises ‘better than new’ silicon wafers

Scientists in China have developed a new recycling process for PV modules that can recover intact silicon cells from end-of-life products, and process them back into wafers. As part of the recycling process, the wafers are purified and surface-treated, making them suitable for integration into new, high-efficiency cells and modules.


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