Modules & Upstream Manufacturing

Live fast, die young: MIT study proposes use of 10-year panels

Research has found even short-lived, 10 to 15-year solar panels could provide enough return for bankable projects. The researchers believe panel costs, coupled with an industry mindset now fixed on the final solar energy price rather than costs per kilowatt installed, may open opportunities for PV products currently snubbed because of a short lifecycle.

The blackest black for more efficient solar cells

MIT scientists claim to have created a material 10 times more black than anything witnessed to date. It is said to be able to absorb more than 99.96% of incoming light and reflect 10 times less light than other superblack materials. The invention may be interesting for the development of black silicon PV technology and carbon nanotube-based solar cells.

ClearVue doubles solar PV glass size

Western Australia-based solar glass developer ClearVue has announced it is now able to produce larger floor-height sized power-generating insulated glass units and window panels. The company hopes this will open new sales opportunities.

‘Mono will supply 80% of the world’s solar by 2021’

Polysilicon manufacturer Daqo has announced the start of pilot production in Xinjiang and expects to ramp up to full output by the end of the year, doubling the company’s annual capacity to 70,000 MT. Some 90% of its poly will be mono by that stage and Daqo expects 40% to be suitable for n-type products next year.

Sunovate, like the hot air it puts to good use, is on the rise

After celebrating Sunovate’s first demo project, pv magazine Australia sat down with Co-Founder and Managing Director Cesira Leigh to talk all things Sunovate, how the rising Aussie solar PV innovator came to be, and where it’s going.

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Long read: Size matters

The latest development on the module front sees manufacturers adopting larger wafer sizes in order to reach the industry’s raised expectations for power output. Older “M2” wafers have been the standard in recent years but now appear to be on the way out. Several theories about optimal size are gaining ground, but the future direction of the standard is still far from clear.

Solar pioneer Pierre Verlinden: The big problem is apathy

On the first day of this year’s EU PVSEC conference, Adelaide-based veteran solar researcher Pierre J Verlinden won the Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics. The award recognized more than 40 years as a leading PV researcher in academia and at leading companies including Sunpower and Trina Solar. Its recipient, now a board member of Australian solar technology provider BT Imaging, spoke to pv magazine about what is needed from solar to stave off catastrophic climate change.

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Eric Luo: China will see just 20-25 GW of solar per year through 2025

The GCL System chief executive made comments that fly in the face of an expected solar gold rush in China that analysts predict will start this month. Though rising overseas demand will address overcapacity fears, according to Luo, the soundbite is sure to chill PV boardrooms across the world’s biggest solar market.

Blue Mountains home to one of NSW’s first passive houses

“The Sapphire” is one of the first passive houses in New South Wales (NSW). Located in the Blue Mountains’ village of Foulconbridge, “The Sapphire” is a carbon zero house utilising an SMA Energy System consisting of a Sunny Boy solar inverter and a Sunny Boy Storage battery inverter providing clean solar power.

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Space age solar solution moves toward production

A consortium of European research institutes has received €10.6 million in EU funding to establish pilot production of a high efficiency module concept developed by Swiss startup Insolight. The module combines high efficiency multijunction cells with a solar concentrator lens and has previously demonstrated 29% efficiency.

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