Western Australia-based solar glass developer ClearVue has signed a deal with Taiwanese thin-film solar module manufacturer BeyondPV to set up a dedicated production line for solar strip modules at its production facility in Tainan.
Australia has become the latest front in South Korean company Hanwha Q Cells’ legal battle against three competitors – JinkoSolar, Longi Solar, and REC Group – that it claims have infringed its patent on a particular aspect of passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology. Among many speculations is the idea that the case splits layers with an indefensible claim, perhaps seeking to strategically impose a slowdown on Hanwha’s rivals.
Solar Juice has signed an agreement to distribute REC Group modules in Australia – in particular to target commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. The announcement last week, made no note of the patent lawsuit that Hanwha Q Cells has brought against REC Group in Australia, which includes two of its distributors.
Since 2009, when production capacity expansions began to outstrip demand for the first time, prices all along the solar supply chain fell, and have continued to do so almost continuously ever since. Simon Price, CEO of Exawatt, argues that solar is no longer in the ‘cost reduction era,’ and is now entering its ‘performance driven era,’ in which the goal for manufacturers is high performance at an acceptable cost, rather than acceptable performance at the lowest cost.
The world’s number one mono silicon module manufacturer will add another 5 GW to its annual panel production capacity in 2020 as it pursues 16 GW of output this year and 25 GW next year.
In the petition, the manufacturers claim their Korean rival’s patent assertions should be declared invalid as there is evidence the innovations they refer to were either not new or were obvious steps forward.
Dustin Mulvaney is a solar industry veteran. Associate professor at the Department of Environmental Studies, San José State University, in the United States, he recently published a new book this April, Solar Power, Innovation, Sustainability, Environmental Justice, which looks at creating a “more sustainable and just solar industry for the future.” A part of this is the creation of a new global sustainability module standard. He spoke with pv magazine as part of the launch of our new UP initiative.
JinkoSolar today announced that it has set a new efficiency record for a monocrystalline PERC PV cell at 24.38%, and produced a module that achieved 469.3 W power in testing conducted by TÜV Rheinland. The Chinese module manufacturer also equalled a record claimed just last week by Trina Solar, of 24.58% conversion efficiency for an n-type monocrystalline cell.
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