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Modules & Upstream Manufacturing

Long-term assessment of PV panel degradation under hot, humid tropical climates

A Dutch-Hungarian research team has measured, for 12 years, the degradation rates of PV modules installed in an off-grid system located in Ghana. It found that the panels had an average annual decline in power yield of 3.19%.

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Canadian Solar flags up polysilicon, glass and EVA shortages

The solar manufacturer’s impressive third-quarter gross margin is set to fall back in the current three-month window because global shortages have seen some material costs double since the world came out of Covid-19 shock.

How an Australian-made AI model unlocks accurate prediction of organic PV efficiency

For the last few months, while her city lay dormant in lockdown, Nastaran Meftahi has been tucked away developing a machine learning model to predict where the most promise for next-generation organic solar cells is held.

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BlueScope invests in NSW’s future with $20 million Renewable Manufacturing Zone

Steel giant BlueScope is backing the NSW Government’s ambitious renewable infrastructure plan through a $20 million investment into the development of a Renewable Manufacturing Zone at its Port Kembla site in the Illawarra. The investment seeks to encourage innovation in the renewable sector and work towards the Government’s goal of constructing the state’s Renewable Energy Zones with local materials.

Weekend read: Solar needs aluminium, but it has a carbon problem

Few doubt that aluminium frames will be a part of the solar module for some time to come. And with PV manufacturing continuing to scale, the carbon footprint of this versatile metal may prove a sustainability challenge.

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JA Solar chairman detained by anti-corruption authorities in China

It remains unclear why Chairman Jin Baofang was detained, but the company said its operations will not be affected. The Paper, a Chinese state-owned media outlet, reported that Jin’s detention might be connected to the fall of Liu Baohua, the formal deputy director of the National Energy Administration, which has also been under investigation by the anti-corruption authorities since mid-October.

Insight on Quality – the prickly issue of PV module warranties: big promises and little recourse

PV modules are being sold with ever longer warranties, but when modules underperform or fail, making claims on those warranties is rarely straightforward. So are the warranties worth the paper they’re written on? Where does this leave installers? And how can this liability be mitigated?

IEA report rubbishes Morrison’s gas-led energy plan

An International Energy Agency report led up by Rolf Frischknecht from Treeze in Switzerland and under the joint project management of the University of New South Wales’ José Bilbao has measured the lifecycle emissions of both residential solar PV with battery storage and gas-generated grid electricity. The results are not particularly surprising, only the Morrison Government’s ongoing obduracy is.

Terawatt scale by 2050

In a new paper published in the journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, renowned PV scientist Pierre Verlinden examines the solar industry’s trajectory towards the 70 TW of installed capacity that will be needed by 2050, as the best choice for meeting climate targets set out in the 2015 Paris agreement. Silver consumption and recycling, according to Verlinden, will be the biggest challenges in the years to come, as well as ensuring balanced growth and avoiding a major installation rush in the years close to 2050.

Q Cells releases new solar module designed specifically for the Australian market

South Korean-based manufacturer Q Cells has launched its first “made for Australia” solar module and in a show of confidence, the Q-Maxx-G2 comes complete with an extended 15-year product warranty.

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