Backsheet chalking, especially of polyamide backsheet films, doesn’t take long to lead to cracks and then safety shutdowns. Sometimes, though, the period may be much longer or shorter than expected. Assessing the risk and whether on-site repairs offer a long-term solution is currently a topic of strong debate within the PV industry, as Cornelia Lichner from the pv magazine Deutschland team reports.
With technological progress, falling costs, and favourable subsidies all incentivising Australian households to replace serviceable modules and upgrade their rooftop array, a stockpile of useable second-hand modules is mounting. But efforts to embrace reuse rather than refuse are taking shape.
Scientists in the United States used machine learning to analyse maintenance reports, performance data and weather records from more than 800 solar farms located across the country. The analysis allowed them to determine which weather conditions have the biggest impact on PV generation, and to suggest the most effective ways to boost the resilience of PV installations to extreme weather events.
Mónica LiraCantú leads a research group investigating nanostructured materials for photovoltaic energy at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). Recently, her group led a project that looked deep into the crystalline structure of a perovskite solar cell, revealing new information about the formation of defects in the material and how they could be engineered to improve both efficiency and stability. pv magazine caught up with the Barcelona-based scientist to discuss the state of the art in perovskite solar cells and remaining challenges on the road to commercialisation.
SA Water, one of the largest water utilities in Australia and most ambitious when it comes to renewable energy, has partnered with aerial solar inspection and data analysis company, Above, to monitor the performance of its 360,000+ solar panels.
With projects in many PV markets ageing past the 10-year mark – with major leaps in technology having occurred in that time – revamping is a popular topic among asset owners. Pv magazine spoke with Asier Ukar, general manager of the Spanish subsidiary of German testing company PI Berlin, to uncover the benefits of revamping PV projects with new components and also to examine the challenges and risks involved.
Unprecedented capacity expansions and massive technology changes, all happening at a frantic pace, signal that PV is entering the terawatt era. However, challenges in supply and demand imbalances across the value chain, combined with emerging technical and quality risks, require detailed analysis and due diligence from buyers to avoid pitfalls, according to George Touloupas, Joseph Johnson, and Aditya Vardhan from Clean Energy Associates.
Floating PV is a growing market, especially in Asian countries with land pressures. However, like many promising niches, it is growing faster than the standards surrounding it. With installed floating PV capacity set to double in 2021, a raft of various and sometimes competing standards are being floated, but the question remains – what is truly the best way forward?
DuPont has developed a repair kit for PV modules with backsheet failures. Cracked and chalking backsheets can cause problems for solar project owners, but this could easily be addressed in the field without swapping out the PV modules. Stéphan Padlewski, regional marketing leader EMEA at DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, spoke to pv magazine about how the solution works.
PV module making is a brutally competitive industry. And for Slovenian module maker Bisol, in business since 2004, one of the keys to success has been to remain focused on the value its products deliver to the customer. And as company founder and CEO Uroš Merc explains, in 2021 this means reimagining module degradation.
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