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Research

Solar may cover the world’s electricity demand with 0.3% of its land area

An international research group claims that raw materials and land availability do not present a real barrier for a global energy system with solar at its centre. They said that forecasts for PV growth should not have their axis on utility-scale power plants and instead consider vertical PV, agrivoltaics, and floating PV as the source of future big market volumes.

Missteps, monster solar farms and hangovers: solar’s 2022 in review

Last year was a tricky one for solar, with each segment from residential to commercial to utility behaving quite differently. The industry trends have been laid out in Sunwiz’s latest Australian PV Report and pv magazine Australia takes a dive into what happened and what there is to learn.

Green hydrogen straight from the ocean: Adelaide researchers crack new method

Researchers from the University of Adelaide, along with international partners, have successfully used seawater with no pre-treatment to produce green hydrogen. The team did this by introducing an acid layer over the catalysts in situ. “We have split natural seawater into oxygen and hydrogen with nearly 100% efficiency… using a non-precious and cheap catalyst in a commercial electrolyser,” University of Adelaide’s Professor Shizhang Qiao said.

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Second-life batteries might beat new ones on solar LCOE in remote locations

UK scientists have discovered that second-life batteries could provide a lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) than conventional batteries in school buildings equipped with PV in East African schools. They said the cheapest system configuration uses either 7.5 kW or 10 kW of solar with 20 kWh of storage.

Perovskite PV tipped to become competitive in rooftop segment

Scientists from Australia are among an international team of researchers that predict lightweight, high-performance perovskite solar modules could soon become competitive with crystalline PV modules in the residential segment, as such products will likely have lower manufacturing and balance-of-system costs in the future.

Scientists source silicon from solar waste to build better batteries

Researchers from Victoria’s Deakin University say they have successfully tested a new process that can safely and effectively extract silicon from end-of-life solar panels, then convert it into a nano material worth more than $45,000 (USD 31,500) per kilogram that can be used to build better batteries.

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New digital solar tool launches promising to save customers from aggressive sales tactics

Australian climate tech platform Acacia will launch a new solar feature enabling customers to get a digital solar quote, as well as estimated financial and carbon savings, without speaking to any sales people. The company says the tool is in response to what are often poor buying experiences in the solar sector.

New method to measure energy yield of bifacial PV systems

Canadian scientists have developed a new way to measure the energy yield of bifacial PV systems. They said they considered the spectral albedo of ground cover like snow and sand to predict energy gains of up to 2%, in comparison with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard.

Adapting agrivoltaics to different climates, crops

An international consortium led by Italy’s Eurac Research launched the Symbiosyst project to adapt PV modules, mounting structures, and maintenance technologies to the needs of various crops in agrivoltaic installations in different climates.

Vertical agrivoltaic pilots in France find improved yields and less water stress

French energy giant TotalEnergies studied the impact of solar panels on crops in order to develop a repository of agronomic benefits. The initial results show an increase in agricultural yields on field crops and a reduction in water stress.

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