Technology and R&D

Long Read: UNSW’s Martin Green sets out solar’s accelerating technological development

Martin Green and his UNSW collaborators have driven a wide range of innovations within the Chinese and global PV manufacturing sector. Green, a Scientia Professor at UNSW and the Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics shares his take on PV technology in 2018.

Tandem PV cells present potential for residential applications, MIT scientists say

Four different thin film solar PV technologies were tested by the MIT experts across three types of environment in the U.S.: Arid (Arizona); temperate (South Dakota); and humid (Florida). The research found that despite high costs, tandem cells may become viable in rooftop applications.

EU grants €5 million to perovskite research consortium

Belgian institute Imec will be the coordinator of a project involving many of Europe’s leading research organizations, which will focus on developing stable, scalable, low cost PV modules based on perovskite technology. The project, named ‘ESPResSo’ has received more than €5 million in funding from the European Union.

Fraunhofer ISE, Schmid develop production line concept for custom design modules

German research institute Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and equipment supplier Schmid have jointly developed a production for customizable modules for building-integrated projects. According to Fraunhofer ISE, the concepts developed by joint study could reduce the production cost for BIPV modules as much as 35%.

Solliance achieves 14.5% cell efficiency on perovskite module

Scientists at European solar research organization, Solliance have announced the achievement of 14.5% conversion efficiency on a perovskite module. The module uses a glass substrate, and the efficiency was measured on an aperture area of 144 cm².

University of Wollongong researchers unveil new sodium-ion battery design

Scientists from the University of Wollongong have developed prototype battery cells based on sodium-ion technology, which the university says can achieve excellent cycling stability and easily be scaled up to mass production.

SERIS researchers develop new multi-cSi texturing technique

Scientists from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) have announced the development of a new wet chemical process to allow multi-cSi wafers to be cut with diamond wire saw technology, and subsequently textured to reduce their reflectivity.

RMIT researchers demonstrate first working proton battery

Scientists at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have demonstrated the first working example of a ‘proton battery’, which utilizes a carbon electrode and reversible hydrogen fuel cell for the storage of energy. The scientists say that their small prototype has already demonstrated similar storage capacities to commercially available lithium-ion batteries, with plenty of potential for further optimization.

German researchers create ‘sunlight funnel’ to concentrate light onto solar cells

Scientists led by the University of Braunschweig have developed a new type of solar concentrator, which can concentrate light from any direction onto a small area, such as a solar panel. The researchers say that funnels can be tuned to different light wavelengths and stacked, allowing for conversion of the entire light spectrum into electricity.

Smart swimming pool pilot wins $2.5 million ARENA grant

A New South Wales energy management company has won ARENA’s funding for a smart swimming poll pilot project, which holds a promise to both manage peak demand and save pool owners up to 30% of their household electricity use.