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Technology and R&D

Solar-powered delivery van with 400 km range

Swedish start-up Clean Motion is seeking to commercialise an electric delivery van that is also powered by IBC solar modules placed on its roof. The vehicle is claimed to have a 400 km range, of which up to 130 km are provided by the PV array.

Queensland uni seeks to verify tech claiming to improve hydrogen fuel cell efficiency by 60%

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are testing technology which claims to increase the output of hydrogen fuel cells by as much as 60%, put forth by Australian transport technology company, Titan Hydrogen.

Nickel-hydrogen battery for large scale renewables

U.S. start-up EnerVenue has secured funding to build a gigafactory to produce nickel-hydrogen batteries for large scale renewable and storage applications. The battery has an efficiency ranging from 80 to 90%, depending on the cycle rate, and its energy density per square foot is equal to, or better than lithium-ion batteries, according to the company.

Let there be sunlight … in the public parks of high-density communities! 

As councils in suburban areas seek to maximise access to services and amenity by planning for higher-density living, outdoor spaces soaked in sunlight and rich with plant life are at risk. In two world firsts, Heliosystems has used concentrated solar power, a cousin of PV, to cast warming, mood-lifting light where the sun would otherwise not shine.

Flexible organic PV films on clothing offer charging on the move

The sustainability claims of a crowdfunded ‘e-textile’ range launched by Art by Physicist are borne out by the fact each garment will be printed on demand.

Sunday read: Bringing costs down to earth

Rising efficiencies and the plummeting cost of solar modules over the past few years, recent months notwithstanding, are leading innovators toward ideas that may look unusual in the current tracker-dominated world of large-scale solar parks. Advocates of the new approaches argue that they leave traditional models looking decidedly flat by comparison.

Saturday read: Game of drones

Drones have already established themselves in industries as disparate as warfare, wedding photography, and burrito delivery, and increasingly the solar sector is taking the high road, too. Combined with thermal imaging, drones have the potential to obviate expensive maintenance costs for large-scale solar plants, as well as C&I and growing niches like floating PV. But how useful are they, and what role does AI play in making the most of a bird’s eye view?

How long do residential solar inverters last?

Multiple factors affect the productive lifespans of residential solar inverters. In the second part of our new series on resiliency, we look at PV inverters.

Semi-transparent organic solar cell for window applications

Developed by U.S. scientists, the 10%-efficient device is intended for applications in solar windows and promises efficiencies close to 15%. According to its creators, the cell retained 80% of its efficiency after 1,900 hours at 55 degrees Celsius.

Cylindrical solar panel for street lighting

Developed by an Italian manufacturer, the panel is available in three versions with a power output of 100, 120, and 240 W and has a weight of 5 kg. It is encapsulated in thermoformable plastic technical polymers and can be connected in series with other modules around the same post.

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