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Weekend Read: Mind the skills gap

Around 800,000 new workers will be required in Europe by 2025 for the battery industry alone and, more broadly, existing workers will need to be retrained as the continent’s industries transition away from fossil fuels. International competition for workers is becoming increasingly fierce. Where are these workers and the required skills supposed to come from?

Weekend Read: PV goes portable

Portable solar generators are making their way from the fringes of solar and energy storage to become a mainstream consumer item. The rise has been charged by a range of factors that have created massive brands. Where did the sector emerge from, who was buying before, who is buying now, and what’s next? Tristan Rayner reports.

AEG launches 23.3%-efficient ABC solar panel with 40-year warranty

AEG is currently offering three versions of its new ABC solar panels for rooftop applications, with power outputs of 445 W to 455 W and efficiency ratings ranging from 22.8% to 23.3%. They feature half-cut ABC cells with n-type technology.


Researchers claim record-breaking 14.46% efficiency for organic PV module

A team of scientists at Germany’s Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg has set an efficiency record of 14.46% for an organic PV module. The performance was certified by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institue for Solar Energy’s PV calibration laboratory.

SMA to build 3.5 GW inverter factory in US

SMA Solar Technology AG says it will open a new 3.5 GW inverter factory at an unspecified location in the United States in 2025. The German manufacturer is currently talking with several US states and potential partners to select the best production site.

Black Summer wildfires impaired solar output, caused financial losses up to $29 million, researchers find

Smoke from wildfires significantly effects solar output, researchers from UNSW have found. Specifically, Australia’s Black Summer in 2019 – 2020 caused energy losses from residential and utility PV systems estimated between 175 to 35 GWh, equating to a worst-case financial loss of around $6.1 to $29 million.

New tool to detect faults in inverters released by PI Berlin

PI Berlin has developed a new tool to detect problems in inverters such as defective printed circuit boards, faulty switching algorithms, and deficiencies in components and sensors.

Performance parameters for residential heat pumps linked to PV, storage

German researchers measured a PV-powered heat pump with battery storage in a single-family home in Freiburg, Germany, for a period of a year. It features smart grid-ready tech that adjusts operations based on the grid.

Message framing techniques to boost solar sales

A Dutch-German research team has tested how a series of framed messages may be used to boost PV system sales, addressing both self-interest and environmental concerns, and has found that all the proposed messages are effective at promoting the purchase of solar panel installations.

New grid-scale battery design stacks up for Altech

Western Australian battery technology company Altech Batteries has updated the design of its 1 MWh sodium chloride battery energy storage system, paving the way for the modular units to be stacked three high, allowing for smaller project footprints that conserves valuable land area.