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Germany

Report finds co-located hubs key to battery industry competitiveness

A report from Australia’s Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre which analysed the development of battery hubs in the U.S., Germany and Japan, has found that co-location and cooperation between industry and government were key to hub success. For Australia to play the same game, it will have to leverage its wealth of resources, and clean up its act along the way.

Umicore to purchase 42,000 tons of Australian lithium battery material

Belgian materials company Umicore has signed a contract with Australia headquartered Vulcan Energy Resources to purchase up to 42,000 tons of lithium hydroxide over a five year period beginning in 2025. The material will be used in Umicore’s production of cathode materials for lithium-ion cell manufacturers.

Meyer Burger unveils new solar tiles

Meyer Burger plans to start selling a new building-integrated PV product from 2022. It says the solar tiles have a high energy yield, with simplified installation and the ability to also provide heating. German engineering company paXos designed the tiles.

New ‘matrix’ layout for shingled solar cells

German equipment supplier M10 and research institute Fraunhofer ISE will unveil a new prototype stringer for shingled module layouts at the Intersolar Europe trade show later this week. Employing an offset layout for the shingles, the approach promises a relative efficiency gain of up to 6%, compared to a conventional half-cell module.

Fraunhofer ISE develops solder-free aluminium interconnection tech for shingled PV modules

The German research institute has unveiled a novel interconnection technology for shingled PV modules that eliminates the need for electrically conductive adhesives and screen-printed busbars. It consists of an 8-μm-thick aluminium foil that is joined to the silicon nitride (SiNX) passivation via laser metal bond (LMB). When integrated in a solar module, the efficiency of the new interconnector improved by 0.7%.

Flexible solar panel for vehicle-integrated applications

Called SolFlex, the frameless panel is based on 22%-efficient solar cells and is designed for high, one-sided heat load. The standard product measures 100x100x2.9cm, weighs in at 3.4kg, and has a power output of 170 W.

German researchers want to reduce manufacturing costs for electrolysers by more than 25%

A number of Fraunhofer institutes in Germany want to make green hydrogen more cost-competitive and are working to identify the best and most economical processes for the production of electrolysers. They intend to build a digital library of future-proof electrolyser manufacturing processes with which the investment costs and even the return on investment can be determined in advance depending on the planned production volume.

Fraunhofer CSP develops repair process for PERC solar cells

The performance of the solar cell contacts can be improved with laser-assisted current treatment. The process does not damage the solar cells but only optimises faulty semiconductor-metal contacts.

Mini organic solar module with 13.94% efficiency

The panel is based on 14.9%-efficient organic PV cells with a surface of 1.1 cm2 that the same research group unveiled in September 2020. The solar cells were interconnected using laser structuring.

Coupling PV-powered electrochemical water splitting with battery storage

A German research team has developed a photovoltaic-electrochemical device for alkaline water electrolysis that can be linked to battery storage. The proposed system configuration can not only smoothen out the PV power fluctuations and facilitate power coupling, but also improve solar to hydrogen efficiency.

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