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?
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.
Polysilicon capacity is unable to catch up with rapid capacity expansion in the mid and downstream segments, writes Corrine Lin, chief analyst for PV InfoLink. New polysilicon capacity requires big capex investment and a lead time of more than two years to complete construction and reach full operation. With unbalanced capacity between the upstream and downstream segments, polysilicon prices have been rising since the second half of 2020, with prices for mono-grade polysilicon surpassing CNY 200/kg (US$27.40) in June 2021, up more than 250% year on year.
A group of biologists in the United States working with a bacteria discovered a mechanism that could be used to convert electricity into biofuels or other useful substances. With better understanding of the genetics, the group says the mechanism could rival hydrogen for the storage of renewable energy.
Scientists in the United States claim to have created a crossover-free, high-voltage, non-aqueous hybrid flow battery with a novel chemistry for the solid sodium anode. The device has shown a high working voltage of around 2.6 V and a coulombic efficiency of 95.0%.
Scientists in the United States used machine learning to analyse maintenance reports, performance data and weather records from more than 800 solar farms located across the country. The analysis allowed them to determine which weather conditions have the biggest impact on PV generation, and to suggest the most effective ways to boost the resilience of PV installations to extreme weather events.
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