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Western Europe

Aussie company’s ‘zero carbon’ lithium project tantalises European markets

On Friday, ASX-listed company Vulcan Energy announced a $76 million equity investment from one of the globe’s top five automakers, Stellantis, which owns brands like Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Chrysler and Opel. The deal, Vulcan managing director Francis Wedin told pv magazine Australia is one of number in the works as the European market clambers to secure not just lithium, but sustainably produced lithium, from the Aussie company. Wedin explains precisely how the company’s novel lithium extraction method works and why it finally affords properly green credentials a vital battery resource.

Debunking myths about PV system orientation, dimensioning

New research from Lappeenranta University of Technology shows that there is no single correct orientation for a PV installation.

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UN chief warns more fossil fuel investment is ‘delusional’

As Australia battles an energy crisis, the United Nations secretary general has called for increased investment in renewables, saying it is the only “true path to energy security”, warning new funding from governments for fossil fuel exploration or production is simply “delusional”.

Lithium-ion vs. vanadium redox flow storage

UK scientists have compared the performance of lithium-ion storage systems and vanadium redox flow batteries for a modeled 636 kW commercial PV system in southern California. They have found that both technologies, coupled with an oversized PV array, could achieve a levelised cost of electricity of less than US$0.22/kWh (AU$0.32/kWh), while offering a self-sufficiency ratio of 0.95.

Megasol reveals new solar PV in-roof system

Swiss module manufacturer Megasol has unveiled a novel rooftop PV system in two variants — full-black and translucent. The installation consists of vertical supports, a ridge profile, and solar modules.

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Silver-alloyed CIGS solar cell with transparent indium back contacts, 12% efficiency

Scientists in Sweden have developed a wide-gap ACIGS solar cell with hydrogen-doped indium oxide (IOH) transparent back contacts and silver alloying to increase the absorber bandgap energy. The device achieved an efficiency of 12.0%, an open-circuit voltage of 835 mV, a short-circuit current of 22.1 mA cm2, and a fill factor of 65.2%.

Downsizing gallium nitride inverters

A German consortium led by Fraunhofer IEE aims to bring gallium nitride inverters closer to commercial viability. The primary goal of the research project is the optimisation and miniaturisation of inverters, including passive components such as cooling systems, casings, and mounting structures.

Green hydrogen price may drop to $7.5/kg by 2025

Aurora Energy Research says in a new report that maximum green hydrogen project profitability could be achieved when solar and wind power plants are combined with electrolysers.

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BYD launches new C&I battery

Chinese battery manufacturer BYD has launched an expanded portfolio of energy storage systems designed for the commercial and industrial solar markets. At The smarter E in Munich last month the company also provided a sneak peak at a new high-voltage storage system expected to be launched later this year.

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Gallium doping and solar cell degradation

German scientists have conducted a series of experiments on gallium-doped silicon solar cells to understand the causes of degradation in PV cells and modules treated with gallium rather than boron. They confirmed that the performance losses are caused by a bulk defect in the material, and found that the right combination of light and temperature can “heal” earlier damage and even lead to small improvements in overall cell efficiency.

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