Encapsulation is a key aspect of module durability, yet less effort is made to assess the quality of this process during manfuacture. Christian Honeker describes a new test procedure designed to improve the quality control of lamination and thus promote overall module performance.
Following a recent visit to Brazil, Vaisala’s Gwendalyn Bender reports on the challenges facing the country as it gears up to meet its aggressive PV deployment targets.
Researchers are developing a new module specifically for use in desert areas, where much of the future growth in PV deployment is expected. Radovan Kopecek and Joris Libal of ISC Konstanz, one of the research partners involved, explain the thinking behind the ‘AtaMo’ module and its attributes in harsh conditions.
Recent second-quarter earnings figures paint a positive picture for established PV producers. Matthias Grossman looks at how start-up manufacturing companies can best take advantage of improving industry conditions.
Since new European legislation kicked-in during 2014, the volume of recycled PV products has soared. Despite this, widespread non-compliance threatens to damage the industry, writes Pia Alina Lange.
President Obama has hailed his Clean Energy Plan as America’s biggest step forward in tackling climate change. Laura Stern explores how the plan will spur further growth in the US solar industry.
The growing size and geographic dispersal of PV power plants worldwide presents numerous supply chain challenges. Ulrike Therhaag runs through some of the essential steps in effectively managing the procurement process.
The Fraunhofer PV Module Durability Initiative is seeking overcome the fact that current certification regimes give no indication of a module’s lifetime performance. The team behind the initiative describe its latest findings.
How silicon feedstock is packed into casting crucibles can have a big impact on the size and cost-efficiency of the resultant solar ingots. Til Bartel looks at some of the latest thinking around this essential stage in the PV manufacturing supply chain.
So far in 2015, Chinese domestic PV deployment has outstripped last year’s rates. A 20GW year would set a benchmark for China’s new five-year plan for solar development due to come into effect next year, writes Frank Haugwitz.
Last week the UN hosted the first of three crucially important global development conferences this year, culminating in the COP21 climate change talks in December. Reporting on the event, Alexander Lagaaij saw evidence of an appetite for cooperation, but still no high-level understanding of the potential of solar energy to put the world on a more sustainable path.
PV technologists often face the question of what the next-generation solar cell work-horse will look like. Radovan Kopecek and Joris Libal of ISC Konstanz offer some answers.
PV’s continued growth worldwide is creating fresh opportunities for investment in new and enlarged production facilities. But as Matthias Grossman writes, the costs and risks associated with entering new markets mean caution is required by investors.
As Europe seeks ways to impove the energy efficiency of its building stock, a key contributor to carbon emissions, building-integrated photovoltaics technology could offer some answers, writes Silke Krawietz.
As the political horse-trading over the future of the US solar investment tax credit gathers momentum, Laura Stern gives three good reasons why Congress should extend it.
As more and more distributed generation comes on to the grid, utilities will have to adapt their practices to accommodate it. Jacqueline Ashmore of Fraunhofer CSE looks at where the most action is needed as renewables become an increasingly unavoidable fact of life.
PV manufacturers are under increasing pressure to remove so-called conflict materials from their supply chains. But as Chris Berry explains, it’s not quite as simple as that.
As Intersolar Europe prepares to open its doors in Munich next week, James Watson, CEO of Europe’s main solar industry body, explans why 30 years into its lifetime, the organisation has rebranded to better reflect PV’s changing dynamics in the continent.
Radovan Kopecek and Joris Libal explore the prospects for producing new cell and module technologies in territories outside of the big manufacturing countries.
Frank Haugwitz explores the opportunities for China’s solar industry at home abroad as the country’s new five-year solar development plan is finalised and manufacturers look to expand their global footprint.
With the spectre of trade disputes showing no signs of going away, Asian PV manufacturers need to develop effective strategies to cope with future anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, says Matthias Grossman.
If India were to grow its electricity system based on coal as China has done, the results for the global climate could be catastrophic. Tobias Engelmeier believes this leaves the country with little choice but to go solar.
An extension and gradual phase out of the investment tax credit would help the US solar industry on to a more sustainable footing in the long term, argues James A. Mueller
Growing awareness of the advantages of using controlled quantities of impurities in solar silicon is closing the price gap between lower and higher purity feedstock, writes Til Bartel.
A lax management and maintenance regime can see the value of a PV system leach away over time. Laura Stern outlines some of the key steps in ensuring a system retains its value right up to the end of its planned lifetime.