Guest Blog

  • PV module manufacturing metrology: measuring the making of solar modules

    By Christian Honeker - 06 October 2015, 11:00

    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.

  • Brazil PV

    Brazil’s solar industry is making a big bet

    By Gwendalyn Bender - 23 September 2015, 10:00

    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.

  • Atacama Module (AtaMo): a long lasting, powerful, highly efficient module for desert applications

    By Dr Radovan Kopecek,Dr Joris Libal - 15 September 2015, 15:18

    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.

  • PV manufacturing

    Second quarter earnings season takeaways for new entrants in PV manufacturing

    By Matthias Grossmann - 04 September 2015, 12:47

    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.

  • PV shredding

    Time for the industry to keep its environmental promise

    By Pia Alina Lange - 03 September 2015, 11:55

    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.

  • Barack Obama

    What Obama’s Clean Energy Plan proposals mean for US solar

    By Laura E. Stern - 03 September 2015, 09:49

    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.

  • Module testing

    Challenges of global supply chain for PV modules and inverters

    By Ulrike Therhaag - 02 September 2015, 11:28

    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.

  • Module testing

    Your module passed qualification testing, but is it also durable?

    By Rubina Singh,Dr Cordula Schmid - 19 August 2015, 07:00

    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.

  • Cracking the feedstock puzzle for larger solar ingots

    By Til Bartel - 14 August 2015, 11:48

    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.

  • Chinese solar

    Is China ready for 20GW in 2015?

    By Frank Haugwitz - 27 July 2015, 18:14

    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.

  • Solar and the road to COP21

    By Alexander Lagaaij - 23 July 2015, 11:31

    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.

  • Limit for industrial c-Si solar cells reached in 2030: what next?

    By Dr Joris Libal,Dr Radovan Kopecek - 15 July 2015, 10:58 | 1

    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.

  • Lender’s due diligence in local content solar markets

    By Matthias Grossmann - 08 July 2015, 09:54

    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.

  • Building-integrated PV

    How BIPV could offer a solution to the European energy efficiency dilemma

    By Silke Krawietz - 06 July 2015, 12:00

    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.

  • Don’t let ITC Become the speed bump on solar’s growth road

    By Laura E. Stern - 22 June 2015, 11:05

    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.

  • Power grid

    The utility role in maintaining reliability as PV increases

    By Jacqueline Ashmore - 16 June 2015, 10:51

    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.

  • Mining in the Congo.

    The uncomfortable choice with solar power and raw material sourcing

    By Chris Berry - 08 June 2015, 10:58 | 3

    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.

  • SolarPower Europe

    SolarPower Europe – A new start for solar representation in Europe

    By James Watson - 05 June 2015, 10:21

    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.

  • The second summer of new PV technologies - chances for cell and module production outside Asia

    By Dr Joris Libal,Dr Radovan Kopecek - 27 May 2015, 12:51

    Radovan Kopecek and Joris Libal explore the prospects for producing new cell and module technologies in territories outside of the big manufacturing countries.

  • China solar

    China’s future solar ambitions – at home and abroad

    By Frank Haugwitz - 21 May 2015, 11:43 | 4

    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.

  • Battlefield solar: Response strategies for Asian manufacturers

    By Matthias Grossmann - 12 May 2015, 12:31

    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.

  • Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi

    Why the global climate hinges on India’s solar revolution

    By Dr. Tobias Engelmeier - 04 May 2015, 07:30 | 2

    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.

  • ITC sunset?

    A softer solar landing after 2016

    By James A. Mueller - 28 April 2015, 11:54 | 1

    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

  • Single crystal sphere created under the Avogadro project

    Silicon for solar applications: the path to perfection

    By Til Bartel - 20 April 2015, 08:00

    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.

  • PV power plant

    Preserving the residual value of solar energy systems

    By Laura E. Stern - 15 April 2015, 09:55

    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.


  • Photovoltaics International 29th Edition

    Forecasting the evolution of a young, dynamic industry is by definition an uncertain business, and solar is no exception. Rarely, if ever, do the numbers broadcast by any of the various bodies involved in the PV prediction game tally, and even historical deployment rates remain the subject of hot debate. The paradox is that getting forecasts broadly right is going to become increasingly important over the next few years, particularly for those involved in producing the equipment that will support whatever levels of demand come to pass.



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