The solar industry gets to grips with the bewildering array of new module technologies at the second edition of the PV ModuleTech event in Penang, Malaysia. The conference raised a huge number of questions such as how to evaluate bifacial technology and whether it might rise faster than predicted, how long p-type multicrystalline has left in the running and the perennial issue of quality, to name a few.
PV Tech caught up with Lou Trippel, vice president of Product Management at US-based thin-film solar manufacturer and developer First Solar, to discuss how the company’s new Series 6 module has been received, sustainability gains from the transition and even the firm’s consideration of recycling capabilities beyond its thin-film remit.
PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the second quarter of 2018, were slightly higher than the previous quarter, although activity slumped specifically in June, after China’s decision to suddenly cap utility-scale and distributed generation (DG) projects (531 New Deal). But large-scale multi-gigawatt production plans in the first half of the year may have hidden an inevitable slowdown, despite the impact on downstream demand from the 531 New Deal.
The solar industry, in terms of deployment, will sadly not be growing by 30% in 2018. However, the good news is that the PV ModuleTech 2018 event – taking place in Penang, Malaysia on 23-24 October 2018 – will see more than 30% growth in the number of companies taking part and the number of attendees on site.
While India’s solar market is still heavily weighted on the lowest possible costs, the price difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline PV module technologies is beginning to fade. PV Tech caught up with major module suppliers at the REI Expo in Greater Noida, India, to discuss the future of Mono in this heavyweight global market.
PV and electronics equipment manufacturing and automation specialist Manz AG has secured another advanced payment for CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, DiSelenide) thin-film manufacturing equipment, which is part of a major production order with Chinese partners, the Shanghai Electric Group and the Shenhua Group.