US-based PV installer RGS Energy has struck an exclusive deal with Dow Chemical to exclusively sell its third generation (3.0) solar shingles under the ‘POWERHOUSE’ brand said to use conventional crystalline silicon solar cells rather than the original CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide) thin-film substrates.
Updated: With the solar industry transitioning to high-performance products backed with innovation, Solar Power International 2017 in Las Vegas is showcasing an ever increasing portfolio of solar modules exceeding 300 watts in the standard 60-cell format. However, 72-cell modules exceeding 360 watts are also entering the mainstream and 400 watts is just around the corner. Driving the high-performance wave is PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell), bifacial and the migration to 5 busbars and beyond, whether with multicrystalline or monocrystalline wafers. The growing use of half-cut and multi-cut cells that reduce cell to module losses, boosting overall performance are also becoming mainstream as well as heterojunction (HJ) modules.
The use of third-party cell and module sourcing has seen a massive uptick in the solar industry, during the past 2-3 years. The appetite of leading global module suppliers to rely on outsourced cells and modules has been clear to see in the past 12-18 months, but tends to go through almost quarterly tactical adjustments, often driven by factors that are potentially creating risk for long-term downstream asset holders of utility-scale sites.
Automotive giant Audi AG and thin-film solar manufacturer Hanergy, via its US-based subsidiary Alta Devices have signed an MOU in respect of a development agreement to provide its electric vehicles with gallium arsenide (GaAs) flexible thin film based solar system integrated into a range of planned electric vehicles.