PV Tech Premium

PV Tech Premium
May 1, 2015
Post-subsidy solar | Europe’s solar market has been characterised by peaks and troughs and a good deal of pain for its industry in the process. Although the continent is not expected to see a return to anything like the explosive growth it saw up until 2012, steady forecasts for the coming years hint at solid, sustained expansion. John Parnell reports.
PV Tech Premium
May 1, 2015
Conference report | In April, the deployment of solar in West Africa came under the spotlight during a two-day event in Accra, Ghana. Reporting on the event, Ben Willis heard huge excitement over the prospects for solar in the region tempered by the realities of scaling up a new technology in a challenging part of the world.
PV Tech Premium
May 1, 2015
Emerging markets | Mexico remains a market of undoubted potential, but there’s a growing opinion that it will struggle to live up to its hype amid regulatory uncertainty. Liam Stoker asks if last year’s sweeping energy reforms will continue to hold the market back, or result in a solar explosion by 2018.
PV Tech Premium
May 1, 2015
Competitive bidding | Now into its fourth round, South Africa’s national renewable energy programme has successfully driven down the price of solar energy. But there are growing concerns that this has been at the expense of fostering a diverse local market, writes Tom Jackson.
PV Tech Premium
May 1, 2015
Business | A growing number of tier-one PV module manufacturers have been changing business models in recent years from once being dedicated module suppliers to becoming project developers. Mark Osborne analyses the progress made by major PV manufacturers in their downstream ambitions in 2014 and expectations in 2015.
PV Tech Premium
May 1, 2015
In recent weeks the benefits of coupling solar with battery storage technology have gone from being a niche topic to the talk of the chattering classes. Thanks to some slick publicity work from Elon Musk and his PR team, tales of the Silicon Valley stalwart’s first forays into the world of stationary storage have found their way on to newspaper front pages the world over. Hype there was aplenty, and only time will tell if Tesla’s bid to revolutionise the solar-plus- storage offer lives up to it. Yet if nothing else, the company’s high-profile launch has shone a light into one of the less glamorous but fundamentally important corners of the storage debate – namely the business models that will enable the technology to pay its way.
PV Tech Premium
April 29, 2015
As PV Expo rolls into Tokyo for its eighth outing this month, it coincides with what has been a pivotal time for solar in Japan. Behind the headlines of explosive growth over the past couple of years, some darker currents have been swirling that have threatened if not to bring the wheels off, then certainly to prompt questions over the longevity of Japan’s solar success story.
PV Tech Premium
April 1, 2015
The market outlook for utility-scale PV installations is very positive. These PV plants have the capability of supporting grid operation, and the ability to do this is being increasingly required in grid codes. Testing the capabilities of very large PV inverters, however, is demanding for laboratories. Gunter Arnold, Diana Craciun, Wolfram Heckmann and Nils Schäfer from Fraunhofer IWES discuss current developments and resulting challenges and address the gaps and diversity in testing guidelines and standardisation.
PV Tech Premium
April 1, 2015
As early as 2010, Phoenix Solar along with Saudi Aramco installed the first of three PV test facilities in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, putting four different module technologies (monocrystalline, amorphous-microcrystalline, CdTe and CIS) to the test in extreme climatic conditions. Klaus Friedl of Phoenix Solar LLC shares some hints and lessons learned from the tests.
PV Tech Premium
April 1, 2015
Maximising production from a PV system is critical, since nearly all of the investment is made prior to system activation. Monitoring of PV systems allows operators to identify any performance or safety problems early so that they can be repaired quickly, thus minimising energy losses. Joshua Stein of Sandia National Laboratories and Mike Green of M.G. Lightning Electrical Engineering discuss some new monitoring strategies that are necessary for expeditiously identifying and locating system faults.

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