Photovoltaics International Volume 43

The PV industry continues its technological advance and downstream markets continue to grow, with the two elements remaining intrinsically linked. If this edition is an indication that technological advances are continuing to shape the industry and drive down the cost per-Watt to record lows, then we are set for many years of continued growth. Our annual in-house analysis of the R&D spending trends of 21 PV manufacturers in this edition highlights the second consecutive year of combined expenditure topping the US$1.0 billion mark, with the LONGi Group setting a industry record of US$182.74 million of expenditure in 2018. One of the first to transition to SHJ technology was the Russia-based Hevel Group. A paper from Hevel in this edition is notable for detailing all the processing steps required for successful SHJ production. Fraunhofer ISE demonstrates latest advances in PERC-based shingled solar cells. Edition 43 continues its own series of Industry 4.0 papers, with researchers from ISC Konstanz highlighting the role and impact of digitalization and self-learning concepts in PV manufacturing. A paper from ISFH that details the processes and the key importance of accurate solar cell measurement, especially, as noted in the last edition, in light of the swathe of solar cell conversion efficiency records already seen in 2019.

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