PVTP Issue

PV Tech Power Volume 21

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Welcome to the latest edition of PV Tech Power. As we head into a new decade, it would be easier to look back over the spectacular journey solar has walked throughout the 2010s. From nascent technology to a stalwart of power system the world over, the last 10 years will be remembered as the decade of solar’s maturation. But rather than reflect on the journey so far, this edition of the magazine continues to push the envelope and instead glances forward. Indeed, what immediately jumps out is the level of sophistication that can be identified as you flick through the pages of issue 21 of PV Tech Power. This edition’s cover story comes from the deserts of the Middle East, where researchers are getting to grips with the issue of soiling and what can be done to prevent it. And if it’s sophistication you’re seeking, look no further than the issue of bifaciality, which litters the pages of this volume of the magazine. Trade body SolarPower Europe offers a glimpse at how entire swathes of the solar ecosystem is going digital, taking in new developments such as AI and machine learning. Previous editions of this magazine have charted the rise and rise of floating solar, and this has prompted renewed calls for standardisation in the field, as Jose Rojo Martin learns. But this sophistication is not just seen in solar. While recent analysis has shown marked decreases in the price of lithium-ion batteries, longer-duration batteries continue to be of real interest, and our resident energy storage experts Andy Colthorpe and Alice Grundy provide a comprehensive review of new developments in this area.

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In this issue...

PVTP Paper
PV Tech Power Papers, Storage & Smart Power
Despite making huge strides forward, the energy storage industry’s work in helping stakeholders across the value chain understand the technologies and the roles they can play in a renewable energy future is far from done. Andy Colthorpe speaks with Energy Storage Association chief executive, Kelly Speakes-Backman, at the forefront of the industry’s push into unchartered regulatory, policy and public affairs matters.
PVTP Paper
PV Tech Power Papers, Storage & Smart Power
While lithium-ion batteries get most of the headlines, long-duration energy storage solutions are gaining ground. Alice Grundy and Andy Colthorpe profile some of established and emerging concepts in this this increasingly important class of storage technologies.
PVTP Paper
PV Tech Power Papers, Storage & Smart Power
As energy storage becomes an increasingly integral part of a renewables-based electricity system, new technologies are coming to the fore. Jens Noack, Nataliya Roznyatovskaya, Chris Menictas and Maria Skyllas-Kazacos from CENELEST, a joint research venture between the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology and the University of New South Wales, chart the rise of redox flow batteries, a promising alternative to lithium-ion-based systems.
PVTP Paper
Financial, Legal, Professional, PV Tech Power Papers
After several years with a moratorium on renewable energy incentives and no new build, Spain is seeing a new generation of projects being developed without subsidies as grid parity is achieved. Whilst this has encouraged an increase in renewable energy projects, it could be harmful to profits and have serious economic risks for investors. ÅF Pöyry Management Consulting’s Javier Revuelta considers the potential risks of taking a long-lasting grid parity in Spain for granted, how to mitigate these problems, and why it’s relevant to us all.
PVTP Paper
Financial, Legal, Professional, PV Tech Power Papers
A new toolkit has been launched to support companies in Europe that want to meet more of their energy needs from solar and other renewable energy sources. As SolarPower Europe’s Bruce Douglas explains, alongside much-needed regulatory reform the resource will help unlock the immense corporate renewables sourcing opportunity.
PVTP Paper
Financial, Legal, Professional, PV Tech Power Papers
The growing volume of PV waste presents an emerging environmental challenge, but also brings substantial value creation opportunities as the idea of bringing decommissioned PV modules back to life becomes more feasible. Researchers from imec, VITO and SoliTek chart the development of the second-life PV business as it transitions from theory to practice.
PVTP Paper
Design & Build, PV Tech Power Papers
Alumni from SunPower’s recently wound up project business are spearheading a new venture targeting large-scale solar’s soft cost problem. Ben Willis hears how they plan to harness the power of digital technology in tackling one of the industry’s persistent pain points.
PVTP Paper
Design & Build, PV Tech Power Papers
A new World Bank-SERIS floating solar handbook has sparked a debate around whether standardisation could speed the segment’s voyage to mainstream success. A-listers welcome the guide but insist too strict a focus on streamlined design could hamper innovation. José Rojo Martin reports.
PVTP Paper
Plant Performance, PV Tech Power Papers
Testing a sample of modules at an operational solar can help identify faults and underperformance in the wider plant, but which ones to choose? Authors from Mahindra Teqo describe a new methodology they have developed to Satish Pandey, Preetha Pillai, Sandeep Jadhav, Shyam Kumar, Gaurav Mishra, Rajesh Kumar Dhuriya.
PVTP Paper
Plant Performance, PV Tech Power Papers
New technologies are helping revolutionise the management and profitability of PV power plants. Martina Pianta, Guillermo Oviedo Hernández, Constantinos Peonides, Will Hitchcock and Máté Heisz look at some of the digital innovations helping advance the deployment solar energy in Europe and beyond.
PVTP Paper
Plant Performance, PV Tech Power Papers
Different types of PV backsheet provide modules with varying levels of protection in warm, humid conditions. Haidan Gong, Minge Gao and Yiwei of Wuxi Suntech’s PV test centre detail the results of research undertaken to better understand the properties of different backsheet materials in tropical conditions.
PVTP Paper
Project Briefing, PV Tech Power Papers, System Integration
When solar meets science. Inside GridServes’ ground-breaking York Solar Farm.
PVTP Paper
PV Tech Power Papers, System Integration
The low prices achieved in some of the recent Middle Eastern solar auctions have been made possible in a large part because of the inclusion of bifacial module technology. Tom Kenning examines how booming deployment in the US is helping drive bifacial’s uptake in the Middle East, where the conditions are optimal for the technology.
PVTP Paper
PV Tech Power Papers, System Integration
Ensuring the safety, performance and durability of non-module components in a PV system is an ongoing challenge for the solar industry. Robert Puto of TÜV SÜD looks at the latest testing and certification programmes in place to help bring greater certainty to balance-ofsystem procurement.
PVTP Paper
PV Tech Power Papers, System Integration
Understanding the bankability of module suppliers is a critical aspect of solar project development. Finlay Colville, head of research for PV Tech & Solar Media, presents a model that allows scoring, rating and benchmarking of PV module suppliers by bankability for commercial, industrial and utility segment deployment. Quarterly rankings enable project developers and site investors to shortlist module suppliers when seeking to minimise module supplier risk and maximise site returns over the lifetime of owned assets.
PVTP Paper
Market Watch, PV Tech Power Papers
From China’s bullish manufacturers to Malaysia’s blossoming ecosystem and Taiwan’s downstream ambitions, Asia has come to shape the fortunes of global solar. José Rojo charts the continent’s dazzling ascent after visiting all three markets in late 2019.
PVTP Paper
Market Watch, PV Tech Power Papers
Despite several years of incredible momentum in the Australian solar market, energy policy wars raging in Canberra are prompting investors to take pause. What does the election of Prime Minister Scott Morrison – who famously brandished a lump of coal in parliament to show his support – and a federal renewables policy void mean for the industry? Cecilia Keating reports.
PVTP Paper
Market Watch, PV Tech Power Papers
Simple economics are starting to overcome a reluctance to consider renewable energy in a region dominated for decades by powerful fossil fuel interests. Catherine Early reports.
PVTP Paper
Cover Story, PV Tech Power Papers
As detailed in the previous article, research into the soiling of solar modules is shedding new light on the problem, its impacts and the best solutions. Sara Verbruggen looks at some of the available latest technologies, the economics behind them and how they are being deployed in the field
PVTP Paper
Cover Story, PV Tech Power Papers
In arid regions soiling can greatly impact the energy yield of PV systems and drive up their O&M costs. Benjamin Figgis, Amir Abdallah, Maulid Kivambe, Brahim Aissa, Kamran Ali, Cédric Broussillou and Veronica Bermudez of the Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute, and Klemens Ilse of the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics, review the main challenges associated with soiling of PV plants globally, and the most promising techniques for dust prevention and cleaning in dry climates, drawing on research results from six years of PV performance and soiling studies at QEERI’s Outdoor Test Facility in Doha.

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