From technology trends breaking out at scale, China’s mind-blowing deployment, a certain trade case in the US and of course, one or two notable bankruptcies, 2017 was never short of drama. But which stories drew your attention in 2017?
According to brief reports citing Tesla’s CTO, Panasonic has started making its high-efficiency HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) solar cells at Gigafactory 2 in RiverBend, Buffalo, New York State.
Major Japanese electronics company Panasonic has increased its ‘HIT’ (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) solar module product warranty from 15 years to 25 years and applies to all HIT modules installed from 2017.
Panasonic’s solar manufacturing deal with Tesla at the former SolarCity 1GW solar cell and module assembly plant at RiverBend, Buffalo, New York State, which was recently renamed Gigafactory 2 by Tesla is to be ramped to its 1GW nameplate capacity exclusively by Panasonic in 2019.
The lack of information in a joint press release from Tesla and Panasonic, confirming a solar cell manufacturing partnership at the SolarCity/Silevo 1GW Buffalo fab in New York State was not a surprise, especially considering it merely rubber stamped an MOU previously announced that was only subject to the successful acquisition by Tesla of SolarCity.
Nanoelectronics research centre imec said that copper-based solar cells have reached the same reliability standards as traditional silver-based solar cells in recently completed rapid-cycle testing of a limited number of specially prepared modules.
US-based high-efficiency integrated PV manufacturer Mission Solar Energy is reportedly to close its N-type mono solar cell line with the loss of 87 jobs and focus on module assembly to remain competitive.
Cogenra Solar, a subsidiary of US-based high-efficiency module manufacturer SunPower, has filed a lawsuit against SolarCity over claims of IP (Intellectual Property) theft and infringement over its direct solar cell to cell contact technology that is often described as an overlapping shingle-like pattern.
The University of Delaware’s Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC) has been awarded US$2.1 million from the SunShot Initiative for two research projects aiming to improve the performance of interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells while reducing their production costs and new techniques for CIGS deposition.