The International Solar Energy Research Center Konstanz e.V. (ISC Konstanz) has qualified Aurora Solar’s inline measurement and control technology for its BiSoN bifacial solar cell technology, which is licensed to PV manufacturers.
PV Tech reached its own little milestone of having reported and analysed the R&D spending habits of the same 12 key PV module manufacturers for 10 years. The results have just been published in sister technical journal Photovoltaics International as part of the annual leaders and laggards of R&D spending for 2016.
In the past the value proposition of solar modules has been primarily about the lowest price ($/Watt) via the lowest manufacturing costs of conventional multi-Si modules. In the last few years, PV system cost has decreased significantly. In the meantime, PV module costs had dropped at a faster pace than Balance of System (BOS) costs, resulting in PV modules accounting for a smaller and smaller percentage of overall PV system costs.
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.
Major metallization paste producer Heraeus Photovoltaics said it had signed a major strategic partnership agreement with ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) leader JinkoSolar that will focus on what the company said would be the development of a new generation of “Super PV Cells” with higher efficiencies and lower costs.
Dedicated N-type monocrystalline module manufacturer Jolywood (Taizhou) Solar Technology Co. Ltd (Jolywood) is the first company to supply its bifacial modules to a decent sized 6.7MW project in India.
‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member LONGi Green Energy Technology and the leading fully-integrated high-efficiency monocrystalline module manufacturer, reported first half 2017 revenue slightly down from the prior year period as a result of average selling price (ASP) declines, partially offset by product shipment growth.
The PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) cell and module technology have been widely adopted by the industry. JA Solar has been exploring innovative approaches of bifacial PERC cell and the methods of making it and has been granted two Chinese patents. Also, a series of experiments have been carried out to certify the higher efficiency of bifacial PERC modules than conventional PERC modules.
German-based PV module manufacturer Heckert Solar GmbH said that it had been one of the pioneers using Fraunhofer ISE’s new software that helps reduce cell-to-module losses that have led to module performance gains.
Indian manufacturer Borosil Glass Works has completed acceptance tests for a major line of 2mm fully-tempered glass, which a company executive claims to be the first such glass produced at this thickness in the world.
China-based integrated monocrystalline PV manufacturer Solargiga Energy Holdings' sales have rebounded in the first half of 2017, fuelled by demand in China for high-efficiency wafers including N-type wafers for ‘Top Runner’ PV power plant projects.