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From bifacial PV cells to bifacial PV power plants – the chain of characterization and performance prediction

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By Christian Reise, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany; Michael Rauer, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany; Max Mittag, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany; Alexandra Schmid, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany

Bifacial PV technology raises new challenges for the characterization and modelling of solar cells and modules, as well as for the yield predictions of power plants, as the contribution of the rear side can significantly affect the performance of these types of device.

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Welcome to the 38th edition of Photovoltaics International. There is every sign that 2018 is going to be a huge year for the industry as manufacturers continue investing in new tools and technologies. We will doubtless see many of the innovations whose evolution has been documented in these pages becoming increasingly mainstream. Sticking with bifacial solar, Fraunhofer ISE takes a wide-ranging look at a number of challenges surrounding the technology’s leap to widespread deployment. The Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) and Meyer Burger Technology AG present a novel bifacial module architecture. The University of New South Wales, Trina Solar and BT Imaging give a suggestion for predicting the variation in multicrystalline cell performance by measuring the bulk lifetime of ingots. We also have a look at PV recycling and lifecycle management from First Solar, PI Berlin’s assessment of PID issues in thin-film solar and TongWei presents a roadmap for PERC cells with 22% efficiency.

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