Cloudbusting

Forecasting | Short-term PV forecasting offers a multitude of benefits, from trading on wholesale power markets to improved plant operation. Sara Verbruggen reports on some of new the technologies driving forward improvements in the accuracy of forecasting techniques.

The Most Efficient and Adaptable Solution Design for Bifacial Modules

Leading PV inverter manufacturer Huawei discusses recent technical developments to a better understanding of bifacial solar module PV power plants, using three recent case studies. These efficient PV modules need to be used with devices such as inverters to maximize value. Recently, many inverters and solutions that match bifacial modules have appeared in the industry. Which solution is the best match for bifacial modules? Based on a large amount of experimental data, this article describes the solution needed for bifacial modules.

Polysilicon consumption to decline below 4g/W in Q3 2018

By Finlay Colville, Head of Market Research, Solar Media

The in-house market research team at PV Tech, this journal’s sister website, has developed a new model for forecasting trends in polysilicon consumption by the solar industry. This article analyzes how, based on this new model, the industry’s use of polysilicon will dip below 4 grams per watt by the end of this year.

Volume production of customized organic photovoltaics

By Sri Vishnu Subramaniam; Grzegorz Andrzej Potoczny; Tobias Sauermann, OPVIUS GmbH, Kitzingen, Germany

To realize power generation everywhere, customers and designers are eager for PV solutions offering total design freedom for seamless integration into everyday life. This trend becomes even more important if the ‘mega city’ development is taken into account: more and more people will live in city environments in the future while classical PV technologies do not offer proper solutions for this context.

Top 10 module suppliers in 2017

By Finlay Colville, Head of Market Research, Solar Media

Following an extensive research process, we can now reveal the top 10 module suppliers (by shipment volumes) for the calendar year 2017. The final listing – and the underlying numbers – confirms the trends of recent years and the continued dominance of our self-penned ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) group.

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcement plans and analysis for 2017

By Mark Osborne, Senior news editor, Photovoltaics International

PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in 2017 far exceeded the three preceding years, despite the significant slowdown in new plans in the third quarter. The year was dominated by c-Si solar cell expansion plans and the return of CdTe and CIGS thin-film activity – the highest seen in many years. This quarterly report reviews the fourth quarter activity as well offering a full-year review and analysis of a record year across all segments of upstream manufacturing.

ECN’s IBC solar cells in mass production environment: rise of a competitive back-contact module concept

By Antonius R. Burgers; Ilkay Cesar; Nicolas Guillevin; Arthur W. Weeber; Jan M. Kroon, ECN Solar Energy, Petten, The Netherlands

We present an n-type bifacial IBC solar cell that uses a simple process comparable to our industrially proven n-type cell process for conventional H-grid front- and rear-contacted n-PERT cells. The process is based on tube diffusion and a simultaneous single-step screen-print of the contacts to both polarities, and has been demonstrated on an industrial line at pilot scale.

Bifacial solar products light new pathway to future PV

By Peiting Zheng; Xinyu Zhang; Junhui Liu; Xueting Yuan; Li Zha; William Chen; Hao Jin, JinkoSolar

Relatively few experimental and academic studies about bifacial p-type PERC cells have been published to date. This paper looks at the experimental findings from JinkoSolar’s large area, industry-grade bifacial monocrystalline silicon PERC (biPERC) cells.

Guidelines for accurate currentvoltage measurement of highefficiency c-Si solar cells

By Jacques Levrat; Jonas Geissbühler; Bertrand Paviet-Salomon; Christophe Ballif; Matthieu Despeisse

The market for commercial crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar modules has been ruled for decades by the well-established ribbon-interconnected Al-BSF solar cells, making their metrology and in particular the current-voltage measurement well defined and reproducible.

Diamond wire process monitoring

By Fabrice Coustier; Roland Riva; Mathieu Debourdeau; Nicolas Velet; Jérémy Bounan; Amal Chabli

Major progress has been made in the PV industry in the last five years as a result of the extensive use of diamond wire during silicon wafering operations. Productivity has increased and costs have fallen to the point where the price of a monocrystalline wafer cut with diamond wire is approaching the price of a multicrystalline wafer cut using slurry.

Bifacial PV: comparing apples with apples sometimes does not make sense

By Radovan Kopecek & Joris Libal, ISC Konstanz, Germany

Bifaciality can be implemented by varieties of architectures for solar cells, modules and in addition there are even many more applications on system level.This makes bifaciality a complex technology. Currently there is some confusion in the PV community what bifacial gains can be expected and how these transfer to the cost reduction and lowering the LCOE of the system. In this article we will describe how bifacial gains are defined, what bifacial gains can be expected and what this means for real applications.

‘Less is more’: Ultrathin heterojunction cells offering industrial cost reduction and innovative module applications

By Eric Gerritsen; Samuel Harrison; Julien Gaume; Adrien Danel; Jordi Veirman; Felix Gerenton; Thomas Guerin; Maryline Joanny; Charles Roux & Yannick Veschetti

Because of its symmetrical a-Si/c-Si/a-Si structure, silicon heterojunction (SHJ) cell technology offers the possibility to use much thinner wafers, and thus to reduce material and production cost. In order to evaluate the industrial feasibility of these thinner heterojunction cells, wafers from the standard thickness of 160μm down to 40μm were processed on the heterojunction pilot line at CEA-INES.

What a difference a year makes

By Andy Colthorpe

2017 was tet another record-breaking year for energy storage. Riding high on expectation, the industry is braced for challenges and successes in equal measure this year too. We canvassed opinions from some of the world’s leading trade associations and representative bodies on the year just gone and what 2018 could bring

A different direction

By Liam Stoker

As Europe and other hot PV markets transition to low- or no-subsidy environments, could a different direction help improve solar economics? Liam Stoker looks at why east-west orientated projects are increasing in popularity

Emerging market briefing

By Ben Willis

Ben Willis looks at the latest trends from some of the world’s most promising emerging PV markets. This issue features Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and South Korea