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.

10 OF THE BEST Storage system integrators

By Andy Colthorpe; John Parnell; Tom Kenning; Danielle Ola; David Pratt; Liam Stoker

Storage integration | Our team profile 10 of the leading global system integrators working in energy storage today. This is a handful of the names that are designing systems, solving problems, executing projects and shaping the industry around us.

Adding imports to injury

By John Parnell

Trade dispute | Battle lines have been drawn as another trade dispute convulses the US solar industry. An increasingly bitter war of words as the case hearings get underway is discussed.

Track to the future

By Ben Willis

Technology | Falling prices have seen single-axis trackers become standard issue in utility PV plants in many parts of the world. As the tracker market becomes more crowded, manufacturers are developing increasingly sophisticated technologies to stay ahead of the game and support wider PV power plant innovation.

Steps states can take to advance energy storage

By Todd Olinsky-Paul, of the Clean Energy States Alliance

Policy | State governments and agencies have a key role to play in fostering the growth of energy storage.The key policies, programmes and incentives being used by America’s pioneering storage states are discussed.

UK storage charges ahead

By David Pratt; Lauren Cook

Markets | The UK government has placed energy storage at the forefront of its industrial strategy. How this is creating the right conditions for what many believe will be a boom market in years to come is discussed.

Detecting cell cracks and other PV module failures with UV fluorescence

By Arnaud Morlier, received B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis in 2006 and 2008 and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France in 2011. From 2008 to 2011 he worked on the development of composite materials for the encapsulation of organic optoelectronic devices at CEA-INES in France. Since 2011 he has been working as a scientist at ISFH, where his work focuses on photovoltaic module durability, encapsulation and interconnection. ; Michael Siebert, achieved a B.Sc. in mechatronics from the University of Applied Sciences Ostwestfalen-Lippe in 2009. From 2009 up to now he has been working as an engineer at ISFH. Since 2011 he has been a member of the module technologies group and is currently working on design and testing of new measurement methods for modules.; Marc Köntges, received his PhD degree in physics 2002 at the University of Oldenburg on characterisation of CuInGaSe2 and CdTe thin film solar cells. From 2002 he led the thin-film technology group at ISFH and changed in 2005 to lead the PV module and interconnection group at ISFH. He currently develops characterisation and production methods for PV modules.; Iris Kunze, achieved her training as chemical technical assistant at the Hannover School for chemistry and pharmacy. She worked in the domain of analytics for various employers until joining ISFH Since 2002 she is working at ISFH in the photovoltaic modules technologies group where she is specialised in module testing and characterisation.; Susanne Blankemeyer, was with Krane-Optik, Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, until 1986, where she was trained as an Optician. From 1999 to 2007, she was a Laboratory Assistant with the R&D Department of Orbotech, a manufacturer of automated optical inspection systems, in Bad Pyrmont, Germany. In 2007, she joined the module and interconnection group at ISFH. She is currently involved in the development of novel interconnection techniques and optimisation of module concepts.; Gerhard Mathiak, studied physics at Technical University Braunschweig and has a PhD in engineering from Technical University Berlin. He has been employed at two PV module manufacturers and since 2011 at TÜV Rheinland.

Module failure | Defective modules causing power losses in PV systems need to be easily detected with a rapid and cost-effective inspection method. UV fluorescence of module encapsulation polymers is used for the fast detection of module failures under daylight conditions without disconnection, allowing the inspection of up to 200 modules in an hour during daytime

Grid-connected energy storage: implementation and risk management

By Dr. Martijn Huibers, is a business leader, energy storage at DNV GL. Since joining DNV GL (formerly KEMA) 10 years ago he has set up, coordinated and worked on several national and international feasibility studies, independent engineering projects, technology reviews and standardisation efforts on diverse interdisciplinary energy transition topics. In recent years, Martijn has been focused on grid-scale energy storage, for which he is internationally recognised as coordinator of the GRIDSTOR project, as well as independent engineering, technology review and R&D work.

Grid storage | The advent of grid-scale energy storage means a whole raft of new technical, safety and risk-mitigation requirements for the industry to understand.Guidance designed to help stakeholders get to grips with this fast-emerging sector is discussed.

Digital O&M opportunities in a water-scarce India

By Tom Kenning

Operations and maintenance | India’s solar industry has been focused on reaching a hugely ambitious target of 100GW of PV by 2022. There is a need to get smart on managing and maintaining solar assets is now becoming an overriding priority.

The growing pains of curtailing UK solar

By David Pratt

Grid | Solar generators in the UK have been facing the prospect of having large volumes of capacity temporarily shut down due to grid capacity constraints. The efforts being made to minimise the impacts of curtailment are discussed.

Who’s who at the leading edge of bifacial PV technology

By Radovan Kopecek

Cell and module technology | One of the defining trends to emerge so far in 2017 has been an explosion of interest in bifacial PV technology. Some of the key technologies vying for position at the vanguard of this fast-growing part of the market are discussed.

Bringing the factory floor to solar plant construction

By Sara Verbruggen

Construction | Automated systems to speed up the construction of PV power plants have become a key tool in building bigger and cheaper projects. Some of the state-of-art technologies helping the industry drive down system costs are discussed.

Towards accurate PV power forecasting

By José A Ruiz-Arias, is a weather and solar radiation expert in Solargis. He provides support to clients and develops models to assess and forecast solar radiation. Jose has published more than 50 papers in scientific journals as researcher at the University of Jaén, Spain, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research of the United States. He is a member of the IEA PVPS Task 16 on Solar Resource for PV.

Forecasting | Predicting the power production of a PV plant offers a multitude of benefits to plant owners and grid operators. The challenges of accurate forecasting across different timescales and in different climate zones are discussed.

Optimising commercial rooftop PV

By Andrew Hancock, graduated from Reading University in 2007 with an MSc in renewable energy, technology and sustainability. Over the past 10 years he has worked for some of the leading UK solar installation companies, and has gained valuable experience in most areas of the solar business. Positions include installation and site management, to key design and technical management. Andrew joined Syzygy Renewables in July 2016 and works in the asset management team.; Kirsty Berry, has a masters in engineering from Manchester University and Technische Universitat Berlin and a MSc in renewable systems technology from Loughborough University. Her career in renewables started at BP in 1998 after which she spent 17 years at Solarcentury where she was latterly head of health and safety. Other roles at Solarcentury include project management. She is now senior project manager at Syzygy Renewables.

System design | Despite the decline of subsidies in the UK, well designed commercial PV systems still offer potentially attractive financial benefits to businesses. Some of the key considerations in designing and executing a commercial solar system that will deliver maximum return on investment are detailed.