Solar life-cycle management: Is the spectre of lost returns holding solar energy back?

By Mark Skidmore, has over 14 years’ experience in the solar industry, and over 18 years’ experience in the construction contracting industry. A registered professional electrical engineer (PE), certified energy manager (CEM) and NABCEP solar professional, he holds a university degree in mechanical engineering and is the solar plant services manager at TÜV Rheinland, Tempe (USA).; Samantha Doshi, has over five years’ experience in the areas of PV module certification, laboratory module and component testing, and field performance and failure analysis. She has a university degree in mechanical engineering and serves as the solar performance manager at TÜV Rheinland, Tempe (USA). ; Matthias Heinze, is the director of business development at TÜV Rheinland, and has several decades’ experience in the areas of PV plant qualification and monitoring, laboratory module and component testing, performance measurement and failure analysis. He has a university degree in engineering and is an active member of the IECRE. ; Christos Monokroussos, received his doctorate in photovoltaics from Loughborough University, UK, and has 10 years’ experience in PV research. His activities centre on solar cell characterisation, PV modules, PV measurement systems and PV module reliability. An active member of the IECRE, he is currently the director of R&D in the TÜV Rheinland solar and fuel cells business field.

Data | The collection of inaccurate data at any point in the life cycle of a solar plant will undermine almost every aspect of the investment accounting. The importance of precision data gathering in mitigating risk for builders, operators and financiers is discussed.

Quality in India: battling the stereotypes

By Tom Kenning, Senior Reporter

Quality | The speed of solar deployment in India has raised concerns that quality maybe sacrificed for expediency. Although there are warning signs of a potential quality problem, efforts are underway to nip it in the bud

Managing technical risks in PV investments

By David Moser, coordinates the activities of the Research Group Photovoltaic Systems of the Institute for Renewable Energy, EURAC, Bolzano, Italy. His work focuses on solar resource assessment, performance and reliability of PV modules and systems, building integration of PV systems and PV integration in the grid. He is also active in PV potential studies on a regional scale and a member of the board of directors of the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres, EUREC, and of the steering committee of the EU-PV ETIP. ; Caroline Tjengdrawira, is a senior project manager (solar PV) in the Energy Generation department at Tractebel Engineering (Brussels, Belgium). She has been working in the engineering consulting field in the solar PV sector for over 10 years, advising PV developers, owners and lenders in various phases of their projects. Caroline previously worked as senior project manager and technology expert at 3E NV (Belgium) and as a project manager at the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands.; Ulrike Jahn, graduated in physics and leads various research and development projects in the business area of solar energy of the TÜV Rheinland Group in Cologne, Germany. Her work focuses on characterising PV module technologies and on PV system performance analysis. She is a project manager of an international expert group examining PV system performance and module reliability of the PVPS programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA).; Matthias v. Armansperg, graduated in mechanical engineering and business administration. After 12 years international sales and marketing experience in the chemical industry he joined the PV industry in 2004 as senior strategic advisor. In 2009 he founded ACCELIOS Solar, which offers technical, commercial and financial advisory services with an integrated perspective on solar bankability and risk management including feasibility studies, due diligences, expert opinions and management of insurance claims. ; Máté Heisz, is a business analyst at SolarPower Europe, working on topics linked to O&M, standardisation, sustainability and R&D. Before joining SolarPower Europe he worked as a renewable energy advisor at the Tunisian Ministry of Energy on behalf of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Risk mitigation | The EU-funded Solar Bankability Project has developed a framework for managing the potential legal, technical and economic risks associated with PV projects. These risks need to be quantitatively and qualitatively assessed,managed and controlled.

High-efficiency solar cells on n-type HP mc-Si

By Jan Benick; Florian Schindler; Stephan Riepe; Patricia Krenckel; Armin Richter; Ralph Muller; Hubert Hauser; Frank Feldmann; Bernhard Michl; Martin C. Schubert; Martin Hermle; Andreas Bett; Stefan W. Glunz

N-type high-performance multicrystalline silicon (HP mc-Si) has proved to have an excellent material quality. This paper presents details of the growth of HP mc-Si, as well as the properties of this material and its use in the fabrication of high-efficiency solar cells.

R&D spending analysis of key PV module manufacturers in 2016

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International

Combined R&D expenditures of 12 major PV module manufacturers in 2016, tracked since 2007, decline by approximately 4.4% in 2016 to US$519.3 million (see Figure 1), compared to US$542.9 million in 2015.

Optimization potential of the wire sawing process for multicrystalline silicon

By Thomas Kaden, studied applied natural science at TU Bergakademie Freiberg and received his Ph.D. in physics in the photovoltaics group of Prof. H.J. Möller.; Elena Ershova, holds a diploma in information technology and systems from TU Wolodga (Russia) and performed the majority of experiments presented here during her bachelor thesis at Fraunhofer THM.; Marcel Fuchs, worked as an operator in wafer and solar cell production and was production supervisor of a wafering company before he joined Fraunhofer THM as senior technician in wafering in 2012.; Rajko B. Buchwald, studied applied natural science at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. He received his Ph.D. in 2010. In 2010 he joined Fraunhofer THM in Freiberg.

Today, silicon solar cells are still produced in almost equal shares from mono- and multi-crystalline silicon wafers. The authors here look at the scope for efficiencies in the wire sawing process for multi-crystalline silicon.

Progress and trends in CIGS and perovskite/CIGS PV

By Dr. Shiro Nishiwaki, received his Ph.D degree in engineering in 1996 from the Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. Prior to joining the Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics at Empa in 2008 he worked at Matsushita Electric Co. Ltd., Advanced Technology Research Laboratories, Kyoto, Japan (1997 - 2000), Optoelectronics Division of Electrotechnical Laboratory (present name: National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Ibaraki, Japan (2000), Hahn- Meitner-Institute, Abt SE2, Berlin, Germany (2000 - 2004), Institute of Energy Conversion, Newark, USA (2004 – Dec. 31, 2007). His; Thomas Feurer, received his master degree in physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich in 2014. He started his Ph.D at the Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics at Empa subsequently. His current research is focused on low bandgap CIGS solar cells and tandem devices with perovskite top cells.; Fan Fu, received his master degree in materials science from Wuhan University of Technology (China) in 2013.; Stefano Pisoni, received his master degree in 2015 from the Polytechnic of Milan with master thesis project at University of Oxford. He is working at the Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics for his doctoral thesis.; Dr. Stephan Buecheler, studied physics at ETH Zurich and received his diploma in 2007.; Prof. Dr. Ayodhya N. Tiwari, received his M.Sc. from the University of Roorkee, India in 1981, and his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi in 1986.

Thin-film solar cells based on chalcopyrite semiconductor Cu(In,Ga) (S,Se)2 compound (hereafter called CIGS or CIGSeS irrespective of the exact composition) have continuously drawn interest because of their progressively increasing high photovoltaic conversion efficiencies and the merits of long-term performance stability, high energy yield, low cost production potentials and other advantages for industrial manufacturing and application of solar.

Epitaxial Si lift-off technology: Current status and challenges

By Hariharsudan Sivaramakrishnan Radhakrishnan, (Hari) pursued his Ph.D research at KU Leuven and imec, Belgium, on porous silicon-based gettering and epitaxial Si lift-off and solar cells.; Valérie Depauw, is a research engineer at imec, involved in several EU projects. She started playing with lif t-off techniques at the end of 2004, at the start of her Ph.D, and has not stopped since then. She has built expertise around making “holes” inside silicon, by tailoring porous silicon for kerfless wafering and exploring advanced nanostructures for light trapping in (ultra-) thin crystalline-silicon solar cells.; Kris Van Nieuwenhuysen, Kris Van Nieuwenhuysen obtained her degree in engineering in 2000. She then joined the Si solar cell group of imec, where she has been the main expert in Si epitaxial CVD processes for solar cell fabrication.; Ivan Gordon, obtained his Ph.D from the University of Leuven, Belgium in February 2002. He started to work at imec in June 2003, where he is currently leading the Silicon Photovoltaics group, working on c-Si wafer-based solar cells, thin-film silicon solar cells, and advanced module concepts for ultra-thin c-Si wafer-based cells.; Jef Poortmans, received his Ph.D from the KU Leuven, Belgium, in June 1993. Afterwards he joined the photovoltaics group and, in 2003, became the PV Department Director.

The drive towards better Si utilization (g/Wp) has been an obsession in the Si PV industry over the last few decades as one of the key aspects in making photovoltaic energy production competitive. With the cost of Si still making up a third of the final Si solar module cost, there is continued interest in reducing the cost of Si by producing thinner wafers and reducing kerf losses.

PV manufacturing capacity expansion plan announcements: Analysis for the first half of 2017

By Mark Osborne, Senior News Editor, Photovoltaics International

Combined R&D expenditures of 12 major PV module manufacturers in 2016, tracked since 2007, decline by approximately 4.4% in 2016 to US$519.3 million, compared to US$542.9 million in 2015. As 2015 expenditures were a new record high, 2016 becomes the second highest year of spending and 2014 the third highest. All three years highlight total combined annual R&D expenditures above US$500 million.

Metallization techniques and interconnection schemes for high efficiency silicon heterojunction PV

By Jonas Geissbühler, received his Ph.D. in 2015 from EPFL, Switzerland, with a thesis topic of high-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells. He joined the CSEM PV-center in 2016, where his research interests include the metallization of silicon heterojunction solar cells, inkjet printing and high-efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells.; Antonin Faes, received his Ph.D. in 2006 for his work on solid oxide fuel cells at the Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy (CIME) and the Industrial Energy System Laboratory (LENI) at EPFL.; Agata Lachowicz, studied chemistry at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and worked initially on processes for printed circuit boards, followed by development of etching and plating processes for solar cells at Schott Solar and optimization of PERC cells at Meyer Burger Germany.; Christophe Ballif, received his Ph.D. from EPFL, Switzerland, in 1998. In 2004 he became a full professor with the Institute of Microengineering at the University of Neuchâtel, where he directs the Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Electronics Laboratory, which is now part of EPFL.; Matthieu Despeisse, received his Ph.D. in 2006 for his work on advanced detectors at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. He then joined EPFL in 2009 as head of the thin-film silicon photovoltaics research team.

Since the first demonstration by Sanyo in the 90s of crystalline silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells with already promising energy conversion efficiencies above 18%, this device architecture has experienced an extraordinary history of development, embodying outstanding scientific findings and efficiency records.

Technologies driving the new 100GW annual PV solar world

By Finlay Colville, Head of Market Research, PV-Tech & Solar Media Ltd.

During 2017, the PV industry is forecast to produce and ship close to 100GW of solar modules, reaching this key milestone well ahead of all market forecasts previously projected. Furthermore, the explosive growth of solar PV shows no sign of abating, despite the constant threats and barriers imposed by on-going trade import restrictions.

Complex problems require simple solutions: How to measure bifacial devices correctly?

By Dr. Radovan Kopecek, is one of the founders of ISC Konstanz. He has been working at the institute as a full-time manager and researcher since January 2007 and is currently the leader of the advanced solar cells department.; Dr. Joris Libal, works at ISC Konstanz as a project manager, focusing on business development and technology transfer in the areas of highefficiency n-type solar cells and innovative module technology.

LONGi, Jolywood and many other large PV manufacturers claim that bifacial mono c-Si technology is the future. Since 2015, bifacial PV installations have been entering multi- MW installation levels [3], and are expected to enter multi-GW levels in 2018.

Towards a high-throughput metallization for silicon solar cells using rotary-printing methods

By Andreas Lorenz, studied printing technology at t he University of Printing and Media in Stuttgart, Germany, and received his diploma degree in 2006 for his work at manroland AG on printed electronics applications using flexography.; Anna Münzer, studied physics at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany, where she completed her bachelor’s in 2015.; Thomas Ott, received his diploma degree in mechatronics engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Ulm, Germany.; Florian Clement, is head of the MWT solar cells/printing technology group. He studied physics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the University of Freiburg, and obtained his diploma degree in 2005; Martin Lehner; Armin Senne; Roland Greutmann; Heinz Brocker; Friedhelm Hage

Modern single metallization lines using flatbed screen printing (FSP) can realize a maximum output of approximately 2,000 wafers/h. For several reasons, achieving a significant further increase in throughput of the FSP process is technically challenging.

Detailed power loss/gain characterization of PV modules with multi-busbar, half-cut cells and lightt

By Jai Prakash Singh , received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from NUS. He works as a research scientist with SERIS at NUS, and has more than 10 years’ experience in solar PV.; Yong Sheng Khoo, is the head of module development group at SERIS, and has more than five years’ experience in PV module development and testing.; Cai Yutian, received his B.Eng. (Hons) in materials science and engineering. He is currently a research engineer at SERIS, where his research focuses on the prototyping of PV modules; Srinath Nalluri, obtained his B.Eng. from NUS and has around three years’ experience in the PV industry.; Sven Kramer, studied management and engineering at the Cooperative University in Stuttgart, Germany.; Axel Riethmüller, studied mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.; Yan Wang, is the director of the PV module cluster at SERIS, and has profes siona l knowledge of PV te chnolog y and hands-on manufacturing experience spanning various PV products.

To guarantee the long-term competitiveness of the PV industry, the cost of PV power generation ($/kWh) must be continuously reduced. Such reduction can be achieved in two ways: 1) by improving PV module performance (efficiency, annual energy yield, reliability); 2) by reducing manufacturing costs ($/Wp).

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. By: Andy Colthorpe and John Parnell with Tom Kenning, Danielle Ola, David Pratt and Liam Stoker