Future developments in BIPV and energy effiency in the fiht against climate change

By Dr. Silke Krawietz, CEO and Scientific Director, SETA Network

BIPV | Building-integrated PV has yet to live up to its promise, remaining a niche sector of the solar industry. However, as Silke Krawietz writes, European and international climate and energy goals, and a chance of reviving the European PV manufacturing industry, all offer BIPV the opportunity of becoming a mainstream technology.

Top of the world

By Andy Colthorpe, Reporter

Commercial rooftops | Innovations in commercial rooftop PV mounting systems are offering new possibilities for installers as they seek to drive down costs. Andy Colthorpe looks at some of the key developments that are helping breathe life into a segment that has so far been slow to take off.

Motivation for single axis solar trackers versus fixed tilt

By Matt Kisber, President & CEO, Silicon Ranch Corporation

Trackers | The economic argument for trackers is increasingly compelling. Matt Kisber, president and CEO of Silicon Ranch Corporation explains why the technology’s use is increasing and examines the benefits of opting for single axis tracking systems.

The art and science of pyranometers

By Ben Willis, Head of Content

Irradiance measurement | Pyranometers play a crucial role in gathering irradiance data for PV yield and performance modelling. Ben Willis explores this sometimes-overlooked piece of technology and efforts by researchers to improve our understanding of its characteristics.

PlantPredict: Utility-scale PV modelling software for solar project life-cycle assessment

By Bodo Littmann, Manager of Prediction Technology at First Solar

Modelling | First Solar has developed an energy assessment software platform that models the electrical generation of utility-scale PV power plants. This software, called PlantPredict, is an enterprise application that streamlines and fulfils many energy simulation needs throughout the project development life cycle, from the site prospecting, through design and optimisation, and contractual commitments, to power plant monitoring. Bodo Littmann and Alex Panchula of First Solar discuss some unique models required for characterising CdTe power plant performance, and outline the PlantPredict tool’s use throughout the project development phases, with the goal of ultimately lowering the total cost of ownership of PV power plants.

A model approach

By Ben Willis

Evidence is emerging that data used in PV yield modelling, an essential element in optimising a plant’s design and profitability, is leading to erroneous results. Ben Willis reports on the solar industry’s data challenge and how it is responding.

Signed, sealed, delivered

By Sara Ver-Bruggen

As PV expands its global footprint, logistics – transporting goods from factory to project site – is becoming a complicated challenge for manufacturers. Sara Ver Bruggen reports on efforts by the industry to reduce costs arising from equipment damaged in transit.

Large-area solar irradiance mapping

By Dazhi Young; André Nobre; Rupesh Baker; Thomas Reindl

As PV systems proliferate it is increasingly important to forecast their energy output in order to ensure a safe and reliable integration of their variable output into electric power grids. Dazhi young, André Nobre, Rupesh Baker and Thomas Reindl of SERIS outline a technique for generating large-scale 2D irradiance using data from pyranometers and plane of array cells.

Fundamentals of the commissioning of large-scale PV power plants

By Jorge Coello; Leonardo Perez

Large-scale PV contractors must perform tests to verify the correct operation of a new installation. Jorge Coello and Leonardo Perez outline the minimum aspects to consider for the commissioning of large-scale PV plants using a methodology that has been successfully implemented in the commissioning of more than 40 PV facilities worldwide.