Unlocking solar’s new terawatt opportunity

By Ben Willis, Solar Media

Floating solar has caught the industry’s imagination in recent years, opening up potentially limitless new opportunities for PV installations in land-constrained parts of the world. Ben Willis reports on the work underway to address questions about the performance and reliability of water-based solar installations.

Bifacial heterojunction PV modules: Highest energy yield available… and how to measure that

By Eric Gerritsen; Elias Garcia Goma; Guillaume Razongles; Stefan Roest; Lionel Sicot; Benjamin Commault; Aude Derrier; Yannick Veschetti

Recent technology advances and improved industrial processes have made silicon heterojunction one of the most attractive PV technologies, helped by its inherent bifaciality, which offers among the highest levels of bifacial gain available. Researchers from CEA-INES and Eternalsun Spire explore the performance stability and measurement of bifacial heterojunction modules under real life conditions, benchmarking them against PERC modules as the industry workhorse.

Benchmarking inverter performance and reliability with a new PVEL Scorecard

By Michael Mills-Price, PVEL; Jenya Meydbray, PVEL

Inverters are the leading source of corrective maintenance activity in PV power plants, yet independent testing to inform procurement decisions remains the exception rather than the norm. Michael Mills-Price and Jenya Meydbray of PVEL describe how a new inverter testing regime is seeking to set quality benchmarks for this increasingly critical part of the PV system.

Solar asset management: why it needs to evolve

By Ypatios Moysiadis

Asset management practices must mature and standardise to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating deployment of solar. Ypatios Moysiadis, vice-chair of an industry group tasked with drawing up new best practice guidelines, explains how.

Reflecting on ways to boost module output

By Sara Verbruggen

Anti-reflective coatings have been a standard technology on solar modules for some time, but several companies are now targeting the market for older solar farms. Sara Verbruggen reports on the promising early results from trials of these performance-boosting technologies.

Fixed-tilt versus single-axis tracker arrays in India

By Geoffrey S. Kinsey ; Madhusudan Partani; Mukund Kulkarni; Brijit Shetty; Dr. Rubin Sidhu; Dr. Jie Zhang

India has become the world’s second largest market for trackers as it chases its ambition of installing 100GW of solar by 2022. Geoffrey S. Kinsey, Madhusudan Partani, Mukund Kulkarni, Brijit Shetty, Rubin Sidhu and Jie Zhang report on efforts to better understand the performance benefits of trackers over fixed-tilt mountings

Is LeTID degradation in PERC cells another degradation crisis even worse than PID?

By Dr. Radovan Kopecek; Dr. Joris Libal; Lejo J. Koduvelikulathu

Light- and elevated temperature-induced degradation – LeTID – is emerging as a potentially serious problem affecting PV modules employing PERC technology. So why isn’t the industry more aware of it, ask Radovan Kopecek, Joris Libal and Lejo J. Koduvelikulathu of ISC Konstanz.

Optimising Europe’s solar plants: O&M guidelines to further solar growth

By Guillermo Oviedo Hernández; Elena Bernardi; Jörn Carstensen

Solar O&M is rapidly evolving as PV deployment gathers pace worldwide. Guillermo Oviedo Hernández, Elena Bernardi and Jörn Carstensen of SolarPower Europe’s O&M Task Force look at some of the emerging trends, practices and business models in this increasingly critical arm of the solar industry.

Short-term solar forecasting for utility solar sites: core business or distraction?

By Dr. Nick Engerer

Solar farm operators are coming under growing pressure to help maintain network stability by providing accurate generation forecasts. As Dr. Nick Engerer (CTO of Solcast) writes, innovations in short-term solar forecasting are providing operators with new options for making this task less of a distraction from their core business.

Evolution of pre-cracked PV modules

By Dr.-Ing. Claudia Buerhop; Dr. Christian Camus; Christoph J. Brabec; Thilo Winkler; Dr. Jens A. Hauch

Cell cracks have been identified as a major cause of defects in PV modules, but their effect on performance is less well understood. Researchers Claudia Buerhop-Lutz, Thilo Winkler, Jens Hauch, Christian Camus and Christoph J. Brabec describe the results of ongoing investigations into how the electrical power of PV modules is impacted by cracking

Advances in self-cleaning PV module technologies – a review

By Elisabeth Klimm; Karl-Anders Weiß

Technologies purporting to alleviate performance losses in PV modules due to soiling from dust and other airborne particles are becoming more widely available. But do they work? Elisabeth Klimm and Karl-Anders Weiß of Fraunhofer ISE investigate

Big data under the microscope

By Catherine Early

The term “big data” has recently become something of a buzzword in PV circles. But how are companies using this data and is it generating useful intelligence or merely information overload? Catherine Early reports

Study on measurement of temperature coefficient of different types of PV modules in outdoor operating conditions in India

By Rajesh Kumar; Gaurav Mishra; Rakshita Mhatre; Satish Pandey

Temperature coefficient has a well-known bearing on the performance of PV modules. Based on analysis of field data gathered from operational modules in India, Satish Pandey, Rajesh Dhuriya, Gaurav Mishra and Rakshita Mhatre reveal how in actual operating conditions the temperature coefficient of modules is deviating from values provided in manufacturer datasheets, potentially impacting on project financial modelling.

On-site PID testing

By Dr Volker Naumann; Dr Nadine Schüler; Dr Christian Hagendorf

Potential-induced degradation (PID) is still one of the main reasons for unpredictable power losses in PV power plants. Volker Naumann, Nadine Schüler and Christian Hagendorf of Fraunhofer CSP and Freiberg Instruments present an approach for quick on-site PID testing of mounted PV modules, allowing PID diagnosis and prognosis of PID-related yield losses