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

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.

End of warranty inspections in solar PV power plants

By Romain Elsair; Marcos Blanco

Examining a PV power plant to ascertain its health is a key measure when warranties for components expire. Romain Elsair and Marcos Blanco of Greensolver outline some of the main steps involved in effective end of warranty inspections

Towards a standardised contract for solar O&M

By Sara Verbruggen

In April an international working group will publish a bundle of standardised contracts aimed at aiding the rollout of PV worldwide. Sara Verbruggen previews the template contract for solar O&M and assesses its impact in streamlining this aspect of the business

Mobile PV testing in India

By Satish Pandey

With India going all out to achieve its target of 100GW of PV by the year 2022, the quality of equipment used in installations is becoming increasingly important. Satish Pandey and Abhishek Sharma of Mahindra Susten explore the role of on-site testing in quality control, based on the early results from India’s first mobile PV lab