Both sides of the story

By Javier Guerrero

As described in the previous pages, tracking and bifacial technologies combined offer the prospect of higher energy outputs. Javier Guerrero, R&D manager at Soltec, one of the pioneers of bifacial tracking, explains some of the lessons the company has learned about optimising tracker design for bifacial modules

State-of-the-art bifacial module technology

By Dr. Hartmut Nussbaumer; Markus Klenk; Andreas Halm; Prof. Dr. Andreas Schneider

Bifacial technology promises significant reductions in the levelised cost of electricity for PV systems, and almost all major PV suppliers are already producing or planning bifacial modules. Hartmut Nussbaumer, Markus Klenk, Andreas Halm & Andreas Schneider give an overview of the currently available bifacial modules and cell technologies and adapted mounting solutions

Project briefing

By Tom Kenning, Solar Media

In April of this year, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, drew scorn when he announced that every village across India had access to electricity. The reality that ‘electrification’ in government terminology meant that a mere 10% of households in any one village had power, was not made clear in the initial announcements.

Project briefing - Hero Launches India’s First Solar-Wind Hybrid Project

By Tom Kenning, Solar Media

Delhi-headquartered renewable energy firm Hero Future Energies has completed India’s first largescale solar and wind energy hybrid project in the state of Karnataka. The project at Kavithal, Raichur District, which included an existing 50MW wind farm, now has a neighbouring 28.8MW solar PV site to form a hybrid system.

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.

Bifacial PV: comparing apples with apples sometimes does not make sense

By Dr. Radovan Kopecek; Dr. Joris Libal

Bifaciality is a complex area of PV technology and currently there is some confusion over what bifacial gains can be expected and how these transfer to system cost reductions. Radovan Kopecek and Joris Libal describe how bifacial gains are defined, what bifacial gains can be expected and what this means for real applications

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. Ben Willis reports

Module technology under the microscope

By Finlay Colville

Modules | PV module technology is more advanced and more varied than at any other time. Having pulled together a throng of senior PV technology experts for our PV CellTech conference, PV Tech’s head of market research, Finlay Colville, discusses with John Parnell the need to match these advances with a dedicated event this November.

Light-induced degradation newly addressed – predicting long-term yield loss

By Dr. Marko Turek, Dr. Marko Turek studied physics at the Dresden University and received his PhD in the field of condensed matter theory at the University of Regensburg. At Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP) he leads the team for the electrical characterisation of solar cells.

Module degradation | Light-induced degradation has long been recognised for its negative effects on the performance of crystalline silicon solar cells. Researchers from Fraunhofer CSP explain how with the advent of advanced materials and cell technologies such as PERC, new tests and standards are required to minimise the impact of the phenomenon on plant reliability.

Adani overcomes biblical floodling to build a 648MW PV Plant

Set across a semi-arid stretch of land in far south India, the world’s second largest solar plant and India’s biggest to date is a pertinent symbol of India’s emergence as one of the most dominant renewable energy markets on the planet. Already under intense pressure to physically construct the entire project capacity in just eight months, heavyweight Indian infrastructure conglomerate Adani also had to withstand unseasonal and unprecedented extreme weather in late 2015.

Understanding snail trails on PV modules

By Sylke Meyer, Sylke Meyer is head of the research group “Silicon Wafers” at Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP, Germany. ; Marko Turek, Marko Turek leads the team “Electrical characterisation of solar cells” at Fraunhofer CSP. ; Stephan Großer, Stephan Großer studied physics and received his Ph.D. in the field of surface science at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. ; Thomas Manke, Thomas Manke is the head of solar business at pi4 robotics in Berlin. ; Christian Hagendorf, Christian Hagendorf is head of the research group “Diagnostics of Solar Cells” at Fraunhofer CSP, Germany.

Module degradation | When the phenomenon of so-called snail trails first emerged over a decade ago, they prompted concerns of a major new problem afflicting PV modules. Sylke Meyer, Mark Turek, Thomas Manke, Stephan Großer and Christian Hagendorf, who have contributed extensively to understanding the science behind snail trails, review the latest thinking on the phenomenon and what it means for plant performance.

Properties of encapsulation materials and their relevance for quality control and recent field failures

By Juliane Berghold and Tsuyoshi Shioda

Module defects: The properties of module encapsulant materials are coming under closer scrutiny as their role in a number of common field failures becomes better understood. Juliane Berghold and Tsuyoshi Shioda report on new testing methods being developed to analyse the composition of encapsulants and improve the quality control of this crucial material.

High voltage, low costs

By John Parnell, Head of Content, PV Tech

As the solar industry continues to squeeze out cost reductions, 1,500V architecture is tipped to make its mark in 2017. John Parnell looks at the potential pitfalls and likely winners as utility-scale plants dial up the voltage.