Solar Technology & PV R&D News

Discovery challenges accepted wisdom on organic PV
Researchers at the University of Warwick in the U.K. have made a discovery that could lead to new designs for organic PV devices. Their findings could open up a new range of materials for the electrode layer and bring low cost, flexible organic PV devices a step closer commercial reality, say the academics.
Sep 12, 2019 // Technology, UK, Europe, University of Warwick, flexible organic PV, Dinesha Dabera, Ross Hatton
HZB hits 23.26% efficiency with CIGS-perovskite tandem cell
Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin research institute this morning presented a new world record efficiency for a tandem cell combining CIGS and perovskite technology at the EU PVSEC conference in Marseille. The development of an organic coating layer between the two semiconductors was key.
Sep 11, 2019 // Technology, Germany, Europe, eu pvsec, Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, Amran Al-Ashouri
New methods for fault detection revealed at EU PVSEC
Quality control and problem detection and classification was brought into focus at the conference in Marseille. A packed house at a session focused on the latest fault detection techniques indicated the high level of interest in the field.
Sep 11, 2019 // Technology, Solar, France, Engie, pv modules, Europe, eu pvsec, Marseille, Jay Lin, PV Guider, UVFL, Stijn Scheerlinck, Chantelle Clohessy, Nelson Mandela University
Opportunities for integration: EU PVSEC 2019
Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE is presenting a wide range of solutions for integrated PV – alongside farming, vehicles, the built environment and more, at the 2019 EU PVSEC show happening this week in Marseille.
Sep 10, 2019 // Technology, Germany, floating PV, Europe, Fraunhofer ISE, eu pvsec, integrating PV, Andreas Bett
French start-up launches solar engine
The invention converts the energy produced by PV cells directly into mechanical motion without the need for batteries or power electronics. Its developers claim the robustness of the solar motor can drive water pumps and ventilation turbines for more than 20 years without the need for maintenance.
Sep 10, 2019 // Technology, France, Europe, PV cells, Saurea, Isabelle Gallet-Coty
Solar powered elevator unveiled in Spain
The ‘green’ version of the ION Green Solar lift – designed, developed and manufactured in Spain by Fain Ascensores – can cut carbon emissions 86%. That figure rises to 100% with the PV-powered ‘solar’ model.
Sep 10, 2019 // Technology, Spain, Europe, ION Green Solar, Fain Ascensores
New metallization process cuts silver demand for modules by 30%
Fraunhofer ISE has worked with German technology companies to improve the metallization process in silicon solar cells. The result could drive down module costs quite a bit.
Sep 8, 2019 // Technology, Manufacturing News, solar cell, Fraunhofer ISE, PERC, metallisation, wickon hightech, koenen, murakami, Florian Clement
Hydrogen-powered bicycles offer new electromobility concept
With the 200 hydrogen bikes offered to journalists and world leaders at the G7 summit in Biarritz proving popular, manufacturer Pragma Industries has received an order for 1,000 of them from Chilean president Sebastian Pinera. The company’s founder, Pierre Forté, wants the bike to have a societal impact in developing countries.
Sep 4, 2019 // Technology, Manufacturing News, Storage, Transport, Solar to Fuel, Lithium-ion batteries, Toyota, France, Europe, hydrogen, Daimler, hydrogen-fueled cars, Pierre Forté, Pragma Industries, Sebastian Pinera, Solar to Fuel, Solar to Hydrogen, Producing Hydrogen, Hydrogen from renewable, Renewable fuels
Australia National University hits new perovskite efficiency record
Scientists at the institution have achieved 21.6% efficiency with a perovskite cell measuring 1cm². The landmark has been verified as a new world record for perovskites at this size.
Sep 3, 2019 // Technology, USA, South Korea, Australia, Asia, Oceania, Australia National University, North America, Ulsan National Institute of Science, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Thomas White
Food crops do better in the shade of solar panels
Another study has highlighted the advantages of combining solar with agriculture. According to the paper, growing chiltepin pepper, jalapeno and cherry tomato in dryland areas of the U.S. under the shade of PV modules is not only possible, but can lead to a better harvest.
Sep 3, 2019 // Technology, PV panels, Europe, University of Arizona, Greg Barron-Gafford, Margit Deimel
Coating could lead to commercial lithium-metal batteries
A new coating developed by scientists at Stanford promises to bring lithium metal batteries ‘closer to reality’, by significantly extending their operational lifetime and limiting the occurrence of dendrites at the anode, which can cause short circuiting and fires.
Sep 3, 2019 // Technology, California, USA, battery, North America, Stanford University, SLAC, Lithium metal, Zhiao Yu, Yi Cui
PV cheaper than spot market electricity across Europe
The levelized cost of energy produced by large scale PV projects ranges from €24/MWh in southern Spain to €42/MWh in Finland. New research states that is already cheaper than the average spot market electricity price and that the figure for big facilities in southern Spain may fall to €14 in 2030 and €9 in 2050.
Sep 3, 2019 // Technology, Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Europe, Christian Breyer, Lappeenranta University of Technology
Canadian researchers have done the math on optimizing PV output
Mathematicians at Canada’s University of Waterloo who turned their attention to solar power have developed an algorithm they say offers better control over PV plant output. The researchers estimate the algorithm could improve the output of a 100 MW power plant by almost a million kilowatt-hours per year.
Sep 3, 2019 // Technology, Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Residential, Canada, North America, University of Waterloo’s Department of Applied Mathematics, Milad Farsi
Scientists discover photovoltaic nanotubes
An international team of researchers led by the University of Tokyo has discovered a new material which, when rolled into a nanotube, generates an electric current if exposed to light. If magnified and scaled up, say the scientists, the technology could be used in future high-efficiency solar devices.
Aug 29, 2019 // Technology, Japan, Asia, Tokyo, University of Tokyo, Yoshihiro Iwasa, bulk photovoltaic effect
A graphene-based supercapacitor that’s also…. a t-shirt?
Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a method for producing a ‘smart fabric’ with a supercapacitor energy storage device embedded in it. Its developers say it can be readily integrated with a solar cell or used to power wearable technology.
Aug 29, 2019 // Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Litty Thekkakara