Cleantech Roundup: JinkoSolar, MIT, Jeep, and more

Cleantech roundup

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Another week, another bunch of announcements! To stay up to date on what’s new, check out this latest cleantech product roundup:

New DG modules

China-based PV manufacturer JinkoSolar launched a new series of solar modules for distributed generation projects. The Tiger Pro 54HC panel is available in five versions with power ratings ranging from 395 W to 415 W, and efficiency ranging from 20.28% to 21.3%.

Image: JinkoSolar

The new product is made with 108 high-efficiency, half-cut monocrystalline cells and features a maximum system voltage of 1,500 V. More info available here.

All-electric utility truck

New York City-based utility Con Edison and partners Lion Electric and Posi-Plus are developing an all-electric bucket truck capable of performing the range of work that electric utilities require of such vehicles.

Lion Electric, a North American manufacturer of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, and Posi-Plus are building the truck to Con Edison’s specifications, with a Lion8 chassis and aerial equipment drive. Delivery of the vehicle in early 2022 will be followed by its use in a pilot program. If the pilot is successful, the Class 8 bucket truck will be integrated as part of Con Edison’s fleet of trucks that maintains the overhead electric system in New York City and Westchester County, New York.

Image: Con Edison

As of last year, every new light-duty vehicle that Con Edison buys is a plug-in hybrid or all-electric. The utility said it is exploring a range of technologies to reduce its fossil fuel use in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, and it may add more all-electric bucket trucks to its fleet in the future. More info available here.

SolarWindow efficiency boost

SolarWindow Technologies, developer of transparent liquid coatings and processes for generating electricity on glass and plastics, said it has more than doubled its prior certified performance and achieved the highest independently certified power conversion efficiency of previous organic photovoltaic devices fabricated at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement.

SolarWindow reported a power conversion efficiency of 14.72% (+/- 0.29%) using industry-standard single-cell patterning for performance testing. Spurred by these results, the company said engineers are working to further optimize power conversion efficiency for a single cell and translate this efficiency to large-scale applications for products such as electricity-generating glass windows for buildings, automotive sunroofs, and more. More info available here.

MIT cell research

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have proposed a new approach to identify the best perovskites for solar cell applications, depending on specific goals such as longevity, efficiency, and producibility, as well as the availability of source materials that the manufacturers aim to achieve.

Image: MIT, Janak Thapa, Armi Tiihonen

The researchers described the approach as a physics-constrained sequential learning framework to identify the most stable alloyed organic-inorganic perovskites. More info available here.

Trailblazing Jeep chargers

Automaker Jeep and Electrify America said they plan to set up trailhead charging sites for electric vehicle batteries at three sites: Moab, Utah; the Rubicon Trail in Pollock Pines, California; and Big Bear, California.

Image: Jeep

The grid-connected or solar-powered chargers will use Level 2 (240-volt) charging. The automaker said that the 17 kWh battery pack in its Jeep Wrangler 4xe can be recharged in about two hours, providing around 21 miles of electric range. Other charging stations are slated to be in place by year’s end. More info available here.

Battery and panel recycling

ERI and Redwood Material have entered into an exclusive partnership for battery recycling. As part of the deal, Redwood Materials has made a significant strategic investment in ERI. JB Straubel, co-founder and CEO of Redwood Materials and a former chief technology officer and co-founder of Tesla, has been elected to ERI’s board of directors. Additionally, the partnership means Redwood and ERI will launch a new business line for the responsible recycling of solar panels. More info available here.

Berkley lab advancements

In the past 50 years, scientists have made great advances in photovoltaic technologies that convert sunlight into electricity, as well as artificial photosynthesis devices that convert sunlight and water into carbon-free fuels. But Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said the current state-of-the-art technologies still lack the efficiency to compete with electricity or transportation fuel derived from petroleum.

Image: Oliver Gessner/Berkeley Lab and Friedrich Roth/Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg

Scientists at Berkely Lab, DESY, the European XFEL, and the Technical University Freiberg, Germany, reported they have discovered a hidden charge-generating pathway that could help researchers develop more efficient ways to convert sunlight into electricity or solar fuels like hydrogen. More info available here.

Software offering

PV product manufacturer Q CELLS announced a new deal allowing the company’s partner program members to receive exclusive access to Aurora Solar’s solar design and sales software.

Under the deal with Aurora Solar, Q.PARTNER installers are eligible to register their products to earn points and redeem them for a premium monthly or annual subscription to Aurora through the Q.PARTNER Portal. With Aurora’s subscription service, solar installers have the opportunity to deliver a visual and interactive customer experience that could help close more sales. More info available here.

Ground-mount racking

Pittsburgh-based manufacturer BCI Engineering announced Full Tilt, a ground-mount solar racking system. The company said Full Tilt represents an optimum fixed-tilt racking solution with fewer parts, manufacturer-direct pricing, and versatile module loading and fastening methods.

Image: BCI

BCI said the system also introduces a new type of panel rail, called the Longhorn, which allows modules to slide into notches on the rail, enabling the ability to self-align modules and improve installation speed. More info available here.

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