A UK research team has developed a photovoltaic leaf concept that can produce electricity, water and thermal energy in a single device. The system, inspired by a leaf, is based on a biomimetic transpiration (BT) layer that cools down the embedded PV unit and utilizes excess heat from the cell to produce water and heat energy.
Overirradiance conditions may affect the operating performance of photovoltaic plants, the stability of the electrical grid, and the efficiency of inverters. A research team has warned these effects are currently not being given proper consideration by the solar industry.
New research from the United Kingdom claims that ground mounted PV facilities have a negative effect on bat activity. According to the scientists, the panels may be causing some bats to alter their flight paths, potentially resulting in further fragmentation of the ecological landscape.
Solar pre-cooling consists of using residential PV systems to run air conditioners to pre-cool residential and commercial buildings. It offers benefits in terms of mitigating low minimum demand in electricity networks, flattening the grid’s net demand profile, and reducing electricity bills.
The British university reports that the share of polysilicon manufactured in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and used in solar module production has dropped from 45% in 2020 to 35% in 2022. The research alsom found that polysilicon produced in interior China increased from 30% in 2020 to 50% in 2022, with the share of international markets dropping, somewhat surprisingly, from 25% to 11%.
Wood Mackenzie expects 270 GW of new global PV capacity in 2023, up 33% year on year. However, the annual growth rate is anticipated to fall to 1% in 2024 and to increase again by 5% in 2025.
A research group at Arizona State has developed a process to recover lead in its metallic form so that it can be reused in the PV industry. The process relies on a leaching solution based on a combination of acetic acid (CH3COOH) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which the researchers said leaches the lead ‘in a matter of minutes.’
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has been awarded $35 million in funding from NASA to improve the company’s commercial solution that produces silicon from lunar regolith. The U.S. space agency’s first efforts to build solar cells based on lunar regolith date back to 2005.
Researchers in Canada have found that nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) with on-site solar energy generation should not exceed an energy use intensity (EUI) of 50 kWh/m2a, which they said corresponds to a maximum of 10 floors. They also ascertained that the maximum permitted EUI by net-zero energy status is 17 to 28 kWh/m2a.
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