Interview: SunPower pivots to more conventional cell technologies and shingled cell modules

SunPower is famous for its back-contact cells, boasting one of the industry’s most advanced technologies. Josh Moore, SunPower Director, explains why the company is now ramping up 600 MW of production for different types of front-contact cells and shingled modules. He will pitch the advantages at pv magazine’s Future PV event to be held at SPI on Tuesday September 12.

Future PV: The feasibility of solar-powered hydrogen production

There is a solid business case to combine PV plants with electrolyzers, as generation costs are low enough to competitively produce hydrogen as a fuel, says Bjørn Simonsen of NEL Hydrogen. He will speak at pv magazine’s Future PV event at SPI in Las Vegas.

Interview: Using accurate weather data for asset management and risk reduction

Meteorological data are necessary to measure the performance of a solar plant, to ensure its yield and to effectively plan its maintenance. Gwen Bender, Vaisalas Product Manager for Solar Assessment Services discusses the importance of up to date, accurate weather monitoring, as opposed to relying on data from public sources.

Burnt out, incompatible connectors

Quality control campaign: PV panel manufacturers selling plug connectors as MC4 compatible is nothing unusual. Two operators who have installed such modules are now struggling with lost insurance coverage and fires.

Quality: Minor differences in yield percentage make the difference between good and bad investment

Changing technology, pressure to cut costs, dizzying price slumps and a number of other issues make solar module quality control as relevant as ever. The danger that modules could fail outright remains slim, so module reliability is still decisive for the success of the investment, explains George Touloupas, Director of Technology and Quality at CEA, in preparation of the 4th pv magazine Quality roundtable at SPI.

Melting backsheets, broken cells, and hotspots

Quality roundtable preparation: A case of compromised quality. An operator claims nearly 17% of the modules in his array displayed significant damage after three years. The EPC company concealed the damage from the investor until the warranty had expired. The module manufacturer responded slowly and only out of goodwill.

Poor quality planning: Shifting the blame, passing the buck

An installation company in the Midwest reports how blame was laid at their door for defective PV panels. The actual cause of the defects probably lie elsewhere.

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