Balance of Systems

Chinese PV Industry Brief: 3.95 GW of new PV in Q1, new 500 W-plus modules, a panel with 23.2% efficiency

China’s cumulative installed PV capacity topped 208 GW at the end of March, thanks to 3.95 GW of new projects completed in the first quarter. JinkoSolar and Longi both joined the 500 W-plus module race, with their new panels offering 580 W and 530 W of output, respectively. Ginlong, meanwhile, has revealed plans to raise funds to increase its annual inverter production capacity to 20 GW, and Xi’An Solar has claimed a 23.2% efficiency rate for its N-type TOPCon modules in mass production.

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Span wins $10.2 million to modernize the home electrical panel, ease shift to solar, storage and EVs

“The standard electrical panel has not seen major innovation for nearly a century.”

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SolarEdge reports record revenue, yet Covid looms over residential PV for the next two quarters

Even though the U.S. market is showing some signs of stabilizing, the decline in installation rates in April alone was 33%.

Chinese PV Industry Brief: Financials, a new GW-scale factory, and big hydrogen

Longi and Sungrow both announced solid financial results last week. Module maker China Solar delayed the resumption of trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and polysilicon producer GCL-Poly unveiled plans to raise up to $16.8 million by issuing shares. Coal miner Baofeng Energy, meanwhile, announced the construction of what it claims will be the world’s largest PV-powered hydrogen plant, and Seraphim and Lu’An Solar revealed that they will open a 5 GW PV panel factory in China’s Jiangsu province.

Enphase PV microinverters shine in Q1, share price is up 15%

Enphase Energy’s Q1 revenue exceeded expectations as the company set an all-time gross margin record and announced plans for a new manufacturing location. Enphase stock is up 15%

Trump’s mysterious cybersecurity order bans bulk-generation gear from ‘adversaries’

Although it doesn’t seem to impact solar directly, energy storage might be threatened. “The order leaves more questions than it answers,” according to Norton Rose Fulbright. What is motivating the administration? China? Why now?

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NEXTracker was the largest tracker provider in 2019

The ten largest solar tracker companies accounted for 88% of the market last year, according to analyst Wood Mackenzie, with the market growing 20% from 2018.

Solar inverters vs. cyberattacks

A U.S. research group is developing inverters and cybersecurity standards to protect solar installations from cyberattacks. The researchers said that inverters can shut down if they are hacked, or contribute to grid instability and result in the overcharging of batteries, while potentially creating problems that we still don’t know how to address.

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Electriq Power adds more venture funding for its residential battery storage hardware

That brings the total to $9 million for the Bay Area builder of an integrated 13.4 kWh energy storage system in the overcrowded residential market.

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GE’s ‘grid-forming’ inverter aims to make solar, wind look like traditional generators

GE Research plans to test new controls with its PV LV5 inverter platform — aiming to develop “grid-forming” controls to allow wind and solar inverters to form voltage and frequency levels like traditional generators. The company wants to improve coordination and synchronization among multiple grid-forming resources, and is working to improve the transient stability of systems with high renewables penetration.

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