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Technology and R&D

Sunrise brief: Palmetto captures PV potential of roughly 75% of U.S. rooftops

Also on the rise: Aerial inspection and site data service provider, Heliolytics, acquired by NovaSource. Solar panel recycling firm teams up with Solaris. Investment gets Texas PV developer IndustrialSun ready for launch. Community solar moves forward in Illinois. International team of researchers develop solar-powered hydrogen energy platform.

Solar-powered hydrogen for domestic applications via building-integrated transparent platform

An international research group has created a closed-loop, transparent energy platform based on PV power generation and hydrogen production from photo-electrochemical cells. The system is claimed to supply power without interruption and to be transparent enough to be integrated into buildings.

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A year in PV: Technology trends in 2021

The PV industry in 2021 has largely been defined by disruption: Price increases from raw materials to final shipping have led to shortages in PV module supply and project delays the world over. Despite these upsets, innovation has continued at pace, and the year has seen plenty of technological twists and turns that are sure to spell good news for solar in the long run. Read on for a look back at some of the biggest developments.

Meyer Burger brings 400 MW high-performance solar module manufacturing to Arizona

A diversified and talented workforce, proximity to customers, and strong partnerships on the ground in Arizona prompted Meyer Burger to establish a production site in Goodyear, Arizona.

Sunrise brief: Utility-scale solar + storage project planned for Hawaii

Also on the rise: Beaming solar from space is one step closer to reality. Wisconsin looks to add 165 MW of solar. Batteries to the rescue: Changes to California’s net-metering program may seriously erode the value of rooftop residential solar without the aid of battery energy storage. Missouri solar project acquired by Scout Clean Energy.

Air Force lab demonstrates key element for beaming solar power from space

Air Force Research Lab demonstrates key hardware for Arachne flight experiment, which aims to build an operational space-based solar power transmission system. 

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Toshiba claims 8.4% efficiency for transparent cuprous oxide solar cell

The record efficiency was achieved by engineering the cell with reduced copper(II) oxide (CuO) and copper (Cu) impurities in the thin-film deposition. It showed an open-circuit voltage of 1.13 V, a short-circuit current of 10.63 mA/cm2, and a fill factor of 0.696.

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MIT and Google develop solar cell simulator

The differential physics-based software simulates how the change in a given input can change the cell’s power output, potentially paving the way for faster improvements in PV efficiency.

Alabama students study outdoors in off-grid solar pods

In a partnership with startup SolarFi, the University of Alabama has deployed outdoor solar-powered study “pods”.

Autonomous robot for concentrated solar power installation and maintenance

Heliogen announced the roll-out of its robots to install and clean its CSP plants.

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