Technology and R&D

Canadian Solar joins the 500 W-plus panel club

The Chinese-Canadian company has unveiled a range of high-power modules which are set to go into mass production by early next year. The series includes a commercial and industrial rooftop-dedicated product offering a reported 405 W.

What’s going on in the world of thermal energy storage?

Can this technology be commercialized? A partnership between Siemens Energy and EnergyNest to develop thermal storage solutions together is the latest development in an industry with lots of potential, but little practical application thus far.

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Longi launches 540-watt solar module, joins ‘super module’ scramble, aims for new wafer standard

The Chinese manufacturer has debuted two models in the new bifacial, double-glass series to join the scramble for a slice of the 500 W-plus market and to stake its claim to set the 182mm, M10 wafer adopted as the industry standard.

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European consortium bid to bring 25.4%-efficient heterojunction-IBC solar cell into mass production

The EU-funded Nextbase project aims to manufacture heterojunction, interdigitated back-contact solar modules for less than €0.275/W. Solar panels featuring the Nextbase cell tech are expected to have a conversion efficiency of 23.2%, according to the European Commission.

Funding for solar inspection by drone, long-duration energy storage, and software for utilities

A roundup of recent funding in renewable energy and cleantech: Quidnet, DroneBase, Eos Energy, Urjanet, and Clir Renewables.

Bill Gates leads $10M investment in Quidnet’s long-duration geomechanical pumped storage

The year of living durationally — the holy grail of energy storage has always been low-cost and long-duration. Venture investors have started putting their money into novel, extended-duration storage technologies.

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Energy job moves at Fluence, Avangrid, Sunfolding, Sunrun, juwi, BEI, Energy Foundation, Kanin Energy

Executive, career and boardroom moves in solar, storage, cleantech, utilities and energy VC.

Pirates of the PV industry

Product piracy is a well-known threat in many industries, and in solar the risk posed by poor quality products from disreputable manufacturers making their way onto rooftops and other PV installations should not be underestimated. With manufacturers investing in solutions to protect against inferior products bearing their logo, pv magazine looks at the size of the problem.

Volkswagen invests up to $200 million in stealthy solid-state battery builder QuantumScape

This investment comes on top of the $100 million invested in 2018. Venture capital and corporate funding of new energy technologies continues despite — or perhaps because of — the pandemic.

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Earth’s magnetic field affecting PV panel performance

Researchers in Kenya say the geomagnetic field could reduce solar panel conversion efficiency 0.21% between the equator and a 50-degree latitude. Their analysis showed the complex magnetic field can determine increases in module fill factor and falls in maximum power.

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