Technology and R&D

Analyzing the 2% DC voltage drop rule

The good people at Mayfield Renewables take us deep into the technical weeds as they question a rule-of-thumb: Is the 2% DC voltage drop rule accurate for real-world conductor sizing or has technological progress in solar made the rule irrelevant?

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Can a 20-person startup with $25 million get Oklo’s fast-fission micro-reactor to market?

New generation of entrepreneurs aim to commercialize an advanced fission micro-reactor to compete against diesel gensets in remote and island communities. Technological and regulatory challenges abound.

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North America’s first lithium-ion battery recycling hub is coming to New York

Li-Cycle, a Canadian battery recycling firm, has chosen Rochester as the home for its planned $175 million recycling facility, which promises to deliver recycled battery materials, beyond just lithium-ion, at market scale.

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Nextracker inks 1 GW supply deal and claims up to 12% bifacial yield gain

The 1 GW fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai will feature NX Horizon trackers with the deal announced after the manufacturer published new bifacial yield gain claims.

Plasma enables smaller, more powerful NMC-811 cathodes

Batteries could shrink even more with smaller crystals in the cathodes. Battery packs in electric vehicles and consumer goods could become smaller, while still offering high performance.

How long will the lithium supply last?

Researchers have sounded the alarm. If no serious efforts are made on second-life battery use, recycling and vehicle-to-grid applications, decarbonization efforts may hit the buffers a lot sooner than expected.

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NREL projects up to 7.5 TW of global, hydro-linked floating PV potential

A study into the benefits of linking solar with hydro in a full hybrid system configuration has found global potential of 7,593 GW, for an estimated annual power generation of 10,616 TWh and a 20% reservoir coverage.

Sunfolding looks to disrupt the tracker industry with air pneumatics

With $32 million in series B funding and an ever-growing project pipeline, air-based tracker startup, Sunfolding, is hoping to increase its hold in the tracker market with tech that’s simple, light and can be installed on terrain previously thought untouchable.

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Terabase Energy raises funding to break the $0.01/kWh utility-scale solar barrier with software

Terabase wins a $6 million Round A led by SJF Ventures, an early funder of Nextracker, for an integrated software platform to make building utility-scale solar more efficient, smarter and cheaper.

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NREL’s solar cost projections plummet in new forecast

The lower projected costs for PV could help guide some utilities to plan for more PV capacity, as the utilities develop their long-term resource plans.

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