Cloaking Principle Could Boost Solar Cell Performance

Invisibility cloaking may be a long way from reality, but the principle could help improve the performance of solar cells in the near term.  In a series of simulations, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have demonstrated how cloaks made of metamaterials or freeform surfaces could eliminate shadows cast by energy-harvesting components onto the active surfaces of solar cells.  Contact fingers, which extract electric current, cover up to one-tenth of the surface area of a solar cell. By guiding light around these features, more of the sun's energy could be captured by the solar cell.  "Our model experiments have shown that the cloak layer makes the contact fingers nearly completely invisible," said doctoral student Martin Schumann.   Cont'd...  

SolarCity claims highest efficiency solar panel

Tristan Edist for the Business Spectator:  SolarCity, the largest retailer of solar systems in the US (over 30% market share) and partly owned by Tesla’s Elon Musk, has announced it will produce the most efficient solar module available on the market at 22.04% conversion efficiency. SolarCity is claiming it has therefore managed to pip SunPower who have been the longstanding holder of the most efficient conventional silicon solar module on the market. However in a subsequent discussion with Greentech Media, Peter Rive’s Chief Technology Officer conceded the majority of the panels coming off its pilot 100MW manufacturing line were hitting 21.8%.  In 2017 the company will be then moving production to a new 1 gigawatt per annum capacity plant in Buffalo which can sometimes encounter challenges with achieving stable quality levels during production start-up. SunPower claims 21.5% efficiency for its X-Series panel although often manufacturers will  have some variance in performance of panels and make claims based on conservative estimates of performance. Greentech Media quotes an anonymous Sunpower source saying that 22% efficient panels are already coming off its production lines.  In addition the company is targeting achieving 23% conversion efficiency from panels it will manufacture from its fifth fabrication line, scheduled for start-up in 2017.     Cont'd...

Researchers develop cool way to improve solar cell efficiency

By Kelly Hodgkins for Digital Trends:    A team of engineers from Stanford University have invented a cool way to improve the performance of solar panel arrays. A new material that the team produced literally will lower the temperature of solar cells even while they are operating in full-strength sunlight. As the solar cells cool, their efficiency will rise, leading to significant gains in the amount of energy harvested from the sun. Solar panel technology has improved by leaps and bounds, but the technology has a flaw that limits the efficiency of the system. The panels must face the sun to operate, but the heat from this exposure diminishes their ability to convert light into energy. The hotter they get, the less efficient they become. This issue has perplexed the industry for years, but the Stanford team may have discovered a material that can help dissipate this excess heat without affecting the operation of the solar array. The solution, proposed by Stanford electrical engineering professor Shanhui Fan, research associate Aaswath P. Raman, and doctoral candidate Linxiao Zhu, uses a material that is able to capture and emit thermal radiation (heat) away from the solar call. While deterring heat buildup, the thin, patterned silica material does not block sunlight, allowing the photons to enter the solar panel where they are converted to energy. It’s a win-win situation, allowing the free flow of sunlight and the removal of excess heat from the system.   Cont'd...

Solar windows can power buildings

By Lucas Mearian for Computerworld:  Manhattan has approximately 47,000 buildings with around 10.7 million windows, according to a 2013estimate from The New York Times. Now imagine if just 1% -- or 100,700 -- of those windows could generate electricity through transparent photovoltaics. That's the idea behind solar power windows, and at least two companies are hoping to sell the technology to window manufacturers, saying once installed in a building the technology will pay for itself in about a year. "If you look at the glass that's manufactured worldwide today, 2% of it is used for solar panels; 80% of it is used in buildings. That's the opportunity," said Suvi Sharma, CEO of solar panel maker Solaria.  Cont'd...

Midsummer granted a loan of 10 MSEK from Almi for continued development of thin film solar cell production equipment

The loan is meant to support Midsummer's focus on production and sales of the DUO machines used for the production of flexible thin film solar cells.

Silfab Solar Increases Module Production to 300 MW

Expands and Upgrades Facility to Meet Growing North America Demand

Pink film 'antenna' can double solar cell efficiency

Megan Treacy for TreeHugger:  When we think of antennas we mainly think of the type that transmit and receive radio waves, letting us listen to radio stations in our car or watch TV in our homes, but in this case the researchers are using the term to describe a new thin film material that captures more of the light spectrum, converting it into wavelengths of light that solar cells can convert into electricity. Many scientists are working on building better solar cells, but researchers at the University of Connecticut wanted to figure out how to boost the efficiency of the technology we already have. Thus, the antenna. As Phys.org reports, Challa V. Kumar, Ph.D and his team "built an antenna that collects those unused blue photons and converts them to lower energy photons that the silicon can then turn into current." "Many groups around the world are working hard to make this kind of antenna, and ours is the first of its kind in the whole world," Kumar said.   Cont'd...

JA Solar Released New Double-glass Modules

As the installation of solar electricity generation grows at an unprecedented pace world-widely and the performance of PV products gets improved steadily, the demand for PV modules of high quality and reliability that can operate in the harsh environment without rapid degradation has greatly increased.

LG And Borrego Solar Collaboration Expands To Bring More High-Efficiency Modules To U.S. Commercial Customers

Expanded Commercial Integrator Agreement Covers 135 Megawatts of Advanced LG Panels, Including New Mono X NeON 2, Through 2016

26,000 aleo solar modules for SUNfarming solar park in Mecklenburg

The module manufacturer from Prenzlau in Brandenburg covers the entire range of photovoltaic projects with its portfolio

Solar PV Modules Market Trends, Industry Share 2014: Acute Market Reports

Recent Market Research Report of the Title "Global Solar PV Modules Market Size and Segment Forecasts To 2014" Has Been Added to Acute Market Reports Database

TÜV Rheinland Issues First Qualification Plus Certificate to Prism Solar Technologies

Modules Pass New More Stringent Testing

SunPower Corporation Launches X-Series Solar Panels for Japan's Rooftop Market

X-Series Solar Panels Deliver World-Record Efficiency and Unsurpassed Performance, Reliability and Aesthetics; Product on Display at PV Japan This Week

Solar Frontier Surpasses 3 GW of Global CIS Module Shipments

Equivalent to 650,000 energy-independent Japanese households

The US panel price rising improves average panel price in July.

Affected by the final results of the US DOC AD & CVD review, Chinese module makers are forced to rise up their module selling prices in the US, which results in also pulling up the average selling price of other manufacturers, including Korean, European, and even American companies. Hence, the average multi-crystalline module price is moderately moving up this week

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