Microlink Devices hits 37.75% efficiency for triple junction cell

Microlink Devices hits 37.75% efficiency for triple junction cell

Futurology, Investment, Manufacturing, Solar Panels, Solar Power
Multi-junction cells are going to be the standard. Perovskite+silicon is moving into the factories from the labs right now and getting pushed hard by multiple companies. High end multi-junction products have been in space for decades. The challenge is that most of them - like this 37% project talked about today - are using expensive materials - and so the solar panels cost $5-8/W, a big difference from our current 30-70ยข/W. How long until you and I have a solar panel above 25% making use of multijunction? Five years minimum...unless you got a lot of money and are ready to invest for the rest of us. (more…)
Read More
GreatCell Solar gets perovskite money for a real project

GreatCell Solar gets perovskite money for a real project

Futurology, Manufacturing, Solar Panels, Solar Power
Perovskite has held onto the headlines. The goal is to create a solar cell made of much cheaper materials with higher efficiencies. The material is showing greater promise - 26.4% when combined with standard silicon solar cells. Oxford PV is building a factory - and other groups suggest perovskite sales might happen in a commercial setting in 2018. Now, a great Australian group (that has also signed a research deal with a pretty large solar manufacturer) is getting money to install a system. A small one - but a real one that we can touch. Yes, the long term window is still long before this product could come to be deployed in any considerable fashion - but once someone figures out the secret sauce and starts selling a 25%+ efficient…
Read More
The ‘incrementally evolving’ utility

The ‘incrementally evolving’ utility

Environment, Futurology, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Utilities, Wind
Two electricity utilities are in different places than they were a year or two ago - all because of renewables. Two stories I wrote for pv magazine this week - the first, Another gas plant spurned as renewable energy takes over in California, and the second Rocky Mountain Power's incremental evolution. The second story is more interesting than the first in my opinion - but the first is a hard reality of what's happening all over the nation. (more…)
Read More
Home energy storage and blockchain experiments

Home energy storage and blockchain experiments

Batteries, Futurology, Renewable Energy, Residential Solar, Solar Power, Utilities
The goal of using blockchain technology - versus a standard centralized utility - is that individual energy storage and solar power systems can talk directly to each other. Currently, the large electricity utilities talk to large scale distributed solar facilities via phone call and spreadsheets. There are occasional experiments - in Hawaii for instance - where we are trying to get solar panel level data to the electricity utilities. And everyone is asking for this high level data - we're just not there yet. The blockchain folks think they have a solution though... (more…)
Read More
China’s solar dominance considered a risk factor

China’s solar dominance considered a risk factor

Construction, Futurology, Growth, Solar Power, Utilities
On the one hand - the large majority of solar power global growth occurred in China in 2017. And if you're a business person you're taught - don't depend on one customer! Good point. Except for one thing - the solar power industry is a clumpy one when considering growth, and this clumpiness seems to repeat. For instance... (more…)
Read More
Inverter shipments hint at big 2018 for European solar

Inverter shipments hint at big 2018 for European solar

Growth, Installations, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy, Solar Power
I'm hoping that Europe gets moving again with solar power installations. They led the world for a while, then had to slow as economic challenges gripped so many countries. Really though - it'd be nice to see China, India, Japan, Europe and the US growing at a decent clip at the same time. It's going to be tough for China to grow again, and it looks like the US and INdia might be subdued in 2018...but we'll see. Some suggest as much as 126 GW - while the professionals seem to have settled between 104-113 GW. (more…)
Read More