Highland Materials president Richard Rast told PV Tech Premium that there is an “opportunity for innovation” in the US manufacturing sector.

New entrants into the US polysilicon manufacturing space could be a “game changer” for the US solar sector, Solar Media head of research Finlay Colville told PV Tech Premium this week.

Colville spoke to PV Tech Premium about Highland Materials’ receipt of US$256 million in tax credits to build a polysilicon manufacturing facility in Tennessee, with Highland Materials president Richard Rast noting that there is an “opportunity for innovation” in the US manufacturing sector.

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Source: PV Tech

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Scientists in China have developed a PV-driven direct-drive refrigeration system for electronic device cooling.

Researchers at the Hebei University of Technology in China have designed a solar photovoltaic direct-drive refrigeration system with low energy consumption for high heat-flux electronic device cooling.

“The proposed system integrates photovoltaic power generation with direct-cooling and vapor compression refrigeration (VCR),” the research’s lead author, Xiaohui Yu, told pv magazine. “The combination of micro-evaporator and direct cooling method can achieve good heat exchange efficiency.”

The system consists of two subsystems: a PV unit including a battery and an maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller; and a VCR unit comprising a DC rotary compressor, a fin air-cooled condenser, an electronic expansion valve, an embedded direct cooling evaporator, and a dry-filler.

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Source: PV Magazine

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Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a method to make high-quality perovskite films at room temperature.

Finding reliable, eco-friendly power sources is crucial as our world grapples with increasing energy needs and the urgent call to combat climate change. Solar energy offers one solution, with scientists devising ever more efficient materials for capturing sunlight.

Perovskite solar cells have emerged as a promising alternative to conventional, silicon solar cells, boasting a number of advantages. But processing the material has been a complicated affair. Now, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a method to make high-quality perovskite films at room temperature. The team’s innovation not only simplified the production process but also increased the material’s efficiency from under 20% to 24.4%. The details appear in the journal Joule.

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Source: UC Santa Barbara

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247Solar’s innovative concentrated solar power system stores sunshine for continuous clean energy, day & night.

For the past two decades, solar and wind farms have become a familiar sight, revolutionizing how we generate electricity. However, complete decarbonization requires a broader arsenal of technologies. This is because renewable sources like solar and wind are intermittent, meaning they don’t produce power consistently. Additionally, they can’t provide the high temperatures crucial for many industrial processes.

Enter 247Solar, a company pioneering a novel approach to concentrated solar power (CSP) that addresses these limitations. Their high-temperature systems boast overnight thermal energy storage, enabling them to deliver round-the-clock clean power and industrial-grade heat.

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Source: Interesting Engineering

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Transparent solar cells will transform the look of infrastructure by enabling many more surfaces to become solar panels.

Transparent solar cells will transform the look of infrastructure by enabling many more surfaces to become solar panels. Now, materials called non-fullerene acceptors that can intrinsically generate charges when exposed to sunlight could make semitransparent organic photovoltaics easier to produce, a KAUST-led international team shows.

Semitransparent photovoltaics are able to convert sunlight into electricity without blocking visible light. This makes them attractive for building integrated applications, such as windows, facades and greenhouses.

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Source: PHYS.org

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NASA is preparing to test a new, highly advanced solar sail design. It could one day allow spacecraft to travel without bulky rocket fuel.

NASA hitched a ride aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron Launcher in New Zealand yesterday evening, and is preparing to test a new, highly advanced solar sail design. Now in a sun-synchronous orbit roughly 600-miles above Earth, the agency’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) will in the coming weeks deploy and showcase technology that could one day power deep-space missions without the need for any actual rocket fuel, after launch.

The fundamentals behind solar sails aren’t in question. By capturing the pressure emitted by solar energy, thin sheets can propel a spacecraft at immense speeds, similar to a sailboat. Engineers have already demonstrated the principles before, but NASA’s new project will specifically showcase a promising boom design constructed of flexible composite polymer materials reinforced with carbon fiber.

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Source: Popular Science

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Silent Yachts launched the first Silent 62 3-Deck yacht, outfitted with 17 kWp of SunPower X400+ rigid glass solar modules and a newly enhanced 350 kWh LiFePO4 battery storage system.

Silent Yachts has launched the first three-decker redesign of its Silent 62 solar electric catamaran. The Silent 62 3-Deck features three separate solar module arrays totaling 17 kWp, an integrated energy storage system recently upgraded from 286 kWh to 350 kWh. Introduced in 2019, the Silent 60 series builds on the legacy of the Silent 64, which made headlines in 2018 as the first solar-powered yacht to successfully cross the Atlantic. The ship cruises at 6 to 8 knots and can reach peak speeds of 16 to 18 knots.

Owned by Austrian business leaders and based in Fano, Italy, Silent Yachts has recently expanded into a new production facility. This facility spans over 230,000 square feet and includes five buildings equipped for shipbuilding, two of which are topped with solar modules. The company celebrated the launch of its first boat from this new facility in February 2023.

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Source: PV Magazine

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Skydweller has the wingspan of a 747 jet, only 5,000 lbs., will fly without a pilot at speeds of around 35mph and altitudes up to 40,000ft.

Deep in the piney woods of south Mississippi, an aerospace company is pushing the boundaries of solar-powered flight.

Working from a temporary hangar at Stennis International Airport, a scant 15-minute drive from the Louisiana-Mississippi line, Skydweller Aero Inc. has been testing an unmanned airplane with a wingspan that stretches three-quarters of a football field and, the company promises, will fly continuously for 90 days or longer using only the energy from the sun.

The plane — also called Skydweller, which resembles a giant glider and only weighs as much as a Ford F-150 pickup truck — will fly without a pilot or human crew at speeds of around 35 mph and altitudes up to 40,000 feet, company officials say.

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Source: nola

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The idea of floating solar panels on reservoirs and other calm waters has already taken hold. Sending them off to sea is another matter of next-level engineering.

The idea of floating solar panels on reservoirs and other calm waters has already taken hold. Sending them off to sea is another matter of next-level engineering. However, the potential benefit of co-locating solar arrays with offshore wind farms is a tempting prize, and the firm Moss Maritime is moving closer to a solution.

Offshore Floating Solar Modules: It’s Complicated

The Moss venture is especially interesting because Moss Maritime is an established expert in floating offshore technology as a branch of the global conglomerate Saipem, which is known for its decades-long experience in offshore oil drilling. It’s a good example of the ways in which fossil energy know-how can work for the energy transition, not against it.

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Source: Clean Technica

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Aerial imagery provides location intelligence and detailed insights, empowering engineers to design solar farms with laser-sharp precision.

Gone are the days of relying solely on ground-level surveys. Today, high-resolution photographs and 3D models generated from aerial imagery paint a comprehensive picture of any given piece of land.

Location intelligence—the process of deriving meaningful insights from geospatial data—and aerial imagery are becoming more prominent in the solar industry. These tools are reshaping the solar power landscape, enabling developers to identify the best areas and layout for solar farms, as well as the optimal tilt of solar panels for increased sun exposure. These changes are not only bringing efficiency upgrades; they are paving the way for timely and relevant solutions to address ongoing climate issues that promise to propel the U.S. toward a more sustainable future.

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Source: PV Magazine

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