Tags Posts tagged with "PV modules"

PV modules

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The Spanish company TSO, The South Oracle, has patented an exclusive software for the automatic identification of failures in the images taken with drones in PV modules, which in addition to guaranteeing the maintenance of PV plants, also allows repowering.

In order to develop this project called OSR, Optimized Solar Repowering, TSO has a team of engineers and scientists within the Biomedical Technology Centre of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) who work with leading-edge technology to complete this software that will be launched on the market in the first quarter of 2020.

What is OSR?

After an exhaustive analysis of PV plants in Europe, TSO’s R&D department saw the need to accelerate the maintenance process, minimizing costs and its duration. Therefore, the research focused on developing a computer system connected to drones, the aim of which was to provide in record time, a complete report of the current status of each photovoltaic panel within a plant.

Thus OSR, the preventive-predictive and corrective Smart Solar Maintenance (SSM) software, was born, which through thermography and visible image with drones also guarantees the Repowering/Revamping of solar plants, detecting failures in PV modules instantly and allowing the reinstallation of damaged panels for optimal solar production, even offering an economic study of such repowering/revamping. In this way, OSR will be presented as an innovative solution in the updating of PV plants that have already completed their warranty period and need to return to full performance.

With this software, TSO will put an end to the problems many current installations have nowadays, which gradually affect their production during their useful life, by predicting the modules that are going to fail before compliance with the guarantee and those that have to be changed in plants that have completed 10 years of operation and are therefore out of guarantee. Reports of this company indicate that around 6-8% of the PV modules present failures in plants installed 10 years ago and that 2% of the modules will fail throughout their useful life in any solar plant.

In conclusion, The South Oracle’s OSR will cover three existing needs in PV plants. Firstly, the preventive-predictive and corrective Smart Solar Maintenance (SSM); secondly, the plant repowering/revamping to optimize the production and finally, the economic study and the new proposal that will guarantee the maximum profitability of the solar plant.

The company has announced that a demonstration of the advantages of its OSR patent will be conducted during the O&M and Asset Management International Congress to be held on 5 December in London.

This R&D&I project is financed by ERDF funds from the European Union, through the CDTI, a public entity dependent on the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of the Government of Spain, to promote innovation and technological development of Spanish companies.

Source: TSO

Prodiel and Power China have been selected by Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) to build its second solar energy facility, Potrero Solar, with a capacity of 296 MW, in Mexico. The project will be located in Lagos de Moreno, in the state of Jalisco, and construction is to begin in October 2019 on a site measuring 640 hectares.

The contract is based on the Full EPC model and includes engineering, construction of the facility and the building of a 400 kV substation, as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) during the first two years of the facility’s life. In addition, this project will encourage the economic development of the area and the creation of employment opportunities, by generating over 1,500 jobs during the execution phase for the facility.

The plant will be made up of bifacial photovoltaic modules and therefore upon completion it will be one of the largest photovoltaic facilities with this technology in the world. It is estimated that production at the plant will be 750 GWh/year, which would be equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 350,000 Mexican households. When Potrero Solar is fully operational it will prevent emissions of 345,000 T of CO2 to the atmosphere every year.

Potrero Solar is FRV’s first 100% merchant-financed project in Mexico, which is a milestone in the country as it is not associated with a long-term energy auction price.

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and a leading global developer of renewable utility-scale projects, has announced the financial close for Potrero Solar (296 MW dc), the Company’s second solar farm in Mexico.

FRV reached financial close last March with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext), and it is expected that the plant which began construction in late May, will be completed by mid- 2020.

Potrero Solar is FRV’s first project in Mexico to be financed before having any of its products (energy, CELs or capacity) committed in the tender schemes, and one of the largest merchant PV projects worldwide. It is also one of the world’s largest PV projects to use bifacial technology. Once operational, the plant will trade the electricity generated as well as the associated clean energy certificates at the country’s energy market.

With an approximate area of 700 ha, Potrero Solar will be located in Lagos de Moreno, in the state of Jalisco, and will use bifacial PV modules, a new technology that has the ability to capture both direct sunlight from both the front and reflected light from the rear side.

The solar power farm will generate around 700 GWh of clean energy each year, enough to supply around 350,000 average Mexican homes and reduce the emission of 345,000 T/year of CO2. In addition, Potrero, which will be built by a consortium formed by multinationals Power China and Prodiel under an EPC contract, will boost the economic development of the local community including the potential of around 1,500 jobs during its construction phase.

Fernando Salinas, Managing Director of FRV Mexico and Central America, highlights: “Mexico is a country that offers numerous opportunities for both FRV and international investors, due to its favorable market and weather conditions for renewable energy projects. Potrero’s financial close marks a milestone as the largest bifacial plant in the world and FRV’s first fully merchant project in Mexico. By carrying out this flagship project that will lead the way for other large-scale bifacial PV plants and that is also one of the largest PV merchant projects worldwide, FRV demonstrates its leadership once again and its ability to be a spearhead in the wider renewable energy industry.”

Bancomext assures that “Potrero Solar has all the features a financial institution looks for during a transaction: an experienced, highly professional sponsor, high-quality technology, an EPC provider with a well-proven track-record and a solid financial structure. With this project, Bancomext reaffirms its leading position in the Mexican market, supporting renewable energies under the ‘spot market price’ scheme and fostering job creation in the country during the construction and operation phases.”

Fady Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, said: “At Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, we are delighted to move forward to the next phase of the Potrero project. Potrero confirms FRV’s positioning as one of the leaders in the global renewable energy sector and further reinforces our long-term commitment to Mexico’s drive for clean energy. Mexico is a strong and promising market for FRV and Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, and we look forward to seeing Potrero spearhead the development of the sector in the country and further afield.”

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Acciona has created a hub in its El Romero Solar plant (Atacama, Chile) to test new photovoltaic technologies that will improve the efficiency and performance of solar energy facilities.
The hub will focus on the mechanical and energy capacity of double-sided crystalline, split-cell and thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) technologies, all of them in the development phase, with the intention of shaping PV energy’s evolution. The solar modules have been produced by JA Solar and First Solar, and a variety of solar trackers will be used, manufactured by STI Nordland and Soltec.

The innovation center, in which two of the three tracker zones have already been installed, will have a power generation facility with a total capacity of 492 kWp (180 kW rated) consisting of 1,280 modules in three series of trackers connected to nine inverters. These will be assisted by other equipment to measure and monitor parameters such as incident and reflected solar radiation, ambient temperature or the production temperature of each kind of module, among others.

Unlike conventional solar modules, which only have photovoltaic cells on one side, the double-sided modules have cells on both sides of the panel to capture reflected solar radiation and increase output per surface unit occupied.

In split-cell modules each cell is divided into two parts. This reduces energy losses and improves the durability of the panel.

Finally, the thin-film modules are made from semi-conductive materials as alternatives to conventional crystalline silicon –such as cadmium telluride- that reduce both manufacturing costs and their carbon footprint during their working life.

Advanced technologies

Advanced technologies in photovoltaic solar are one of the main strategic approaches that guide Acciona’s innovation activities in the field of clean energies. One of the most innovative projects to date is the hybridization of organic photovoltaic panels in a wind turbine tower to power a turbine in the Breña wind farm (Albacete, Spain).

El Romero Solar is one of the biggest photovoltaic plants owned and operated by Acciona, with a capacity of 246 MWp. Located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, an area with some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, it produces energy equivalent to the consumption of around 240,000 Chilean households. Part of its capacity will be used to supply Google’s data center in the country.

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Jinko Solar has been one of only four PV module suppliers to receive a “AA” bankability rating from PV-Tech & Solar Media. Jinko Solar is the only PV module supplier to have AA-Ratings for the past 12 consecutive quarters.

In its first ever quarterly PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings, PV Tech set out to create an independent, comprehensive and transparent ranking system to help investors, banks, project developers and EPCs differentiate between the hundreds of PV module suppliers that sell to commercial, industrial, and utility customers around the world.

Mr. Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar, commented, “We are extremely pleased to be recognized by such a reputable and independent organization as PV Tech. 2019 is already shaping up to be one of the top five warmest years on record. As the need for cleaner alternative energy solutions becomes ever more important, and as our industry continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly difficult for customers to distinguish between supplier claims. While we have always been focused on pushing through technological innovations and producing the highest quality modules in the market, we have also deliberately tried to balance profitability and the long-term sustainability of our business.”

Source: Jinko Solar

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LONGi Solar, a subsidiary of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd, has achieved AA-Rating status, in the first quarterly release of PV-Tech’s new PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings. LONGi Solar is one of only four PV module suppliers that qualifies within the top-performing rating category of AA across the sector.

The PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings system is the solar industry’s first qualified tool that allows investors to understand and benchmark PV module suppliers; the analysis tracks a wide range of manufacturing and financial performance metrics, combining these to generate an overall bankability score between 0 and 10. Companies are then graded across nine risk categories from AAA-Rated (most bankable) to C-Rated (high risk).

The ratings system evaluates the investment risk (or financiability) rating for all PV module manufacturers, which combined with manufacturing capacity and financial health scores. At present, no company has been rated AAA and the Top 4 companies are all rated AA.PV-Tech and the PV ModuleTech event brand are recognized as the most credible, independent third-party research bodies covering the solar photovoltaic (PV) segment; specifically related to solar PV module suppliers.

“LONGi has always insisted on technological innovation and continuously increased R&D investment in the past years” said by Zhong Baoshen, Chairman of LONGi: “We always pay attention to the sustainable development of LONGi and maintain the financial stability and healthy. In the future, LONGi will continue to devote itself to providing customers with more reliable products and services.”

According to head of research at PV-Tech, Dr. Finlay Colville: “LONGi Solar has moved rapidly from being a CCC-Rated supplier in 2014 to one of the most bankable module suppliers featuring in the top-performing AA-rated category today. The company is on a trajectory to reach AAA-Rated status within the next 12 months, reflecting strong financial and manufacturing operations.”

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Trina Solar has received a top rating in the latest annual PV module and solar inverter bankability report issued by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). With this report, Trina Solar is now the only module manufacturer to be rated as fully bankable for four consecutive years by 100% of the experts participating in the BNEF survey.

The BNEF report has been a valuable reference for business credit at numerous financial institutions. According to the report, corporate financial health, track record of its modules in the field, and manufacturer warranties are important metrics for financial institutions in their evaluation of PV manufacturers’ bankability. Banks are comfortable providing non-recourse loans to solar projects that use PV modules from a bankable manufacturer.

For its survey, BNEF reached out to banks, funds, EPCs, independent power providers (IPPs), and technical advisors worldwide. It also engaged in in-depth interviews with quality inspectors and technology experts. These experts represent an installed PV capacity of 29GW globally.

Trina Solar Executive Vice President Yin Rongfang said, “We are very proud of the great result Trina Solar has achieved once again in this renowned industry report. The report confirms our solid financial condition, proven product quality and good corporate reputation, as well as recognizes our ongoing commitment to long-term sustainability. Trina Solar is committed to creating long-term and robust return on investment for our global customers with higher-value PV modules and integrated solutions.

The latest BNEF report also quotes the annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard, published this year by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), where Trina Solar has been named a “Top Performer” for its outstanding module reliability and power generation performance among global module manufacturers for the fifth time in a row. The scorecard provides the most comprehensive comparison of publicly-available PV module reliability test results.

Source: Trina Solar

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LONGi Solar, a subsidiary of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd, has recorded its highest-ever bankability rating in the recently released Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Solar Module & Inverter Bankability 2019.

BNEF surveyed banks, funds, developers, EPCs and technical due diligence firms which brands out of 48 modules manufacturers they considered bankable (i.e. can be used in solar projects with non-recourse debt). In the 2019 results, LONGi rose significantly to 91%, its highest ever, a clear indication of LONGi’s maturity as an established brand in the industry.

LONGi also received a “star” indicating it is a “Top Performer” PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) 2019 PV Module Reliability Scorecard. LONGi modules earned “Top Performer” among all 4 PVEL’s test categories of damp heat, thermal cycling, mechanical load and potential induced degradation (PID) tests.

BNEF also named the “Top 15 PV Module brands used in term loan financed projects” since July 1,2017. The leading 3 brands supplied almost 5GW of term financed deals. LONGI is the second most used brand with 1,447 MW deals financed.

LONGi has also ranked as the most creditworthy module manufacturer. BNEF uses the Altman-Z score – a combination of financial ratios – to access the creditworthiness of manufacturers. It is an indicator of the risk of a company filing for bankruptcy in the next 2 years. LONGi was accessed at a score of 3.1 which indicates strong financial health and bankruptcy to be highly unlikely. LONGi’s Altman-Z score is the highest among pure play module manufactures.

In addition to LONGi’s bankability and reliability, the firm is also operating at scale as one of the largest solar manufacturers both in terms of existing and planned production capacity. According to PV Tech’s on-going analysis of global capacity expansion announcements, LONGi Solar’s total nameplate module assembly capacity should exceed 13GW in 2019, becomes world’s largest module manufacturer with latest expansion.

Source: LONGi Solar

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Trina Solar has recently been recognized as the “Top Performer” among global PV module manufacturers by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) and DNV GL. The company is one of only two PV module manufacturers with worldwide reach to garner the prestigious recognition for the fifth consecutive time since the Top Performer award was founded.

The recognition of “Top Performer” is based on the PV Module Reliability Scorecard released by PVEL and DNV GL. The Scorecard is one of the most comprehensive comparisons of PV module reliability test results publicly available on the market today. As an integrated certification program with a focus on module reliability and power generation performance, the test comprises 2-4x IEC thermal cycling, damp heat, dynamic mechanical load, humidity-freeze and PID attenuation tests.

Trina Solar quality director Zhao Mengyu said, “It is encouraging to see that Trina Solar has been recognized as a Top Performer for the fifth time in a row. Rigorous raw materials control and production line management processes ensure the high reliability of our modules. Trina Solar is committed to providing customers with higher-reliability and higher-value PV modules.

Trina Solar carries out several rounds of comprehensive ongoing reliability tests (ORTs) during the materials introduction process. Trina Solar evaluates both materials and modules during its ORT process with more frequent ORTs for key components, such as packaging materials and PV back sheet, with the aim of ensuring comprehensive and strict control over the materials and products in mass production.

In terms of the production line manufacturing process, Trina Solar carries out a process quality control across the value chain. Nearly 100 control points are deployed for the entire silicon wafer and cell production processes, while over 100 control points are configured for the overall module production process.

Source: Trina Solar

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For the 3rd consecutive year, LONGi Solar, a world leading mono-crystalline PV module manufacturer, has been named “Top Performer” in the annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard published by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) and DNV-GL. This ranking summarizes the results of independent testing conducted as part of PVEL’s Product Qualification Program (PQP) and identifies the PV module models that achieved top performance

The PQP is a unique protocol of tests that generate empirical performance and reliability data, contributing to critical technical due diligence, energy forecasts and financial models utilized by solar investors and project developers. Manufacturers voluntarily participate in the PQP, but only “Top Performers” are eligible for listing in the Scorecard. Manufacturers choose to be recognized in the Scorecard in order to demonstrate the quality of their products to the market.

Testing for reliability and performance

According to PVEL, while IEC and UL certifications are important indicators of module safety, long-term reliability and performance are also important to PV buyers. By extending IEC 61215 sequences and incorporating additional tests, the Scorecard approximates the impact that decades of exposure in the field has on PV modules.

The Scorecard employs four demanding test sequences that stimulate PV modules long-term performance in real world conditions. It is today the most complete publicly available comparison of PV module reliability test results.

LONGi was named “Top Performer” in all four test categories:

  • Thermal cycling.
  • Damp heat.
  • Dynamic mechanical load sequence.
  • Potential induced degradation (PID).

LONGi hallmarks: technology innovations and product quality

DNV-GL PV Module Reliability Scorecard “Top Performer” status is validation of the reliability of LONGi high efficiency PV modules and demonstrates the company’s R&D technology leadership and quality-first approach to manufacturing.

Source: LONGi Solar

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