National Solar Repository launched in Singapore

01. December 2010 | Research & Development, Markets & Trends | By:  Habib Ali

Singapore's National Solar Repository (NSR) has been launched by the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS), in collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic, at the country's Solar Pioneer Awards ceremony held yesterday.

Screenshot of National Solar Repository of Singapore's website

The website displays the location of each PV system on an interactive map. Image: National Solar Repository of Singapore.

The NSR is aimed at capturing data from photovoltaics (PV) systems installed on the island, including commercial, industrial and residential installations. The repository's website is a reference portal displaying the location of each PV system on an interactive map. Photographs of the installations will also be available.

More than half of the three megawatt-peak (MWp) installations in Singapore are presently monitored by the website. It also includes information about PV and contact details for listed solar system integrators. SERIS will be in charge of analyzing the systems’ performance data, in addition to imparting knowledge on best practices and know-how in solar system installation and integration through a handbook for optimized PV-system design in the tropics.

At the launch, Joachim Luther, chief executive officer of SERIS commented: “Singapore, with its dedication towards clean technology, has the unique chance to lead the pace for the dissemination of solar power in tropical climates. Testing and  systems optimization today is still more focused on moderate climate zones,  predominantly in the Northern hemisphere.”

He continued: “The conditions here are much more diverse and we have to understand the implications on the technology. A comprehensive database across Singapore is a crucial next step as we move into the 'solar age'. This is especially so in a few years time, where having reached grid parity, we will have to smoothly integrate thousands of solar PV systems into the electric power grid. By then, we will see the true value of the National Solar Repository.”

Lawrence Wong, chief executive of the Energy Market Authority and co-executive director of the Clean Energy Programme Office (CEPO) additionally stated in his address that the grid can easily accommodate more solar power, up to 350 MWp. He went on to say that the solar repository will allow better access to assessing the impact of intermittent solar power on the stability of the grid, and put in place measures to strengthen the overall reliability of the grid in future.

Private sector projects

The event also had a second round of private sector projects being awarded by CEPO. These projects are supported under the S$20 million Solar Capability Scheme and include: GKE's Warehouse and Office (100kWp); Keppel Land's commercial development (75kWp); REC’s solar manufacturing facility (56kWp); SOLID Asia's project at United World College (kilowatt thermal); Standard Chartered Bank's building at Changi Business Park; Ocean Financial Center; and Woh Hup's headquarters building.

Some of the issues that will be tackled differently will be the elimination of the need to drill holes on the roof surface for installation to avoid leaking or rusting. Meanwhile, Woh Hup’s installation will be the first test-bed in Singapore for thin film CIGS cylindrical modules. The enw test-bed projects will increase Singapore’s capacity installed from 200kWp to 10,000kWp when completed.

These testbed projects create opportunities for various industry players in Singapore’s solar ecosystem, including system integrators, architects, engineers,  developers and technology providers. Wong concluded: “These new developments will help to facilitate the adoption of solar power in Singapore in the medium to longer term, thereby diversifying our energy sources for greater energy security, economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability.”

The Solar Pioneer Awards Ceremony was held in Singapore on Tuesday. Lim Teck Yong, assistant head of Cleantech told pv magazine that the event attracted more than 250 participants and there were representatives from leading players like SolarWorld, Renewable Energy Corporation, Sanyo, Phoenix present.


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