China dispatch: Huawei continues smart PV solution rollout in China

Huawei – the Chinese ICT giant that is rapidly increasing its global share of solar inverter revenues – has showcased the latest solar plant to benefit from its smart PV solution, unveiling a collaboration this week with energy company Huanghe Hydropower Development Co., Ltd.

With more than 200 industry representatives and around 30 related media professionals invited along, Huawei showcased its PV solution in Xining, Qinghai Province, earlier this week.

Since 2010, Huanghe Hydropower – a subsidiary of China Power Investment Group (CPI Group) – has constructed 25 PV plants in China, boasting a total installed capacity of 1.62 GW. Solar, therefore, accounts for 43.55% of CPI Group’s power output, a figure that also represents 6.9% of China’s total installed PV capacity.

Jointly with Huawei Technology, Huanghe Hydropower has developed a new kind of smart PV power station, combining traditional solar components with digital information technology and wireless internet connection to significantly increase power generation and operation efficiency. Since the second half of 2014, this smart PV power station has been connected to the national grid, and has so far delivered stable and reliable operation, claimed Huanghe representatives.

The system itself is comprised several sections, and Huawei technicians were on hand to demonstrate its functionality. The technicians showcased the customized 4G wireless system used to build the communication broadband that covers the whole power station. Based on the high speed intranet embedded on site, the power station can realize so-called centralized operation, remote diagnosis, and real-time maintenance, in order to adapt to the large-scale PV power station management in future.

Software-run application

Based on software from Huawei, specially designed intelligent inverters gather information from voltage to current from every string, with accuracy of 99.5% – which is six times that of the traditional method. Detailed information of every string is collected and transferred via the 4G LTE wireless broadband to the station control center for further analysis. The intelligent inverters act as the core sensors of the entire station.

Based on intranet and operation video system, technicians and local operators can work together closely, Huawei demonstrated. Remote support from technicians in the control center supports site operators and enables greater analysis and swifter troubleshooting, claimed the system’s demonstrators. The live data collection, cloud storage and data digging system can automatically check the system for recommendations for cleaning, parts replacement and maintenance.

Huawei’s smart PV system also has a specially designed UAV that carries GPS, infrared imagery and wireless transmission equipment, harnessed frequently to determine and locate any hot spot or cracks on the solar cells. This – Huawei maintained – greatly decreases human resources cost and increases detection rates. With background expert support, faults are solved in a short period of time, and downtime is greatly reduced.