The Covid-19 pandemic quarantine has introduced a new set of challenges for solar PV operations and maintenance. The topic has gained industry attention now that PV sites lack onsite personnel. Huawei says its new Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis – integrating artificial intelligence, digital technologies, and PV – is a first-step solution toward unmanned O&M. With the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) ever decreasing, improvements in O&M efficiency and accompanying cost reductions may accelerate the arrival of the grid parity era.
In 2016, Huaneng Hainan Power and Huawei jointly digitalized the Dongfang solar power plant in Hainan, China. As the first solar PV project to be digitalized, it is worth taking a look back to see how the new technology has actually bolstered performance.
The falling cost of PV has increasingly driven the adoption of solar technology in recent years. But for a long time, the solar industry was fully dependent on subsidies. German PV project developer BayWa r.e. made headlines in 2018 with its 175 MW Don Rodrigo plant just outside of Seville, in southern Spain. The company backed the array with a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA), marking the first time a project of that size had been refinanced in Europe without the help of subsidies. It later charted new territory again with the completion of Germany’s first subsidy-free PV project in 2019.
Solar PV generation is one of the world’s most promising technologies for a sustainable energy future. However, as solar and other intermittent renewable energy sources increasingly enter the grid, the establishment of grid connections has become a challenge that could threaten future expansion. Now, solar PV technology is rapidly moving from a passive role to an active one, as it takes on a starring role to support electric utility power grids.
Europe is widely considered a renewable energy powerhouse, at least with regards to technology establishment and kick-starting the green economy. Installation trends and markets are expanding – and Covid-19 could provide new opportunities for the continent.
The new president of Huawei’s Smart PV Business Unit, Chen Guoguang, talks to pv magazine about his new role in the company and the future of his division. Increased investment in smart PV R&D and technological innovation are at the top of the agenda. The intelligentization of energy products is also a priority, with much to be gained from the integration of information and communications technologies (ICT) and energy.
Over the next five to 10 years, renewables will assume a larger role as a main power source for electric grids, and PV has a particularly bright future. Considering the latest trends in power electronics technology, PV is quickly evolving down the path to intelligence. Given the rapid development of emerging information and communication technologies (ICT) – such as AI, cloud computing, big data, and 5G – Huawei has an idea of what’s in store for the future of solar PV.