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Magazine Archive 04-2019

Plenty of potential post Sweihan COD

The historic 1.177 GW Sweihan PV power plant should commence commercial operation this month, marking another PV milestone in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East region. JinkoSolar is a key partner in the project and Gulnara Abdullina, Jinko’s General Manager, Africa and Middle East, says that it’s not only at the utility-scale that opportunities in the region abound.

Operator, connect me

Like many areas in renewable energy, the operations and maintenance of large-scale solar power plants is becoming an increasingly sophisticated affair. Granular data gathered using hardware such as drones and thermal imaging equipment, in combination with complex analytics software, mean that service providers now have oversight of a plant right down to the performance of individual cells and components. A look at fault detection offers several examples of these trends in action.

Necessity mothers innovation in Aussie solar PPAs

Having observed early adopters negotiate renewable energy contracts for financial and sustainability gains, the next wave of Australia’s commercial and industrial energy consumers is ready for offtake. A raft of flexible new solar PV contract models and services is rising to meet their ambitions.

Bringing the quality narrative to India

As with many fast-growing solar marketplaces, some stories the stuff of nightmares have emerged from India regarding substandard PV quality. But the industry is mobilizing to form a proactive front in the form of a Quality Taskforce, writes Pranav R. Mehta, the Chairman of the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI).

DERMS – A solution to solar saturation

It’s a straightforward problem to understand. Modern utility grids are designed for one main purpose: to deliver power to customers. Do so safely and reliably, and the job is done. Up until recently this has been the reality for electric utility companies, and to their credit many have succeeded in offering a very high level of both safe and reliable power. Tim McDuffie, VP of Engineering at CalCom Energy, looks at the growing role of distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) in ensuring the reliability of the grid, and facilitating further penetration of distributed renewable resources into the energy mix.

Syncons come back Down Under

Sometimes there are old solutions to new problems. But often the problem would be best avoided in the first place. The developers of one of Australia’s most ambitious solar and eventually battery storage projects encountered precisely this – as the rate of wind and large-scale solar development in Australia outstrips the capabilities of the grid, at least in some locations.

“Distributed energy resources are the solution”

As new features and capabilities are added, inverters are increasingly becoming understood to be the ‘intelligence’ behind a rooftop PV array. But does that introduce security concerns? The issue has certainly come in for some attention, with a group of U.S. politicians calling for more scrutiny into the security implications of solar inverters, but the issue may be overblown, responds Thomas Tansy, the Chair of the SunSpec Alliance.

Practice makes perfect

Sporadic rain fell at First Solar’s Rüsselsheim testing site, on the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany on the day pv magazine visited the newly inaugurated facility. However, it could not dampen the mood of the eight mounting system suppliers who were keen to showcase their structures’ suitability to First Solar’s large format Series 6 module.

Quality on the line

With competition on the module market as cutthroat as ever, manufacturers are increasingly looking to emphasize the quality and reliability of their products and services as a differentiator. pv magazine investigates what’s behind some of these claims, and the move from manufacturers to more sophisticated quality assurance methods.

pv magazine test – February 2019 results

We are happy to present the next batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China. The February 2019 results are presented below, with additional insight from George Touloupas, Director of Technology and Quality at CEA.

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