How can the electricity yield from solar power plants be increased significantly?

A MW of a solar farm in a sunny region generates about 1.5 million units of electricity every year. This implies a capacity utilization factor (CUF) of less than 20% - that is, less than 20% of the total generation capacity of the solar panels is utilized to produce electricity. technologies, designs and processes that significantly increase the CUF to yield higher levels of electricity from the same solar farm can make a big difference to the worldwide contribution from solar energy, one of the most promising sources of renewable energy.

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Imagine a set of solar panels that are in a fixed position. Through the day, the sun has risen in the east and gradually moves to the west. However, these solar panels are static, at a fixed angle. Given that solar panels generate the maximum electricity when facing the sun, surely such a static position is not optimal to generate maximum electricity? This is where solar trackers come in. Solar trackers are equipment that continuously align the solar panels optimally towards sunlight so that the panels generate the highest amount of electricity. While single axis solar trackers move the panels from east to west during the day, dual axis solar panels can in addition also orient the panels correctly accounting for seasonal variations.


Keywords

  • Single axis solar tracker
  • Dual axis solar tracker
  • Solar tracker innovation
  • how do solar trackers work
  • fixed tilt versus solar trackers
  • designing an optimal solar tracker
  • solar tracker backtracking
  • low cost solar tracker
  • solar tracker algorithm
  • solar tracker microcontroller
  • While solar PV power plants are easy to maintain, best of breed practices for operations and maintenance can prevent significant losses of electricity yield. These losses could occur owing to a variety of reasons - partly technical, some owing to natural causes such as storms and floods, and some others from factors such as shading.


    Keywords

  • solar power plant maintenance best practices
  • automation of solar farm maintenance
  • effective solar PV maintenance
  • solar power plant maintenance case studies
  • solar power plant maintenance innovations
  • predictive maintenance of solar power plants
  • drones and solar power plant maintenance
  • robotics and solar power plant maintenance
  • A 1 MW solar power plant could have up to about 3000 solar panels. While solar panels are proven technologies and need little maintenance, such a large number of panels also imply that even routine monitoring of the solar power plant will need to be automated and driven by technology. This is where a range of solar power plant monitoring solutions enter the picture.


    Keywords

  • remote monitoring solar power plant
  • real time solar power plant monitoring
  • types of data monitored solar power plant monitoring
  • solar power plant monitoring best practices
  • solar module level monitoring
  • analytics from solar power plant monitoring systems
  • cloud based solar power plant monitoring systems
  • inverters and solar power plant monitoring
  • innovations in solar power plant monitoring
  • how do solar power plant monitoring systems work?
  • inverter level solar power plant monitoring
  • As of early 2019, the most commonly used solar panels worldwide (multicrystalline solar panels) have efficiencies in the range 17-18%. Some variations of these panels (the monocrystalline solar panels) have efficiencies in the range 20-23%. Innovations such as bifacial solar panels could add a bit more to the efficiencies. Even a 1% (absolute) increase in efficiency is significant, as that could mean an additional quarter million units of electricity generated from a 1 MW solar PV power plant over its lifetime of 25 years.


    Keywords

  • high efficiency solar cells
  • high efficiency solar panels
  • bifacial solar panels
  • monocrystalline solar panels
  • solar panels with microinverters
  • multi junction solar cells
  • high efficiency thin film solar modules
  • solar panel efficiency innovation
  • high efficiency multicrystalline solar panels
  • what determines solar panel efficiency
  • A solar PV power plant’s effective yield depends not just on the solar panels alone, but also the inverters which convert the DC electricity from the solar panels to the AC electricity before it is fed to the electricity grid or used on premises. Thus, the efficiency of the inverter is as important as the efficiency of solar panels themselves.


    Keywords

  • High efficiency inverter
  • high efficiency central inverter
  • high efficiency string inverter
  • high efficiency microinverter
  • solar PV inverter innovation for efficiency
  • what determines solar PV inverter efficiency?
  • Components of a solar inverter
  • IGBT solar inverter
  • MPPT solar inverter
  • Solar PV power plants generate electricity that is “infirm” because of the variable nature of sunshine. Integrating such an infirm power source to the grid is thus a challenge and a concern that needs to be addressed adequately. As the total proportion of solar power in the grid increases, such integration concerns will take on even higher importance.


    Keywords

  • Solar power plant forecasting and scheduling
  • solar power plant grid integration software
  • Grid solar integration challenges
  • Smart grid and solar power plants
  • Inverter and solar grid integration
  • Solar power plant backdown
  • Grid stability and solar grid integration
  • Grid interconnection standards for solar power
  • solar grid integration innovation
  • Batteries and solar grid integration
  • The traditional solar PV power plants (which are based single p-n junction solar panels) have theoretical limits on the highest efficiency they can assume. Concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) overcome this limit by concentrating the sunlight through the use of lenses on to multi-junction solar cells that use multiple p-n junctions. Such CPV systems have demonstrated efficiencies of over 40% in lab scale, compared to sub-25% efficiencies that are the maximum demonstrated by single junction solar cells.


    Keywords

  • Concentrating solar PV innovation
  • Solar CPV tracker
  • Optical design for solar CPV
  • Solar CPV mirror
  • Solar CPV lenses
  • High concentration solar PV
  • Low concentration solar PV
  • Solar cells for concentrating solar PV
  • Concentrating solar PV efficiency
  • Concentrating solar PV case studies
  • While it appears that solar PV power plants are ideal for hot climates because of the plentiful sunlight, in practice it might not be that simple. Solar panels are less efficient in high temperatures, and as a result special care should be taken for solar PV power plants designed for hot regions.


    Keywords

  • Challenges for solar power plants in deserts
  • Solar panel efficiency variation with temperature
  • Effective maintenance of solar farms in deserts
  • Cooling solutions for solar power plants in hot climates
  • Solar power plants in deserts best practices
  • Solar inverters for hot climates
  • Solar power plant cables for hot climates
  • Solar power plants in deserts case studies
  • O&M best practices for solar power plants in hot climates
  • In many regions with cold climates, the extent of sunlight is also relatively lower compared to many tropical regions. In addition, solar power plants in many cold regions can also be affected by snow and ice that can reduce the yield of the solar panels. Thus, special care should be taken during design for both installation and maintenance of solar PV power plants in cold regions.


    Keywords

  • solar power plants for cold climates
  • solar power plants in arctic
  • Solar power generation under low light
  • Designing solar power plants for snow
  • Solar power plants in cold regions best practices
  • O&M best practices for solar power plants in cold climates
  • Solar power plants in the Arctic
  • Challenges for solar power plants in cold climates
  • optimal inverters for solar power plants in cold climates
  • Performance of solar power plants in winter
  • A 10 MW ground mounted solar power plant requires panels to be spread over about 50 acres. That's a lot of land, wouldn't you agree? Now, consider another interesting aspect: Wind farms require significant amounts of vacant area between two wind turbines. And, while the wind turbine blades rotate at altitudes of 50 m or higher, solar panels generate power at almost ground level. So, here's the thing: What if the vacant area between wind turbines is populated by solar panels? You get to recover energy from both wind and sunshine! Such a farm can then generate both solar and wind power, thus significantly increasing yield from that area. And finally, here's the icing on the cake: Wind and solar energy complementary (wind usually blows when there's little sun and vice versa), and thus combining solar and wind energy makes the combined energy output less infirm and more reliable. All these make solar-wind hybrid power plants an exciting area to work in.


    Keywords

  • Increased yield from solar wind hybrid power plants
  • Challenges to solar wind hybrid power plants
  • Efficient design for solar wind hybrid power plants
  • Inverter design for solar wind hybrid power plants
  • Solar wind hybrid power plant case study
  • Solar wind hybrid power plant metrics
  • Economics of hybrid solar wind power plants
  • Power smoothing in solar wind hybrid power plant
  • Solar wind hybrid power plant innovation
  • Best locations for solar wind hybrid power plants

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