How can solar PV projects still make a profit ?


How can solar PV projects still make a profit against the backdrop of rising module, land and equipment costs?

Since last year, the manufacturing cost of the equipment for PV industry chain has been “retrogressively” rising, imposing challenges on global solar power project development, investors and power stations’ yield.

aluminum alloy solar farm
mounted solar power system

At the same time, as a large number of power stations age, modules, inverters, trackers and other key equipment gradually develop various problems, leading to lower than expected performance.

Earlier this year, a DNV study of current US solar plants highlighted the potential need for trackers and problems that need to be overcome. The study showed that uneven terrain can cause up to 6% loss of plant performance, a trend that is likely to be amplified as plant construction environments become more complex and diverse.

Amidst these upwards pressures, what mechanisms do we have at our disposal to reverse the trend of rising costs and obtain greater value from PV plants?

mounting home power solar system
ground mounting brackets for solar

How to augment PV power generation potential?

Currently, the price of PV silicon material, modules, steel and other products remain high. On the other hand, limitation of land resources, cost of power grid access and supporting construction are still rising. As a result, increasing power generation is one of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of a kilowatt-hour.

Trackers can capture more solar radiation with flexible rotation into different directions, thus contributing to good power generation performance. Therefore it is regarded as a ‘useful weapon’ to boost power generation for projects. Compared with fixed brackets, trackers can increase power generation by 10-25% and are widely used in solar parks around the world.

In terms of land utilisation, construction of PV plants has gradually shifted from flat land to special terrain such as deserts and even abandoned mines or sunken coal mining subsidence areas. This not only means that the design and installation of power stations is more difficult, but also means a large amount of power loss due to occlusion.

solar energy mounting structures
ground solar energy mounting structures

When it comes to making the most out of these environments, products such as double-sided dual-glass PV modules and trackers using astronomical algorithm technology have made great progress compared with fixed brackets. But the current technology still meets a tough bottleneck in making full use of diffuse light.

Meanwhile, a rise in global labour costs and the large-scale application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in various other industries is building the case for greater AI adoption in the solar sector. It is likely that smart tracking technology employing sophisticated AI and machine learning processes will gradually become an industry trend.

Developing and applying a more refined and relevant power generation evaluation model has become the key and will help with the rapid popularization of smart technology.

Part of the article excerpted from the network, infringement contact deleted.

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