Construction | Automated systems to speed up the construction of PV power plants have become a key tool in building bigger and cheaper projects. Sara Verbruggen looks at some of the state-of-art technologies helping the industry drive down system costs
System design | Despite the decline of subsidies in the UK, well designed commercial PV systems still offer potentially attractive financial benefits to businesses. Kirsty Berry and Andrew Hancock of Syzygy Renewables detail some of the key considerations in designing and executing a commercial solar system that will deliver maximum return on investment.
System design | As PV projects get bigger and more complex, plant design programs are rising to the challenge. Sara Verbruggen looks at how some of the latest innovations in design software are helping developers win the competitiveness game
Module yield | Varying climatic conditions across markets and the individual characteristics of PV technologies undermine accurate predictions of module energy yield using conventional methods. Markus Schweiger, Werner Herrmann, Christos Monokroussos and Uwe Rau describe how a calculation of module performance ratio can be used to accurately assess the efficiency of different PV module technologies in different climates and thus the likely return on investment from a project.
Varying climatic conditions across markets and the individual characteristics of PV technologies undermine accurate predictions of module energy yield using conventional methods. Markus Schweiger, Werner Herrmann, Christos Monokroussos and Uwe Rau describe how a calculation of module performance ratio can be used to accurately assess the efficiency of different PV module technologies in different climates and thus the likely return on investment from a project
Wireless monitoring can offer your solar business real-time data with the lowest cost of ownership, explains Aeris.
Resource assessment | Irradiance sensors are vital tools for protecting investment in valuable solar power plants and ensuring they perform optimally. In the second of two articles on a major study they are leading to better understand these diminutive components, Anton Driesse and Joshua Stein discuss how inaccuracies in irradiance measurement can be quantified and managed.
O&M | Operations and maintenance has traditionally been thought of as something that happens after a PV power plant has been built and connected. But as Emanuele Tacchino writes, planning for the successful operation of a project, particularly a new PV market, begins long before construction.
Building integrated PV: Despite plenty of hype, BIPV has remained a niche segment in the solar business, held back by a combination of high costs and low efficiencies. But as Ben Willis hears, the high-profile entry of Tesla on to the BIPV scene could herald the start of a new era for the sector.
All parts of the PV supply chain are under pressure to reduce costs and boost the competitiveness of solar. A new rover vehicle developed for site surveying work promises to help significantly reduce labour costs in the construction of large-scale solar projects.
Certifying the quality and performance of an entire PV array has been a notable development in the past two years. Sara ver Bruggen looks at the extent to which developers, investors and insurers are turning to plant-level certification to guarantee the design, construction quality and performance of a PV system.
In a relatively short space of time, single-axis trackers have become the mounting technology of choice in utility-scale PV plants. Danielle Ola reports on the technological and economic drivers that have fuelled their meteoric rise and look set to ensure continued growth around the world for some time to come.
Accurate forecasting is becoming increasingly important as PV penetration grows. Jan Remund of Meteotest looks at some of the recent developments in forecasting science and the work going on to improve this vital aspect of solar’s interaction with the grid.
As the solar industry gains momentum, there is an increasing need for on-site resource monitoring using pyranometers and reference cells. Peter N. Johnson of AWS Truepower introduces the technical specifications and limitations of industry-standard pyranometers and reference cells, and outlines best practices for monitoring with this equipment. How solar measurements can be used to improve resource and energy estimates for utility-scale PV projects is also discussed.
Meeting the exact delivery schedule of large-scale power plants is crucial for fulfilling customer expectations and contract specifications. Mauoro di Fiore and Maren Orgus of Hanwha Q CELLS discuss how to overcome specific local challenges to deliver large-scale power plants on time and on budget.