24 - 28 October 2016 • Marina Bay Sands Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Photovoltaics Moving into the Terawatt Range
PV electricity became cost-competitive with electricity produced by oil-fired power plants, new nuclear power plants and diesel generators. Global over-production capacity for PV is coming to an end in 2016. Global PV production capacity will have to double within the next five years to 100-120 GWp/a, bringing PV installations into the Terawatt range. Therefore, a window of opportunity is opening for lucrative new investments in PV production and deployment along the whole value chain.
A key factor will be reliable technical due diligence for PV systems, to reduce investor’s risks. Moreover, rapid growth of electricity production from volatile wind and solar sources will pose new challenges for grid integration and storage technologies.
In Germany, about 35% of electricity is supplied from renewable sources, but the System Average grid Interruption Duration Index SAIDI has been cut in half in the last 10 years, to now (2014) only 12 mins. Accommodating large amounts of fluctuating renewable energy requires to strengthen the grid, to replace manually-controlled processes by more and more automation, based on intelligent algorithms, and leave enough flexibility for unforeseen events. Any grid accommodating a high fraction of renewables will be more resilient against fluctuations, with advantages for all users.
Currently more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and this is projected to rise to 60% by 2030. This means that an additional 1.4 billion people will also be living in cities by this date. An increasing number of the world’s population is migrating to cities to take advantage of concentrated economic activities and perceived prosperity. Meeting the needs of this changing demographic will be challenging for cities, their planners as well as both local and national authorities. Cities impose closer living and working conditions and provide inhabitants optimised infrastructure that supports liveability, productivity and drive long term economic growth. It is this infrastructure that is identified here to provide opportunities for city-wide electricity generation at scale. In this work we restrict our consideration to the use of underutilised building surfaces that are appropriate for the deployment and integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays within such surfaces. The power generation from such PV arrays can be used locally or transmitted to the national grid. One major advantage of using such infrastructure in that it avoids land use and hence its associated costs.
The analysis and modelling presented here shows how city-wide PV deployment can be achieved and provides an efficient and accurate methodology that estimates the solar radiation to the nearest square metre within a city The City of Southampton, UK which has over 30000 buildings was used as an initial case study. The outcome is a realistic capacity and energy yield estimates in the context of spatially dense building areas such as those encountered in cities. Our analysis indicates that Southampton City can annually produce over 25% of its electricity from PV. Economic consideration linked to the UK’s feed tariff and implication to investment is also discussed in the paper.
In Australia and around the world a combination of photovoltaics, wind and pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) can largely eliminate fossil fuel generation within 15 years.
The renewable energy revolution
It is necessary to rapidly replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources that do not emit greenhouse gases. This will be far easier, less costly and more rapid than many people realise because of dramatic price reductions and technology improvements in photovoltaics (PV) and wind energy. In Australia and around the world a combination of PV, wind and pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) can largely eliminate fossil fuel generation within 15 years.
A renewable energy revolution is in progress, driven by rapidly decreasing prices. Together, new PV and wind electricity generation capacity is being installed at a greater rate worldwide than the combined amount of new coal, gas, oil and nuclear. Within a few years PV and wind may each be larger than the rest of the electricity generation industry combined in terms of new generation capacity installed each year worldwide.
Between overpromises and very low accomplishments, the Middle East Solar PV market is struggling since 2007 until today. Apart from the very few successful small installations here and there, the market has a very long way to go in terms of government regulations, grid capacities, banking and political environment. On the other hand, the African market is growing very fast with huge market potential but with small installations. In the MEA region, where more than 1 billion people (15% of the world) are living, the current average installed PV power plants per year is only 500MW (1% of the world). In addition, only 200MW PV Cell production line and 1 GW Module production lines were installed in the last five years. The Middle East and Africa PV Market has a long way to go however it is vital to watch every steps.
March 2016, the National People’s Congress of China approved its 13th Five-Year-Plan (2016-2020) stipulating policy objectives and quantitative targets that will directly impact solar photovoltaic. China accommodates approx. 75% of global production capacities and due to the introduction of a Feed-in-Tariff in 2011, China became the largest market worldwide with 15.13 GW installed in 2015. By the end of 2015, China was home to a total installed solar PV capacity of 43.18 GW and has set an official target of 150 GW by 2020. Solar ambitions at home, China is as well actively encouraging a “go out strategy” suggesting to localise production and seeking local infrastructure project opportunities. The One Belt, One Road explicitly promotes solar power investments in these OBOR countries. The US$40 billion Silk Road Fund, US$50 billion Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” US$45 billion are corresponding financial vehicles designed to facilitate solar deployment across OBOR.
Utilities are seeing rapid growth of PV on their systems. This includes areas with relatively weak grids such as islands or those with extended transmission and distribution systems. To ensure stable and reliable operation of the grid, utilities maintain reserve generator capacity which typically is deployed in the case of grid frequency dips. These “spinning reserves” add to the cost of operating the utility systems. Maintaining such reserves when significant amounts of PV are connected to the grid can be challenging as power generation may dynamically change by significant amounts in the case of solar resource variations (such as clouds). These challenges can be met through the deployment of “smart” inverters, the use of energy storage, and through demand response. These approaches can support the reduction of the spinning reserves required and allow for higher PV penetration levels while maintaining grid stability and reliability. Several examples will be provided.
Adoption of PV Technology on solar power plants in Thailand has followed three distinct incentive mechanisms, namely, introduction of adder in 2007, switching from adder to Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) and rooftop in 2013. By mid 2016, about 2,600 MW of PV modules, mostly in power plants, have been installed, of which 75% are X-Si and 9 % a-Si. On power plants sizes, 22% are SPP (>10MW) and 78 % are VSPP (1-10 MW). Grid-connected local necessary codes are determined by the two distributing utilities, the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Metropolitan Electricity Authority. Initially, international codes were adopted. Presently, after a decade of grid interactive operation, the two utilities develop their own requirements of grid-connected inverters that must be registered for utilizations.
Traditional PV inverters have leveled out in cost and performance improvement. New system solutions such as power optimizers have been introduced to further improve overall system performance, but with those technologies the performance increase comes with a higher cost. As PV and renewable energy in general are making a bigger part of the energy production new functionality is needed to store the energy and to support the power grid. Optistring is developing the next generation of power conversion systems bringing everything together. The systems make a step in increased efficiency and reduced cost and have all the sought after new functionalities for safety, energy optimization, storage, and interaction with the power grid, enabling smart systems that bridge the gap from the module to the grid.
Deployment of photovoltaics (PV) in general is seen as one of the main avenues to meeting our energy demands using renewable sources, and integration of PV in the Built Environment has the potential to become a major player. Currently, approximately 3 % of all PV installed is Building Integrated (BIPV), resulting in a niche market for BIPV products. There are more than 100 prototypes of market-ready BIPV products worldwide. However, only a small amount seem to be able to cross the valley of death between product and prototype development and successful large-scale market penetration. Within the IEA PVPS framework Task 15 has been developed to address the major bottlenecks to large-scale market penetration of BIPV. Between 2015 and 2020 16 countries and more than 40 participants will join forces to develop the necessary enabling framework for BIPV deployment acceleration.
In this presentation the definition of BIPV and the application will be shown besides the work of Task 15.
There are products on the market, but at the moment it is only a niche market. In addition to the products, there are also prototypes.
New designs of luminescent solar concentrating (LSC) PV elements create new opportunities for building integrated PV (BIPV), because they match well to the specific irradiance circumstances and technical requirements of the built environment, while at the same time enhancing the aesthetical features and customizability of PV technology.
In this presentation results of ray tracing simulations of various LSC PV configurations will be shown, showing indicators such as photons per area and efficiency. These results will be presented in comparison with performance indicators of realized prototypes of LSC PV configurations, in particular a prototype of the LeafRoof PV elements which has a rhombic shape with PV cells attached to its back. Part of the simulations will cover future designs of LSC PV configurations which comprise differently coloured flat and curved concepts with various contours. The results will be presented in relation to dyes applied, specific geometries and achievable efficiencies.