The Government of India has set an ambitious target of 20,000 Megawatts of solar power by 2022.This was revealed by Deepak Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, while delivering the keynote address at an International Workshop on The Private Sector and Climate Change: Opportunities and Challenges in the Emerging Economies.
---The proposed feed in tariff for PV was Rs 17.91 per kWh.
---With reverse bidding project developers had to submit a discounted tariff which they could offer.
---Bids for PV projects have been in the range of INR10.95/kWh to INR12.76/kWh with average feed in tariff being INR12.1/kWh.
---Many industry pundits and solar manufacturers are skeptical about the commercial viability.
---With higher debt service ratio requirement, higher cash flows critical to funding.
---Plant Optimization is thus emerging as one of the main ways around these low tariffs.
---In standard PV applications trackers are used to minimize the angle of incidence between the incoming light and a photovoltaic panel.
---This increases the amount of energy produced from a fixed amount of installed power generating capacity.
---In standard photovoltaic applications, it is estimated that trackers are used in at least 85% of installations
---This can enhance output of solar plants by upto 25%, increasing the Capacity Factor.
---Optimizing the capacity factor by tracking basically keeps the panels pointed directly at the sun, so they are at full output.
Single Axis Tracking
---A typical one-axis system features a simple galvanized steel structure and a 4-inch-sq torque tube
---Panels attached to the posts driven into the ground to support the axis of rotation.
---Rows are linked using an actuating beam or drive strut.
---Think about it as a Venetian blind, where one beam moves each row element together in parallel.
---At the end of the drive strut actuating beam, there is a ½-hp motor controlled by a programmable logic controller.
--- A GPS input tells the tracker the time, date, latitude and longitude and is positioned as per algorithms
---To help optimize solar plants, a new generation of Sun tracking systems are playing a key role in cost rationalization.
---Turquoise Sunlabs( trqsunlabs.com ) is a New Delhi based startup offering these systems to power plants developers;
---Technology helps maintain margins in an extremely competitive maket.
Mechanism- Turquoise Sunlabs TS 125
---The system uses a horizontal beam mounted north to south with an actuator in the center.says Gaurav Gupta, its founder
---The actuator drive line runs perpendicular to the rows to rotate the panels from east to west on a horizontal plane.
---Our core offering is the scalable TS-125, which can create better output on fixed tilt systems in early morning and late afternoons.
---Algorithms based on GPS location, date and time plus celestial mechanics calculate the sun's position and appropriate position for the tracker,
Return on Investment
---Often for add-on systems the cost is a major deciding factor behind the decision to track or not to track.
---'Our only focus is a hassle free, high return on Investment', he says.
---'The need for lower levelised cost of solar energy a key component in the viability of solar installations moving forward.
---Besides enhancing output by upto 25% or 400000 units per year can significantly change power plant economics
---With tracking systems paying for itself in about 3-4 years out of a PPA tariff period of 25 years.
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The author is a consultant with a Delhi Based Technical Consultancy offering EPC management services to solar power plant developers.