Floating Solar got a huge boost with the commissioning (grid tied) of a 260 MW fishery PV plant in Anhui, China. The CGN Dangtu project was one of the first grid-parity PV projects approved by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in 2019. Furthermore, among the first batch of PV demonstration projects in Anhui, it is the only one that has been fully implemented, making it the largest in East China. Covering approximately 4,000,000 m2 of waters, the project has adopted the Huawei FusionSolar Smart PV Solution, with on-grid tariffs amounting to approximately 5.4 cents per kWh (Approx, Rs 4 in INR) and capacity equaling 260 MWp. In addition, the integration of fishery and power generation maximizes profits.
The plant could set a benchmark for making large solar plants more in sync with the environment, by allowing the farming of fish along with energy generation.
Typically, floating solar faces the following challenges:
Three months after its opening, the key inverter supplier for the project, Huawei reports that their FusionSolar Smart PV Solution tackled these with the following key features.
The project utilizes Huawei SUN2000 smart inverters, configuring each megawatt with 80 maximum power point trackers (MPPTs). This minimizes the impact of PV module mismatch caused by shading, inappropriate direction, and other factors, and improves the system efficiency, ensuring high energy yields. Currently, the fishery PV plantâ€™s energy yield has reportedly increased by more than 3%.Â
Water-based operations, which pose high technical requirements and are difficult to implement, must be established during the construction of fishery PV plants. When you take into account the large scale of this project (88,866 pipe piles), it becomes apparent that the traditional communication solution cannot meet requirements due to extended construction periods and poor transmission reliability.
To overcome these challenges, Huawei has applied the all-new MBUS broadband power line communication technology, reducing the investment and O&M costs of RS485 cabling. Signals can now be directly transmitted over power lines, with a higher transmission rate of 115 kbit/s, stronger interference immunity, and higher transmission reliability.
Damp environments with high temperatures have severe PID effects. This is because that water vapor usually collects on water surfaces, eroding PV modules and causing energy yield losses. To mitigate this effect, Huaweiâ€™s latest PID suppression technology utilizes proprietary technologies to build a virtual neutral point through solar inverter circuits. Compared with traditional solutions that use resistors or inductors to build the neutral point, Huaweiâ€™s PID suppression technology represents a major upgrade as it reduces compensation losses and ensures safety throughout the process. As a result, Huawei claims that energy yield increases by more than 2% while supporting a larger array of more than 5 MW.Â
Traditional PV plant inspections are time-consuming and inefficient. In addition, errors are bound to occur during manual sampling, especially for water-based inspections. The AI-powered Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis can remotely detect all PV modules in the entire PV plant. It is certified by TĂśV that 14 types of PV module faults can be accurately identified with reports automatically generated. For a 100 MW PV plant, PV string faults can be scanned within 15 minutes, eliminating the need for site visits and boosting O&M efficiency. Evidently, this technology is capable of solving pain points in complex scenarios, such as fishery application.
Â Integrated Convergence for Ecosystem Friendliness
To ensure water quality and protect aquatic animals, monitoring sensors and controllers need to be connected to PV plants. These devices can be connected to the nearest smart PV transmission channel to save cable and labor costs, and ensure data transmission stability and device control. In addition, with AI Boost Suite and Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis, which integrate fishery and PV management modules, the management process has become significantly more simple and efficient.
As the largest grid-parity PV project in East China, CGN Dangtu PV plant will be a model for integrating smart PV and fishery.