India´s first floating solar power plant in Rajarhat, Kolkata, can provide 14 MWh per year.
In accord with the increased momentum of the renewable energy movement across the world, India has commissioned some solar plants of late, the most prominent being the canal top solar plants in Gujarat. Now, taking the solar wave a step higher, Smritiban in New Town, Kolkata, boasts India´s first floating solar plant. Let´s find out more.
Land availability is decreasing and prices are high. With more land being released for commercial purposes, identifying and obtaining land for solar power plants can be difficult. ´We decided to build a floating solar plant on a water body, a first in the Indian solar sector,´ shares Miguel Monsalve, Head-Business Development & Engineering, Vikram Solar. ´he main objective was to explore unutilised water bodies and not consume the ever-decreasing land.´ The 10 kwp installation, the first-of-its -kind in India, is part of a R&D project jointly undertaken with Arka Renewable Energy College in Kolkata and NKDA. The project was funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. ´Working closely together with an educational institution, we again emphasise our philosophy, ´Change through Education´,´ says Gyanesh Chaudhary, Managing Director and CEO Vikram Solar.
Way to float
The floating platform is modular in nature and made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) with polyurethane (PU) foam filled up to ensure it does not sink. ´he solar photovoltaic power generator consists of PID free solar modules in series and parallel connections that convert solar radiations into DC electrical power at the predetermined range of voltages,´ explains Monsalve. ´he individual solar cells are connected in a module (in series connection) that is hermetically sealed to survive in rugged weather conditions and ensure optimum performance.´
The company supplied the solar photovoltaic modules and other associated equipment including design of the plant, procurement of BOS and installation and commissioning of the facility followed by O&M. The project aims to create a system suitable for any water body with the possibility of being scaled up for use in any other given environment. Solar panels installed on the floating platform anchored by a suitable mechanism are naturally cooled, resulting in improved power production.
´he installation is completely flexible, and consists of 10, 1 kW fibreglass modules, which make up the floating pontoon itself,´ reveals Monsalve. ´his pontoon is designed from inception to guarantee a reliable platform supporting the photovoltaic modules, inverter, connection boxes, lighting arrestor and O&M activities. The system is firmly anchored to the bottom of the lake and is connected to the grid by using a submersible cable. The overall system is designed to last for 25 years and produce a minimum generation of 14 mwh per year.´
The project employs state-of-the-art design with 40 highest efficiency, best-of-class, 250P Eldora Prime Series polycrystalline modules and a Kaco-made 12 TL inverter. These modules were made in the company´s Falta SEZ manufacturing unit in Kolkata. ´he solar inverter converts DC power generated by a PV module to AC power,´ adds Monsalve. ´his AC power is transmitted through a submersible cable to the shore and exported to the grid. Proper protections are provided for isolating the inverter in case of grid failure. The inverter´s inbuilt data logger is used for remote monitoring via GSM modem. A bi-directional meter is installed to monitor the NET export.´ Now, that´s called floating a seriously good idea!
Client: Arka Renewable Energy College.
Area: 13 m x 6 m
Completion: End December 2014
Architect: Vikram Solar (in-house engineering and design team);
Tel: 033-2230 7299. Fax: 033-2248 4881.
EPC company: Vikram Solar
Solar panels: Eldora Prime Series 250P (60 cells)
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