December Issue 2018 Cover Story- Big Technology Trends for 2019

Knowledge Resources



Mr. Jianfei Li , Vice President/CTO, SINENG ELECTRIC CO., LTD

We witnessed the good government policy for new energy and the steady increased PV installation in India recent years. As a leading inverter company, we have high confident in India market. With the capacity utility PV plants are growing bigger

and bigger, the high capacity central inverter is in great demand and the 1500V system is the main stream technology considering lower system cost. We are always keeping technical leadership in developing high capacity central inverter to satisfy with the market requirement. With the module price decreasing, the DC/AC ratio of plant is becoming higher considering lower LCOE. The bifacial PV module has advantage of high yield with both sides generating power and will be the trend for the future PV plant which will be helpful for ROI. We are developing large capacity 1500V central distributed inverter with multiple MPPT for perfect matching bifacial PV module and solving the mismatch problem. Energy storage system will have more applications with the continual price decreasing of battery and High DC/AC ratio. We have already prepared DC and AC storage solution specially designed for PV plant in India.

Chetan Shah

Mr. Chetan Shah, Director, Goldi Solar Pvt. Ltd.

Small Scale Solar Installations

Solar has very fast become the cheapest source of electricity, gradually attaining grid parity and outcompeting conventional power generation plants. Solar can reach its full potential only in

a dispersed / decentralized energy system onsite, which can be attained by installing small scale solar plants. A dispersed energy system allows for optimal use of renewable energy, reduces fossil fuel use and increases eco-efficiency.

The power industry has focused on developing large, central power stations which transmit generation loads across long transmission and distribution lines to consumers, which amounts to considerable loss during transmission. In contrast a dispersed energy system seeks to put power sources closer to the end user, reducing transmission and distribution efficiencies and related economic and environmental costs.

These small-scale installations will prove to be a fulcrum of a digitalized, decarbonized, distributed and democratized energy system which will empower the consumer with cleaner, cheaper and smart electricity available locally.

Solar Integrated Smart Cities

The present-day cities are responsible for 80% of greenhouse emissions and consume 75% of global energy. To tackle this issue the concept of smart cities came into being.

Smart cities use technology to create efficiencies, sustainability, economic development and enhance quality of life factors for city dwelling people. They incorporate smarter energy infrastructure.

Solar is the perfect matching partner to make this happen. This is mainly because solar is the only agile renewable technology which can be heavily decentralized and can be integrated into every component of a sustainable urban area like carports, street lighting, solar powered charging points, large buildings and even single houses. Besides offering a versatile solution, as it has the ability to be installed very close to consumption points, this avoids grid losses.

Solar Mobility

EVs (Electric Vehicles) are quickly emerging as a global trend promising exciting opportunities along with zeroing in on putting an end to vehicular emissions. This can only be achieved by powering EVs using renewable energy. With the rapidly rising demand and usage of EVs in the future, solar is the only flexible renewable energy which can come to the rescue and justify the zero-emission purpose of EVs by avoiding consumption of electricity generated by conventional norms and also reducing additional loading on the grid.

Honey Raza Ginlong

Mr. Honey Raza, CSO, Ginlong (Solis) Technologies Co.,Ltd.

Solar Linked AC Coupled System

Particularly for the Indian Subcontinent and ASEAN region the requirement and grid conditions are quite different and intermittent. The regions have unstable grid and that’s the cause

of huge installation of decentralised USP (Uninterrupted power supplies) systems.Off grid systems are gaining some demand but high OPEX year on year maintenance make the customers shy away from the installing the system. AC Coupled system shall be gaining high demand due to synchronisation with solar grid tied system as well and Battery system of provisional system availability in case of any grid outages. Such system didn’t gain much attraction because of the innovation phase of product life cycle, had premium linked with such solutions. As the technologies are now gaining dispersion and reaching to mass commercialisation stage, we expect to have such system at affordable rates. These types of system shall have 96% to 98% efficiency as compared to the 85 – 90% efficiency obtained in USP systems. This system fosters the better and efficient usage of grid tied system as uptime shall increase in the case of any grid outages.

Hybrid System:

This system can combine more than one source of energy and allows the sharing of total

load amongst these sources. These systems shall be prominent in solving the Government’s last mile electrification in the state. Such products shall be vital for the rural as well as the urban residential consumer market. The increase of digitalisation in the financial transactions and IT enabled services are also acting as a push for such systems last mile places. If you compared with this system with off grid system the reliability and battery usability are better due to optimization of battery charging cycles and utilizing the sync between different energy sources like solar and grid. The system when clubbed with some support from the grid and LI-On batteries shall result in system life with our any replacement up to 10 years.

Solar Wind Hybrid Plants for Utility scale

Solar and Wind are proving out to be the good solution for the optimal utilization of BOS components already existing in the plant.

These could act as the complementary energy sources in which solar can provide the better CUF for the whole plant. Transmission lines which are unutilized during night time can also be exploited. Land can also be utilized well and expected saving from such plant can vary from 10% to 30% depending on the plant. I am happy that SECI is taking progressive step toward realization of such plants and recent bidding of such plant have got good response from the developers.

avi Solar

Mr. Somashekar T H, Director - Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Avi Solar Energy Pvt. Ltd.

How IOT based monitoring & analytics platform is replacing traditional PLC based SCADA solutions

With several Gigawatts of PV installations, huge amount of time series data from Solar PV plants such as meteorological data, string level measurements, transmission loss & generations data are collected. Such lengthy time series data from solar PV plants are no doubt highly multi-dimensional and challenging to process, but the bigger problem is getting clean data from various sensors in this case Combiner boxes, Inverters, MFMs & WMS.

First generation SCADA comprised of rugged hardware called PLCs which connected to various sensors and collected data in digital format for further processing. There are plenty of SCADA systems with complex graphics, rugged PLC hardware, expensive servers in control rooms hungry for high bandwidth connectivity to transfer data over internet. Is that really what you need?

A Solar PV Power Plant needs mostly monitoring with few elements of controlling. Hence you do not need a complex PLC based SCADA system. There are thousands of panels, kms of cables, tons of connectors which if monitored gives information on health and performance of the PV plant. Equipment to be controlled are typically Inverters and Breakers.

Key challenges faced by the stakeholders are mainly:

  • Periodic maintenance and replacement cost of equipment’s at site.
  • Un-noticed String failures.
  • Efficiency & Unreliability.
  • Lack of swift Service.

These challenges can be effectively addressed by continuous remote monitoring and asset management system. IOT based monitoring solutions are very economical, will eliminate cabling hazzles, reduces installation times and most important of all works on very low bandwidth uplink. IOT based platform, rendering its services to other industries- from simple sensors to smartphones and wearables – connected together. When the whole world is moving towards the IOT, why not Solar Industry?

It’s high time to switchover from PLC to IOT based platform which works on GSM hotspots/ SIM cards, and can push the real-time data into the cloud server from the plant and one can pinpoint the problem at field within a few clicks.


Dr. Weiming Zhang, EVP and CTO, Heraeus Photovoltaics

The year 2018 was projected to be one of the best years for the PV market and it lived up to this projection in the beginning of the year. But, due to the China 531 policy and tariff announcements, the market situation changed quickly. At the moment, the market is in recovery mode and we expect PV market to be back

on growth trajectory from 2019 onwards. Also, on the positive side, 2018 brought in and cemented some technology trends. Driven by the strong need for high efficiency technology and low prices, mono wafers started to take over market share from multi. The market share for mono wafers grew throughout the year in 2018 and will continue in 2019. Wafer prices have dropped dramatically, in particular for mono, and are currently at $0.37/wafer. There have been several capacity expansions announced for mono, notably LONGi announcing plans for 45GW by 2020. The need for high efficiency cells also drove the requirement of mono wafers and the market share swiftly increased from 37% to 52% through 2018 and we expect that trend to continue in 2019. At the cell level, mono p-PERC currently dominates the market. The relative ease in processing and the modest addition to cell processing required for manufacturing these cells combined with the high efficiency potential were the main reasons for this rapid growth. Heraeus’ industry leading SOL9651 family of silver metallization pastes enable higher efficiency for PERC cells. In 2019, we expect that passivated contacts, TOPCon (Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contacts) technology to gain momentum. TOPCon greatly reduces the recombination losses and significantly improves the Voc of the cell. We have already seen large scale implementation of this technology on n-type cells. Heraeus’ SOL7100 series of screen print pastes enable lower firing temperatures in order to reduce the impact of metal induced recombination, and maintain high cell Voc while also providing excellent contact resistance, thereby resulting in very high efficiency TOPCon cells. We expect that TOPCon technology will be a natural progression for p-type cells, thus enabling higher efficiency over PERC technology and bifacial modules.

At the module level, shingled modules will start to become more mainstream in 2019. Shingling provides more active cell area in the module and reduces the cell-to-module conversion losses. Another advantage of Shingled modules is that they can be made using multiple cell technologies including mono or multi p-type, PERC, Bifacial, Heterojunction, etc. Heraeus has developed an Electrically Conductive Adhesive (ECA), Hecaro®, which is a reliable, cost-effective, fast curing and screen printable material that also enables shingled modules. We expect Hecaro® to lead the market in 2019.

Photo Brijesh

Mr. Brijesh Prajapati, Managing Director, Sofar Solar

We are providing Local Sales-Service stock Availability, Product availability as per Market response. Market strategy on HYBRID & STORAGE Inverter & Coming with our new technology products

AUTOMOBILE ECO-CHARGER . To develop market with reliability, Products quality, prompt service response

1. Complete product series of string inverters.1. Complete product series of string inverters.
2. Choose high quality components, such as higher voltage thin-film capacitor.
3. Well-designed inverter cases: Die-Casting Housings go through Anti-corrosion and Anti- rust Protection processes
4. 4-inch diamond white-bright screen.
5. Support RS485/WiFi/GPRS/Ethernet for data upload.
6. Built-in SD card with 25 years data storage capacity for three phase inverters.
7. Support web portal for online monitoring and APP for mobile phones.
8. Support Zero export solution and PID solution.
9. Local technical support for whole India market.
10. SOFAR SOLAR Inverters and distributors are insured by US CHUBB Insurance corporation company.

We are very flexible in OEM Segment . We are doing Customized OEM Business with confidential Business Techno-Commercial terms with client.

IMG 20181203 WA0016

Mr. S. Balaguru, Chief Technology Officer, Avant-Garde

Bi-facial modules with single axis trackers & surface preparation


‘Use both sides of Paper’ – this quote is now applicable for PV Modules too!

Renewed interest in bifacial modules with the advent of p-PERC modules from Tier-1 manufacturers in the last couple of years has prompted tracker manufacturers to capitalize the advantage to improve their share in the Industry. On application front, surface preparation for Albedo (measure of irradiance reflected from surface) improvement to extract maximum yield from the system is greatly explored by the users.

Bifacial Modules:

Bifacial modules are not new, but TIME has come for this technology only now to get into commercial scale! Though variants like HET & PERT have better bifaciality (ability for rear side gain) upto about 90% with no LID loss and intrinsically bifacial n-type cells, p-PERC variant (about 70-80% bifaciality) is likely to dominate the market owing to the entry of more Tier-1 manufacturers by adopting little changes (like rear contact grid) over the well proven PERC technology with double glass arrangement, that comes with marginal additional cost over the conventional modules.

Single Axis Trackers:

Fall of modules prices in the last 2-4 years was not helping the cause of single axis trackers, even in tropical zones. But, the arrival of bifacial modules in new avatar is looking to enthuse the tracker industry. Rear shadow avoidance is readily achieved for trackers with two modules in portrait arrangement. Even the trackers with two modules in landscape with end supported modules is an interesting option offered by a few tracker suppliers, but this requires detailed study from wind load perspective & concurrence from module suppliers. Modern day trackers with additional logics for back tracking, using diffuse light sensors and site gradient adjustments, will also help in improving yield.

Surface Preparation:

Success of bifacial technology depends greatly on ground Albedo improvement. Among the various options of Albedo improvement, one promising option in terms of viability is to use surface sheets like the ones used extensively in farming sector.

Ground Albedo, which is typically in 15-20% range could be improved upto about 50% by using proper mulching films or woven sheets, with a plan to replace them periodically. Such surface covering arrangement will even help in reducing O&M cost, as this would prevent weed growth and also help in reducing soiling of the modules.




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