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Research Project Giga-PV: Solar Power from the Earth’s Sun Belt

published: 2012-12-07 14:34

Inverter manufacturer and system specialist, SMA Solar Technology AG(SMA), the worldwide leader in test services in the solar sector, TÜV Rheinland, and the University of Kassel have joined forces on a research project for the optimization of large-scale PV plants for installation in the regions of the earth's sun belt. The goals of the Giga-PV research project are the optimal customization of individual components to extreme ambient conditions and the further reduction of costs for large-scale PV plants. SMA will manage the research project, which is set to last three years.

The earth's sun belt offers superb conditions for the harvesting of solar power. Large-scale PV plants with power in the gigawatt range spanning several square kilometers and providing electric current feed-in directly to the high-voltage grid are especially well-suited for this purpose.

However, the often extreme climate conditions on-site present a challenge to the plants and their components. These PV plants must be optimized to withstand extreme heat, monsoon rains and desert storms, and at the same time remaining economically viable. The results of the project should help to further the leadership in innovation and strength in exports of the German photovoltaics industry and to develop future growth markets.

Over the next three years SMA, TÜV Rheinland and the University of Kassel are, therefore, collaborating on the Giga-PV research project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in order to, apart from the optimization of system concepts, PV modules and inverters, achieve a significant reduction in costs for large-scale PV plants installed in the earth's sun belt. The solar module producer Hanwha Q.CELLS GmbH is an additional associated partner. The Giga-PV project is one of many collaborative research projects started up recently within the framework of the “Innovationsallianz Photovoltaik” (Alliance for Innovation in Photovoltaics) and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

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