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Solar Plant Designed With Consideration for Residential Areas (page 4)

Green solar power plant on former factory site

2014/01/12 15:06
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Panels' output set about 1.3 times more than PV inverters'

As for power generation facilities, Takenaka's approximately 30cm-high concrete foundations were installed after evening the slope on the ground where the solar panels would be set up. Mounting systems were assembled with the concrete foundations, and the solar panels were tilted at 10° and mounted on the foundations at a height of about 64cm from the ground.

The solar panels' total output is approximately 2.576MW, roughly 1.3 times the PV inverters' output of 1.9MW. Yomeishu Seizo took into consideration the transmission loss between the solar panels and PV inverters as well as the site's location, where the hours with adequate solar irradiation can be limited and the solar panels can scarcely generate power at their maximum capacity.

A total of 10,304 single crystal silicon solar panels with 250W output produced by Mitsubishi Electric Corp were installed. As for the PV inverters, three 500kW models and one 490kW model with a conversion ratio of 97% or more manufactured by Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) were introduced.

A system to monitor the status of power generation was also adopted. It shows various items such as the intensity of solar radiation, ambient temperature, the temperature of the solar panels, DC power input from the collecting boxes to each PV inverter and AC power output from each PV inverter, so they can be understood at a glance.

As of October, the total amount of power generation was about 25% more than the estimate since the plant started selling electricity in July. As for the factors behind this, Yomeishu Seizo cited the solar panel's output, which was larger than the manufacturer's description, and the larger-than-expected effect of installing the solar panels whose total output is higher than the PV inverters' output.

Learning facility jointly constructed with city

An environmental learning facility is being constructed next to the mega-solar power plant under an agreement with Tsurugashima City. This environmental learning facility, slated to open in March 2014, is the city's first case of adopting the public meeting method to explore the future of new public projects. Yomeishu Seizo has planned and designed the facility needed by the local community by collecting opinions from local residents through an open process.

The company gathered opinions from the local residents while holding discussions with Toyo University, which is located in the neighborhood. As a result, it was determined to establish the facility as a place to experience solar power generation, which contributes to environmental education, and as a base to reduce damage should the local community be hit by a disaster.

Yomeishu Seizo is providing the land for the environmental learning facility while Tsurugashima City is constructing the building for environmental education. To be set up in front of the building are 42 units of Mitsubishi Electric's solar panels, the same ones as those used in the solar power plant, and a 10kW secondary battery.

Moreover, one of the "Leaf" electric vehicles (EVs) being leased to Tsurugashima City will always be kept at the facility. For the EV, the facility will be provided with an EV charger. Nissan Motor Co Ltd is a local company that has an alliance with Tsurugashima City, just like Yomeishu Seizo. The charger and the 10kW secondary battery for emergency use will be powered by the 42 solar panels.