Highly Reliable Floating PV Solutions Are Being Developed

Highly Reliable Floating PV Solutions Are Being Developed

Highly Reliable Floating PV Solutions Are Being Developed

Floating PV systems are becoming increasingly popular. A highly reliable floating PV solution has been developed for the emerging floating PV systems on the sea and lake. Compared with traditional photovoltaic power stations, floating photovoltaic power stations can save land resources and fully utilize water cooling to reduce the working temperature of photovoltaic modules, thereby increasing module power generation. At the same time, due to the open and unobstructed waters, there is no shadow. In the long run, there is also an advantage in generating electricity. There are various installation methods for floating photovoltaic power stations on the water surface. Photovoltaic modules can be installed on columns, floating platforms, or directly attached to high weather resistant floating films. This installation method is closer to the water surface. It has better cooling effects on the modules. It is more conducive to increasing the power generation of the modules, and is simpler to install. However, due to the easy accumulation of water caused by waves and rainwater, the probability of photovoltaic modules being immersed in water is also greatly increased.

Floating photovoltaic power stations on water face high temperature, high humidity, high corrosion environments, and the possibility of water immersion. Conventional components cannot fully meet the 25-year reliability requirements. Various floating components on the water surface have corresponding hidden dangers, such as mismatched cable lengths and sizes in floating power plants, immersion in water, resulting in low insulation resistance and cable corrosion. If not handled in a timely manner, it can easily cause heat spots. Components installed on the water surface are prone to PID failure due to long-term exposure to high temperature and humidity, resulting in loss of power generation. The infiltration of water vapor into the junction box leads to low insulation resistance and short circuit failure. Corrosion of junction boxes and busbars results in significant power attenuation.

In summary, the complex water surface environment can lead to various failures of photovoltaic modules. Conventional designed modules obviously cannot meet the 25 year product warranty, which puts higher requirements on the reliability design of water surface floating modules. 

For this purpose, a highly reliable floating photovoltaic module has been developed specifically for water surface systems.

This component is packaged with high water resistance materials and protected by circular edge sealing. The junction box adopts a four-level waterproof design, with multiple protections to prevent water ingress. The design of the sunny side junction box avoids or shortens the soaking time of the junction box in water, improving the reliability of the components. At the same time, the flat back allows for good contact between the module and the floating film, reducing the operating temperature, thereby increasing power output and simplifying installation.

Floating modules are known as the third pillar of the future photovoltaic market, following ground power stations and rooftop photovoltaics. Therefore, the design of highly reliable water surface floating modules and a comprehensive reliability evaluation method are of great significance for floating solar photovoltaic systems. Currently, international and domestic standards for photovoltaic modules in the industry are far from meeting the harsh usage environment of water surface installation. To this end, GCL Integrated collaborated with third-party TUV Rheinland to conduct a series of extremely rigorous reliability tests and verifications on GCL surface floating components. The GCL integrated water surface floating components were subjected to three special enhanced PID hot water immersion tests in TUV Rheinland and GCL laboratories. 

The maximum attenuation of the total power of the components did not exceed 3.3%, and there was no significant difference in IR and EL images before and after testing. It can be seen that GCL Integrated Floating Photovoltaic Module has excellent PID resistance performance.

In terms of long-term salt water immersion leakage test, the insulation resistance of the GCL integrated water surface floating module remained above 1G Ω after being soaked in salt water for 6 months, proving that the GCL integrated water surface floating module has extremely strong waterproof, moisture, corrosion resistance and high reliability performance in water or sea photovoltaic application systems.

The GCL integrated floating components have also performed exceptionally well in certification and enhanced reliability testing. It was introduced that the component has passed IEC certification testing with excellent performance. The power attenuation of each test does not exceed 1.6%. The performance in strengthening mixed aging testing is also very outstanding, with a power attenuation of less than 2.7%. Successfully passed the salt spray level 6 test, with power attenuation below 1.3%. It is currently undergoing a double salt spray level 1 test. Overall, under a series of reliability tests conducted by TUV Rheinland and GCL laboratories, the integrated water surface floating modules of GCL have all met and exceeded the requirements of IEC standards, especially in terms of PID resistance. They have achieved excellent results in high-temperature immersion and long-term seawater immersion tests. It is believed that GCL's integrated modules have high water resistance, corrosion resistance, and PID resistance, making them the best choice for water surface floating photovoltaic systems.