The floating solar-dedicated subsidiary of inverter manufacturer Sungrow expects both offshore areas and reservoirs to be key locations for future PV developments.
Faced with challenges in the form of corrosion, complex geology and wave impacts, Sungrow FPV is aiming to draw on its research and development experience when building offshore floating PV plants, Hao Wu, director of the company’s R&D centre, told PV Tech at the SNEC PV Power Expo 2021 earlier this month.
“It is important to develop strong, highly resistant materials and also to develop structural and technical support to resist the impact of the waves,” he said, adding that the installation of offshore floating solar plants can help prevent waves from corroding coastlines.
Sungrow FPV’s floating solar equipment on show at SNEC 2021.
In terms of projects constructed at reservoirs, Hao Wu said he expects developers to take advantage of the significant amount of water bodies worldwide that are suitable for floating plants, while also combining the technology with pumped storage.
Hao Wu added that Sungrow FPV has developed floating solar products that have no negative impact on water and that can be deployed in both low- and high-latitude regions.
Sungrow FPV’s deployed floating solar capacity exceeds 1.1GW, having worked on a host of projects in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and its home market of China, where the company was boosted by a government tender for the installation floating projects in coal mine subsidence areas.
Research published last October by consultancy Fitch Solutions forecasts that growing investor interest in floating solar will help drive the installation of nearly 10GW of new floating projects by 2025, with markets such as China, South Korea, India, Thailand and Vietnam expected to outperform.