Nagpur’s first floating solar PV plant
Vidarbha Industries Power Ltd (VIPL) a subsidiary of Reliance Power limited company is a 600 MW coal based thermal power project located at Butibori, Nagpur. It happens to be India’s most compact coal based thermal power project. While the plant produces power from conventional energy sources, it has also been looking at reducing its carbon footprint by exploring renewable resources such as solar PV. VIPL installed a floating solar PV plant, the first in Nagpur and one of the very few in the country. Balgo Solar was selected to perform system engineering and turnkey installation of the plant. A floating solar PV plant has been installed on one of its four cooling water ponds which is around 5 meters deep and has an average water level variation of 1.3 meters. The solar panels have been installed on a floating platform over the water reservoir. The plant has been designed for directional stability & floating level freedom using guide rods, and to withstand water wave shocks to the platform a buffer wheel has been provisioned. The cable lengths are also calculated to compensate the change in floating platform level due to water level going up & down. Protection and safety of the solar PV plant has been taken care by providing adequate earthing. The plant uses 16 numbers of 300 Wp solar panels and has a 4.8 kWp capacity rating. It is connected to a 6kW (RPI-M6A) three phase Delta make inverter which has been installed on a platform close to the reservoir. RPI series inverters offer benefits such as a peak efficiency of 98.3%, and full power operation at high temperatures. The inverter is designed with a rugged aluminum chassis and comes with an IP 65 rating which makes it resistant to humidity and corrosion. The plant performance is being monitored on a daily basis and the results were quite surprising. It was found that the plant is performing 20% better in summers compared to a similar 5 kWp rooftop installation. The results from the prototype system so far have been encouraging and the plant could be expanded to cover the entire reservoir area spanning an area of 4 to 4.5 MWp.
Mr. Sudhir Budhay, Director Balgo Solar said, “Gujarat Energy Research & Management Institute (GERMI), Ahmadabad found it the cheapest solution complying with all regulatory requirements and expressed interest to sign an MOU to develop it further for canals. They are also interested in trying out a 1 MW floating project at Charanka, Gujarat. We are also in process of signing an MOU with them for development of solar tiles for roads.”
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News published on 10 / 08 / 2016 by Rashmi Nargundkar