MarketPlace Leichhardt in Sydney’s trendy inner west has made smart use of the shopping centre car park by installing rooftop solar panels that double as shading for vehicles. According to Trina Solar’s Govind Kant, more shopping centres are adopting solar energy because it makes good sense: electricity generation peaks during the day and that’s when shoppers are out and about.
Many commercial building owners also want to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve carbon neutral certification, and be less dependent on electricity from the grid and cut costs, he said.
The solar panels used in the 305kW phase one of the project are coated in a special clear polymer that protects each 60-cell monocrystalline module from the sun, but also allows light to penetrate through.
Phase two, which is due to be completed by year-end, will increase the installation’s capacity to around 430kW.
And with an eye on Australia’s burgeoning utility-scale solar sector, Trina Solar this week showcased its ‘TrinaPro’ integrated solution that combines high output modules with smart PV controllers and trackers, smart inverters and digital cloud-based operations and maintenance software.
Combining these in a single product solution achieves a better levelised cost of energy and simplifies installation, with the patented fast-installation structure enabling modules and trackers to be installed up to three times faster than industry averages, Trina claims.
Staying on efficiencies, Ku Jun Heong, Trina Solar’s Asia-Pacific director of sales and marketing, remarked “Solar farms make use of the plentiful land available outside major Australian cities, but the distances involved makes delivery, operations and maintenance more complex.
“TrinaPro responds directly to these challenges by offering simplified installations, ‘single window’ [coordinated] delivery and warranty.”
Systems integration is becoming increasingly important, because solar systems are becoming more complex. In the effort to gain higher levels of power output, more parts and components are being added, such as smart trackers.
The increasing prevalence of bifacial solar is driving adoption of trackers.
The integration of smart trackers into TrinaPro can provide up to a 6 per cent power boost for Trina Solar DuoMax bifacial solar modules by angling them to reduce the effect of shading, Holger Schenk of Trina Solar Asia-Pacific explained.
“Tracker technology can also be used to protect solar panels from hailstorms, which occur in some parts of Australia. The tracker can angle the panel to be perpendicular to the ground.”
Trina is working with world leading Spanish tracker manufacturer, Nclave, which Trina Solar acquired in 2018.
Trina Solar’s first utility-scale project using TrinaPro is a 250MW project in China’s Shaanxi province.