Acciona has created a hub (innovation center) in its El Romero Solar plant (Atacama, Chile) to test new photovoltaic technologies that will improve the efficiency and performance of solar energy facilities.
The hub will focus on the mechanical and energy capacity of double-sided crystalline, split-cell and thin-film cadmium telluride technologies, all of them in the development phase, with the intention of shaping photovoltaic energy's evolution. The solar modules have been produced by JA Solar and First Solar, and a variety of solar trackers will be used, manufactured by STI Nordland and Soltec.
The innovation center, in which two of the three tracker zones have already been installed, will have a power generation facility with a total capacity of 492kW (540kW rated) consisting of 1,280 modules in three series of trackers connected to nine inverters. These will be assisted by other equipment to measure and monitor parameters such as incident and reflected solar radiation, ambient temperature or the production temperature of each kind of module, among others.
"Our innovation activity is mainly aimed at improving the performance and work life of our renewable plants", says Belén Linares, Innovation Director of the Energy Division of Acciona. "The results obtained at El Romero hub are going to be very useful in order to build increasingly efficient photovoltaic installations at a lower cost".