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Roundtable

What Developments Will Revolutionize Mexico's Solar Market?

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:46

Mexico has a privileged average solar irradiation level of 5.3kWh per square meter per day that can reach over 8.5kWh in states like Baja California. Additionally, there is an average of 2,190 hours of sun per year. The potential of Mexico for the implementation of solar technologies is unquestionable. PRODESEN considers solar a technology with great potential, taking into consideration the decrease in manufacturing costs, the increase in technological developments and the higher market competition taking place on a global level. MER asked experts what technology developments they think will revolutionize Mexico’s solar market, and what could hinder their implementation.

Ron Corio

Ron Corio

CEO
Array Technologies

DuraTrack HZ v3 is the latest innovation we have developed. It is covered by more patents than any other tracker. Even though it consists of a single drive with a single motor, one motor drives 1MW of solar panels. In other words, this motor can power two football fields of solar panels. There is a sliding, rotating, articulating driveline that connects every row. By linking up multiple rows, we minimize the number of potential failure points in the system, which ultimately increases reliability and uptime. Another unique element is that the system does not need to be stored flat to survive a windstorm. Through a patented passive wind-release torque mechanism, integrated row by row, it relieves the torque and stops the system from going into unstable harmonic interaction. It is a zero scheduled maintenance, robust product that owners do not have to worry about for its 30-year life.

Gonzalo Rodríguez

Gonzalo Rodríguez

Sales Manager Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
JA Solar

For mono crystalline solar PV panels, if you are targeting expedited manufacturing, you only apply one layer to activate PV cells. If you want improved finishing, you apply a double layer. Double printing allows us to offer 12-year warranties compared with the average 10-year offer. The process is more costly from the manufacturing standpoint but in terms of product, the quality is not comparable. Technologically speaking, we manage to continuously remain six months ahead of the sector’s newest trends. Our mono crystalline panels have 360W STC power ratings, which is unique in the market. This capacity gives our clients serious advantages and global savings project-wise: higher power for less surface area, as well as savings in infrastructure, workforce and logistics costs.

Alejo Lopez

Alejo Lopez

Senior Director of Business Development and Sales for Mexico and Latin America
NEXTracker

NEXTracker has significant experience in the distributed markets with our flagship NX Horizon tracker system which addresses “behind the meter” projects under 20MW. Our distributed generation team has deployed over 500MW globally with the US, Chile and Australia being our largest distributed generation markets. Our new vanadium flow storage and solar technology, NX Fusion Plus, is an excellent integrated application in those markets with high-demand charges and significant arbitrage between peak and base power costs and therefore there is significant value in peak shifting. For this purpose NX Fusion Plus uses flow batteries as opposed to lithium-ion, because they enable longer discharges with no long-term battery degradation.

Fernando Sánchez

Fernando Sánchez

Vice President of Sales Latin America
Soltec

Soltec’s new SF7 tracker comprises 90 solar modules mounted in a portrait structure, with three strings of 30 solar panels. At 45m long, it adapts nicely to steep slopes, rendering land leveling practically unnecessary. Our product is designed with zero gaps between the modules, enabling a 5 percent greater energy yield, lower costs for BOP material and a reduction in labor expenditures. SF7 also reduces the number of parts required for installation by 15 percent and uses 58 percent fewer screw connections than leading competitors, resulting in a faster and easier installation process. Soltec’s DC Harness system replaces conventional PV wiring with an aluminum system, representing 73 percent less wire length, 65 percent less installation labor and factory-tested insulation resistance while eliminating the traditional combiner box.

Albert Sunyer

Albert Sunyer

Field Systems Sales Director
SunPower

The SunPower Oasis Power Plant platform is a complete solution that is designed to simplify solar power plant design and construction while maximizing on-site energy production. Oasis uses over 50 percent fewer mechanical parts than competitive technologies, enabling plants to be constructed more quickly and achieve improved long-term reliability. Soiling can be a leading source of potential revenue loss for solar power plant owners and manual cleaning takes time, disrupting daytime energy production. SunPower’s proprietary robotic panel cleaning technology used at power plants today is proven, with more than 6GWs of panels washed to date. This system uses 75 percent less water than manual cleaning methods. Finally, SunPower’s Remote Operations and Control Center (ROCC) offers 24/7/365 site monitoring and control to optimize energy production.

Ezequiel Balderas

Ezequiel Balderas

Country Manager
Yingli Green Energy Mexico

Yingli Solar manages traditional market products such as the delivery of both mono and polycrystalline panels. At the same time, Yingli is positioning its pre-packaged solutions in the market. These are ready-to-install 50-100kW on and off-grid systems that include batteries, inverters and solar panels – everything the project developer requires for installation. Another significant advancement we have made is our PANDA mono crystalline panel, which offers efficiencies of up to 20.1 percent, which is almost 30 percent higher than the market average. We expect this panel to provide a huge advantage in the industrial distributed generation segment, in which lack of space is often a big problem. By using this panel, project developers can achieve higher production rates in the same area, leading to a faster ROI for their clients.

Victor Pazmiño

Victor Pazmiño

Senior Business Developer and Design Engineer
Alion Energy

Since its inception, Alion Energy has positioned its developmental strategy in R&D. We always look for new ideas that disrupt the industry with our innovative approach to building solar systems and strive to develop, create and offer an optimal PV system that can deliver the greatest amount of energy over the long run. For instance, concrete can last for 50 years. In contrast to traditional metal poles, subsurface corrosion risk is nonexistent. Our solar tracker’s design is also a testimony to our company’s innovative capacity. It eschews the traditional “T” shape, effectively distributing the weight of the module through our Arc Drive load reduction and adding sturdiness to the overall structure against weather hazards, which create micro-fissures on solar panels, thereby degrading them.