Solar cells on hydro power plants : A feasibility study
Parts of the auxiliary power systems at Fortum's hydro power stations are usingdirect current, which is fed from the generators at the plant and converted byrectifiers. As photovoltaic solar cells produce direct current there are severalhypothetical advantages to use solar power for the auxiliary power supply, e.g.enabling more of the power from the generator to be sold to the grid. It eliminatesthe need of an inverter, conversion losses are avoided and less load is put on therectifiers. However the exclusion of an inverter also prevents the solar cells to have adirect connection to the grid, which in turn makes them ineligible for the Swedishgovernmental solar power investment support program. The lesser load on therectifiers will not affect their lifetime according to manufacturers and thus achieves noeconomic gain. Avoiding conversion losses will increase the gain from the producedelectricity by enabling even more power to be sold to the grid. The economic gainfrom avoiding conversion losses is however too small to gain any feasibility in a smallsolar power installation at a hydro power plant, as the small size will make itexpensive in terms of investment per Wp.
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