Monday, 30 January 2017


    There is an interesting trend playing out in the global scene that I believe more people should be aware of. A lot of countries in the drive to create clean energy are investing massively in solar farms (photovoltaic power stations)

What are solar farms?
     A Solar farm is a large expanse of land that has a lot of solar panels installed together to generate electricity at a very large scale which is now fed back into the grid.Solar farms are also known as Photovolatic power stations. The capacities of this solar farms vary. There are solar farms that generate between 10 to 50 MW and there are those that generate as much as 500 MW and above.   #100DaysofSolarnuggets

   Currently the largest solar plant in the world is Longyangxia Dam Solar park in China, this has the capacity to generate a whooping 850MW. There are a lot of solar farms In the world we have kamuthi solar power project in India that has the capacity of 648MW,Solar star 1 and Solar star 2 both  located in the United states and each of them having a capacity of 597MW each.

   There are still many more solar farms in the world, as at writing this article the largest solar power plant is Longyangxia dam solar park but there is no guarantee that in next one or two years it would still be largest, lots of countries in their quest to cut down their carbon emissions and reduce their over dependence on fossil fuels are undertaking some ambitious solar farms project. As I write this article the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP) in Pakistan is on a quest to becoming the largest solar farm in the world with an estimated capacity of up to 1000MW once completed, it aims to generate as much as 1.271bn KWh of energy annually. There are a lot more similar project being conceived by others.    #100DaysofSolarnuggets

 To give you an idea of how large this kind of project is the Longyangxia dam solar park in China has the capacity to power approximately 200,000 homes.

What are the limitations?
.1) Cost
Solar farms are cost intensive, costing quite a lot of money to create. To successfully build a solar farm you would need a lot of materials Solar panels, Inverters, transmission lines and a lot of other things.
A lot of solar panels are needed sometimes to generate about 100MW you would need somewhere between 300,000 to 400,000 panels. The largest solar farm has close to 4million panels, Inverters are needed to convert the DC current to AC current.
.2) Regular cleaning.
 Solar panels must be cleaned regularly especially during dusty periods, dirt accumulating on the solar panels significantly reduce the efficiency of the panels.This is a lot of work because a lot of panels are involved.

.3) Sun tracking vs fixed panels.
To efficiently utilize the intensity of the sun Solar panels should be facing the sun always, Solar trackers when installed alongside our solar panels help it track the movement of the sun at all times (from sun rise to sun set), a lot of solar farms have fixed solar panels placed at the optimum position to get solar light. Installing solar trackers comes at additional costs.

.4) Night.
As we all know solar energy can only be generated in the presence of sunlight, which means in the Night time nothing would be generated.
To be continued.

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