- Posted by adminsolar
- On March 3, 2020
- 0 Comments
When you look at a solar power system in Frederick, the truth is that even with all the advancements taking place, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Iterating on renewable energy is key for not just helping individual homes, but larger commercial applications. 2020 is poised to be a big year for the field, with some potential positives and even some negatives moving forward. So, before things get to solar panels for your home in Frederick, here’s how the industry at large is predicted to change over the course of this year.
Where Things Start
One key thing to look at is potentially cheaper and more efficient solar panels in Arvada. To give you an idea, while the prices may not drop, they will stay the same as module efficiency gets higher. In essence, this is energy savings for you. Not only is the hardware likely to put out more power for your money, but it will stay working for a lot longer, predicting approximately 30-year warranties. To give you an idea, that’s over twice the lifespan of comparable gas assets. Notably, the first 500-watt versions are beginning to hit the market, and by the middle of the decade, many analysts think this power level will be common, without a price increase. Considering inflation, this means a 16¢/W price for a 500-watt solar module, 20% lower than the current equivalent.
When it comes to the latest offerings from a solar company in Firestone, many experts are looking at some of the new innovations driving efficiency across the board. One key example here is n-type bifacial modules. These modules utilize large wafers with better hotspot performance and lower degradation due to temperature and light. The end result is an improved power output by between 5% and 15%, with only a 2% to 3% price increase. The end result is a lowered balance of system cost across the board. Researchers are also looking into whether a 50-year lifespan is feasible for these installations. With these on the board, trying to figure out how much a field of installations can provide is a tantalizing idea indeed.
Something else worth talking about is the advent of advanced manufacturing and machine learning/AI. These fields are transforming just about any industry you can think of, and renewables are no different. One polysilicon manufacturer has been working on a process to try and take the module manufacturing process into the fourth generation. What this means in practice is automating the workflow to such a degree that humans don’t need to physically touch certain components until they get pulled from a given pallet for installation. Ventures like these are largely powered by concurrent advancements in AI, 5G tech, and the internet of things. The notion of a smart factory isn’t just about making things more efficient but keeping costs down. Items like trackers, inverters, and polysilicon are likely to drop in price.
More To Consider
Another field that is expected to grow is the concept of repowering. Investors in the industry see repowering as a key reason to find price decreases in current portfolios. The advent of repowering existing systems allows for the higher output of electricity while being able to use the land, infrastructure, and interconnection points that already exist. One company mentioned that due to the fall in module priced and increased power output, some owners of assets were repowering within their first decade of existence, even six years.
To give you an idea of the potential here, a lot of developers sign land lease agreements for around 25 years, with the potential option to buy into a second 25 years. This makes multiple repowering events feasible in the lifespan of a single field. It’s currently projected for 67 GW of power to be repowered through the end of this decade, the equivalent of all the power installed in 2016. This is already being implemented with wind power, so it will be interesting to see how other renewables follow suit.
We mentioned before how advancements with AI are causing ripple effects across just about every industry. The same applies when we talk about software as well. All of the major tech trends, from IoT to 5G, are all being powered by software using data analytics and performance monitoring. There are a lot of smaller examples of this going on as well. One manufacturer has heavily improved its single-axis trackers, optimizing electricity generation from site to site basis. Others are creating off-grid power without additional storage by recognizing load demands locally and meeting them with available electricity. The result of these innovations is cheaper and more consistent power from your solar company in Arvada.
With this said, even as the technology and capabilities increase, there may be outside roadblocks that keep renewables from going as far as they could. One key issue is cyber intrusions. As the industry becomes more connected, that creates more vectors for instructions. Compounding the issue is the fact that there aren’t any federal cybersecurity standards for power.
In the past, this wasn’t a major issue, as most of the components in a given grid are comprised of components that don’t communicate with the outside world. However, the future of the grid may be more interactive, with managers in a control room taking information from residential systems. This means many more entry points for malicious actors, which could have dangerous results.
Another potential roadblock is outside politics. Renewable energy is becoming more and more important on the geopolitical stage. This means that tensions and trade friction are going to increase as well. For example, removing all existing tariffs on imported modules could represent a huge drop in system prices. In addition, as the world of manufacturing evolves and different players get a larger piece of renewable components, this will change things as well.