Field experience and performance analysis of floating PV technologies in the tropics
The interest in floating photovoltaic (FPV) power plants has grown rapidly in recent years. In many established and emerging markets, such as Japan, South Korea, UK, China, and India, FPV is already considered as an attractive and viable option for PV deployment. In 2016, Singapore launched the world’s largest FPV testbed, with a total installed capacity close to 1 MWp. This testbed aims to study the economic and technical feasibility, as well as the environmental impacts of deploying large‐scale FPV systems on inland fresh water reservoirs. The testbed currently consists of 8 systems, with different configurations in terms of PV modules, inverters, and floating structures. The field experience of deploying, operating, and maintaining these systems, together with a comparison of their performance and reliability offers highly valuable learning points for the FPV community. In this work, we present extensive, high‐quality field measurement data; compare operating environments on water and on a rooftop; analyze system performance of different FPV systems; and share some issues encountered. We found that FPV does confer some performance benefits, but best practices should also be established to avoid new issues and pitfalls associated with deploying PV on water.
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