The Philippines is developing the country’s first and largest floating solar energy test (FPV) bank in the third largest lake in Southeast Asia to demonstrate how technology combined with a bolting method can withstand typhoons in a region suffering from an average of 20 storms each year.
Philippine renewable energy developer SunAsia Energy recently completed the first phase of this 20.5kW floating photovoltaic test bank owned by its subsidiary NorteSol Energy . The system uses modules from the Chinese manufacturer Trina Solar, with half the plant using aluminum-framed panels and the other half without panels. More modules from other manufacturers will also be tested in a second phase.
The project is located on Lake Laguna, 55 kilometers south of the business district of Makati city, which is part of the huge metropolis of Manila, on the island of Luzon.
Last December, NorteSol Energy signed an agreement with the Lago Laguna Development Authority (LLDA) to carry out a pilot test of solar FPV in the lake and study its engineering and operational feasibility, particularly during the rainy season. typhoons from June to September.
“Laguna Lake is a challenging place for floating photovoltaic solar energy due to its waters, winds and waves. We know that the storms visit the Philippines 20 times a year, on average, “said Karlo Abril , project manager at SunAsia Energy.
April explained that in Japan and Taiwan, FPV plants tend to be screwed into the surface of the water to ensure the stability of strong waves and gusty winds during the typhoon season. SunAsia Energy has introduced a screw stacking method in the Philippines as its anchoring solution in anticipation of severe storms.
The French pioneer in floating photovoltaics Ciel et Terre also offered his experience in the installation processes for the project based on Lago Laguna.
Several aspects of the plant will be tested, including the Trina Solar modules, which analyze the effect of aluminum frames, among other materials, on water surfaces. SunAsia will also use advanced sensors to record weather movements, track wind speed, mark wave fluctuations and monitor changes in water quality.
SunAsia is already well established in the Philippine renewable energy space that has one of the large-scale photovoltaic utility plants in Toledo, Cebu, and what it claims to be a first-class micro-grid system in San José del Monte, Bulacan.