Ten trends of smart photovoltaics in the future
At present, countries around the world are making concerted efforts to tackle climate change, and 28 countries have successively committed to the goal of "carbon neutrality". At the same time, 5G, AI, cloud and other technologies are also enabling thousands of industries and accelerating the intelligent and digital transformation of industries. We are in the era of solar energy replacing fossil energy, so where will new energy go in the future?
On March 17, Huawei joined hands with global technical experts, consulting companies, and energy think tanks to communicate in depth, based on lower LCOE, and made predictions based on the four value dimensions of grid friendliness, intelligent integration, and safety and credibility, and released the top ten smart photovoltaics for 2025. Trend, find a path for the "14th Five-Year Plan", and provide a strategic reference for the next development of new energy.
Trend 1: High pressure and high density
System voltage boost is an important way to reduce LCOE. From 600V-1000V-1500V, the future will move towards higher voltage. At the same time as the system voltage is increased, the sub-array becomes larger and larger, from 1MW to 8.8MW, and becomes a super sub-array, which further reduces the LCOE.
With the development of silicon carbide, gallium nitride materials, chip heat dissipation, and topological architecture technologies, while improving power density, the cost of photovoltaic kWh has further decreased. By 2025, the inverter power density will increase by more than 50%.
Trend 2: Full Modularity
Photovoltaic parity has entered the market operation, and the life cycle of the power station is decoupled from the subsidy period. Modularity will support a longer power plant life cycle and help reduce LCOE by 25%.
Inverter, PCS, energy storage and other key core components use standard interfaces between devices, allowing flexible expansion and rapid deployment; inverters have energy storage interfaces regardless of AC or DC side, and are future-oriented. At the same time, with the increasing scale and complexity of photovoltaic power plants, the traditional mode of maintenance by experts on the site is too expensive. The modular design can achieve expert-free maintenance, greatly reduce operation and maintenance costs, and improve system availability. Fully modular design will become the mainstream of the industry.
Trend 3: Actively support the power grid
The increase in the penetration rate of new energy leads to a decrease in the strength of the grid. In the next five years, photovoltaic power plants must gradually evolve from adapting to the grid to supporting the grid.
With the rapid development of new energy around the world, the adaptability standards of new energy grids are also evolving, which puts forward higher requirements for supporting the stability of the grid. Countries with high new energy penetration rates such as Germany and Australia have proposed new modeling and strict grid standards. Our country's latest 2019 new national standard GB/T37408 technical specification has also kept pace with the times, especially strengthening the grid adaptability requirements such as high penetration active power stability, high and low voltage ride-through capability, and frequency adaptability, setting a higher threshold. In the future low SCR grid environment, the photovoltaic inverter needs to have a more accurate grid connection algorithm.
In Australia, the world's most stringent power grid standard country, Huawei SUN2000-196KTL products can fully support this power grid standard feature, and can be stably connected to the grid in harsh grid environments. In the future, the support capacity of SCR to the power grid will be further improved, reaching 1.2.
Trend 4: Optical storage integration
Build intelligent green generators to help photovoltaics become the main energy source.
The combination of photovoltaic power generation can transform the photovoltaic power station from a current source into a voltage source, and realize the characteristics of synchronous machines such as virtual inertia with the photovoltaic power storage cooperative control algorithm. At the same time, energy storage should solve the problems of safety and life, and ensure that the battery utilization rate is maximized during the battery life cycle. This is the development direction of energy storage power stations in the future.
It is estimated that by 2025, the ratio of light-storage symbiosis will reach more than 30%.
Trend 5: Comprehensive digitalization
The integration of digital technology and photovoltaic technology makes operation and maintenance, production management and asset management simple, intelligent and efficient.
Digitization is the foundation of intelligence. With the rapid evolution of digital technologies such as 5G and cloud, it is expected that more than 90% of the power plants will be fully digitalized in 2025, making it possible to manage photovoltaic power plants with minimalism, intelligence and high efficiency, transforming a dumb power plant into an organic intelligent life. body.
Trend 6: AI Enhances Efficiency
AI will replace the function of experts, enabling the autonomous collaborative optimization of the system and creating infinite possibilities.
Artificial intelligence AI empowers photovoltaics, from the interconnection of everything to the intelligence of everything. Benefiting from artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technology, through the integration of massive expert experience and continuous self-learning, algorithms, computing power, and computing data can play the greatest role in computing, and AI will largely replace operation and maintenance experts in diagnosis and decision-making. Through the intelligent tracking algorithm, the components, brackets and inverters work together to find the best angle and release the maximum potential. Intelligent IV diagnosis can accurately locate faults and reduce the O&M workload from "months" to "minutes". UAV aerial inspection of power stations, cleaning robot cleaning components, intelligent security and face recognition and other technologies enable photovoltaic power stations to continuously improve system design optimization, fault diagnosis, optical storage coordination, intelligent inspection, intelligent cleaning, machine vision, and comprehensively improve Power generation efficiency and refactoring operation and maintenance experience. Thereby helping to improve the productivity and safety of the power station. It is estimated that in 2025, the proportion of photovoltaic power plants applying AI technology will reach 70%.
Trend 7: Virtual Power Stations
The collaboratively managed virtual power station will participate in power system scheduling and trading, becoming a new distributed growth engine.
The large-scale application of ICT technologies such as 5G, blockchain, and cloud services to distributed power plants forms a collaboratively managed virtual power plant (VirtualPowerPlant) to participate in the scheduling, transaction and auxiliary services of the power system. In the next five years, the development of virtual power station technology will generate new business models and new market participants in distributed photovoltaic scenarios, becoming a new growth engine for distributed photovoltaics. It is estimated that in 2025, 80% of household photovoltaic systems will be connected to various VPP networks.
Trend 8: Refactoring for ultimate security
Module/string level monitoring, intelligent shutdown, and active safety protection (AFCI) will become standard for photovoltaic power plants and form a unified industry standard.
Active safety is the cornerstone for photovoltaics to become the main energy source. "AI intelligent arc protection" is the first time in the industry that AI algorithms are integrated into AFCI. Through more accurate arc detection and faster fault protection, the safety of distributed photovoltaics is fully guaranteed. In the next 5 years, roof 0V rapid shutdown (RSD), active arc protection (AFCI), and string intelligent shutdown (RSD) will become standard on distributed roofs and form an international industry standard.
Trend 9: Integrated Smart Energy
The energy structure turns to a new generation of integrated energy system. From a management perspective, an integrated energy model will effectively connect production and consumption, help achieve carbon neutrality, and promote higher value. Integrated energy is an autonomous system that integrates source-grid-load-storage. It needs to be based on ICT infrastructure, through platform + ecological concepts, and integrated innovation to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. In 2025, hyperconverged energy architectures will prevail.
Trend 10: Safe and Trustworthy
The network security risks and user privacy security requirements of photovoltaic power plants are increasing day by day and becoming more and more strict. In 2025, system reliability, availability, security, resilience, and privacy will become necessary requirements.
On the hardware side, in addition to high-reliability design and manufacturing, it also strengthens predictive maintenance to consolidate a reliable foundation; on the software side, focus on layered defense to realize layered controllable and layered defense of software, making the software more secure and reliable, making the software more secure and reliable. The photovoltaic industry is safer and more reliable. Security and credibility capabilities have become a necessary requirement for photovoltaic power plants.