Longi Supplies Panels For Huge Floating Solar Farm

Floating solar - Longi panels

Chinese solar panel manufacturer Longi has announced its modules have been used in a major floating solar energy project in China’s Hunan Province.

Longi says it supplied 100MW of its Hi-MO 4m PERC modules for the project. It doesn’t mention how many panels, but based on 350 watts per module, that would work out to around 285,000 units. The Hi-MO 4m is available in capacities of up to 440W, so at the upper end of the range it would be approximately 227,000 panels.

Hi-MO 4m panels are also available in Australia and specifications for residential models can be found on SolarQuotes’ solar panel comparison table.

Longi mentions technology partner Sungrow Power provided the floating system for the facility, and it’s assumed Sungrow inverters were also used. Sungrow has been getting into “floatovoltaics” in a big way – the company has established a specialised research and manufacturing division for this application and its related products were supporting 700MW of floating solar capacity as at the end of last year.

The 100MW Hunan project is owned by Datang Corporation and is part of a “Fishery-Solar Complementary” initiative at Dongting Lake.

Floating solar farms have become quite common around the world, particularly in countries where land resources are limited. As well as the prevalence of floating systems, capacity of these facilities has rapidly increased over the last few years. It was only in 2017 the largest operational facility anywhere in the world was a 40MW project in Huainan, China – a clean power station Sungrow was also involved with that also features Longi solar panels.

Other Recent Longi News

Yesterday, Longi stated it was rated with the highest Altman Z score of all the publicly quoted “pure-play” solar manufacturers in BloombergNEF’s recently released 1Q 2020 Global PV Market Outlook. The Altman Z-score  gauges a publicly-traded manufacturing company’s likelihood of bankruptcy within 2 years. The higher the score, the less likely bankruptcy is predicted to occur within that period. Developed in the 1960’s, the Altman Z score has been widely accepted as a pretty accurate indicator.

Longi also recently announced it had signed a contract with Atlas Renewable Energy to supply 122MW of Hi-MO4 modules for one of its projects in Chile. Unlike the Hi-MO 4m that is monofacial (utilising light hitting the front of the module), the Hi-MO 4 is a bifacial solar panel. A bifacial module is one that can also utilise reflected light hitting the rear of the panel.

Bifacial modules aren’t particularly useful for most home solar power installations given how close panels are installed to a rooftop, but they can be beneficial in commercial and utility-scale projects.

Longi says the Hi-MO 4 has “been in a state of relatively short supply” since it was launched and it has more than 10GW of cumulative orders and letters of intent. The company states it is beefing up production capacity for the Hi-MO 4 to 20GW this year.

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