23rd February 2021
Waaree Aviator series - The future of solar PV is here!
The first known solar cells in the PV industry were used in space application for more than few decades. Modules made out of such solar cells had a very heavy price tag, which virtually made their utilization elsewhere almost impossible. However, as the cost started coming down in conjunction with the efficiency rising up, the solar revolution picked up in & around Europe and common man started utilizing solar PV modules of kW size on their rooftop. While this continued till the early 20th century, the cost of solar PV has then started falling down significantly. One of the main reason was that EPC players understood the advantages of economies of scale specifically for solar PV power plants. The size of solar power plants around the world then just started growing from a few MWs to tens of GWs. This directly converts to around 1~30 million solar PV modules installed over 100 million sq. m of area. While the solar modules have anti reflective coating, the solar modules reflect light falling on it at a particular angle. Installations grazing huge swathes of land may thus reflect significant amount of light over wide area. Further such light may be momentary or last for more than few minutes.
Figure 1: A snippit of solar mega power park
Glare, glint and why Aviator series?
Glint is a momentary flash of light which may be produced as a direct reflection of the sun in the solar panel. It can be experienced by an observer passing a solar panel at high speed e.g.: motorist, train driver, plane pilot, etc. Glare is a continuous source of excessive brightness and may be caused due indirect light received from the bright sky. It can be experienced by a stationary observer located in the path of reflected sunlight from the face of the panel. Both glint and glare while are unpleasing to the eyes may have added impact on the passer-by/ people living in solar supplemented neighbourhood.
Figure 2: (at left) Glint from solar modules & (at right) glare from solar modules
The light reflected from rows of solar PV panels can be troublesome. Further, if such modules are installed at or near airports, hangers, sea ports, railways they may produce unwanted visual impacts like distraction, temporary after-image, etc. Additionally, as both glare and glint do depend on the angle of incidence of incoming solar radiation and further the position of sun with respect to the solar PV modules, it can critically impact both air and road traffic due to its after effects. The exposure to light emission for a long duration may be dangerous and cause critical damage to eyes. The airport authority around the world have now been asking specifically for PV modules which are capable of off-setting such glare and glint.
Features of Waaree Aviator series
In regular solar glass, while it has an ARC coating, the remaining reflected light from the solar glass is all in same direction. Waaree Aviator series are specifically designed to reduce the glare and glint to a significant level. They do it by utilizing a specialized glass which has its front surface specifically modified to reflect light in different direction (Figure 3 ). This makes it a perfect match to be installed at/near airports, highways, railways, etc. Further it envelopes all the advantages of regular solar PV module. The module is tested rigorously and has been proven to be a PID resistant module thus ensuring long-term reliability. Further this module is also capable to sustain heavy wind & snow loads (2400 Pa & 5400 Pa) which are in-line with the international standards. The module has also passed salt mist, ammonia, blowing sand and hail resistant tests. The module has been designed for utilization at a system voltage of 1500 VDC, which directly reduces the BOS cost.
Figure 3 : Reflection from regular glass module (at left) & from aviator series (at right)
Figure 4: Light reflection pattern comparison
Thus we recommend Waaree Aviator series at places where the glare and glint of the modules need to be controlled below a threshold.