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I am currently in Germany to attend the Intersolar Exhibition. I arrived in Frankfurt and after spending a couple of days at a small town called Schwabish Hall, I traveled to Munich, the venue of the Intersolar exhibition. During the first day of my trip in Germany, I could see how successful the solar policies in Germany are and the penetration levels of the Solar PV in Germany. It is nearly impossible not the see a solar panel either on a rooftop or on ground. To give an idea about Germany’s domination in Solar, 50% of the total global installations is in Germany.

While at Schwabish Hall,I got to see/visit some of the solar PV installations in this small town in southern Germany.Broadly, grid-tied solar PV systems in Germany fall under the following categories

  1. Rooftop small systems
  2. Ground mounted large systems

Roof top systems are very common in Germany and have been one of the drivers for the Solar PV growth in Germany. In the pics below, you can see that PV rooftop systems are quite common.

 

Another picture is given below.

 

And one more.

I also had a chance to visit some of the ground mounted systems. The first ground mounted Solar PV farm I visited was a 500 kW farm developed by the local utility company -Stadtwerke. The EPC work was done by Novatec, and SMA inverters and iPLON  monitoring systems were used in the system. The 500 kW part uses crystalline silicon modules. Some of the pictures are given below.

The farm also has a 70 kWp system that uses CIGS thin film modules produced by the company Wurth Solar, which is also based in the same town of Schwabish Hall. Interestingly, these CIGS modules are mounted on a sound barrier. The picture is given below.

 

Close to the PV farm, I was able to see an interesting concept – A revolving PV house. This house has its rooftop covered by PV modules and is designed to revolve around a particular axis to maximise the solar light falling on the rooftop. Perhaps this house can be called a “Sunflower” House. Details of the house can be found at  http://www.farmbau-langenburg.de/pdfs/sunhaus_ebook.pdf

This was followed by another visit to a 1.6 MWp grid connected PV plant nearby. It was also built by Novatec. The picture below provides some details about the farm. The farm uses 8000 crystalline silicon modules of 200 Wp each. SMA inverters and iPLON PV monitoring systems are used in the plant.The picture of string inverters from SMA can be seen below.

The iPLON monitoring system is given in the picture below.

A few more pictures of the PV farm are below.

The solar panels doting the landscape of the German countryside was a beautiful sight to watch. As a I drove along the highway to Munich, I could see more and more buildings covered with solar Panels.I will post more pictures and news from the Intersolar in the next few days.