From cold mountain tops to deserts and tropical islands: Solar power systems in unusual places

Kyocera solar modules stand up to extreme weather conditions

19 September 2012

Kyoto / Neuss − Kyocera, one of the leading manufacturers of photovoltaics, is renowned for its exceptional performance in the solar power industry. Kyocera has a 37-year track record in the industry of ensuring product lifespan and efficiency as well as impressing with the geographical superlatives of its various applications. These days solar modules are no longer an unusual sight at industrial buildings, agricultural sites and residential homes, however, installing photovoltaic modules on a mountain peak at 3,500 meters, in a desert, in a region with ice as far as the eye can see or in a typhoon area presents a real challenge in terms of the modules' resistance and lifespan.

Kyocera solar modules are a reliable means of generating electricity from solar energy. The fact that the company’s modules are able to stand up to extreme altitudes and ice cold temperatures is impressively demonstrated by one of the world’s highest altitude solar power systems on the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland. At a height of almost 3,500 m, the modules use the high level of light reflection from the snow (albedo) to generate an approximately 70% higher energy yield than comparable systems on the Swiss Central Plateau. The high quality of the modules is also able to resist the temperature difference of up to 70°C between daytime and night-time temperatures.

Climate-neutral energy production in the Antarctic and Gobi desert


Extreme resistance to cold is also required in the Antarctic. In order to provide the Belgian research station ‘Princess Elisabeth’ a reliable and CO2 emission-free energy production process, 400 Kyocera solar modules were supplied to the Arctic research station. Together with 8 wind turbines, the photovoltaic system generates 98.6 kilowatt hours of power and provides the researchers with heat and electricity. The modules also impressively stand up to challenging extreme wind speeds of up to 250 km/h.

The technology company similarly supplied 2 Mongolian villages in the Gobi desert with power using off-grid solar power generating systems. Despite the extreme weather conditions from extreme heat down to temperatures of -30°C, the solar systems provide people with consistent access to electricity with a peak output of 305 kWp.


The latest technology on remote tropical islands

Maldives and Fiji – the names of these tropical islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans evoke images of white beaches, palm trees, holidays and sunshine. These island states have already recognised the potential of their abundant sunshine to harness solar energy for generating clean power. Within the last year alone, Kyocera has supplied 4 island states with solar modules. A 226.8 kW system comprising 1,080 Kyocera solar modules has been installed at the airport of the small island state of Palau, approx. 500 km east of the Philippines. The system is expected to generate 250 MWh of energy each year.

In the Maldives, solar modules with a total output of 675 kWp at schools and other public buildings on this island state will generate clean energy and thereby contribute to protecting the environment.

Also, a new 209 kW solar power generating system comprising 972 Kyocera modules generates some 257 MWh of power each year on the rooftop of the Majuro hospital in the Marshall Islands.

The latest Kyocera solar power project in the Pacific is taking place on the islands of Fiji: 3,000 Kyocera solar modules with a total capacity of 405 kWp will supply solar power to more than 2,000 homes. Each photovoltaic system contains at least one Kyocera module of 135 W, a charge controller, maintenance-free batteries and lamps to light the interior and exterior.

As all four islands are based in typhoon area, in order to improve resistance to the strong winds, extra support bars have been added to the back side of the modules as reinforcement.

Solar power for all

Kyocera has been developing quality solar cells since 1975. Part of the Kyocera’s business rationale is to make solar power accessible to all the Earth’s inhabitants and thereby to promote climate change protection through the use of solar power as an alternative source of renewable energy. As one of the leaders in the industry, the company has been focusing on providing rural areas in developing nations with sustainable energy for many years.

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