Solar park outputArchive
THE claim by the Punjab government that its 100 MW Quaid-i-Azam solar power park, located in Bahawalpur, is helping generate more than 80 MW of power, at 80pc efficiency, is ambiguous and misleading. Any engineer can calculate and prove this claim wrong.
The production capacity of a power plant is described in terms of actual production, that is actual power produced, divided by the total capacity of the power plant, during the same time or over one hour. It may also be called efficiency of the power plant and is then expressed in percentage.
According to the Punjab government’s claim, the solar park produces 80 MW from the 100 MW plant in one hour, claiming 80pc efficiency.
But in reality the power plant generates 80 MW in one-day operation, that is nine hours sunshine a day, for which the total capacity is 900 MW, and calculated efficiency is 8.88pc only. It should also be highlighted that the world’s most efficient solar PV power plant efficiency is less than 19pc and our solar park cannot exceed that efficiency.
To clear the ambiguity and confusion, the Punjab government should request the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) to analyse the project and calculate the actual efficiency.
The PEC has the technical knowledge and authority to calculate the efficiency on actual data within a few hours. In fact, any engineer can do that if the actual data of production of the solar park is uploaded on the website.
The second claim by the Punjab government on the same cost for the solar power plant and for the hydropower plant is also misleading as the hydropower plant has a long production life, 50 plus years, while Solar PV power plants have low production years, around 15 to 20 years, and they cannot be compared as the same.
Engr Baseer Khan
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2015
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