Global technology group ABB has supplied critical components for a new floating solar photovoltaic (PV) test bed situated in Tengeh Reservoir, Singapore.

The company provided 100kW of TRIO-50 solar invertersto Phoenix Solar, which is one of several system integrators for the project.

The inverters convert direct current (DC) produced in solar panels into alternating current for use in electrical grids. For the new floating solar project, ABB has also supplied low-voltage moulded case and miniature circuit breakers to protect the electrical circuits on the water.

Spanning across 1 hectare of space, the 1MW test bed is designed to supply energy to Singapore’s national energy grid. It will be able to provide electricity for up to 250 households.

ABB's electrification products' division president Tarak Mehta said: “This project is perfectly aligned with our next-level strategy around the energy revolution and is an important step in collaborating with partners to bring more renewables into the future energy mix.”

It is estimated that Singapore has an average annual solar irradiation of around 1,500kWh/m². Floating solar platforms are naturally cooled by the surrounding water, thereby increasing the efficiency of the energy yields.

According to a study, the natural cooling effect of the water beneath the solar cells makes them up to 11% more efficient than land-based solar panels. Floating platform also help reduce evaporation of water.

Image: Singapore’s new floating photovoltaic power plant test-bed features ABB technology. Photo: courtesy of ABB.