Science revolves around the sun

Published on Thursday, 20 June 2019

“Thanks to the agreement with Enel, we will not be consumers of conventional energy”

– Ivo Saviane - La Silla’s site manager

An unprecedented opportunity

This Observatory will be the epicenter of world astronomy on July 2 during the total solar eclipse that will congregate hundreds of thousands of people in the Coquimbo Region. It will also be a unique opportunity to conduct studies on the impact of eclipses on solar generation.

That day, the La Silla solar park will monitor the effects of this natural phenomenon on the performance of a photovoltaic power station, an unprecedented study both in Chile and in the world, and of great importance due to the growth of this source of renewable energy in the country’s energy matrix.

The energy of the sun as a center of innovation

The La Silla plant is not a conventional solar plant. It has different types of photovoltaic modules for the purpose of testing various technologies and detecting those with the best performance to generate more electricity. The smart modules, for example, have a microchip that optimizes the production of each panel, which allows maintaining the generation of electricity regardless of any anomalies that may affect any of them. The bifacial panels, on the other hand, allow solar energy to be captured on both sides of the photovoltaic panel, unlike traditional modules that capture energy on a single side, generating an average of 12% more electricity on the same surface than conventional panels.

“The La Silla solar park and the results obtained in its facilities have been decisive in the definition of the Enel Group's strategy: nowadays all new solar projects to be built in the world have bifacial panels. Therefore, our plant, in addition to supplying the La Silla observatory with renewable energy, is a center of innovation and research in itself with global implications”

– Valter Moro, Enel Green Power Chile’s CEO