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A young man guards photovoltaic power station on Xinjiang’s plateau

Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily (Reporter Yu Jiangyan) news: On November 21, 2023, it's time for the monthly report again. After quickly finishing breakfast, Zhang Xin hurriedly prepared the report. As the manager of Shenneng Futa photovoltaic power station, it is crucial to perform well in statistical analysis.

The Shenneng Futa photovoltaic power station is located in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, Kashi Prefecture, at the entrance of the Panlong Ancient Road. Zhang Xin has been busy preparing the power generation report for the station in mid-November. “Daily, ten-day, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports must be documented on time,” Zhang Xin said. The income from power generation at the station will be used for rural revitalization construction in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, and the report data is the main basis for calculating power generation income.

Photo shows Shenneng Futa photovoltaic power station in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, Kashi Prefecture, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo provided by Zhang Xin)

The Shenneng Futa photovoltaic power station is located on the Pamir Plateau at an altitude of 3,300 meters. It covers a total area of 42.33 hectares and has a capacity of 20 megawatts. The entire power station is equipped with 77,660 solar panels. To better absorb solar energy, each solar panel is installed at a tilt angle of 33 degrees, creating a massive blue square when viewed from a distance.

When the weather is sunny, the power station generates more electricity. The highest daily power generation can reach over 150,000 kWh. Since the Shenneng Futa photovoltaic power station was connected to the grid in May 2018, it has generated a cumulative total of over 200 million kWh as of October 31, 2023.

Zhang Xin started working at the power station in October 2019. Begining with basic operation and maintenance work, he was promoted to station manager in 2023, leading a team of 11 staff members to be responsible for power station operation and maintenance.

The daily operation and maintenance work of the power station mainly includes monitoring and inspection. The monitoring room must have someone carefully monitoring the parameter changes of the power station system. Once there is an abnormal parameter, on-site investigation and handling of the abnormal situation must be carried out immediately. Inspection is to check whether the photovoltaic support bracket bolts are loose, and whether the inverter temperature and pressure are normal. In the past, the inspection of photovoltaic modules mainly relied on handheld infrared imagers to detect hidden cracks, hot spots, and other defects on the photovoltaic panels. A complete inspection would take at least one month. This year, unmanned aerial vehicles have been introduced, and all photovoltaic modules can be inspected in two days.

"When the photovoltaic panel has defects such as cracks and hot spots, the infrared imager would show a relative high temperature," Zhang Xin said, and if there is a crack, the temperature will be five to ten degrees Celsius higher, and if there is a hot spot, the temperature will be 20 to 30 degrees Celsius higher.

Photo taken on November 11, 2023 shows Zhang Xin checks photovoltaic weather station. (Photo provided by Zhang Xin)

Qi Peiwen, a colleague who has worked with Zhang Xin for many years, admires him deeply. When dealing with faults, he never gives up until the problem is solved, even if it means working overnight. Moreover, he is highly skilled and is one of the most talented individuals in the power station.

The living environment in Pamir Plateau is harsh, with strong ultraviolet rays and large temperature difference between day and night. “There is less oxygen at the plateau, and staying there for a long time is not good for one’s health." Some classmates once didn't understand why Zhang Xin chose to work in such a difficult place.

“Every generation has its own mission. And my mission is to guard this power station." Zhang Xin replied.