The diesel generators have fallen silent. No longer is the idyllic island of St. Eustatius tarnished by their drone and black diesel soot. And gone, too, is the need to buy expensive diesel fuel. In November 2017, this Caribbean island – a “special municipality” of the Netherlands – became that little bit more special thanks to the launch of a diesel-free daytime electricity supply.
The setting: An island with 4,000 inhabitants and three diesel generators to supply power. The mission: Reduce fossil fuel usage and establish a grid stabilizing energy supply based on renewable energies. The challenge: Supply a smart combination of a 2 MWp PV farm and diesel generators; introduce the largest lithium battery storage system in the Caribbean; use the latest SMA products; and develop a new monitoring platform—within the space of just nine months.
The SMA solution for solar diesel hybrid systems, with the Fuel Save Controller as its central component, has been introduced with rave reviews including winning the Intersolar Award in the Photovoltaics category. To learn more what this does, how it works in a PV-diesel hybrid system and what makes it so special, I turned to Product Manager Johannes Weide.
With SMA’s Fuel Save Solution for large industrial applications, PV can be easily and efficiently integrated with diesel generation. The Sunny Tripower and Sunny Central inverters convert direct current from PV modules into alternating current and feed it into power supply systems. The SMA Fuel Save Controller intelligently manages the PV feed-in and diesel genset. The result: an achievement of up to 60 percent of PV-supplied electrical capacity compared to relying solely on an installed genset’s capacity.
The SMA Fuel Save Solution combines diesel and photovoltaics into a hybrid system, minimizing CO2 emissions and high fuel costs. If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve also posted a few articles on PV diesel hybrid systems, each describing PV diesel hybrid systems and what steps must be taken to install and manage such a system.
Energy-intensive operations in areas with non-existent or poor infrastructure often rely on gensets (diesel generator sets) for their electricity supply. In regions with a sufficiently high level of solar irradiation, the additional integration of photovoltaics in the power supply system can prove worthwhile.
In many regions of the world, power grids are either inadequate or nonexistent. As a result, industrial consumers often ensure their power supply through diesel gensets. Five hundred gigawatts of power from diesel gensets provide industrial companies with electricity worldwide. However, fuel costs for the gensets continue to rise. The price for one liter of diesel has already exceeded one U.S. dollar.