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.