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Intelligent integration of photovoltaics into diesel systems to ensure a self-sufficient energy supply with enhanced efficiency
Decentralized energy from PV systems is shaping the energy supply of the future
Five hundred gigawatts (GW) of power from diesel gensets provide industrial companies with electricity worldwide. Diesel gensets are essential to power supplies both in regions with and without adequate grid infrastructure. Furthermore, in developing and newly industrialized countries that have shown strong economic growth, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecasted an increase in the primary energy demand. The demand for fossil fuel continues to rise, which in turn increases harmful CO2 emissions. The global climate is changing rapidly.Download this article as PDF
Sun Saves Fuel
Diesel fuel induces high costs
Those who rely solely on diesel gensets to generate power must be prepared for the high operating costs tied to price increases and constant fuel consumption. Fossil energy reserves will last for approximately 150 years. In many regions, the price for one liter of diesel fuel has already exceeded one U.S. dollar. In addition, if the fuel has to be shipped to remote regions, costs increase even more as a result of the necessary transportation and storage. This can often double the spot price for a liter of diesel fuel. Because there are also expenses for CO2 emissions trading certificates, diesel-powered systems reach their economical limits very quickly. As a result, alternative energy solutions that keep CO2 emissions as low as possible while remaining economically viable for consumers are in high demand to combat price increases and global warming effects. The solutions of today are shaping our tomorrow.
Minimizing fuel costs and CO2 emissions
Already, more than 120 countries worldwide have established legislative policies that support an increase in the percentage of renewable resources in the energy mix. In addition, the United Nations plans to establish a binding, multilateral environmental agreement in the near future. SMA has developed a technology that is able to reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions in industrial applications. The SMA Fuel Save Solution combines diesel and photovoltaics into a hybrid system that minimizes fuel dependency.
Profit from photovoltaics
In sunny regions, photovoltaics has already become the most economically viable way to generate power, even without subsidies. Prices for PV system technology have dropped by more than 50 percent within the last three years alone. PV systems with a total output of more than 100 GW have been installed worldwide, proving that photovoltaics is a reliable technology and one from which more and more industrial companies are profiting. It is the perfect economical and ecological supplement to diesel systems.
The Future is Hybrid
The combination of diesel and photovoltaics ensures large industrial consumers an attractive and reliable energy supply
PV systems do not cause emissions, but they do offer low maintenance and decreased operating costs. They have a modular design that is scalable and can be adjusted according to current energy demands. This means that despite high initial system costs, PV systems can be amortized in as little as three to five years in sunny regions. For many energy-intensive industries in remote regions with little or no grid infrastructure, PV is the ideal supplement to a diesel-fueled power supply.
Economical, environmentally friendly and efficient
For industries such as mining, raw material processing, agriculture (such as flower farms), water desalinization, or tourism (hotels and amusement parks, for example), low power generation costs, quick operational readiness, maximum reliability and availability are fundamental. These qualities make the SMA Fuel Save Solution very attractive, providing enormous advantages compared to pure genset systems, including:
Lower fuel costs
Reduced risk of fuel price increases and supply shortages thanks to optimized planning
Minimal CO2 emissions for better CO2 certificate trading
Improved public perception due to association with PV’s eco-friendly qualities
It is never too late to start thinking about the future. The SMA Fuel Save Solution can be integrated into both new and existing power supply systems.
Intelligent System Solutions for Every Application
SMA has been developing scalable hybrid solutions for the electrification of off-grid regions for more than 30 years. Moreover, SMA benefits from many years experience as a system technology supplier for PV power plant installations with a three-digit megawatt capacity. With more than 30 GW of installed inverter power, SMA is the global market leader in the field of PV inverters. High-efficiency SMA inverters ensure the best yields worldwide and have an exceptional overload capacity, ensuring critical loads always operate reliably. Daily, more than 1,000 employees research and develop technologies to achieve the best-in- quality system solutions that include state-of-the-art technology at an affordable price – for each and every type of application.
Fuel Save Controller
The perfect interface between the gensets, PV systems and loads
The SMA Fuel Save Controller, compatible with both Sunny Tripower and Sunny Central inverters, manages demand-based PV feed-in according to load and generation profiles. This ensures maximum security with reduced fuel costs while also minimizing CO2 emissions. The SMA Fuel Save Controller carries out comprehensive and demand-based grid management functions in conjunction with SMA inverters. SMA hybrid systems can be expanded on a modular basis at any time and provide optimal system control via remote monitoring.
The ideal solution for larger PV power plants with decentralized system structures
Sunny Tripower facilitates a considerable reduction in investment costs and secures exceptionally high yields with an efficiency of 98.5 percent. The three-phase device has excellent maximum power point (MPP) tracking efficiency with SMA OptiTrac®. Fast communication via Bluetooth® makes the Sunny Tripower even more economical. Additionally, its ability to provide reactive current supports grid stability, and its integrated grid management functions guarantee the highest possible energy production.
Designed specifically for use in large central PV power plants and groundmounted systems
With power classes between 500 and 1800 kVA, Sunny Central inverters make optimal system design possible. String monitoring and optional feed-in into the medium-voltage grid make Sunny Central inverters the first choice for uniformly constructed PV systems. They also remain extremely productive in harsh ambient conditions such as heat, moisture, salty air, sand and dust. Their high degree of efficiency and 110 percent of power in continuous operation at up to 25 C ensure maximum yields. Sunny Central inverters also carry out grid management functions and meet the specific connection regulations of many countries.