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solar power

Anish Wastrad
Area Sales Manager for India,
Fronius India Pvt Ltd

How to Save Fuel and Money

with PV Genset Systems
Remote areas or areas with unstable public electricity grids require continuous or backup supply
of electricity that can work without a utility grid. For this purpose diesel generator sets and
photovoltaic technology can be combined in perfect harmony. Although these two technologies
have rarely been in demand by the same users in the past, bringing the two power generation
systems together has become extremely beneficial technically and economically for the operators
of diesel gensets.

PV-Genset Solution minimizes in systems above a certain size is subject to

operating costs of Diesel Gensets an intelligent control mechanism.
In remote areas or regions where the elec- A consistent power balance (reactive and
tricity supply is patchy or extremely expen- effective power) must be guaranteed with-
sive, power grids powered by diesel gen- in a PV-Genset system at all times.Both the
sets are an absolute must. load and the PV power available are sub-
The cost per kilowatt hour of electric- ject to fluctuations. In small PV systems
ity from a diesel genset is largely change- (just as in systems with no PV element),
able, depending on fuel and other variable Picture 1: SE HRPIC Fronius PV Genset. these variations are met by the diesel gen-
costs. Thus the variable operating costs of set. Yet if the power from the photovolta-
a diesel genset can vary widely depending gensets utilized as backup systems bridg- ics system is proportionally quite large, the
on fuel transport distance and long-term ing blackouts in areas with unstable elec- entire system must be optimally controlled
increasing oil costs on the global market tricity grids as well. As simple as it is, every to obtain the best possible diesel savings.
(0.052.5 per kWh). unused diesel kWh saves money. This is where the Fronius PV-System Con-
The price trend in the photovoltaics sec- troller comes into play. By using data from
tor indeed moves only into one direction, Intelligent technology makes it the Fronius inverters together with load
and that is downwards. Over the past possible. measurements (as well as diesel genset
few years the costs per kWh generated Maintaining the PV-Genset system stable measurements were necessary), the entire
from PV systems have dropped dramati- has the highest priority. Using photovoltaics system can be monitored. This allows the
cally around the globe ( 0.070.14 per must not result in diesel gensets being op- Fronius inverters to be controlled. If several
kWh). Consequently, the high financial erated at unfavorable or prohibited operat- diesel gensets are in use, then these too
attractiveness of integrating PV into per- ing points, where an increased load causes have to be controlled at the same time.
manent off-grid diesel gensets, as used by premature ageing. As a result it becomes Further potential for optimization exists
mining companies to maintain permanent absolutely essential that the PV inverters where controllable (in terms of time) loads
power supply for their mining operations and, where necessary, the diesel genset too can also be taken into account.
in remote areas, is already common place
among informed decision-makers. Three Ways how the Fronius PV-
Due to the opposite long-term price The price trend in the System Controller Protects and
trends of oil, fuel and transport on the one Optimizes the Diesel Genset
side, and the cost of kwH energy produced photovoltaics sector The diesel genset is a fundamental part of
by PV-systems on the other side, the inte- indeed moves only into the system. Protecting it is therefore abso-
gration of a PV-Genset solution into virtu- lutely vital, as losing the generator would
one direction, and that
ally every diesel-powered system turns into cause the entire power supply to fail. The
a financially interesting option to be con- is downwards Fronius PV-System Controller assumes the
sidered by now. This holds true for diesel following functions: Ensuring that the

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solar power

achieved. Fronius can provide you with un-

beatable support in the planning of your
PV-Genset system.

Online System Monitoring

Every PV-Genset system equipped with Fro-
nius components can be designed, moni-
tored, analyzed and visualized at any time
using the free Fronius Solar.web online
Picture 2: PV-Genset Solution diagram. Picture 3: PV-Genset Solution.
portal. Up-to-date system data can be ac-
cessed at any time and is clearly presented:
minimum numbers of diesel gensets need- size of the PV system has been designed the portal is very user-friendly and easy to
ed are in use during any given situation. so that temporary power restrictions are use, and a comprehensive range of analy-
Checking that the diesel gensets are the norm. This significantly increases the sis functions is included. Fronius Solar.web
always being used in a manner that has amount of power supplied from photo- is also available as an app to allow you
the lowest possible impact on service life, voltaics. In order to identify the most cost- to check your PV system data from your
even at low loads.Guaranteeing an ex- effective PV system size for each project, it smartphone at your own convenience.
tremely quick and responsive control over is important to examine the insolation and
the PV output. As a result, power fluctua- load profile alongside the variable diesel Products for the Fronius PV-Genset
tions are compensated immediately and power costs and the cost of the PV system. solutions
the strain on the diesel genset is reduced Simulations are then used to calculate All Fronius inverters can be used in a PV-
dramatically. the highest possible savings that could be Genset system. The Fronius PV-System
Controller assumes all control functions
Optimizing PV-Genset systems over the system. Depending on the con-
It is very easy for a small PV system in rela- figuration, the required measuring acces-
tion to the load to pay for itself financially,
All Fronius inverters can sories will also be offered.
but it does not represent a cost effective be used in a PV-Genset Due to the open nature of Fronius com-
form of optimization. As the PV output system. The Fronius munication solutions, it is also possible to
never has to be restricted, the savings can implement individual solutions containing
simply be identified from the annual ener- PV-System Controller third-party components. With the Fronius
gy calculated in the respective region.The assumes all control Datamanager2.0 or Fronius Datamanager
Box 2.0, it is possible to incorporate all
difference between the costs of producing
functions over the
PV energy and the costs of producing elec- components into a control system using
tricity from diesel is normally quite large. system Modbus RTU or TCP with the SunSpec In-
The saving is therefore much higher if the verter Control Model 7

Picture 4: SE PIC Fronius Datamanager Box 2 0.

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