Photovoltaics efficiently complements electricity generators in sunny regions and reduces fuel consumption, thereby significantly reducing overall costs. Solar diesel hybrid systems can ensure a cost-efficient energy supply for locations with limited or no access to the energy grid, thanks to advanced innovations in photovoltaic technology and the exceptionally high quality standards of the global market leader, SMA.
Thabazimbi is a sparsely populated region in the South African province of Limpopo characterized by mines. The power distribution grid is far away, grid connection is limited, and transport of diesel fuel is expensive. With a high amount of solar irradiation, the region is ideally suited for the use of PV energy.
Since November 2012, a PV system with a power of one megawatt has complemented the existing diesel energy supply at a chrome ore mine.
Using up to 1.8 gigawatt hours of solar energy per year, the mine operator Cronimet Chrome Mining SA (Pty) can significantly reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions.
The scalable PV system consists of PV modules, Sunny Tripower PV inverters, and an intelligent control unit, the SMA Fuel Save Controller. Solar and diesel generators are controlled depending on the load and generation profiles. The mine operator can thus minimize fuel dependency during the day.
Information on the Plant
PV System technology
Daily power outages lasting several hours are commonplace in India’s federal state Tamil Nadu. For this reason, cotton mill Alpine Knits located in Palladam, had been using diesel gensets to ensure a reliable power supply for their production site – and simply accepted the exorbitant operation expenses resulting from the fuel consumption of the gensets.
To reduce their energy bill, the cotton mill operators decided to install a PV system on the rooftop of their factory workshop – which started producing inexpensive energy in June 2013.
With the SMA Fuel Save Solution, the PV system and local diesel gensets are combined to work as a PV diesel hybrid system that operates reliably even when the grid fails.
As the intelligent interface between PV system and diesel gensets, the Fuel Save Controller ensures a highly available and efficient power supply. During peak production hours, the PV system provides approximately 60 percent of the total power demand of the mill – regardless of utility grid availability – a big step towards minimizing fuel costs and CO2 emissions.
PV System Technology