Solar Diesel Hybrid Power Systems
Solar Diesel (PV DG) Hybrid Power System balances the reliability and cost of power for businesses. What is a PV DG hybrid and who can benefit from it?
Introduction to solar diesel hybrid power systems
Businesses cannot operate without reliable power. In areas without access to a reliable supply of electricity from the grid (eg. load shedding), diesel generators have long been used as a reliable source to fill the gap. But diesel fuel is polluting, expensive and forms a major component of the operating costs for such businesses. The electricity generated by a Diesel Generator set typically costs around Rs. 20 per unit (kWh), which is more than double of what a typical industry otherwise pays for grid-supplied electricity, or almost four times of that of power generated using rooftop solar plant (levelized cost of electricity, or LCOE).
On the other hand, grid-connected solar power, which has become quite affordable now, comes with its own limitation when it comes to load shedding. Due to the nature of such system (grid-synchronized) and safety requirement, the grid-connected solar plant shuts down in an event of a power cut, resulting in loss of production.
Solar Diesel hybrid power system combines the advantages of clean and affordable solar energy, with the reliability of a diesel generator.
It essentially consists of a solar plant, diesel generator set and an intelligent management system (PV-DG Hybrid Controller) to control the amount of energy generated by solar plant and DG set as per the demand in real-time. When grid supply is on, the grid-connected solar plant keeps generating energy as per available sunlight, which is then either consumed by the loads or exported to the grid. In the event of power outage, when the DG sets are turned on, the intelligent management system starts to control the output of the solar plant, so as to operate DG sets at minimum set load (say 30%), and prevents back-feed of electricity into the DG set. If designed properly, this hybrid system can save a significant amount of fuel, by around 50% on an average. Leading solar companies make sure that careful precision is involved in the design process.
Applications of solar diesel hybrid systems
Existing users of diesel generators
These systems are recommended for people who already use diesel generators and are looking to reduce their total diesel costs for e.g., industries, showrooms. Housing societies and townships may also incur significant fuel costs as they use DG sets to power lifts, water pumps and lights in common areas.
To illustrate, let us consider the case of an industry with an average 32 hrs of load shedding per month (8 hrs per day for 4 days per month). The industry has 250 kVA / 200 kW DG Set installed, which operates at around 80% load factor during load shedding. This would mean diesel consumption of around 1,470 Ltr. per month. At the current price of diesel, this would result in an expenditure of Rs. 1.05 Lakh per month. The industry has a 120 kWp / 100 kWAC Solar PV plant installed, which is connected to work in conjunction with DG sets with help of PV-DG Hybrid Controller. The system is configured so as to ensure that the DG set operates at minimum 30% load factor at all times. This causes monthly fuel consumption to reduce to 920 Ltr. per month, resulting in a monthly expenditure of Rs. 66,000, or a reduction in fuel bill by around 37%.
Establishments in remote areas far from the utility grid or with regular power cuts
Photovoltaic Diesel hybrid systems reduce operating and maintenance costs and are designed to benefit consumers with a power need in a location with limited or no access to grid-supplied electricity. Sectors include mining, manufacturing and remote residential communities can reduce their fuel costs along with cleaner supply of electricity.
Other aspects of PV DG hybrid systems
A solar diesel hybrid power system set is a marginal expense for big-scale industries, with great benefits. For the optimum size of a solar plant, it costs less than 5% of the cost of the solar plant.
The design has to be specific to the use. The professional solar EPC company you hire will design your PV DG set in accordance specific to and after studying your electricity load profile. They will also consider the already installed DG capacity and design the PV system in accordance with its capacity.
Ease of use
PV DG sets are user-friendly as they are automatic systems which require no manual interfacing. The system can be remotely monitored for performance and troubleshooting.
The maintenance of your solar and intelligent management system within the AMC provided by the solar EPC company.
How to get Solar Diesel Hybrid System in India?
Insolergy is a leading solar energy company in India. The company provides solar energy solutions such as installation, maintenance and solar finance for residential and commercial power users. The solar EPC solutions also include the installation of a PV diesel hybrid system for businesses and residential establishments.
Insolergy’s client portfolio for project management consulting includes both state operated and private infrastructure developers in the field of transport, hydro power, large trusts, etc.