There is a conventional opinion that in order to ensure uninterrupted power supply of facilities that are remote from the main power grids (“offgrid”), precisely diesel generators are used as stand-alone sources of megawatt-class power.
The Spanish company Gamesa, one of the major manufacturers of wind turbines, on 10 May 2016 introduced an innovative solution for energy supply of “offgrid” facilities.
The system combines four elements:
- wind power;
- solar power;
- diesel generators;
- battery storage.
The introduced prototype of the system has become the first in the market, having a total installed capacity of over 2 MW, and providing the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective generation of electricity. Special software developed by Gamesa produces the optimal combination of each technology, establishing a balance in the project, depending on the specific requirements for the necessary volume of power generation, besides the diesel fuel consumption is minimized.
In particular, the prototype comprises a wind turbine “Gamesa G52-850kW”, 816 photovoltaic modules (with the peak of 245 kW) and three diesel generators for 222 kW each (666 kW total). In addition, a battery capable of storing 500 kWh is connected.
Among potential sites for application of the system, the representatives of the company see such facilities (without access to a grid) that are located on islands or in remote rural areas. The prototype is capable of generating enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 400 households. The use of the innovation in mining is expected to be of high efficiency, too.
Ignacio Martin, chairman of Gamesa company, particularly emphasizes: “The spread of such a system will solve the energy needs on a sustainable basis. At present, more than 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity. Rural areas of India, south-east Asia, Africa, on the islands of Indonesia and other remote corners of the planet, such as jungles and deserts, stand to benefit from these “offgrid” solutions which can generate cheaper and cleaner power.”
The company's management are convinced that the “offgrid” sector represents a new technological challenge and new opportunities as a niche of the global market: “Development of this class of technology is expected to reach 1,200MW in the coming years. The proposed system can be tailored for customer needs by increasing, reducing or eliminating capacity in any of the technologies used.”