Innovative micro-grid inaugurated

June 28th, 2016, Published in Articles: Energize



Claudio Facchin and Silas Zimu cut the ribbon to inaugurate the micro-grid.

ABB inaugurated the first integrated solar-diesel-battery storage micro-grid in southern Africa at the company’s Longmeadow premises on Wednesday 8 June. Claudio Facchin, the president of the company’s power grid division and Silas Zimu, the special advisor to President Jacob Zuma on energy, officially inaugurated the micro-grid. This application is unique in that it serves a manufacturing facility rather than a consumer network. The units comprising the micro-grid are pre-assembled in containers and the whole system can be pre-tested and rapidly transported to site.

The system can operate in both grid-connected and off-grid modes. A 750 kW rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system, a 1 MVA/380 kWh battery-based Powerstore and Microgrid Plus power stabilising unit have been added to the existing two diesel generator sets to provide continuity of supply during power interruptions or transitions from grid to island operation. The system is equipped with a distributed control system (DCS) to manage the supply of power and balance the fossil fuel and renewable energy resources in accordance with loads in a coordinated manner.

A cloud-based remote monitoring and control system will be used for operations and maintenance of the micro-grid. The Powerstore system can provide the full load of 1 MVA for a period of 20 min, and bridges short interruptions in solar PV output as well as the start-up time of the standby generators during grid supply failure.

The application of mini- and micro-grids is growing in Africa, meeting the needs of people for electricity. Zimu said people follow electricity and that the country needs to meet the demand by means of innovation. This micro-grid development offers a solution to the problem of providing electricity to the people of Africa, he added.





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