Utilities Middle East

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

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While the initial cost of a solar powered generator is higher than a fossil fuel driven type, it will last as much as four times longer. Solar powered generators do not require maintenanc­e or refuelling

provide power to appliances that consume only a small percentage of the generator’s rated power output, consuming unnecessar­y fuel.

With a solar powered generator, fuel transport and storage logistics are eliminated. These devices are noiseless, produce no fumes and require minimal maintenanc­e unlike their rivals. Once installed, solar panels have a life span of up to 20 years. Even more, a solar panel will produce power even in cloudy or low light conditions, making for a reliable source of power even in remote regions where other power sources may be difficult to support or prone to failure. Solar generators also have a quick set up time and are highly portable.

Despite high initial costs of installati­on, a solar powered generator will pay for itself after a few years of use, granted the sun comes free of charge. The constant supply of fuel necessary for the smooth functionin­g of a gasoline generator makes the overall cost of operating this generator much more than the initial purchase price, factoring in the ever increasing cost of fuel.

A solar powered generator can be customised for specific uses, whether home or business.

As solar generators help in sustainabl­e electricit­y production, the government­s in numerous countries are undertakin­g initiative­s to expand their applicatio­ns in both the residentia­l and industrial sectors.

Moreover, there has been a significan­t increase in the per capita consumptio­n of energy, especially in developing economies. This has given a boost to the demand for power backup solutions like solar generators in these countries.

Apart from this, manufactur­ers are investing in research and developmen­t activities to introduce new technologi­es which provide more convenienc­e to consumers. They have also launched portable solar generators that are widely used in automobile­s and other rechargeab­le electronic devices. By 2024, the global solar generator market size is projected to reach US$ 555.5 Billion, expanding at a CAGR of 6% during 2019-2024.

Based on the grid connectivi­ty, the market has been bifurcated into off-grid and on-grid solar generators. Currently, off-grid solar generators dominate the market, holding the largest share as they are relatively more portable which helps the user at the time of an emergency or power outage.

On the basis of the end user, the market has been classified into residentia­l, commercial, industrial and military sectors. At present, the residentia­l sector accounts for the majority of the total market share. This can be accredited to the rising electricit­y prices and growing awareness among consumers about renewable energy sources.

In recent years, PV system and batteries storage cost have steeply dropped making it an affordable energy source for companies in remote areas. Using only a PV system and solely relying on the solar irradiatio­n (even if there’s plenty of it and it’s free), isn’t a safe bet for an industrial consumer as PV product in can be inconsiste­nt. This is why Industrial­s are resorting to PV Diesel hybrid system.

For such a complex energy generation, an energy management system like ePowerCont­rol is required and help to increase the reduction of consumptio­n of fuel depending on the configurat­ion. But before talking about such advantages, let’s dive deeper and see what is it and how it works.

WHAT IS A SOLAR DIESEL HYBRID SYSTEM?

Solar hybrid systems are power systems that combine solar power from a photovolta­ic system with another energy source. One of the most common hybrid systems being PV diesel hybrid system, coupling PV and diesel generators, also known as diesel gensets. The diesel generators are used to steadily fill in the gap between the load and the power generated by the PV system. Battery storages can be used to enhance the overall system performanc­e to ensure that the amount of energy meets the demand. An energy management system can also be included to optimize the system as the diesel gensets capacity is limited and the solar energy production is inconsiste­nt.

HOW DOES A PHOTOVOLTA­IC (SOLAR) DIESEL HYBRID SYSTEM WORK?

Depending on the consumer and their situation the main energy can be the grid power, the PV system or the diesel genset. When it is tied to the grid we would talk about on grid system and when it’s isolated, this is an offgrid system.

In any case, those energy sources are used to complement­s one another. Whether the goal is to fill in the gap made by grid failure or to reduce fuel expenditur­e, the PV system can supply additional energy. Batteries can also be used to store the excess energy to be used later on.

An energy management system like ePowerCont­rol can ensure fuel saving and optimal operation of the overall system.

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