With the PV Genset, Fronius is now offering a solution for applications that use diesel as the energy source. Diesel generators are combined with photovoltaic technology, which saves fuel, reduces costs and makes the power supply more reliable. The key to the success of the solution is the Fronius PV system controller. This controls the entire system, ensuring reliable yields and maximising diesel savings.
In many remote areas or regions where the electricity supply is unstable or extremely expensive, grids powered by diesel generators are extremely common. The costs depend on the country, transport distance and increasing oil costs on the global market.
Photovoltaics supports and paves the way for a new trend. The technical, ecological and economic advantages of the PV Genset result in ever-increasing demand. “Fronius has recognised the need for a cost-effective alternative to expensive diesel and, with the PV Genset, we are now offering a solution that saves fuel and minimises energy costs. We also provide support in the system planning phase,” explains Martin Hackl, head of the Solar Energy Division at Fronius International GmbH.
The recent upgrade of an irrigation system for a vegetable plantation in Lebanon demonstrates the potential of PV-Genset solutions.
Reliable, decentralised energy source for an unstable grid
In Deir el Ahmar, northern Lebanon, power is supplied to the irrigation system of a vegetable plantation using a PV system combined with a diesel generator. “The grid there is very unstable and power grid shutdowns of up to six hours every day are the norm, which is why a reliable, decentralised energy source is required,” explains David Hanek, Product Manager at Fronius International GmbH. The PV-Genset solution from Fronius provides the necessary backup system to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.
A PV system that will pay for itself within six years
Upgrading diesel-powered systems to the Fronius PV-Genset solution really pays off. Thanks to the PV system, operator Francois Farage of Green Essence Lebanon saves 35,640 euros a year. “The system in Lebanon will pay for itself within the sixth year. After that time savings will exceed 59,000 euros per year,” says David Hanek.
The 144 kWp photovoltaic system in northern Lebanon with six Fronius Symo inverters supports a 280 kVA generator and achieves a 40% degree of self-sufficiency. The system generates 216,000 kWh a year, saving approximately 115 tonnes of CO2.
Fronius PV system controller maximises diesel savings
The heart of the system is the Fronius PV system controller, which ensures the maximum PV output is generated during any given situation. The diesel generator is always operated in a manner that has the lowest possible impact on service life, even at low loads. In addition, the Fronius PV system controller guarantees quick control over the PV output: power fluctuations are compensated for immediately, reducing the strain on the diesel generator. All these measures enable the operator to achieve maximum diesel savings and therefore significantly reduce costs.
A smooth commissioning process thanks to assistance from Fronius
Even before commissioning, the system operator receives practical advice from the Fronius experts. “We enjoyed exceptional support from Fronius Technical Support while the system was being planned and installed. As a result the commissioning process could not have been smoother,” reports Francois Farage.