Uninterrupted and environmentally-friendly power supply
This was the challenge facing cereal producer CETOSA. The family-owned business is the leading member of a group of companies founded in 1984, which specialise in the production and marketing of cereals and fertilisers as well as breeding pigs. The company is based in Algerri in the Spanish province of Lleida. In order to optimise the cost effectiveness of the business and ensure a continuous power supply for production operations, CETOSA opted for solar power produced by their own photovoltaic system. The company turned to powerful solar technology from Fronius and Dutch energy specialist Victron Energy to benefit from their expertise in efficient solar systems.
Perfect compatibility ensures optimum power supply
“The aim of this project was to upgrade CETOSA’s 82 kilowatt photovoltaic system”, explains Francisco Heredia, Technical Advisor at Fronius Spain. Three Fronius Symo inverters were installed for this purpose and the energy generator was connected directly to the microgrid - a regional, self-contained power distribution network. “Our inverters have a special setup for this purpose, with various functions to ensure stable microgrid operation”, adds Heredia. In order to store the electricity generated and so provide a continuous power supply, Fronius has made its inverters compatible with technology from Victron Energy, global supplier of energy solutions for grid-independent systems and solar-powered systems. Six Victron Quattro inverter chargers and four Victron BlueSolar charge controllers in CETOSA’s system ensure the agricultural business is able to store surplus energy that can be used as and when it is needed.
Sophisticated system prevents outages
This technology from Fronius and Victron Energy also offers significant advantages in terms of fail-safe operation. Most of the time, the output of the inverter is controlled without communication. “Here, the frequency droop characteristic of the inverter charger and the inverter ensure optimum power setpoints”, explains David Hanek, Product Manager at Fronius. “But, should the load be less than the maximum capacity of the PV generator and if the batteries are already full, automatic power reduction will be required”, he adds. In addition to the frequency droop characteristic, voltage-dependent power reduction and reactive power regulation functions can also be activated. A back-up generator provides another layer of safety. CETOSA also benefits from effective system monitoring: the operator can use the Victron Remote Monitoring Portal (VRM) to view live values, while the Fronius Solar.web online portal provides a comprehensive range of display and analysis functions for all PV system data. The Colour Control Display (CCGX) from Victron acts as a data aggregator between the Fronius Datamanager and the Victron inverter/charger.
This technology from Fronius and Victron Energy means the cereal producer is supplied with energy independently of the public grid. “CETOSA is now in a position to power its cereal production operations using primarily solar energy. Not only is this considerably more cost effective, it is also much better for the environment”, summarises Matthijs Vader, Managing Director at Victron Energy.