Your diesel generator running up unacceptable fuel bills during load shedding?

Your diesel generator running up unacceptable fuel bills during load shedding?

By Jack Ward, CEO of Soltra Energy

We have the answer. Save fuel by creating a hybrid, grid-tied, diesel/solar photovoltaic (PV) installation. Such a system can save up to 30% of the fuel used in traditional diesel-only generation.

Soltra Energy is a leader in innovative hybrid technology that allows power generated by solar technology to work alongside power supplied by the grid and a diesel generator, allowing you to benefit from using less fuel while maintaining targeted power outputs.

In addition to slashing your fuel bills, the quick payback of the solar elements of a modern grid-tied, hybrid system can return their investment costs in three to five years.

Solar PV power is often the most economical alternative renewable energy source in South Africa where solar irradiation is both abundant and free. It is also one of the most desirable ways to boost efficiency, minimise energy waste and improve CO2 emissions at minimum cost.

The Solar PV elements of the system are modular and can be quickly installed anywhere and only minimal maintenance is required to keep them running.

An intelligent management system (controller) is a key component of a solar PV/diesel hybrid system. A software algorithm ensures the solar PV array operates at its maximum power output at all given solar radiation levels. Only when these drop below a specified point, or at night, are the grid and diesel generator brought in as necessary.

This software-based solution provides the interface between the grid, the generator, solar PV system and the load, managing demand-based PV feed-in.

For example, when the grid fails and the generator is required to run, the solar installation synchronises with the generator. The solar fuel saver/ controller protects the generator and ensures that the electrical system is stable. The controller regulates output from the solar installation and ensures that the generator is always running above its minimum threshold.

Importantly, if the system is used in a commercial/industrial setting where the premises are occupied only during the working week, the generator can be disabled at night and on week-ends to further save fuel.