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Tuesday, 08 October 2013 14:32

Cost savings with PV generation hybrid systems

Systems Automation and Management (SAM) is a leading supplier of data acquisition systems and innovative automation solutions, and one of the most significant developments currently offered to the local industry by SAM is the considerable cost benefits that can be achieved by switching to photovoltaic (PV) generation hybrid systems in comparison to conventional diesel generators.

Systems Automation and Management (SAM) is a leading supplier of data acquisition systems and innovative automation solutions, and its role as a dynamic systems integrator means it has become a major player in the power utility and mining markets of South Africa, with over 25 years of experience in the service of these industries.

One of the most significant developments currently offered to the local industry by SAM is the considerable cost benefits that can be achieved by switching to photovoltaic (PV) generation hybrid systems in comparison to conventional diesel generators. 

This is highlighted by the fact that PV costs have decreased by 50% over the past few years, whilst the cost of diesel fuel has been continuously increasing – a cost gap that will become ever-widening in the future. SAM’s PV-GEN Controller enables intelligent communication between the PV’s, the generator sets and the load, and is already proven as a viable business solution in high irradiation regions. This patented solution provides an easy add-on approach to existing plants, where it can achieve PV penetration levels up to 60% whilst still securing overall system stability and smooth genset control. SAM’s solution allows for the scalable deployment of PV’s with a high tolerance for wide voltage and frequency ranges; integrated management functions for weak grid performance; intelligent and fast interfacing between the load, genset and the PV inverter; and several operational modes for maximum compatibility – together with a robust design that has been proven in harsh environments.

This means it is highly suitable for the variable climatic conditions experienced throughout South Africa, where it is used extensively by utilities and independent power producers in regions with weak grid performance; for remote industries such as mining, oil and gas or desalination; for agricultural irrigation systems; and in many other applications such as tourism and real estate.

The considerable fuel reductions ensured by SAM’s PV-GEN-Hybrid systems allow for cost savings in capital expenditure that can result in a payback time as short as 5-12 months in some cases.

In operation, the payback time for PV investment is analysed as a function of the fuel price. For a fixed fuel price, the overall saving potential for the hybrid plant owner is analysed based on a discounted cash flow simulation.

With quick, transparent and reliable information on technical and financial feasibility, SAM supports its customers in the quest to finding cost-effective, efficient solutions.

SAM

Tel: +27 11 803 0570

Website: www.sam.co.za