Supergrid: Integration of Renewable Energy in Europe and Africa

Study on Supergrid Presents Scenarios and Technologies for a Renewable-Based Energy Supply

Press Release 09/16, April, 18, 2016

In the Supergrid project, Fraunhofer researchers developed scenarios and technologies for integrating a large share of renewable energy in Europe and Africa. ©istock/skodonnell

The percentage of renewables in the electricity supply is steadily growing worldwide. Using a combination of different renewable sources, an ecological and economical electricity mix can be realized across national borders. Decisive here is the reliable supply, storage and distribution of renewable electricity. In the Supergrid project, several Fraunhofer institutes joined together to research just how such an electricity and transmission grid between North Africa and Europe could function. They developed scenarios for a renewable energy system in the MENA region and compared potential technologies. Detailed solutions were proposed and regulatory mechanisms were evaluated. The results of the Supergrid study are now available in a final report.

The Supergrid study was a joint effort carried out by five Fraunhofer institutes each with different expertise. Using a model-based analysis, an interdisciplinary research team first confirmed that renewable energy technologies have a large techno-economical potential in North Africa. Because of this, scenarios were developed that consider an ambitious expansion of renewable energy in the MENA region – with and without the perspective of energy exports to Europe. Because present political conditions hinder the expansion of renewable energy in this region, the scientists also prepared recommendations for new regulatory mechanisms and support schemes for renewable energy.

Energy System Analysis and Modeling

Before modeling began, the status quo in North Africa and Southern Europe was taken: Existing electricity systems in Europe and North Africa were documented and the solar and wind potentials were analyzed using a geographical information system. Next, the best cost combination of power plants was determined with consideration to site planning and power plant deployment. Finally, the existing transmission grid infrastructure was modeled and the extent of renewable electricity integration was investigated. On this basis, four scenarios were developed which track renewable energy expansion up to 2050. For each scenario different assumptions were made for the electricity demand on site, the electricity export to Europe as well as for the politically motivated targets set for carbon dioxide emission reductions and energy efficiency improvements. “The results of the study show that decarbonizing the electricity supply in Europe and North Africa is feasible in a cost-effective manner,” says Prof. Dr. Werner Platzer, project leader and division director at Fraunhofer ISE. “In each of the scenarios modelled, very high shares close to 100 percent renewable energy were achieved by 2050.”

Storage for Solar Thermal Power Plants

According to the Fraunhofer researchers, concentrated solar thermal power plants (CSP) will play a major role in a renewable-based supply system in the MENA region. This dispatchable technology serves to complement the fluctuating generation from wind and photovoltaics. In this respect, the development of high temperature storage for CSP power plants becomes very attractive. In developmental research, reducing costs by using less expensive storage materials, e. g. molten salt, and increasing system efficiency is just as important as improving the storage component design and optimizing the complete system. In order to evaluate the performance of different CSP power plant concepts, a simulation platform was created which allows many modeling variations for the concentrator and receiver technology, heat transfer medium and the storage type. At the same time, scientists analyzed different storage materials and components in the laboratory. Actual prototypes of solar thermal storage systems were built and tested. For example, an innovative latent heat storage system with a screw heat exchanger was investigated for applications in direct steam power plants that use water as heat transfer fluid. Other concepts aimed at using salts both as storage as well as a heat transfer medium.

Grids and Power Electronics

In each of the four scenarios, a large growth of renewable energy goes hand in hand with an expanding direct current grid. One solution is to create a meshed overlay grid with high-voltage direct current lines (HVDC) that enable fluctuating power from renewable power plants to be transmitted over long distances. Such a grid can contribute significantly to the grid stability. Since no such grid exists to date, the Fraunhofer researchers set about modeling it, analyzing the performance with respect to the complete grid management. Power electronics will be a key technology in the expansion of the DC transmission grid. Therefore, the researchers in the Supergrid project developed detailed solutions so that the electronic components of the future can meet the new requirements in the medium-voltage range. Among other developments, the engineers built a medium-voltage DC/DC converter in order to demonstrate the potential of low loss high voltage transistors made of silicon carbide (SiC). In the field of passive components, prototypes of capacitors based on thin glass foils were tested.

About the Supergrid Project
The Supergrid project was supported by the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. The coordination was carried out by Fraunhofer ISE. Other project partners were Fraunhofer Institutes for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB, for Mechanics of Materials IWM, for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB and for Systems and Innovation Research ISI.

Further information about the sub-projects:

Downloads:

Original Source Article:

https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/press-and-media/press-releases/press-releases-2016/integration-of-renewable-energies-in-europe-and-africa?set_language=en

 

03.05.2016 |

PV Manager Demo and Sales Seminar - 28th April

IBC_LogoRGB300dpiScreenHunter_131 Apr. 15 09.53

IBC PV manager is excellent software tool to design residential to farm size projects in minutes.

Full shading, string and 3D analyses now available at a fraction of the cost of more expensive software tools.

Join Kinesh Chetty on the 28th April at the Maxx office in JHB for a Demo of IBC PV Manager and sales seminar on innovative sales and marketing strategies.

Venue: Maxx-Solar Energy Office - JHB - Randburg

Date: 28 April

Time: 2 - 4 pm

R.S.V.P. <denise@maxx-energy.co.za>

Cost: Free to Alumni

Regret seats are limited and are on a first come first serve basis.

18.04.2016 |

The Rooftop Revolution

#RooftopRevolution is the hashtag under which we are collecting various social media posts and campaigns. The idea behind the #RooftopRevolution is simple: Cover all roofs with photovoltaic!

Business brief

A comment by our director in the BusinessBrief April/May 16

What makes solar energy special and enables us to really start a revolution is that it is accessable for everyone. Every household can enter the revolution and produce its own energy. No other renewable energy has such a potential and is as easy to handle as solar PV.

In South Africa, there are even more positive side effects. It is not only green energy production, the logical reasons why to invest into a photovoltaic system are already convincing enough: Photovoltaic in combination with a storage system makes you independent from rising electricity prices and power cuts due to load shedding. The investment costs are economically bearable -really for everyone!- and will pay you back much more than initially invested! Nobody hesitates when investing in a car even though you will never see your money again so why doubting when investing into a PV system when it even pays you money back??

We at maxx I solar energy are convinced of the idea of this revolution. We work hard on finding solutions how to spread the idea of photovoltaic energy even more.

One of our latest ideas is the concept of "PV Renting". We are offering the possibilty to finance the purchase of a PV system on a monthly basis to make it even easier!

If you are interested in this new concept, please contact us and we will provide you with further information.

14.04.2016 |

Think Safe and Legal PV systems!

On 16th March, Safety and the Legality of photovoltaic installations headlined the Cape Town Energy Efficiency Forum.

South Africa's emerging solar industry has resulted in some rooftop PV systems being poorly installed while others are being connected to the electricity grid in an illegal and unsafe manner.

This is a big safety concern as the households will be compromised by risk of electrical fires and shock. Furthermore the power quality of the electrical grid will be compromised by illegal connections that use the wrong equipment.

Executive Mayor from the City of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille also joined the discussion. As a first step towards legal regulations and the improvement of safety, the City of Cape Town presented guidelines on what to consider when installing a solar PV system. These guidelines can be found here.

IMG_2515 IMG_2516 Brochure_CoCT

While there are compulsory wiring standards for general electrical installations, there is no dedicated national standard for PV installations yet. Therefore we herewith give you some pointers when having your first Photovoltaic system installed:

  • Most important would be to use a well known and verified PV service provider. It is good to check if the business has had substantial prior experience and can provide you with contactable references.
  • Secondly we would recommend that you check if the service provider employs or subcontracts qualified staff to design and install systems. While doing that it would also be good to find out if the company responsible for your installation is registered with the South African Photovoltaic Association (SAPVIA) and with the Electrical Contractors Board (ECB) and/or is a maxx-solar energy aumni.
  • Post-installation we also recommend you request an original electrical certificate of compliance (CoC). This document checks that the electrician who performed the installation has complied with the rules and regulations that are in place to assure a safe installation.
  • Having a PV system installed is usually a once in a lifetime investment and  should be done properly from the beginning.

If you are not sure whether a company is reliable or if you are looking for one, please contact us. We work together with many PV installation companies in all of Southern Africa and will be able to recommend you one that complies with our own high standards of quality.

18.03.2016 |

Tesla Powerwall and SolarEdge Training

A last reminder, if you have not done so already to register below for the SolarEdge and Tesla Powerwall installer training

Register here and watch this space

 

08.02.2016 |

Rules for embedded generation to be included in DoE license regulations - NERSA

The rules for embedded generation expected to be out this year has been delayed, NERSA's  Moefi Moroeng         .

Rules will now only be finalised after Department of Energy  (DoE) completes the new guidelines for all generation projects.

This inspite to many grid tied PV systems being realized in 2015.

Read the full article here:

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/nersa-says-rules-for-embedded-generators-to-be-included-in-doe-licensing-regulations-2015-12-07/rep_id:3182

08.12.2015 |

Solar PV Middelburg

5 kW system for homes and businesses

solar PV Middelburg

Modules:  IBC 260W polycrystalline panels
Inverter: SMA
Total capacity: 5 kWp
Place: Middelburg, Mpumalanga
Realised by:
Green Beam Solar & Energy Services
Year of installation:
2015

→ back to all references

5 kWp residential project: The mounting system is the IBC aerofix 10 degree E/W system. the solar panels face East and West to get more sunlight in the morning and evening. When the energy demand is high in the mornings and evenings, an East-West-system is higher in efficiency.

This soalr PV solution is not only suitable for private homes but also offices and businesses. Computers and printers have a rather low energy consumption, so only a few solar panels and batteries are needed to provide energy also during load shedding. Lost data and closing the office because of power failure won't happen to you anymore.

This type of system is called back-up system because it works like a Diesel generator and provides electricity during power failure. Another name is hybrid system because it combines the power of the grid with solar energy stored in batteries.

The systems does not only avoid total power failure during load shedding, it also cuts down electricity costs. Electricity costs are reduced by production of electricity by sun energy. The photovoltaic plant produces the energy for a fixed price per kWh and makes the owner more independent from Eskom and energy price increase. This kind of solar system provides cheap electricity and the sun power creates independence.

This system is a BMI 3000+  , the next bigger system is the BMI 5000+.

If you want a solar system to reduce costs only, a pure grid-tied PV system is a good alternative. By only installing the PV panels and no batteries you can save costs. The cost price of the system is lower and you save money during operation by avoiding costs for Eskom electricity. Have a look at our BMI 3000 or BMI 5000 if you are interested.

Solar PV Middelburg - Find an installer:

If you are also interested in buying your own solar system, contact us to find an installer for solar PV Middelburg / Johannesburg / Pretoria/ Gauteng area.

maxx-solar energy has a wide network of installer, planner and designer of PV systems all over South Africa. We will get you the right contact no matter if you are in Western Cape, Northern Cape, KZN, Gauteng, Limpopo, Eastern Cape or anywhere else.

→ back to all references

About the SMA inverter:

(source SMA)

The Sunny Island 6.0H/8.0H supports a wide range of on-grid and off-grid applications in the 3 to 25 kW range - from operation in remote off-grid areas to home energy management.

Furthermore, being a core element in the SMA Flexible Storage System for new and existing PV systems, it stores generated solar power and works with the Sunny Home Manager to manage home and commercial energy consumption intelligently.

Its high protection class, wide temperature range and exceptional overload capacity provide the kind of reliability needed for off-grid use. Intelligent load and energy management keeps the system running even in critical situations.

Flexibility:

The Sunny Island offers flexibility in terms of combination with other equipment, which means that the system can be configured precisely to meet the applicable power requirements.

  • Choice of battery: The Sunny Island is compatible with many well-known brands of lithium-ion battery and all lead-acid batteries.
  • Can be retrofitted for single- and three-phase systems
  • Increase system size at any time with SMA multicluster technology
  • Increase system size at any time with SMA multicluster technology

Intelligence:

In the SMA Smart Home, the Sunny Home Manager, with the Sunny Island, takes control of intelligent management between the PV system, appliances and storage systems as well as regulates all energy flows.

  • Comprehensive visualization in the Sunny Portal
  • Forecast-based charging
  • Simple planning using planning guidelines and Sunny Design

Training:

If you are interested in solar PV or would like to run your own business, have a look at our training section.

→ back to all references

30.11.2015 |

Solar system Johannesburg

Free electricity from your roof

solar system Johannesburg

Modules:  IBC 260W polycrystalline panels
Inverter: SMA
Total capacity: 3 kWp
Place: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Realised by:
Sedet Power Pty Ltd
Year of installation:
2015

→ back to all references

Electricity for free? A few solar panels on the roof turn sun light into electricity. You don't have to pay more to Eskom than necessary.

A solar system can be either connected to the grid or off-grid. For load shedding cure you need also a pack of batteries. During load shedding you take energy from the PV panels and the batteries. All kinds of devices can be connected.

This type of system is called back-up system because it works like a Diesel generator and provides electricity during power failure. Another name is hybrid system because it combines the power of the grid with solar energy stored in batteries.

The systems does not only avoid total power failure during load shedding, it also cuts down electricity costs. Electricity costs are reduced by production of electricity by sun energy. The photovoltaic plant produces the energy for a fixed price per kWh and makes the owner more independent from Eskom and energy price increase. This kind of solar system provides cheap electricity and the sun power creates independence.

This system is a BMI 3000+  , the next bigger system is the BMI 5000+.

If you want a solar system to reduce costs only, a pure grid-tied PV system is a good alternative. By only installing the PV panels and no batteries you can save costs. The cost price of the system is lower and you save money during operation by avoiding costs for Eskom electricity. Have a look at our BMI 3000 or BMI 5000 if you are interested.

Solar System Johannesburg - Find an installer:

If you are also interested in buying your own solar system, contact us to find an installer for solar system Johannesburg / Pretoria/ Gauteng area.

maxx-solar energy has a wide network of installer, planner and designer of PV systems all over South Africa. We will get you the right contact no matter if you are in Western Cape, Northern Cape, KZN, Gauteng, Limpopo, Eastern Cape or anywhere else.

→ back to all references

About the SMA inverter:

(source SMA)

The Sunny Island 6.0H/8.0H supports a wide range of on-grid and off-grid applications in the 3 to 25 kW range - from operation in remote off-grid areas to home energy management.

Furthermore, being a core element in the SMA Flexible Storage System for new and existing PV systems, it stores generated solar power and works with the Sunny Home Manager to manage home and commercial energy consumption intelligently.

Its high protection class, wide temperature range and exceptional overload capacity provide the kind of reliability needed for off-grid use. Intelligent load and energy management keeps the system running even in critical situations.

Flexibility:

The Sunny Island offers flexibility in terms of combination with other equipment, which means that the system can be configured precisely to meet the applicable power requirements.

  • Choice of battery: The Sunny Island is compatible with many well-known brands of lithium-ion battery and all lead-acid batteries.
  • Can be retrofitted for single- and three-phase systems
  • Increase system size at any time with SMA multicluster technology
  • Increase system size at any time with SMA multicluster technology

Intelligence:

In the SMA Smart Home, the Sunny Home Manager, with the Sunny Island, takes control of intelligent management between the PV system, appliances and storage systems as well as regulates all energy flows.

  • Comprehensive visualization in the Sunny Portal
  • Forecast-based charging
  • Simple planning using planning guidelines and Sunny Design

Training:

If you are interested in solar PV or would like to run your own business, have a look at our training section.

→ back to all references

30.11.2015 |

Solar System Somerset West, Western Cape

Domestic solar energy system for back-up during loadshedding

[justified_image_grid ids="5198,5667"]

Modules:  IBC 260W polycrystalline panels
Inverter: SMA, SI 8.0H and SB 3600TL
Total capacity: 5 kWp, 48V400Ah battery pack
Place: Somerset West, Western Cape
Realised by:
Go solar, Werner Pagels
Year of installation:
2015

→ back to all references

This embedded generation system in Somerset West, Western Cape is the perfect example how solar PV works and how it can avoid power failure during load shedding.

Depending on local legislation, the system is connected to the Eskom grid. When the Eskom grid works, the solar electricity charges the batteries and reduces the electricity bill of the house. When there is a black out the system is able to provide the whole house with elctricity from the un and the batteries.

This type of system is called back-up system because it works like a Diesel generator and provides electricity during power failure. Another name is hybrid system because it combines the power of the grid with solar energy stored in batteries.

The systems does not only avoid total power failure during load shedding, it also cuts down electricity costs. Electricity costs are reduced by production of electricity by sun energy. The photovoltaic plant produces the energy for a fixed price per kWh and makes the owner more independent from Eskom and energy price increase. This kind of solar system provides cheap electricity and the sun power creates independence.

This system is a BMI 5000+ , the next smaller system is the BMI 3000+.

If you want a solar system to reduce costs only, a pure grid-tied PV system is a good alternative. By only installing the PV panels and no batteries you can save costs. The cost price of the system is lower and you save money during operation by avoiding costs for Eskom electricity. Have a look at our BMI 3000 or BMI 5000 if you are interested.

Find an installer:

If you are also interested in buying your own solar system, contact us to find an installer for solar system Somerset West.

maxx-solar energy has a wide network of installer, planner and designer of PV systems all over South Africa. We will get you the right contact no matter if you are in Western Cape, Northern Cape, KZN, Gauteng, Limpopo, Eastern Cape or anywhere else.

→ back to all references

About the SMA inverter:

(source SMA)

The Sunny Island 6.0H/8.0H supports a wide range of on-grid and off-grid applications in the 3 to 25 kW range - from operation in remote off-grid areas to home energy management.

Furthermore, being a core element in the SMA Flexible Storage System for new and existing PV systems, it stores generated solar power and works with the Sunny Home Manager to manage home and commercial energy consumption intelligently.

Its high protection class, wide temperature range and exceptional overload capacity provide the kind of reliability needed for off-grid use. Intelligent load and energy management keeps the system running even in critical situations.

Flexibility:

The Sunny Island offers flexibility in terms of combination with other equipment, which means that the system can be configured precisely to meet the applicable power requirements.

  • Choice of battery: The Sunny Island is compatible with many well-known brands of lithium-ion battery and all lead-acid batteries.
  • Can be retrofitted for single- and three-phase systems
  • Increase system size at any time with SMA multicluster technology
  • Increase system size at any time with SMA multicluster technology

Intelligence:

In the SMA Smart Home, the Sunny Home Manager, with the Sunny Island, takes control of intelligent management between the PV system, appliances and storage systems as well as regulates all energy flows.

  • Comprehensive visualization in the Sunny Portal
  • Forecast-based charging
  • Simple planning using planning guidelines and Sunny Design

Training:

If you are interested in solar PV or would like to run your own business, have a look at our training section.

 

→ back to all references

30.11.2015 |

SMA launches Sunny Design 3.4 - Free off grid and back-up calculator

sma-600x371

New free version with Off Grid is online and ready to use for both desk top and web version.

Self consumption, off grid, Diesel Hybrid calculator.

 

SMA batteries diesel

 

 

09.11.2015 |