Microgrids are becoming increasingly popular because of the rapid rise in power demand due to population and industrial growth. In many locations, the current mains grid system is unable to cope with the increase in power demands, so businesses, governments, and even some individuals have begun to resort to generating their own power, to ensure reliability, but also to gain more control over rapidly rising electricity prices.
With hybrid systems that combine renewable sources of energy with a diesel system, two goals are always crucial – save fuel and keep the system reliable. Thanks to its advanced functions designed specifically for hybrid systems ComAp controllers can maximize the amount of energy from renewables while not endangering the system stability.
ComAp provides solutions for either small-scale hybrid applications as well as complex ones.

Hybrid systems and their benefits
The PV-Diesel Hybrid combination is popular because of the ease of integration between the two, and the relatively low cost of the photovoltaic panels and ancillary equipment. Integration with Wind Turbines is also possible within a Hybrid system, but the initial costs (and therefore return on investment times) on a cluster of wind turbines are much, much higher.
The main benefits of a Hybrid system are the reduction in power generation costs, and the increase in system reliability, as well as the environmental benefits, found from using a renewable source of energy.

Comap complex hybrid systems
ComAp complex system continuously monitors data from all sources of energy, including solar, wind, hydro, batteries and gen-sets. ComAp controllers are suitable for multiple gen-set applications and can also directly control the output of Solar, Wind & Battery Storage Systems.

ComAp also has a cloud forecasting system which increases the efficiency of any PV-Diesel hybrid power generation installation. The forecasting system uses a camera to continuously monitor the cloud cover over the photovoltaic installation. The cloud forecasting system uses an algorithm to predict overall solar irradiation that is above the PV cells. The algorithm uses overhead cloud cover, background radiation and other factors to predict the solar output and ensure the maximum utilization of the PV system before the gen-set starts. This system allows for the maximum input from the PV system, whilst also reducing the use of the diesel gen-set – resulting in a reduction of wear on the engine and saving in diesel consumption.

Simple solution for small-scale hybrid applications
The InteliGen 500 Microgrid allows users to integrate various sources of energy under one control system. The solution´s logic is based on our standard gen-set controller – InteliGen 500, which needs to be equipped with InteliFieldbus gateway and a brand new optional firmware called InteliGen 500 Microgrid. It can handle complex energy management of a site consisting of a single diesel gen-set, PV solar plant and a Battery Energy Storage System, and can incorporate a grid connection too if needed.

The system prefers the use of renewable energy by the built-in energy management algorithms. The solution is designed to be very flexible so the user can start with a basic PV-gen-set set-up and extend the site by battery energy storage system or Mains connection at a later stage without having to change the control system components.

Smart battery management
Cyclical battery charging allows using the gen-set at its most efficient power point to charge the battery energy storage system battery and then shut down to let the batteries supply the load. Auto mains failure function is set directly on battery so if there’s enough energy stored in batteries there’s no need to start the gen-set immediately when mains fails.
InteliGen 500 Microgrid is compatible almost with all photovoltaics and BESS inverters.
CASE STUDY: Hybrid Power System for a School
Luanda International School in Angola has a newly installed photovoltaic power plant to secure reliable power and reduce operating costs.
Due to the unstable grid, the school was often powered by the back-up diesel gen-sets, which fuel consumption contributed significantly to the high operating expenses.
ComAp´s distributor Anglobal together with ComAp engineers had therefore common mission: to enable parallel operation of the PV plant on the roofs of LIS school with the existing mains connection and diesel gen-sets, which used to be operational only in an island mode.
First, all the three diesel gen-sets (404kW prime power each) were equipped with the InteliGen NT BaseBox controllers to enable synchronization between each other and with the mains. Then the communication with the 33 Fronius Symo Inverters was established through the Fronius DataManager over Modbus RTU (RS485) and ComAp´s hybrid microgrid controller, the InteliSys NTC Hybrid, which ensured the operability of all the resources at once, including the PV curtailment ability. At last, a SCADA system for remote monitoring and control was installed.
Phone: +420 246 012 111 www.comap-control.com