Balancing Power Availability With Sustainability – DG PV Controller

A DG-PV Controller 

Frequent power cuts are a grim reality faced by all industries and commercial establishments across the country. It forces businesses to rely on Diesel Gensets, thereby increasing costs as well as the carbon footprint of the organisation.

The effectiveness of generating clean and cheap power by installing GRID connected rooftop solar power plant gets marred by frequent power cuts as solar power plants use grid power for reference voltage and frequency. In the absence of grid power, the system is unable to function, causing dual loss to the owner. The owner not only loses the electricity that could have been generated by rooftop solar power plant but is also compelled to switch over to the costly DG set for full power back up.

DG-PV System controller is a unique solution that resolves this problem by interfacing with the grid and DG set simultaneously to provide a complete grid management solution. This controller makes it possible to use solar power even when grid power is not available, by using a diesel generator. It ensures maximum utilisation of solar power and minimum fuel consumption by DG set.

Smart communication between the photovoltaic system and DG set assures greater uptime of the system and up to 25-30% fuel saving with maximum grid stability.

A solar DG-PV controller automatically synchronises solar PV with DG set. All information related to grid properties, load requirement and minimum genset loading is considered while configuring the fuel saving controller, which defines the optimum PV power set point for secure and reliable operation at all times.

The fuel save controller enables the hybrid controller system to meet any dynamic load requirement. If required, the PV power can be throttled down to guarantee smooth genset operation for optimum grid stability.

Some of the other benefits of DG-PV controller are protection against reverse power current and dynamic monitoring of system parameters on the SCADA /monitoring software. Also, it will ensure zero power flow from PV to grid in case the load demand comes down, thereby maintaining system stability when running PV plant with DG generator in the absence of the grid. 

The hybrid control system is highly scalable and can be adapted to the specific requirement of the application, for example – communication with inverter over ethernet or serial (RS485/232), universal analog inputs/output module, thermocouple and RTD. The controller also ensures compatibility with all makes of solar inverters and diesel generators.

Thermax has set up DG PV controller for multiple customers over the years. Our experts can guide you to select a configuration that works best for your plant. As the world moves towards improving energy efficiency and conserving resources, DG PV controller can help in taking another step towards sustainability and reduce your cost of operation in the process.

Thermax’s digitalisation wave: Solutions for today and tomorrow

The scenario

Digital transformation has occupied the centre stage in the recent past and has started reshaping the way manufacturing sector works. The recent wave of lockdowns that followed the COVID outbreak accelerated the pace of digital transformation. Some enterprises were prepared on how to deal with it, some learnt it on the go, and some are still learning.

As a key enabler of our growth ambitions and vision of becoming a high performance global organisation, we at Thermax commenced our ‘Smart journey’ with a structured digital roadmap. We have been progressively adopting digital tools to improve our business efficiency, adapt to a more agile and connected way of working; all this is backed by strong data security. Our digital transformation journey consists of three pillars – from individualistic to collaborative for the organisation, from people-driven to industry benchmarked processes and from a product-based approach to outcome-oriented solutions for customers to ensure precision, reliability and consistency.

Manufacturing competitiveness

The first major milestone in the journey was the commissioning of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh for manufacturing high efficiency vapour absorption chillers for global markets. The factory deploys high level of automation, a first of a kind for a capital goods company, equipped with an automated MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and skilled workforce on the shop floor.

Facilities

Employee collaboration

We aim to adopt contemporary practices that can integrate all operations and transform business processes into more strategic and measurable ones. The HR team at Thermax launched SAP SuccessFactors, which is an industry-leading cloud human capital management (HCM) suite that uses advanced technologies and helps in managing various facets of employees’ organisational lifecycle. This covers core HR and payroll, attendance management and time logs, performance and appraisals, recruitment and onboarding, learning and development; with a focus on people engagement and experience. 

Digitalisation is also keeping finances in order, which is another daunting task. Now imagine, for claiming expenses you have to fill a form, get it approved by your manager and then collate all the physical copies of the bills and submit them to your finance team. Isn’t a tedious task? With the help of SAP Concur, 

claiming paperless expense has become so much easier and productive for employees, managers and the finance team.

The latest addition to the digital platform is THERMSafe, which was launched during the ongoing pandemic crisis. It is an app developed in-house to capture the health status of employees while they are working from home and before entering the office premises. The advanced feature in the application prompts users to be self-quarantined if needed and also update them on sanitisation status being followed at office premises and common areas. 

Customer engagement

Thermax has been leveraging digitalisation to make the company more efficient; moreover enhance the value of our offerings for our customers. Recently, Thermax commissioned a large auxiliary boiler online for a customer in Egypt with the help of various tools, including TeamViewer, Microsoft Teams, Grafana Portal, among others, that enabled real-time collaboration between two teams located in different countries. 

According to a study by Gartner, the IoT market will grow to 5.8 billion in 2020. Like other companies, Thermax is also exploring ways in which it can inculcate IoT enabled solutions in its business offerings. Thermax’s industrial analytics solution provider, Ultramind, is IoT enabled and can be integrated with boilers and heaters that has PLC systems of any make. It identifies gaps in operating parameters, analyse factors and make necessary recommendations to improve combustion and heat transfer processes. The tool is a great value addition for customers in terms of improving efficiency, safety standards, seamless maintenance, and critical spare parts planning.

Thermax’s Remote Online System Support (ROSS) is a cloud-based remote monitoring technology, which monitors and controls the performance of absorption chillers across the globe, thus offering better customer service and chiller maintenance remotely. The advanced feature supports in managing and monitoring the chillers with alarms, trend graphs, and reports efficiently. ROSS is now connected to around 547 chillers across the globe. 

Concurrent to improving customer facing application, Thermax is also enhancing its internal processes to provide the best quality output to its customers. We have deployed a robust automated proposal generation process, addressing customer requirements accurately with the shorter response time. The digital engineer-to-order process supports advanced engineering calculations and functions and seamlessly integrates design softwares with customer needs to streamline the automatic generation of technical proposals, engineering drawings and BOQs.

Through our digitalisation initiatives, our endeavour is to create a connected ecosystem where we engage our customers seamlessly and provide better customer experience, regardless of time and place.

More power from the Sun – Designing solar plants for maximum generation

Solar sector in India has seen tremendous growth in a short period of time. As we work to scale up our solar PV generation capacity, equal efforts have to be made to ensure the equipment quality of upcoming installations is up to industry standards. The plants must strictly adhere to established norms of engineering, safety and their seamless integration into the national grid. Precise design and engineering of solar power plants in a way that optimises power generation is essential to harness its real benefits.   

While designing a solar PV system, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of parameters that affect power generation comprising both metrological data and electrical components. Solar power plant design calls for high technical proficiency in order to maintain a delicate balance between performance and cost. Various factors such as infrastructure, solar plant layout, technology selection, system configuration, and quality of the components play a very important role in maximising energy yield and minimising project cost.

A key input for a solar PV power plant design is the metrological data of the installation site, which consist of solar irradiance, temperature, relative humidity and wind data. It is critical to consider updated metrological data base and advanced software to predict expected power generation with high precision.

The basic components of a solar power plant include a solar module, inverter electronics, structures and balance of electrical system.

The electrical components are primarily classified into DC side and AC side. DC side covers solar modules, solar cables inverter, and mounting system, while the AC side entails AC cables, electrical protection, transformer and evacuation. Additionally monitoring system (SCADA/data logger/cloud-based system) is used for tracking and predicting power generation, capturing plant performance and O&M. 

Solar technology has witnessed innovation at a feverish pace in the last decade, thereby progressively improving solar module efficiency and sizes. Modules are now available at higher power wattage and higher voltage. With this incremental system voltage, it is possible to reduce the solar field losses up to some extent which ultimately increases the plant performance ratio (PR). Modules being at the core of power generation must be selected with meticulous evaluation of all relevant parameters. It should be safe for the user, O&M team and the system. Alongside, it must necessarily address UV rays and other environmental related conditions.  

Inverters should be of good quality, with high conversion efficiency, and proven reference base that has good online and offline service support across the country. The replacement parts should be easily available. The inverter should have adequate protection features on both DC and AC side along with flexibility in design. Adaptability to environmental conditions of the solar field is a very critical factor too.

Other components should be selected as per site condition and project requirement. Importantly, valid and applicable certifications should be available for all components to meet necessary quality standards.  Certifications are also required for government approval, insurance claim and safe operation of the plant. 

An optimally designed plant should have average first year PR between 78% to 82% depending on various aforesaid parameters, losses and  proper O&M. To optimise for maximum generation we need to take into consideration various loss parameters mentioned below :

Sr. no Loss Parameter Typical Values (in %)
1 Shading  Not greater than 3.5%
2 Incidence Angle Modifier  Not greater than 3.5%
3 Soiling Loss  Not greater than 3.5%
4 Module Temperature Loss  Approximately 11-12%
5 Module Quality Loss  Typically this ranges from 0 to 3%
6 First Year Module Degradation (under Light
Induced Degradation (LID)
 LID – Typically this ranges from 0 to 3%

Annual Degradation – Typically this ranges from 0.5% to 0.75%

7 Module Array Mismatch Loss  Typically 1.2%
8 DC Ohmic Wiring Loss  Not more than 3.5%
9 Inverter Loss during Operation (Efficiency)  Typically 2.5%
10 AC Ohmic Losses  Not more than 3.5%
11 System Unavailability  Typically 1%
12 External Transformer Loss  Typically 3%

 

Solar PV installations are often perceived to be relatively simple. But sans proper design, installation and regular maintenance, not only does the desired power generation suffer, but safety of the electrical system could also be compromised leading to fatalities. Hence, due care and attention are to be extended to all facets of a solar plant.

While most of the solar players and media continue to focus on the cost of solar, a prudent customer needs to look at the performance track record while choosing the EPC partner for their solar project. Since a solar power plant has an expected life of 25 years or more, degradation of performance over time has an outsized impact on overall returns to the customer. 

Thermax has installed more than 130 solar PV plants spread over 70 cities across 18 states. It is a testimony to our engineering capability and rigorous focus on quality that all our installations continue to operate above-committed performance ratio. We have managed to reach PR as high as 85%-86% for some installations with an intelligent combination of site conditions and technical innovation. Combined with our O&M support, customers can be rest assured that their plant will continue to generate green solar power for its useful life and beyond.

To know more about our solar offerings, connect with us at https://www.thermaxglobal.com/solar-offering/  

To enquire: enquiry@thermaxglobal.com

To call: 1800-209-0115

Safety starts with the right attitude and behaviour

Every year March 4th is celebrated as National Safety Day commemorating the Foundation Day of the National Safety Council and the first National Safety Day (NSD) Campaign which was launched in 1972.
The campaign now entering its 45th year, has grown into a major national campaign widely celebrated by industries, trade unions, government departments, regulatory agencies NGO’s and institutions with the active support of the Central and State Governments and media. It has made an impact on the industrial scenario at the national level by contributing to increased safety awareness and reduction in accidents. Started for a single day on March 4th as NSD, the campaign is now being spread over a week from March 4-11. Today, March 4, 2016 marks the 45th National Safety Day.

As safety is a top priority at Thermax, we look forward to this day each year as an added springboard for how we work all year round towards our goal of zero accidents and a healthy work environment.

Theme for 2016:

“STRENGTHEN SAFETY MOVEMENT TO ACHIEVE ZERO HARM”

Hazards at Work
Whatever sort of business you are, there is always the possibility of an accident or damage to someone’s health. All work exposes people to hazards, be it: loads which have to be manually handled; dangerous machinery; toxic substances; electricity; working with display screen equipment or even psychological hazards such as stress.

Preventing accidents and health damage

The underlying aim of good health and safety management is to make sure that people’s safety is not put at risk and that their health is not damaged Remember, no job is important that we can’t take time to perform it safely.

Attention to health and safety is not just about obeying the law and being socially responsible. It also makes good business sense.

Safety practices can:

  • reduce your accident losses;
  • cut absenteeism;
  • help you become more efficient; and
  • improve your business profile with customers, clients, insurers, enforcers etc.

The key to ensuring the safety and health of young people in the workplace is having a good health and safety management system which protects everyone. But young people can be at particular risk because they lack experience and trained judgement and thus they need good advice, information and supervision.

Working Together
Remember, you cannot achieve a safe and healthy working environment on your own. It has to be a team effort. You need to get proper health and safety co-ordination going with other businesses with which you come into contact such as clients, customers, suppliers or contractors. Don’t wait for things to go wrong and then go for the ‘quick fix’. Build health and safety in from the start. Don’t delay – make time and space to get started today!

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