Getting started with planning a solar-diesel-hybrid plant can seem overwhelming at first. To make it easy for everyone, SMA offers a free service to help you in the planning phase. This article describes how you can easily get in contact with our experts.
For all of you who do not have time to spare, this is the very short version:
1. Fill in this questionnaire
Don’t be afraid: it is just two pages that collect the most important aspects
2. Send it to FuelSaveSolution@sma.de
That’s it! 🙂
With this information, our experts have all information at hand to make a solar-diesel-hybrid system design and a bill of material. If there are positions within the questionnaire that you cannot answer, just leave them free – we will suggest a best fit from our calculations or experiences made in the 140 systems in operation all over the planet.
And now in a little more detail
For those of you who would like to spend 5 minutes more: Below you will find details to all the information queried in the questionnaire in the following lines.
The questionnaire starts with a section querying general data about the project. This information is useful for us to link design requests to a later project realization. Maybe our experts have the one or other detailed question. In this case, the contact information allows us to get in interaction with you quickly.
If part of the information is confidential, please just omit it.
We also query location data. We use location based weather data for calculation of the economic analysis. The more precise the location is, the better the solar production can be guessed.
If information about the location is confident, you could leave this field blank, but the results of the economic analysis would be a very rough guess. At least, coordinates of a point close to the location anywhere in the surrounding would still be better than no coordinates at all.
This section queries information about the electrical grid that is available in the planned location. Depending on the electrical data, our experts select components that can cope with these grid conditions.
In this section, you can provide information about the load. This information also adds to the economical analysis and helps us to propose a size of the solar system. The load also significantly influences how much solar energy can be used and how much has to be curtailed to maintain grid stability.
Here you can fill in the parameters of the available diesel gensets. The Fuel Save Controller is able to reduce genset power to a minimum. How much this will be largely depends on the nominal power and type of the gensets available.
We also query if there is a genset controller. This information tells us if we have to add a genset power measurement or if we can use the genset controller information directly.
This information is essential and should be filled as complete as possible.
Here you can input the desired solar generator information. Sometimes Sometimes there are special preferences for a solar inverter type. You can add that here.
If you do not provide information here, we will propose an optimum solar generator size.
This section allows to specify the use of battery storage. If you do not intend to use battery storage, please leave this section empty.
First point to select is how the storage should be used. Will it be used grid parallel (this means it will behave like “more or less load”) or grid forming (the battery inverter behaves like another genset). Furthermore several functions of the battery storage can be selected. Depending on this information, we select the right battery inverter for your project.
The battery itself is also a very important component. You should add information about your chosen battery here so that we can check for compatibility. If you have not chosen yet, you can leave the battery information empty and we will propose a suitable battery type.
Public Grid connection
In this section, we query information about the grid connection. Dependent on the information given here, there may be additional components needed to measure power and availability of the grid.
It also influences the behaviour of the system in terms of curtailment of solar energy.
Here we query some surrounding conditions. The fuel price of course is the basic parameter for all savings a solar-diesel-hybrid system may reach. Sometimes transportation of fuel to the site can be quite expensive. State a price here that contains all costs for fuel including transportation.
Furthermore we ask if an internet connection is available. Our Fuel Save Controller can build up an VPN connection to SMA Service so that our service can quickly respond in case of problems. This VPN connection can also be used during commissioning to configure the system remotely.
You are invited to attach further information, too. If you have a Single Line Diagram of the site it would be of great help, but also any additional information may be helpful.
You see the information requested is really compact and mostly easy to collect. You can just fill in the questionnaire and send it to FuelSaveSolution@sma.de and our experts will provide you with a hybrid system design proposal and also link you to an appropriate sales colleague who can provide you with a quotation.
If you have any questions left please leave a comment below and I will try to answer as soon as possible. I’m looking forward to your feedback.
I am Project Manager for our SMA Fuel Save Solution. Together with my great team I care for bringing solar energy into the most remote parts of the world
Energy management on electrical islands - in water as well as in sand