In addition to apes and dolphins, since June you will now find something at the Athens Zoo you would not normally expect to see there—a diesel generator combined with a PV system. This PV diesel hybrid system is a joint project whose goal is to create a virtual stand-alone grid. For the research group smartRUE at the Technical University of Athens, this stand-alone grid serves as a demo and training project while also helping the zoo to reduce expensive energy costs.
The solution supplier for stand-alone grids OneShore Energy GmbH is now taking advantage of the country’s abundant sunshine to become the stand-alone grid specialist in Greece. Together with the Research Group SmartRUE of the National Technical University of Athens, the company launched the project and worked closely with SMA Solar Technology AG to implement it. June 17, 2014, the 10-kWp PV diesel hybrid system was officially commissioned.
Great Potential for PV Diesel Hybrid Systems in Greece
“I have had the honor of attending many opening ceremonies for photovoltaic systems in the last six years. However, this one was very special because it marked the beginning of a new era of photovoltaics in Greece. The market is changing and now relies more on competitiveness than on feed-in tariffs. SMA stands for new technologies and innovative solutions, which makes it the perfect partner. We are very pleased to be involved with this project. Even though it is not a large-scale PV system, the potential for PV diesel hybrid systems in Greece is that much greater,” said Haris Christidis, General Manager at SMA Hellas, who attended the opening ceremony.
The PV system will produce up to 15,000 kWh annually and supply power to the cafeteria, the animal clinic, the training center and other buildings. The zoo can reduce its power costs by intelligently integrating photovoltaics into a diesel power generation system using the Fuel Save Controller from SMA. With an annual output of 15,000 kWh, the system ensures uninterrupted power supply to the cafeteria and many other buildings.
PV system assumes a leading role
The system also serves as a reference project, combining functions for tracking system behavior with the recorded power consumption data on the Greek islands. Using these data, a hybrid power system can be imitated on a modular level and thus simulate a complex system. That makes this project a leading role model that will clear the way on the Greek islands for many other hybrid systems with the Fuel Save Solution.
Picture on top, right: Dr. Peter Schoof, German Ambassador to Athens (cutting the ribbon). On his right Oliver Frank, Vice President of Renewable Energies dena, and on his left Philipp Kunze, General Manager of OneShore Energy GmbH.
Stella has worked at SMA as student assistant and wrote about remote regions and special solar projects.