The SMA Sunny Island is a grid-forming battery inverter that can be used for the construction of stand-alone power supply systems. The Sunny Island inverters are capable of forming an AC grid, this sine wave can be used as an interface for PV inverters to synchronize and feed power into the system which is used for supplying loads and recharging batteries.
An ever increasing number of manufacturers with high brand recognition are offering solutions for decentralized power supply. One of them is Daimler AG. The automobile group has even recently established a separate subsidiary for the development and sales of its stationary energy storage units, Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH. The company’s “new star”, a battery storage system which can be seamlessly integrated into the SMA Flexible Storage System, attracted much interest at Intersolar Europe.
Kutubdia Island is an island near the coast of Bangladesh. It has 14,463 households and a total area of 215.8 square kilometers. The island is famous for having the only lighthouse, which was built by the British during their rule. Kutubdia is rich in salt and uses it to dry fish, which is locally known as ‘Shutki.’ In fact, most people are involved in salt cultivation or agriculture on Kutubdia. As Kutubdia is an upazila (sub-district) in the Bay of Bengal, it is isolated and not connected to the national power grid. In these rural areas of Bangladesh, every 2 out of 3 villagers have no access to electricity. A solar minigrid was installed to help make residents’ daily lives more comfortable.
Charles and I both attended a four-day off-grid workshop held by The Australian Solar Council. We travelled to a site about an hour’s drive east of Melbourne to a small co-operative community. The workshop focused on off-grid systems, PV system design, battery sizing and load profiling. Here is our story.
Power outage? In Germany? It hardly ever occurs here if we believe the statistics. Yet, the flooding we experienced last year has shifted public attention back to the significance of emergency power supply and battery backup systems. As anyone who has dealt with long periods of outages can tell you, it’s a major hassle to lose connection to the utility grid.
You lose power to your range, refrigerator, telephone, lights, and ultimately, the battery in your electronic devices. Even a PV system is disconnected from the utility grid immediately and automatically in the event of a power outage. However, if you own a PV system or a Smart Home system, you want to be able to continue using your solar power, even during a power outage.
The public utility grid in Tanzania is not very reliable. There are frequent power outages in rural regions in particular, a circumstance that makes it difficult to run a school. The students of the German Wilhelm-Raabe-Schule senior high school in Lüneburg have taken on this challenge.
Another megawatt class off-grid PV system went into operation in Mozambique. The project was originally launched at the request of the Mozambican government to provide an electricity supply to three areas that have no connection to the local utility grid. Until now, the people in Muembe, Mavago and Mecula relied on candlelight and firewood. Now, they can dream of a better life and live a longer day with light from an off-grid system.
The Bamyan province in Central Afghanistan is famous for its giant Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. So far, people in this area have had no electrical system. They either relied on small diesel generators or domestic solar panels for their electricity supply or they had no access to electricity at all. This has changed recently. The Bamyan Renewable Energy Programme brought sustainable and cost-efficient solar energy to their lives.
More than 1.3 billion people – or 22 percent of the world’s population – still live without electrical power. They live predominantly in rural regions without a connection to the grid. In September 2013, Harald Leitl and his team flew to Chilonga in Malawi in East Africa to set up a stable, maintenance-free power supply with the help of solar technology. We spoke to Harald Leitl, the managing director of the German Gablenz-based company Umweltcentrum für Haustechnik (Environmental Center for Housing Technology).