A project testing a combination of solar PV, combined heat and power systems and battery storage at a commercial facility in Germany could be adapted and scaled up elsewhere, according to General Electric, one of the project’s partners.
The project – launched last week – is a collaboration between GE Power Conversion (owner of the factory), solar provider Belectric (supplier of the 600kW rooftop PV array), and Jenbacher – supplier of the plant’s 400kW combined heat and power (CHP) system.
A 200kWh battery is then used to store energy at times when there is low energy consumption onsite, but the hybrid system’s power output is high.
Energy management controls are used to discharge the stored energy as necessary, either to meet demand elsewhere in the hybrid network, or to feed excess generation into the grid.
According to Belectric executive chairman Bernhard Beck, the 600kW PV system is the world’s first to operate at 1,500 volts, thus requiring less power electronics to wire in the system, thus reducing deployment costs. There is also room to add more PV modules, if required.
According to PV Tech, CHP plants are being considered as an important and complementary part of distributed networks in Germany, alongside solar and storage.
This coincides with the growth in commercial solar sectors, especially in maturing markets like Germany.
“The consensus from Japan when PV Tech visited PV Expo in Tokyo at the end of February seemed to be that commercial (and residential) rooftops will enjoy the lion’s share of attention from the industry in the next few years as grid constraints and other factors have also moved that country’s PV market on from large-scale,” said PV Tech.