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Solar inverters help farm generate 900MWh


ABB’s high output PRO-33 string inverters cut the number of inverters needed and delivered a short build time for a solar power plant in Shropshire, UK. The plant is set to produce 900MWh a year.

The Priest Weston project uses nearly 4,000, 250 Wp solar modules, arranged into 166 individual strings. 28 ABB PRO-33 string inverters are mounted in four groups on the backs of the rows.

The three-phase PRO-33 string inverter is designed for medium and large de-centralised photovoltaic (PV) systems, either on large scale commercial and industrial rooftops or ground-mounted PV plants such as Priest Weston.

The PRO-33 string inverter

The PRO-33 incorporates:
  • a built-in string combiner box
  • a DC switch
  • string current monitoring with alarm

PV fuses and monitored surge protection devices, reducing the need for costly external devices
protected to IP65, making it suitable for continuous service at outdoor sites

As commercial PV plants get larger, installing the 33 kW, 11 kV PRO-33 allows more PV modules to be connected in series to each inverter. This means that fewer inverter units are needed, cutting cabling costs and installation time.

This contributed to the short build time of the project, with the entire plant installed in eight weeks.

The Aurora Vision® monitoring system

Westflight Energy, a solar power company, built the plant. Westflight’s owner, Chris Brooks, commented: “I usually use another vendor’s inverter but I was persuaded to try the ABB PRO-33 and have found it to be an excellent product. The Aurora Vision® monitoring system is the best I have used and the offer is very competitive. Another major attraction for me was the fact that ABB is a global brand.”

ABB’s Aurora Vision® Plant Management Platform is provided as a free service, it is flexible, scalable and expandable – suitable for any size of installation, from domestic systems to commercial scale power plants. It offers a traditional solar monitoring system and a comprehensive asset management system.

System integration

ABB’s system integration partner, Barrett Energy, installed the high-voltage connection to the supply grid, a transformer, packaged substation and low voltage sub-distribution connection to the inverters. It also provided its expertise on issues such as electrical balance of plant and earthing.

Accreditation


The project is accredited to receive the feed-in tariff and the generation output is forecast to exceed 900MWh per year. The generation is sold within a Power Purchase Agreement on an annual contract. Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs) and Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) are claimed and passed to the PPA provider as part of the contract

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