World’s first portable hybrid microgrid
ABB provided a complete automation solution for the world’s first portable solar-diesel/gas microgrid provider, SunSHIFTTM.
The modular hybrid power system was designed for quick installation that can also be easily dismantled and moved according to the changing needs of energy users in remote locations.
A pilot system, consisting of 141 kilowatt peak (kWp) of solar PV, was successfully deployed at a construction worker village in remote Queensland, Australia. Within one week of leaving the factory, the system was unpacked and energized, augmenting four brownfield diesel generators and reducing diesel fuel consumption thereafter. After six months of operation, during which ABB’s cloud-based remote monitoring was used, the pilot system was packed up in less than 170 person-hours and successfully relocated.
SunSHIFT is being developed and commercialized as a modular system that will be manufactured offsite and transported to installation sites in container-sized, prefabricated modules. This will enable contractors to quickly assemble the power plant at a chosen location, or later disassemble and redeploy it to new sites as needed.
The system operates with ABB’s Microgrid Plus System, a proven distributed control system for microgrids that integrates all plant components. Microgrid Plus System has been specially designed to coordinate the operation of hybrid power stations, stabilizing and integrating renewable power generation into microgrid systems.
The external, prewired connections of the ABB control center and inverters enable fast, easy setup and dismantling. The distributed, modular design of Microgrid Plus Systems will make future control upgrades easy and risk-free. The system capacity can also be easily expanded.
ABB is also supplying other equipment, such as solar inverters, controllers, remote access routers and Ethernet switches.
Portable hybrid systems such as this have the potential to provide both industries and communities in remote off-grid locations with a viable and portable renewable energy alternative, and would also be useful in emergency activities, such as relief efforts.