ABB has delivered more than 80 microgrid solutions for a wide variety of applications worldwide. Here is a brief introduction to three of them.
Integrating renewables and maintaining grid stability
Faial Island, Azores
Faial is one of nine volcanic islands in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago located midway between Europe and North America. This island of 15,000 inhabitants has an electricity network that operates as a self-contained microgrid, powered by six oil-fired generators that produce up to 17 MW of electric power.
The local power utility, Electricidade dos Açores (EDA) recently installed five wind turbines to boost capacity by more than 25 percent and minimize environmental impact on Faial.
The ABB solution controls and monitors the wind turbines and oil-fired generators. It calculates the most economical configuration, ensures balance between supply and demand, maximizes the integration of wind energy and optimizes the generators so that the entire system performs at peak potential.
The integration of wind energy combined with ABB’s innovative solution saves an estimated 3.5 million liters of fuel a year. This has the potential to reduce annual CO2 emissions by around 9,400 tons annually.
World’s first high penetration PV/diesel power stations
Marble Bar, Australia
The world’s first high penetration, solar photovoltaic diesel power stations were commissioned in 2010 in the towns of Marble Bar and Nullagine in Western Australia.
The projects include more than 2,000 solar modules and a solar tracking system that follows the path of the sun throughout the day. When the sun is shining, PowerStore grid-stabilizing technology and the Microgrid Plus power management system both ensure that maximum solar energy (100% peak penetration) goes into the network and significantly reduces diesel generation. When the sun is obscured, PowerStore covers the loss of solar power generation by ramping up the diesel generation to ensure that the network has an uninterrupted energy supply.
The solar energy systems generate over 1 GWh of renewable energy a year, supplying 60 percent of the average daytime energy for both towns, saving 405,000 litres of fuel and 1,100 metric metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Remote and sensitive enviroment
Ross Island, Antarctica
New Zealand’s Scott Base and America’s McMurdo Station in Antarctica are important research bases and home to about 1,200 people in the Antarctic
The bases have always relied completely on fossil fuels for power and heating, until a new system based on wind turbines, a new distributed control system and PowerStore grid-stabilizing technology were commissioned in 2009. The bases still need back-up diesel generators, but three 333 kW wind turbines reduce the amount of diesel required for power generation by around 463,000 liters and cut CO2 emissions by 1,242 metric tons per year. They also lower the risks of transporting and storing liquid fuel in this precious environment.
A frequency converter interconnects the Scott and McMurdo bases, which operate at different frequencies - 50 Hz (NZ) and 60 Hz (US), allowing power to flow in both directions.