Hybrid power supply: IBC SOLAR presents first megawatt-class photovoltaic diesel hybrid project in Malaysia
Bad Staffelstein / Germany, October 24, 2013 – IBC SOLAR AG, a global leader in photovoltaic (PV) systems, has implemented its largest photovoltaic diesel hybrid project to date in Malaysia. The system is the third project carried out by IBC SOLAR AG and its subsidiary in Kuala Lumpur on behalf of the Malaysian government. Spread across nine islands, the nine units with a total capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW) deliver solar energy to the local people and have already been running smoothly for over half a year. With its extensive experience in turnkey installation of systems for independent power supply, IBC SOLAR was able to utilise its expertise and know-how in carrying out this large-scale project.
The nine photovoltaic diesel hybrid systems provide electricity for a total of 3,500 people, 9 rural clinics and 9 schools. In addition to the 1.5 MWp of solar power, the new system offers 6.8 MWh of battery storage and 18 diesel generators, all of which secure a sustainable energy supply for the nine islands.
“Social establishments such as schools and hospitals need a reliable supply of electricity. For these remote and sparsely populated islands located in East Malaysia an island-wide public grid is impossible. Therefore, rural electrification with PV hybrid systems is ideal as it provides a sustainable, safe and reliable energy supply for the people and the local social infrastructure“, explains Alexander Müller, team manager for hybrid power supply at IBC SOLAR. Malaysia relies heavily on oil imports to supply many of its remote islands, and rising energy costs therefore represent a huge burden on its budget. Moreover, the fuel transport to these remote regions, which are often nature protection zones, and the harmful exhaust gases it produces expose inhabitants and nature to unforeseeable risks.
During the development of the project, IBC SOLAR had to overcome many challenges arising from the remote location of the islands. Much of the area is registered as a nature protection zone, meaning that no heavy machinery could be used during the construction or for transporting freight. However, thanks to their recent experience in Malaysia and other countries with similar installation projects, the logistical challenge posed no barrier to IBC SOLAR. As a result, no damages occurred in the transport of the containers from the port to the warehouse on the mainland, and subsequently on to the islands. Altogether, a total of 55 containers were moved to the warehouse, with processes running consistently smoothly.
In order to guarantee the reliability of the project, IBC SOLAR has been contracted to provide operation and maintenance services for three years. This includes using a satellite based real time monitoring system as well as a corrective maintenance check every three months.
The advantages of photovoltaic diesel hybrid systems are of economic and environmental significance: With the rising costs of raw materials and limited availability of fossil fuels, the hybrid systems offer reduced maintenance costs, lower diesel consumption and much smaller carbon footprints. The generators also have a capacity reserve and offset fluctuations. This means that where there is insufficient solar coverage or flat batteries, the monitoring and control unit switches on further diesel generators and continues to ensure that each generators set works with maximum efficiency. Even without a grid connection, a reliable and cost-effective energy supply is ensured for any kind of unforeseen incident.
With a capacity of more than 2.5 GWp installed in more than 150,000 systems, IBC SOLAR is one of the leading PV system integrators. The department “Hybrid Power Supply”, with its team of highly skilled engineers, specialises in the development of state of the art systems for independent power supply that combine solar energy with other energy sources. The combination of German engineering excellence and high quality components ensures that products are of the highest durability and reliability. In addition to external certifications (TÜV, VDE, SGC) IBC SOLAR components are subject to strict in-house quality and long-term test procedures. Furthermore, it is through local partnerships and knowledge transfer that the company provides the required building blocks to help their customers become independent.