Solartia in Intersolar Europe 2019 – München, Germany18 May, 2019
Watts with a Purpose: Corn Island18 July, 2019
What is a Microgrid?
Concept & Operation
1. Introducing the Company
Solartia is an international engineering company that operates in the renewable energy and hybrid power generation solutions sector, integrating several specific divisions and offering services and products under the umbrella of its global engineering.
In this way, Solartia has become an expert in developing projects of great economic performance and high technical quality, offering specialization in a wide range of services that include energy consulting, detailed engineering, design, implementation, procurement, construction, commercialization and operation & maintenance of the projects it executes, providing enormous added value to its integral solutions.
Solartia has a solid presence in Spain, as well as in strategic international markets such as France, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria, Mexico and Ecuador, where it has developed projects and consolidated service and supply contracts with important public and private organizations in different areas of activity.
- Grid-connected PV Plants
- Off-grid PV Plants
- Distributed Generation
- Hybridization of renewable and conventional generation technology (diesel)
- EPC – Engineering, Procurement & Construction
- PPA – Power Purchase Agreement
- Engineering and Technical Office
- Energy Consulting
• Spain: Solartia operates and maintains the photovoltaic installations executed by the company with an O&M capacity of 18MW. Solartia operates an oleochemical facility located in Los Arcos (Navarra) with a production capacity of 28,000 tons/year.
• Europe: Due to its geographical proximity to our oleochemical facility, and to European ISCC-EU sustainability certifications, Solartia operates with national and European customers and suppliers, commercializing biofuels and derived products. Also, in Eastern Europe, Solartia has developed several technical projects for the construction of large-scale solar plants.
• Latin America: Since 2011, Solartia has been developing an expansion plan for the implementation of energy projects in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Ecuador and Nicaragua, having carried out rooftop and ground-mounted photovoltaic installations to date.
Solartia was founded in 1999 as a technical consulting firm focused on the industrial sector and whose main objective was to advise on the improvement of production and energy processes. Since 2004, and without leaving aside its original foundations and identity, Solartia irrupts in the energy market developing four photovoltaic solar plants in an integral way, obtaining very soon a great prestige and recognition in the photovoltaic sector.
Solartia was one of the first Spanish companies that put faith on renewable energies. The solutions provided by our engineering are always aimed at being technologically safe, focused on customer needs.
More than 20 years of experience has given us international recognition with important projects and has allowed us to develop in other energy sources, becoming a reference in renewable energy integration projects with conventional generation and in large-scale engineering projects.
- +125 MWp projected by our engineering unit
- 18 MW in self-owned projects
- Complex turnkey projects
- Preparation of projects for large public and private tenders.
- Integral control of the plants 365 days of the year
- Real-time information
- SCADA control system to optimize the service
2.1 Energetic Situation
Cuba currently enjoys political and social stability and a more balanced current account. However, the country also faces other obstacles today, such as the lack of energy diversification.
Cuba has an expanding electricity market, which is beginning to take advantage of some of its resources, but despite this, the Cuban electricity sector continues to be one of the main problems affecting the country's economy.
On the other hand, the demand for electricity continues to increase annually, leaving the current supply insufficient. Aware of this reality, the Cuban government is taking measures to modernize the system and has also set itself the goal of reducing greenhouse gases. Renewable energies play a major role here, as they would achieve this change in the energy matrix and the necessary diversification of supply.
2.2 Solar Resource
Cuba has a solid solar potential. The island's geographical location makes it privileged in terms of renewable sources.
The country enjoys some of the best solar conditions in the American continent - an average global horizontal irradiance (GHI) generally in the range of 220 to 260 watts per square meter.
En el presente documento se hace una introducción al concepto de micro-redes inteligentes y su funcionamiento; se dan a conocer las bondades de este sistema como una solución idónea para satisfacer las necesidades energéticas en aplicaciones industriales, comerciales y residenciales.
4. What is an Intelligent Microgrid?
A smart microgrid is a local, self-sustaining energy network that can operate independently or in conjunction with the national power grid, or macrogrid.
Any power station that has its own generation and storage sources and a clear and defined electrical boundary can be considered a microgrid.
A microgrid is a smaller version of a centralized electricity system. In practice, it operates the same as a national power grid, except that the microgrid provides power to a smaller geographic area, which may consist of communities or aggregations of buildings.
The concept of microgrids is not new: the first electricity grids were essentially microgrids before they were integrated into regional and national grids. What is new is their growing and changing role in the face of ever-increasing energy demand, the commercial maturation of renewable energy technologies and the ever-increasing need for a reliable, autonomous and flexible energy supply.
Smart microgrids can automatically connect and disconnect from the national grid through an intelligent control system that enables them to operate as hybrid microgrids (integrated to the macrogrid) or in island mode (isolated from the macrogrid). They can be built in low or medium voltage and are located close to the consumption sites. The energy they generate can come from renewable or conventional sources and it is increasingly common to see microgrids equipped with energy storage systems (batteries), as their costs become more competitive.
A smart microgrid is designed to achieve the local goals of the community served. Local goals may include reliability of electricity supply, carbon emission reductions, diversification of energy sources, and cost reductions.
Smart microgrids generate energy, distribute and regulate the flow of electricity on a local scale. They are a good way to integrate renewable resources at the community level and also allow customers to participate in the electricity business. Microgrids are one of the building blocks of a seamless national electricity system.
4.1 Diagram of a Photovoltaic Microgrid
To understand how a microgrid works, it is necessary to first understand how a network works.
Traditionally, homes, communities, hospitals, factories, businesses and other buildings are interconnected to the national power grid, which transports the electricity we consume from centralized power generation sources. This allows us to use all kinds of devices and equipment, but it also means that when part of the national power grid requires maintenance, all users interconnected to it are affected.
This is where a smart microgrid is highly desirable. Gone are the years of depending exclusively on an obsolete centralized system that wastes energy and fails to meet the needs of all users. Microgrids have changed this. Generally, a microgrid operates while it is interconnected to the national power grid, but what is really important is that it can disconnect from it and operate independently using local sources of energy generation, for any reason.
A smart microgrid can be powered by conventional electric generators, batteries and/or renewable sources. Depending on how it is managed, a microgrid can operate indefinitely.
4.2.1. How is a microgrid interconnected to the power grid?
A microgrid interconnects to the national or main power grid at a common point that keeps the voltage at the same level, unless there is some kind of problem in that main power grid or other reason to disconnect. A switch can separate the microgrid from the main grid automatically or manually, and then the microgrid goes into operation as an island.
4.2.2. Why connect to a smart micro-grid?
Smart microgrids are an excellent and reliable backup power source in times of need. They should also be considered because they reduce costs and provide access to clean, environmentally friendly energy. They can also connect to local resources that would be too small and unreliable for a full grid system; resources such as a local waterfall or unused fields that would otherwise go underutilized are excellent resources for powering a microgrid. Power outages disturb everyone and microgrids could be the solution to ensure an uninterrupted flow of power that would be particularly useful in hospitals and research centers. Microgrids indirectly enable the development of undeveloped places due to the reliability of the energy consumption they entail.
4.2.3. How much power can a microgrid supply?
There is a wide variety of microgrids of different sizes and designs. A microgrid can supply electricity to a particular complex - e.g., hospitals, factories, resorts, buildings, shopping centers - or to larger areas such as communities, housing developments, islands, etc.
4.2.4. Advantages & Disadvantages
Hybrid microgrids (interconnected to the main grid) can seamlessly transition to a self-sustaining power system, called "island mode". Island mode can be applied in case of natural disasters, for example, or when a microgrid is connected to a weak grid where recurring outages are supplemented with backup power. For critical loads, this feature is key as it ensures continuous operation.
In addition to providing reliable power, a microgrid interconnected to the main grid through a common coupling point allows the import or export of electricity as required by economic or technical needs.
Isolated microgrids are self-sustaining, self-contained power systems that operate independently of the main grid. Whether in rural communities, islands or remote industrial operations, isolated microgrid solutions provide access to grid-quality power in remote locations, typically at a lower cost than electricity from the national grid and with a lower environmental impact than conventional grids.
One of the key advantages of microgrids is that they can be implemented quickly and easily, even in remote areas far from the nearest grid connection point.
5. Why Solartia?
All the best for your intelligent microgrid
Solartia's microgrid engineering integrates a full range of the highest quality technologies including conventional and renewable power generation, automation, grid stabilization, grid connection, energy storage and smart control technology, as well as consulting and commissioning services to enable smart microgrids worldwide. We carefully select the best components on the market to tailor each smart microgrid to the different technical and economic needs of each project.
Our microgrid solutions can integrate up to 100% of renewable and conventional energy resources, while maintaining the highest levels of grid stability and reliability.
- Design and Implementation of Hybrid Microgrids
- Design and Implementation of Isolated Microgrids (Island Mode)
- Integration of Diesel Generators
- Stabilization and Optimization of existing Microgrids
- Operation & Maintenance of Smart Microgrids(O&M)
Our services include expert consulting on the most stable and economical options for power generation, as well as after-sales service, technical support and maintenance.
Experience in smart microgrids, with or without connection to the grid
Solartia's microgrid solutions are based on experience and leadership in integration of automation controls and generation sources. With more than 20 years of experience in microgrid engineering and successful projects executed worldwide, Solartia is the leading developer of smart microgrid solutions in Spain.
Technological improvements and the latest innovations in hybridization, storage systems and new developments in intelligent control allow us to combine systems that harmonize conventional electricity generation with renewable generation sources. This is how we are capable of satisfying the primary energy demand with clean energy, without emissions and reducing generation costs.