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Solar power generation does work in Karelia!

25 february 2016

Under the auspices of the Arctic Council, which includes Russia, the United States and the Scandinavian countries, an international financing mechanism for pollution reduction projects in the Arctic (Arctic Council projects support instrument, PSI) was established in 2013. The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) that is headquartered in Helsinki is responsible for the implementation of this mechanism. Hybrid power plants, which provide synchronous operation of renewable energy sources (RES), and diesel generators are one of the priority areas for the PSI projects.

In 2013, “Norsk Energi” in cooperation with the Karelian Energy Efficiency Center (KAEEC) developed the feasibility study for the use of eco-friendly renewable energy sources in 8 remote villages in the Republic of Karelia. We concluded that the hybrid technology that combines solar cells, diesel generators and batteries is the best solution because the solar power generation is a relatively cheap and reliable solution for 5 remote villages in Karelia.

In June 2015 NEFCO signed an agreement with “Prionezhskaya Setevaya Kompaniya” (PSK) on financing the project, and “Norsk Energi” in cooperation with KAEEC became executive managers and leaders of the first stage of the project.

The equipment was purchased in summer 2015; it was assembled and adjusted in November 2015 - January 2016. The supplier of the equipment - the moscow company "4 Stihii" - encountered significant difficulties in installation of the equipment. Weather conditions in the Republic of Karelia in the winter are quite challenging. At the beginning of winter the roads had become difficult to reach due to mild weather, but then the temperature dropped to -35 C and the electrical cables lost their flexibility and became breakable. However, the installers completed the works, and all 5 hybrid plants were put into operation at the end of January 2016. At the moment, the most optimal operating modes are being set, the remote and automatic control systems are being checked, and the data on electricity and fuel are being collected. At the moment the main task is to accumulate work experience, and to make ensure that the savings of diesel fuel does reach the estimated 60%.

Autonomous hybrid power installations (AHPI) are new for Karelia. All diesel generator installations (DGI) used to work with low efficiency due to the unstable consumption. The consumption constantly varies from 0 to 10 kW (sometimes more) in the small villages, so the installed DGI were 2 or 3 times more powerful, what consequently led to low efficiency of their operation - about 25 - 30%. In other words, too little electricity was received from every liter of diesel fuel, what is a fuel-consumption rate (measured in liters/kWh).

Today the “heart” of the new generating plant is not a diesel generator, but a rechargeable battery which supplies the village quality and stable electricity (pure sine, 3 Phase, 220V, 50 Hz) via the inverter. At the same time the solar panels and DGIs are only the sources for charging the battery. Some technical details and pictures of each of the 5 villages where new AHPIs are installed are given below.

Vozhmozero (Valday rural settlement, Segezha district)

Officially, there are 24 people permanently resided in the village (in accordance with the population census dated 2013). The mobile networks are mostly not available. There is only one spot where one can find a weak signal of “Megafon”.

The average consumption of the electricity by months is given in the table «Monthly electric power consumption by the consumers in 2014 (kWh)» below:

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

1095

1038

903

838

940

620

624

589

899

922

1114

1161

The electric power in Vozhmozero is supplied during mornings and evenings in accordance with the schedule: 3-4 hours in mornings and about 7 hours in evenings.

The diesel-electric plant (DEP) in the village has DGI with 12 kW capacity (SDMO Pacific, LAS43).

Next to the existing DEP, 32 solar panels (manufacturer JSC "Ryazan plant of ceramic-metal devices") were installed, each with a capacity of 260 W considering the efficiency (15-16%). Thus, the total power generated by the panels on a sunny day might reach 8320 W. The energy is supplied through the controllers “ECO Energy MPPT Pro 200/100” (LLC “MikroART", Russia) and is accumulated in the battery, which consists of 16 batteries "Hoppecke" (Solar bloc 12V 135 the Ah, Germany). The battery can accumulate up to 2160 Ah. When the battery level is 50%, the battery is able to to give out  about 12,5 kWh of energy to the village!  Each line is equipped with the inverter "MAP Hybrid 48V*3kW" (OOO "MikroART", Russia) converting direct current to alternate current – 220W * 50Hz.


Basically the same equipment is installed in other villages. The only difference is the amount of power generated by each AHPI, and consequently the number and models of the installed equipment. Moreover, the installations in each village have the hardware and software system "Malina" of LLC "MikroART" installed to manage and monitor the work of the AHPI. The system allows collecting data and managing the work of the inverters and controllers, for example, changing the parameters of the battery charge and discharge, etc.

Lindozero and Yustozero (Kondopoga district)

There are 9 people permanently resided in Lindozero, and 7 people – in Yustozero. The mobile networks are not available in Yustozero, but the operator of the DGS has a landline. There is an opportunity to use the mobile phone in Lindozero (“Megafon”), but the “right spot" should be found (see the picture below). 

Lots of people are coming to the villages in summer, this is why the electric power consumption might be even higher than in winter.
The electric power in Lindozero and Yustozero is supplied during mornings and evenings in accordance with the schedule:

  • January – March - 7 hours (9:00-10:00; 17:00-23:00)
  • April – October - 6 hours (17-23:00)
  • November – December - 7 hours (9:00-10:00; 17:00-23:00)

Monthly electric power consumption by the consumers in 2014 (kWh)

Village

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Lindozero

883

873

707

584

500

536

559

615

836

1062

905

693

Yustozero

335

248

371

250

223

695

347

396

587

324

284

543

 

 

 

 

DGS in Lindozero has a DGI AKSA AJD33 with 22,4 kW capacity, and the one in Yustozero – Cummins C22 D5, 17 kW.

The DGI in both settlements were previously installed in small thin-walled metal containers, this is why the new block containers for the AHPI were manufactured and installed. Each container consists of two sections - for the DGI (non-insulated section) and for new electronic equipment (insulated).

The AHPI in Lindozero includes the following equipment:

  • 24 solar panels, capacity - 260 W (RZMP-260-M), peak capacity - 6240 W;
  • 8 batteries, capacity - 150 Ah «Solar bloc 12V 150 Ah, Hoppecke», total capacity at 50% charged battery – 7200 Wh;
  • 3 inverters «MAP Hybrid 48х3», produced by LLC “MikroART";
  • 2 solar batteries controllers “ECO Energy MPPT Pro 200/100”, LLC “MikroART";
  • the hardware and software system "Malina" of LLC "MikroART".


The AHPI in Yustozero includes the following equipment:

  • 12 solar panels, capacity - 260 W (RZMP-260-M), peak capacity - 3120 W.
  • 16 batteries, Solar bloc 6V 200 Ah, Hoppecke - total capacity at 50% charged battery – 9600 Wh;
  • 3 inverters «MAP Hybrid 48х3», produced by LLC “MikroART";
  • 1 solar batteries controller “ECO Energy MPPT Pro 200/100”, LLC “MikroART"
  • the hardware and software system "Malina" of LLC "MikroART".

At the pictures: -29° outside and approximately +12° in the insulated section (when the door closed) 

Kimovaara (Lender rural settlement, Myezersky district)

In accordance with the population census dated 2013 there were 64 people permanently resided in the village. The mobile networks are not available. The power in Kimovaara is supplied 24/7. The existing DGS consists of 4 DGI with the total capacity of 138 kW (including the reserve). Only 1 DGI operates constantly AKSA AJD 45 (capacity - 32 kW), the other ones are used as a reserve. The average consumption of Kimovaara is given in the table «Monthly electric power consumption by the consumers in 2014 (kWh)» below:  

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

7962

5639

4847

4850

4652

5752

6084

7911

4994

5349

6379

5302

The AHPI in Kimovaara includes the following equipment:

  • 80 solar panels, capacity - 260 W (RZMP-260-M), and 40 solar panels, capacity -  270 W (ТСМ-270А, CJSC «TELECOM-STV»). Thus, the peak capacity in a sunny day might reach 31 600 W.
  • 40 batteries, «Solar bloc 6V 250 Ah», «Hoppecke»,  total capacity at 50% charged battery – 30 000 Wh;
  • 3 inverters «MAP Hybrid 48х6» (48W х 6 kW), produced by LLC “MikroART";
  • 7 solar batteries controllers “ECO Energy MPPT Pro 200/100”, LLC “MikroART";
  • the hardware and software system "Malina" of LLC "MikroART".


Voinitsa (Luusalmskoe rural settlement, Kalevala district)

In accordance with the latest data there are 19 people permanently resided in Voinitsa. The mobile networks are not available, but the operators of the DGS JSC “PSK” have a landline. The electric power in Voinitsa is supplied during mornings and evenings in accordance with the schedule: 3-4 hours in mornings and about 7 hours in evenings.
The existing DGS consists of 2 DGI with the total capacity of 64 kW. Only 1 DGI operates constantly - AKSA AJD 45 (capacity - 32 kW), and the second DGI is used as a reserve.

Monthly electric power consumption by the consumers in 2014 (kWh)

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2478

1788

1582

998

1599

1254

1152

1301

1524

2176

2754

2161

The AHPI in Voinitsa includes the following equipment:

  • 48 solar panels, capacity - 260 W (RZMP-260-M). Thus, the peak capacity in a sunny day might reach 12 480 W.
  • 32 batteries «Solar bloc 6V 250 Ah», «Hoppecke»,  total capacity at 50% charged battery – 24 000 Wh;
  • 3 inverters «MAP Hybrid 48х9» (48W х 9kW), produced by LLC “MikroART";
  • 3 solar batteries controllers “ECO Energy MPPT Pro 200/100”, LLC “MikroART";
  • the hardware and software system "Malina" of LLC "MikroART".

For more pictures see “PHOTOGALLERY”.

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