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It pays: PV diesel systems save costs

The Fuel Save Solution

More PV power instead of expensive fuel Today, industrial consumers in remote areas are predominantly supplied with power from diesel engines – despite steadily increasing oil prices, costly logistics and, as in Australia, the ending of tax reliefs for diesel consumers. The average diesel price doubled between 2004 and 2010 and the trend continues. At the same time, no other technology has realized such cost reductions in the market as photovoltaic systems. In numerous countries in the sunbelt regions of the earth costs for PV power are already significantly lower than power from diesel engines.

Due to intelligent system technology, PV can be seamlessly integrated into diesel grids. A PV diesel hybrid system produces energy at lower costs and more efficiently than simple combustion engines. SMA’s intelligent system solution reduces the consumption of fuel to a minimum, and is key to an optimized, economic efficiency of the plant operation. The low pay-back period of only two to four years – dependant on load profiles and PV share – renders it remarkably attractive.

PV diesel system

Energy flow Communication

the intelligent system solution SMA’s solution for a power generation with minimized fuel consumption is an intelligent energy management. This requires a communication interface to the genset control to guarantee a minimum of starts and stops, thus increasing the genset’s maintenance life. Integrated battery storages can optimize the daily operating hours of the connected diesel generators – and allow the operation of each genset in an optimized state. And even more: the self-learning systems utilize intelligent prognosis algorithms to sustainably ensure an economic operation of the utility-scale PV plant.

APPLICATIONS ARE FOR EXAMPLE Large industrial companies Water desalinization systems Mines Hospitals Tourism facilities such as hotels or large holiday parks Grid-remote villages

SMA Fuel Save Controller The SMA Fuel Save Controller is the central component of the SMA system solution for hybrid systems with PV and diesel energy generators. It ensures the demand-oriented control of the PV feed-in dependent on load and generation profiles. Thus the grid, fed by diesel gensets, operates in a reliable and stable mode even with high shares of PV. With the support of state-of-the-art SMA storage technologies, the fuel consumption can be reduced to a minimum. Together with the Fuel Save Controller, SMA inverters fulfill comprehensive grid management functions within the system. Thereby, SMA offers innovative

system solutions from one source. SMA system technology is extendable on a modular basis and can be adapted to the requirements of plant operation with growing consumption.

the SMA Fuel Save Controller ensures that sufficient control energy is available. limits inverter power if needed. interacts as an interface for future energy storage devices.

Over 20 Years of Experience Generating energy from a combination of renewable energies and fossil fuels is not new for SMA. For more than 20 years, our experts have been working on projects with hybrid solutions. On Greek islands, combined wind and diesel plants have been installed in the 1980s. In 2000, a solution consisting of a large-scale PV plant and a wind-diesel-battery system with an integrated control system went into operation. Today, the focus of hybrid power supply is primarily on solar energy. Decreasing PV system costs as well as a steadily growing fuel price give reason for investment companies as well

as plant operators to move towards hybrid systems.

SMA Hybrid systems

A technology that guarantees a steady and smooth plant operation is one key factor. SMA’s products and system solutions are well-known for first-class quality, flexibility, security of supply, and reliability.


Cape Clear, Ireland, 200 kW, wind / diesel / battery


Inner Mongolia, China, 90 kW, wind / diesel / battery

1990 / 91

NT, Australia, 500 kW, wind / diesel / battery


Cape Flattery, Australia, 4 MW, wind / diesel / battery


Kythnos, Greece, 1,1 MW, PV / wind / diesel / battery

SMA Solar Technology AG Sonnenallee 1 34266 Niestetal, Germany

Telefon: +49 561 9522-0 Telefax: +49 561 9522-100

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“The technology for operation of large and running PV diesel hybrid systems has been available for more than 20 years. Today, however, we are in a position to offer considerably more intelligent, more efficient, and more cost-effective systems. The pioneering work of SMA in this sector can now be put to sustainable, profitable and successful use.” Volker Wachenfeld, Executive Vice President (Sales & Technology)