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Research at the Fota and Sprayfield PV installations

Objective

The Fota (50kWp) pilot plant and the Sprayfield (5.5kWp) demonstration plant are test centres for photovoltaic systems and components. They were constructed as part of European programmes to investigate applications of large PV systems.
The results of research on the photovoltaic systems will be used to improve the design of PV systems and to determine the feasibility of small domestic PV/wind grid connected systems.


Under the JOULE II program the PV systems research is being divided into three areas namely:

1) Batteries
Research will be carried out to compare the performance of two 24V batteries, one with electrolyte agitation and one without agitation.
2) Power Conditioning
The research will involve comparing a transformerless and a PW inverter in a domestic application. A low cost system for analysing inverters in PV systems will be developed for this comparison.
3) Domestic PV/wind System
This will involve the integration of a 3kW wind energy converter into the Sprayfield 5.5kWp domestic PV demonstration plant.

This project is being carried out at a European level because the Fota pilot and Sprayfield demonstration plants were constructed as part of European programs to investigate applications of large PV system.
Expected Results :

1) Batteries
The results will be from tests carried out on two 24V, 250Ah Varta bloc batteries. The specific data for the two batteries that will be obtained are :
- variation of battery capacity, charge and energy efficiency over 18 months.
- frequency distribution of cell voltages and specific gravities during charging and discharging.
- internal resistance

2) Power Conditioning
Tests will be carried out on a 5kW PWM inverter from Sunpower and the 5kW transformerless Fraunhofer-ISE inverters. These tests will yield the following results :
- efficiency values under varying load and irradiation values. - harmonic power levels and total harmonic distortion.

The other major outcome from research into power conditioning will be a low cost device for analysing inverter performance.

3) Wind Project
- Detailed study of wind regime around the site using WASP. - Simulation of generator performance over 12 months.
- Study of turbines suitable for Sprayfield site.
- Detailed design of PV/wind system.
- Performance data for a 12 month period of operation.
- Report on problems relating to installation and operation.
The results from this research will be used to improve the design of PV systems and to determine the feasibility of small domestic PV/wind grid connected systems.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

National University of Ireland, Cork
Address
Prospect Row
30 Cork
Ireland

Participants (1)

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.*
Germany
Address
Heidenhofstrasse 2
79110 Freiburg (In Breisgau)