The purpose of this work is to improve and optimize the overall plant performance of the Zambelli Photovoltaic (PV) Pilot Plant which was originally installed in 1984. To do so, state-of-the-art power electronics will replace the existing first generation hardware (inverters and charger).
The reliability of the PV array field increased and the dc voltage of the array also increased from 240 to 360 Vdc. New power conditioning equipment was designed, installed and tested successfully. This equipment incorporated new design and operational adjustment features in the converter and rectifier. The user-friendly real-time plant monitoring system provides an overall plant supervisory system, advanced real-time monitoring systems for the array field and batteries, and the first prototype expert system for real-time diagnostics for the whole plant.
Photovoltaic array wiring will be optimized to increase the efficiency and reliability of array cabling, and the real-time monitoring system will be improved and evaluated.
The Situation in Europe. Many small (up to 3.5 kW) pumping system applications are being installed by European industry. Zambelli, with its two 35-kW pump motors, is the largest PV-powered system in the world. There is a lack of variable frequency inverters above 10 kVA. Also, not much has been done in realtime monitoring for plant operator use.
Reasons for European Level Undertaking. Capabilities and unique qualifications of other European partners are needed to accomplish the stated objectives.
Expected Results :
1) New configuration with higher reliability and simpler control and operational modes,
2) Simpler battery recharging scheme with longer battery lifetime expectations, and
3) User-friendly real-time monitoring system for quick-look assessment capability.
Possible Applications : The same approach can be used for a smaller pumping system. The real-time monitoring system will be applicable to any plant using PV and batteries.