Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Modernizing the world's largest photovoltaic pumping system

The Zambelli stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) pilot plant was first installed in 1984 as a demonstration project and to provide water pumping in a rural area. The project funds improvements to the long term reliability of the system. Replacing the plant's old hardware with state-of-the-art electronic equipment and installing real-time monitoring systems improved the plant's performance.

Improvements to the performance of the plant concentrated on three main areas, the PV field, power conditioning and plant monitoring. These improvements incorporated higher direct current (DC) voltage input to the inverter to reduce losses to the transformer. There was also a high-efficiency inverter with a controllable power factor to permit the pump motor to operate at its highest efficiency. An advanced real-time monitoring system with new performance indices and a quick-look analysis capability was also designed and installed to improve the monitoring and management of the batteries and the PV field. Monitoring of battery performance also took place. The reliability of the PV array field increased and the DC voltage of the array also increased from 240 to 360 V DC. 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.

Reported by

Comune di Verona
8 Lungadige Galtarossa
37133 Verona
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