High-profile solar projects within Central Europe are adopting high-voltage string inverter solutions such as ABB’s award winning PVS-175 to deploy highly efficient photovoltaic (PV) installations and improve yields.
ABB high-voltage inverter technologies have been deployed within the Netherlands, Italy and Spain as utilities look to increase GW capacity on large-scale PV installations.
In 2018, Europe added 12.3 GW, a 24 percent rise over the year before. In 2019, demand is set to surge by over 60 percent to 19.8 GW, and for 2020, the market expects to see 18 percent growth to 22 GW (IHS PV Installation Tracker Q2-2019).
Giovanni Frassineti, who heads-up ABB’s Solar Business, comments: “We are very proud to have been involved with a selection of large-scale PV projects across Central Europe, which feature our all-in-one high-voltage inverters, as more utilities adopt and realize the potential for solar power.”
Dutch growth for high-voltage adoption
Pfalzsolar, a new customer for ABB, has installed 110 ABB PVS-175 string inverters in Almere, Netherlands – making it the one of the largest installations in Europe to feature ABB high-voltage string inverters.
Spanning 10.6 hectares and generating up to 34 MWp / 20MVA of solar energy, the Almere PV plant will support the national grid. Over the course of a year it is expected to produce 30 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar electricity and save approximately 18,000 tons of C02 compared to non-renewable forms of energy.
Marcel Ruppert, project manager at Pfalzsolar, comments: “The PVS-175 was chosen for this project due to its Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) configuration. Offering the highest number of MPPTs on the market- 12 in total- it enables us to deliver greater capacity and maximum energy harvest without compromising on versatility and PV plant design flexibility within complex installations.”
The unique capabilities of ABB’s PVS-175 lie in its ability to generate up to an average of 65 percent savings on installation and logistic costs, improving Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale installations such as that at Almere.
This is achieved as the “all-in-one-solution” offers direct connection between modules with 24 DC (direct current) inputs along with a direct connection to a medium-voltage (MV) station without additional AC (alternating current) combiners. These technical capabilities create a simple installation with no additional needs for separate DC or AC combiners. As a result, this saves approximately 63 percent in DC cabling costs and 45 percent within AC cabling costs.
Balance of system costs in Italy
One of the largest solar parks in Italy, the Naro Solar Park located in Agrigento Province, is also benefitting from the high-energy yields and reduction in the Balance of System costs for large scale, free field ground-mounted PV installations that the PVS-175 high-voltage inverters deliver.
The Naro facility boasts five solar arrays with 51,000 solar panels installed. It is the largest ground-mounted solar power system in the territory and includes over 80 ABB PVS-175 inverters producing a total power output of 17.6 MW.
The innovative technology of the PVS-175 can generate a maximum power output of 185 kW with maximum input voltage of 1,500V combined with the output voltage of 800V optimized AC distribution.
Franco Citron, CEO at Manni Energy, which specializes in the design, installation and management for the Naro Power Plant, said: “The PVS-175 string inverter was the perfect solution for us as it has enabled us to optimize the management of the 1,700 installed trackers.”
“Utilization of the 12 MPPT functionality, was also a key purchasing factor for Manni Energy. The mono-axial trackers, which track the sun’s movement from east to west, made it possible to optimize and realize maximum power output under all conditions, with peak productivity values at 2,000 kWh per installed kilowatt,” added Franco Citron.
Bolstering the solution in Spain
In Spain, two high-profile PV projects in Castelnou and at Plasencia de Jalón, are currently waiting to be commissioned and both feature the ABB high-voltage string inverters as well as the PVS-175-MVCS medium-voltage compact skid solution.
The PVS-175-MVCS is an integrated product specifically engineered for decentralized solar plants and allows up to 36 inverters to be connected for a maximum power of 6.7MVA.
The flexibility of MVCS includes an optimized MV oil-immersed transformer, MV gas-insulated switchgear as well as all necessary low-voltage (LV) protection and connection to attach the solar array and a set of available auxiliary services with independent auxiliary power to connect to electronic devices and ancillary systems such as CCTV, weather stations or control systems.
Installers and utilities further benefit from ABB’s wider cross-divisional digital offering and the advanced digital capabilities of the PVS-175.
As part of ABB’s commitment to offer a full solutions portfolio these high-profile projects in Spain also featured AC metering and communication control for monitoring all aspects of the plant including yield.
Innovative technology, high performance, flexibility and ease of installation of ABB inverters make the PVS-175 a highly productive and cost-efficient product, capable of guaranteeing performance, reliability and economy, for complex, large-scale systems.