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ply maintained, and in the case of a major problem, easily replaced locally on-site by qualified technical partners. “The success of our concept essentially depends on the reliability, long service life and maintenance friendliness of the components that we use – which is reflected in the fact that we have very high quality demands”, added Dieter Miener, Technical Applications Engineer with IBC solar (see photo). Pilot system in Namibia Both companies were able to impressively prove that this concept functions perfectly when they commissioned a pilot system in Namibia at the beginning of June 2015. The pilot system, comprising solar photovoltaic modules with a power of up to 17.68 kWp and a converter SINAMICS S120 with integrated MPPT, permanently replaced an 11 kVA diesel generator set on a farm in Namibia. This not only facilitated an environmentally friendly drop-type irrigation for the plants that is reliable (which is especially important), but it also meant that nearly 30 liters of diesel are saved every day. In Namibia, diesel fuel is not subsidized by the government, and costs farmers 1.30 US dollars per liter. “We are expecting that our customers can have a payback time of three years when investing in these solar pumps,” explained Dieter Miener. Decisive Reliability In order to maintain the availability of the solar pumps – and therefore the reliability of the water supply over long periods of time – those responsible in IBC Solar place a lot of emphasis on the highest possible degree of preassembly in Germany and a network of local specialist partners. Dieter Miener: “In principle, we dimension the system here in Upper Franconia, and supply the PV modules as well as the completely equipped electrical cabinets to local specialist partners who we continually qualify. These partners then install and support the solar pump system. Even though the systems are always tailored to address each specific demand, SOLAR POWER the solar expert is planning to stock three classes of electrical cabinet power ratings – 3 kW, 7.5 kW and 15 kW. “This means we are addressing three standard power classes of diesel-generator sets that we wish to replace. Using our converters, ratings up to 90 kW would also be possible” explained Michael Flögel, sales manager with Siemens in Bayreuth. What are the next steps? As a result of the positive experience gained in Namibia and with another pilot system in Spain, IBC Solar is immediately planning to market the solution through specialist partners in target markets in Africa, as well as South and Central America. Further, over the medium term, they are also planning to address markets other than agriculture. For example in the areas of fish farming, wastewater and tourism. Miener also explained that over the long term it would be conceivable to develop hybrid systems with the primary objective of reducing the fuel usage of existing diesel generator sets, because: “Photovoltaic power always has a more favorable cost position than power generated using diesel generator sets. For the environment, and for the investor.” An IBC SOLAR photovoltaic system with Sinamics S120 converter is the core of the pilot system. “With a diesel fuel price of US $1.3 per liter, we are expecting our customers to have a payback time of three years when investing in these solar pumps” Dieter Miener from IBC Solar 23 energetica INDIA · NOV | DEC15


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