Alencon Systems, Inc. will demonstrate its new series of utility scale, grid-tied inverter systems ranging from 4 to 100 Megawatts in capacity at the Solar Power International Expo.
Alencon to Unveil New Multi-Megawatt, Utility-Scale Inverter System at Solar Power International
Plymouth Meeting, PA - Alencon Systems, Inc., will unveil its latest inverter series at Solar Power International 2010 in Los Angeles, CA in booth 1709. This exciting new technology represents a major leap forward in both the conversion capacity and reliability of photovoltaic (PV) inverters making utility-scale solar farms much more cost effective and reliable to deploy and operate. The Alencon Inverter Systems, consisting of modules known as a GrIP(s)™ (Grid Inverter Packages), easily scale up to support multi-megawatt utility-grade installations of 100MW. This new system also includes very sophisticated virtual reality remote monitoring software to help operators assure their PV system is running at peak capacity at all points in time.
"The engineering team at Alencon Systems has developed the new multi-megawatt PV inverter system not just to be the highest capacity and most compact, but also the most reliable in the industry. This is why we have the confidence to back up our systems with best in class warranty and service package," says Ulrich KW Schwabe, Alencon Systems Director of Engineering.
"The environment inside the sealed GrIP™ cabinets is controlled regardless of the fluctuations in the surrounding atmosphere assuring 100% power generation in all weather conditions. DC power is shared among several modules within the inverter system which allows for sufficient redundancy to continue operation even in the event that one module is disconnected. This gives the additional benefit of having hot-swappable GrIP™ modules."
Grid Inverter Packages - The Link to Grid Parity
Alencon Systems has introduced a new grid tied inverter system specifically engineered to address every major aspect of large utility-sized renewable energy generation. Their modular, regulated current source technology provides impressive solutions across the board: 99.1% CEC efficiency†, high reliability and capacity, full active/reactive power control and Low/Zero Voltage Ride Through (L/ZVRT) capability, all in a physical package significantly smaller than inverter systems of far lower capacities. Each GrIP™ module is rated at 2.5 MW and measures 1m×1m×2.2m.
Smart Solar Power Harvesting
Alencon Systems' GrIP™ modules are connected to a smart and efficient PV harvesting system consisting of hundreds of Solar Power Optimizers and Transmitters (SPOT™). These SPOTs boost the output voltage from each PV string to a DC voltage of 2500V. Each SPOT also regulates voltage and current to keep each PV string at its maximum power point (MPP tracking), resulting in an estimated increase in harvested energy of up to 12% compared to conventional connection of PV strings. "Operating at elevated voltages allows us to decrease conduction losses and reduce the total costs of ownership (TOC) of a PV system. Conduction losses below 1% are easily feasible even over the sort of distances posed by arrays stretched over 100 acres or more. The material savings on DC conductors alone amount to as much as $ 80,000 per megawatt of capacity," continues Mr. Schwabe.
Virtual Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
Each Alencon System monitors hundreds of parameters: grid voltages and currents, active and reactive power, DC/AC voltages and currents, semiconductor temperatures, the temperatures inside and outside enclosures, as well as the current, voltage, power and temperature on each string of PV modules. This comprehensive monitoring system is based on specially developed 3D virtual reality software.
An operator in a remote control room, hundreds of miles away from the solar farm, can use Alencon Systems' Virtual Reality SCADA software to hover over a PV array and get readings for temperature, power output, etc., for each individual component. "The software allows the operator to view the interior of the inverter cabinets to check operating parameters as well as follow the transformer into the utility line to see how much active or reactive power is fed into the grid. The SCADA system simulates cloud coverage and can forecast power output to the grid in real time." notes Mr. Schwabe.
About Alencon Systems, Inc.
Alencon Systems, Inc. was formed in 2009 with the mission of making utility-scale alternative energy more cost effective and reliable. The company is a spinoff from the Inductotherm Group, the world leader in high-power industrial inverters which have been used in the induction heating and melting industry for over 50 years. Inductotherm inverters supply in aggregate 16,500 MW of power to induction melting furnaces in 70% of foundries around the world. Alencon Systems is applying the same unsurpassed reliability to the alternative energy conversion sector.
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