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4 Sep 2023
5 min read
The coastal town of Broome is situated on the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean in Western Australia, approximately 2046 km north of Perth. GenOffGrid, an electrical contracting company based in Broome, faced a pressing challenge. The existing mains supply was inadequate to meet the demands of a BP Petrol station located in the area, compounded by its remote location at the end of the distribution line, leading to frequent power outages. It was decided to install a Hybrid Microgrid to support the petrol station's power needs, incorporating the existing Solar PV and installing a new battery storage system as well as a diesel generator.
The CHEMS (ComAp Hybrid Energy Management System) panel will manage the solar PV and the BESS. The solar PV will be used to charge the BESS until maximum SOC (state of charge) is reached, at which time any excess solar PV power will be curtailed based on demand. The system is designed to run 24/7 autonomously.
When the system load is greater than the solar PV generation, the BESS will supply the net load until the BESS reaches low SOC (15%) or if the load demand exceeds the capacity of the BESS. In this case, the hybrid controller will signal the gen-set controller to start and synchronise to the common bus. The gen-set will operate in load following mode suppling power to the load only. The BESS will not be charged from the gen-set. When solar PV becomes available, it will be used to charge the BESS until it has sufficient SOC (40%), then the gen-set will be shut down. If there is higher PV capacity available than the maximum BESS charge rate, excess solar will be used to reduce the load on the gen-set down to the minimum partial load (30%). Once the gen-set has shut down and the BESS is running only in parallel with the solar PV, solar PV power will be used to power loads and any excess power from solar generation will be used charge the BESS until high SOC (95%), after which the solar PV will be curtailed according to load demand.