Hybrid power solutions, as the name implies, enable many different combinations of energy generation sources to meet energy needs.
They are adaptable to different situations and locations, and utilise renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydropower (also known as hydraulic energy).
Traditional sources, such as fossil fuel energy generation through the main power grid or in diesel generators, may also be integrated into the hybrid power solution system.
Different combinations of these energy sources are considered during the design process, which will evaluate the availability and viability of renewable energy sources, the electricity demands that need to be met, location and financial factors.
Some examples of the types of hybrid power systems being used are:
Solar-Diesel Hybrid System
This is a combination of solar photovoltaic panels and a diesel generator or genset which mixed the new with the traditional for a greater balance of generation and distribution.
Energy can only be generated from the sun when it is shining. It can be used while it is being generated and at times when the sun is not shining and at nighttime, a second source of energy is required.
Diesel gensets provide that energy, thus ensuring a continuous supply of electricity.
DEUTZ Australia has developed a solar battery charging system available in kit form, designed for easy installation on existing gensets or new ones. This was initially developed for a government project, then eventually offered to the broader market in Australia.
When the genset is not in use, the solar panel charges up the battery, providing a ‘plug and play’ option. Detailed instructions are included in the kit, and DEUTZ experts are readily available to offer support to clients during the installation process.
Solar-Hydraulic Hybrid System
Solar energy is generated through photovoltaic panels and the energy is distributed to meet demands, with excess stored for later use.
Some of the solar energy generated will be used to charge the hydraulic energy storage system, which consists of a hydraulic accumulator, a tank filled with oil or water, which, when charged, is pressurised.
When electricity is required the pressurised fluid is released through a turbine or hydraulic motor that generates the required energy.
A sophisticated management system controls the supply and delivery, ensuring the best balance.
Wind-Diesel Hybrid System
Whilst a sustainable energy source, wind turbines are also an uncontrollable source because they are completely reliant on the presence of wind. Hence a combination of wind turbine/s and a diesel generator or genset meets energy requirements with the genset providing backup when the wind is not present.
Turbines, which is a renewable energy source, can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Wind-Hydraulic Hybrid System
Wind turbines generate energy while the wind is present and they transmit that energy to the hydraulic pump or motor through gears or a driveshaft.
The hydraulic energy storage system consists of a cylindrical tank filled with fluid, such as water or oil, which is pressurised by the energy received from the wind turbine.
When there is a demand for power the pressure is released, which drives the generator to produce electricity.
The system enables excess energy generated by the wind turbines to be stored for later use. The whole system is managed to ensure optimum balance between supply and demand.
Solar-Wind-Diesel Hybrid System
A combination of solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and a diesel genset, this hybrid maximises sustainable energy resources and reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
The renewables will provide energy generation as long as the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, so an energy storage system (BESS) can retain energy for later use, thereby maximising efficiencies. A diesel genset provides insurance for times when renewables are not generating sufficient energy to meet demand and can step in to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.
Solar-Biomass Hybrid System
Biomass is a multifaceted form of energy generation using various initial materials, with several different processes to produce direct or indirect energy sources. Biomass uses organic material such as plants, wood and waste.
Just a few examples are feedstocks, cotton, sugar cane, wood chips and municipal waste. One method is to process materials to produce pellets or gas which are burned at a later time to generate energy.
Another method is to generate energy by burning wood chips in a boiler to create steam which then turns a turbine or engine, thus converting heat into energy.
When used in conjunction with solar energy, the biomass is there to ensure energy delivery at times when solar energy is unavailable or excess stores have been depleted.
Hybrid Microgrid System
A microgrid system uses two or more energy generation sources, combining wind, solar, biomass, hydraulic, diesel generators or the main grid. A stand-alone system can be used independently without being integrated with the main power grid.
During times when excess energy is generated by renewable energy sources, that energy can be stored using a battery energy storage system (BESS) or hydraulic energy storage, allowing power to be delivered at a later time according to demand.
DEUTZ Australia is currently developing our inaugural microgrid system that capitalises on DEUTZ renowned diesel generators, complemented by solar panels and an expandable battery storage system, resulting in a highly efficient energy production solution. Both existing and new customers with diesel generators can easily reap the benefits of this integrated system. In addition, powerful computer management systems at used to ensure maximisation of energy generation, storage and delivery.
These are just some of the examples of hybrid power systems. As technology continues to make advances there are more options opening up to increase our capacity to produce reliable power solutions.