German Virtual Renewable Power Station

Natcon7, a subsidiary of wind turbine company Nordex AG, has broadened its business activities. Building on the company’s specialties in automation, it now also offers end-to-end communication systems for monitoring and analyzing biogas power stations. To date, Natcon7 has primarily been involved in equipping its parent company’s wind power turbines and farms.

Hamburg, Germany – August 26, 2003 [] One of the first orders has been placed by BioConstruct in Melle for a 340 kW unit, which is to be assembled in the Lower Saxon town of Rieste. Natcon7 is to supply the switching, controlling and remote monitoring systems for productive operation as of August. Bioconstruct will be fueling the biomass power station with pig manure as well as maize and food scraps (the cofermentates). The biogas power station is linked to the Natcon7 remote monitoring portal, where it is supervised around the clock. Even so, the operator can remotely access all the power station data via the Internet either on a real-time basis or in history form. It is also possible to change the operating status of the power station in the same way. “The virtual power station is no longer merely a vision. With this foray into biogas business, we have taken a further step towards our goal of operating virtual power station portals for non-centralized energy production,” said Dirk Adam, the managing director of Natcon7. “Using this system, we are able to control a geographically diverse system comprising wind, water, solar, biomass, fuel-cell or geothermal power stations as a single entity for our customers.” The company said the advantage of the system is that the more sources of energy are integrated, the more reliably and efficiently the overall system operates. If, for example, wind conditions are less favorable, the shortfall can be offset by increasing the input from other sources. The system also comes complete with a load management system which can also take into account weather forecasts and projected demand via electricity exchanges. At the moment, Natcon7 is working on the third stage by integrating a photovoltaic (PV) unit with a nominal out of 100 kW in the portal. Located in Schwýbisch Hall, the unit is operated by Planet Energy, a subsidiary of Greenpeace Energy. In a next step, two more PV units with a nominal output of 43 and 20 kW respectively belonging to Energy Farming’s “Region Regenerative Melle project in Melle near Osnabrýck are to be integrated. Negotiations are also being held with operators of hydro and geothermal power stations.
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