Solar-Diesel Hybrid Power Plant Commissioned in India

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) has successfully commissioned a solar-diesel hybrid power plant at Bangaram Island in Lakshadweep, in what the company claims will become the largest in India, conserving the ecology and environment of the tourist island while meeting its increasing demand for power.

Initially, a 10 kW Solar Power Plant was commissioned by BHEL in the island using solar photovoltaics (SPV). Based on its success, Lakshadweep Administration decided to commission a 50 kW Solar-Diesel Hybrid Power Plant to ensure power supply 24 hours a day. The SPV-diesel hybrid system at Bangaram comprises a 50 kW SPV array containing SPV modules manufactured with high-efficiency single-crystalline solar cells, maintenance-free lead acid battery bank, two numbers each of 75 kVA [Kilovolt-Ampere] diesel generators, a power conditioning unit (PCU) and other associated auxiliaries. The system works in fully automatic mode by prioritizing on solar power. A software algorithm ensures SPV array to operate at the maximum power point so that the solar modules deliver maximum power at the given solar radiation at that instant. The system can monitor the system performance from a remote location via a telephone line. BHEL has already commissioned solar power plants adding more than 1 MW to Lakshadweep’s generating capacity. Spurred by the success at Bangaram Island, the Electricity Department of Lakshadweep is planning to install similar systems in other islands as well.
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