20 finalists of the Smarter E Award will be presented in Munich



Own power

Published on April 12, 2019 |
by Charles W. Thurston

April 12, 2019 by Charles W. Thurston


The outstanding finalists of the Smarter E Award 2019 project are advancing the sustainable energy sector by developing the network infrastructure of the future, innovative digitization technologies, the coupling of sectors of the world. Electricity, heating and mobility and developing new business models for the trade and marketing of electricity say the organizers of Smarter E, to be held in Munich on May 15 and 17.

In an innovative finalist project in the Galapagos Islands, a hybrid solar + storage + biofuel system was developed by Siemens, flown and built to replace generators that burn 28 tonnes of diesel per month. Jatropha, the oil-rich tree of the plant native to Ecuador, is the new fuel for emergency generator, now the UNESCO world heritage site free of fossil fuel.

A solar hybrid + storage + biofuel system developed by Siemens now generates the bulk of electricity demand in the Galapagos Islands. Siemens credit

Once again this year, the finalists in the Outstanding Projects category show that solar technology is booming in the world and that it is playing the role of key technology. Hybrid concepts, as well as photovoltaic technologies associated with storage technologies, ensure the availability and stability of renewable energies. The trend towards facilities operating without a feed-in tariff is also very visible.

The companies below are the finalists in two categories: Outstanding Projects and Smart Renewable Energy.

Finalists in the Outstanding Projects category:

BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH (Germany): The Don Rodrigo Solar Park, in the south of Spain, is the first European photovoltaic power station to be financed without subsidies. 500,000 solar modules are installed on an area of ​​265 hectares and the total production of the park is 175 MW. At less than 25 euros / MWh, Don Rodrigo's electricity production costs (LCoE, normalized cost of electricity) are lower than those of conventional power plants. This shows that it is already possible for renewables to reach grid parity in sunny regions of Europe without requiring subsidies.

Bluestorage (France): A chain of environmentally-friendly cinemas producing their own electricity has been launched under the name of CanalOlympia. 50 fully autonomous cinemas operate in Central and West Africa. The cinemas are powered by a hybrid system with 140 kWp of solar modules and 400 kWh of storage. This creates the necessary infrastructure for culture and entertainment in rural areas.

Clean Max Enviro Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (India): A solar farm coupled with the 145 MWp grid in Sedam, Karnataka, India, makes it easier for companies to switch to solar power with minimal risk. CleanMax is a local green energy provider that provides businesses with renewable energy so they do not have to invest in their own PV facilities. This has allowed Adobe India, for example, to cover the entire energy demand of its Bangalore campus with solar park energy.

Dhybrid Power Systems GmbH (Germany): With a hybrid system including a photovoltaic system (200 kWp) and a lithium-ion storage unit (265 kWh), a local utility company from Somaliland (East Africa) ) can now completely stop its diesel generator system during the day. An intelligent grid control system is responsible for fully automatic and load-dependent control and regulation of all sources of energy. The share of renewable energy can be extended in similar applications with this system, regardless of the manufacturer or the technology.

IBC Solar Energy GmbH (Germany): The Michaelshof project in Sammatz (Wendland) shows that a German village can be supplied with renewable energy generated locally. A total of 190 kWp of photovoltaic systems have been installed on nine buildings and 90% of the solar energy is consumed on site. In combination with a 200 kWh lithium battery system, potential users achieve a self-sufficiency rate of about 40%.

Japan Tobacco International (Jordan): This Amman-based tobacco plant generates both heat and industrial cooling processes with the help of Fresnel collectors. This is the first time that steam production and solar cooling are combined all over the world. The Jordanian tobacco plant has been equipped with a 1,254 square meter sensor network and a two-stage absorption refrigerator.

Mondas GmbH (Germany): A smart heating network has been set up in Gutleutmatten, a newly developed residential area in Friborg, with 38 decentralized solar thermal installations. A total of 525 dwellings with 1,350 inhabitants are connected to the heating network. Artificial intelligence algorithms and a specially developed Internet of Things (IoT) web platform support the energy management of solar panels, decentralized hot water storage tanks and solar panels. centralized cogeneration systems.

NEXTracker, Inc. (United States): The Maharishi Maharishi University's 1.1 MW solar power plant is the first solar installation in the United States to combine active tracking technology and energy storage. energy by vanadium flow battery. The system uses an intelligent tracking control system that allows each row of modules to move independently to compensate for shadows, weather conditions or site topography in real time. The new solar and storage facility brings the share of renewable energy in the university's total energy supply to around 43%, and is expected to reduce its electricity bill by 30%.

Siemens AG (Germany): The Isabela Hybrid Power Plant, located on the largest island in the Galapagos, provides nearly 900 homes with carbon-neutral energy from solar energy and biofuels. In addition to the photovoltaic installation of 952 kWp and a battery storage system with a capacity of 330 kWh, it also includes a diesel generator with a power of 1,625 kW. The oil of the native plant, jatropha, is used as a biofuel. Thanks to the intelligent control unit, photovoltaic forecasting system and accumulators, the diesel generator can be switched off when the sun is shining.

Solare Datensysteme GmbH (Germany): The Solar-Log two-level control system guarantees compliance with the injection limits, even if the total power of two photovoltaic systems exceeds the limits. This means that there is never more power injected into the network than that specified by the utility company. In addition, as much energy as possible is used for self-consumption. Network operators can now accept requests that they had to decline before.

Finalists in the Smart Renewable Energy category:

Axiotherm GmbH (Germany): kraftBoxx, a thermal energy storage unit for heating and hot water using latent storage sticks, offers a considerably higher energy storage capacity than the conventional heat and cold storage systems, without occupying more space. The sticks can also be installed later in existing systems. Depending on the desired operating point of the heat or cold storage system, the rods are filled with different media in order to optimize them for specific temperature ranges. Thanks to its large energy storage capacity, kraftBoxx is ideal for sector coupling in single family homes.

Goldbeck Solar GmbH (Germany): Goldbeck's energy optimization software, GEOS, can be used in the early stages of a comparison project of economic and ecological assessments of different renewable energy supply concepts for office buildings . This allows a factual comparison of the alternatives between them and with the standard, in order to find the most profitable and sustainable solution.

PION Technology AG (Germany): The modular ac charging station plays a central role in the infrastructure of electric vehicles. In the form of a game board, the stable, small concrete charging station offers a charging power of up to 22 kW. This elegant and solid street furniture is extremely user-friendly. The housing material retains particles and removes nitrogen oxides from the air.

Reuniwatt (France): With SunSat Digital Twin, operators can monitor the status of their solar power plant without even having to measure radiation on site at any time. Actual performance is continuously compared to target performance using satellite-determined solar radiation data. This provides useful information on reduced returns and helps the owner or operator to identify potential errors at an early stage.

Smappee (Belgium): The modular energy management system Smappee Infinity, which can also be installed later, analyzes the energy flows of a household and displays them visually in an application for smartphone. This helps identify the main electrical loads, which can then be turned on and off as needed. Charges can be controlled according to the time of day to ensure the maximum consumption of energy generated on the site. The system can also program charging of the electric vehicle to use cheaper rates whenever possible, or configure the load so as not to exceed the specific charging limits at the home connection point.

SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (Israel): SolarEdge's virtual power plant solution combines decentralized power generation facilities to create a virtual power plant and coordinates them to provide network services or contribute to network stability. The software platform operates independently of the equipment of the individual power generation facilities. The intelligent combination of decentralized and cloud-based processing power ensures that the latency is minimized, which is necessary for network services.

SolarGaps (Ukraine): These solar shades do not only provide shade, they also reduce the electricity bill. Blinds are supplied with micro-inverters that convert DC to AC so that electrical devices can be recharged directly from the junction box. PV blinds can be controlled with a smartphone app or automatically adjusted for optimal sun exposure.

Solargis (Slovakia): The Prospect software solution displays a complete simulation of the yield for small, medium and large scale photovoltaic plants. Based on average weather and radiation data from various sources, the technical simulation of the photovoltaic facility provides a reliable yield forecast. The result is then automatically presented in a clear and complete report.

SolarInvert GmbH (Germany): Selv-PV is a compact and intelligent energy system consisting of a photovoltaic installation of 1.68 kWp (six solar modules) and a 2.5 kWh storage device. The system is designed for self-consumption of solar energy in private households. It is equipped with all necessary protections and can easily be plugged into a power outlet.

Stäubli Electrical Connectors AG (Germany): The Power-Blox battery units have ports for PV modules as well as sockets for 230 V ac and 12 V and 9 V dc. Power cubes with built – in battery are the basic components of a system with automatic configuration. Connecting multiple storage devices creates a distributed network without a central storage unit. As it does not require any prior planning, the system is suitable for both temporary and permanent power supply in areas without a stable network.


Keywords: Axiotherm, BayWa r.e. Renewable Energy, Bluestorage, Clean Max Enviro Energy Solutions, Dhybrid Power Systems, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Goldbeck Solar, IBC Solar Power, Japan Tobacco International, Mondas, NEXTracker, PION Technology, Reuniwatt, Siemens, Smappee, Smarter E, SolarEdge Technologies, SolarGaps, Solargis, SolarInvert, Electrical Connectors Stäubli, UNESCO World Heritage Site


About the author

Charles W. Thurston Charles specializes in renewable energies, from finance to technological processes. Bifacial panels and solar tracking are among the priority areas. He has been active in the industry for over 25 years. He has lived and worked in countries ranging from Brazil to Papua New Guinea.




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