The 6th Annual European Conference on PV-Hybrids and Mini-grids was held on the 26th and 27th of April, 2012 in Chambéry, France. Mr. Georg Bopp and Dr. Jens Merten, conference chairmen, began the conference by discussing how these types of systems have been developed to find solutions for the electrification of rural regions and islands and provide an enhanced electricity service. In comparison to village electrification with solar home systems a central PV-Hybrid System reduces the specific electricity cost and enables us to provide a grid equivalent service to the users. This cost reduction is achieved by the aggregation of the expensive system components – the photovoltaic generator, the batteries, and the power converters – which are mutualised. It is this grid equivalent service which is a crucial condition for starting up economic activities in rural regions, which improve wealth and reduce emigration. This is why PV hybrid systems and Mini-grids are an important tool to achieve the millennium development goals.
OPS Group Director Mr. Stephen Phillips had attended the conference to present the Control Issues and Solutions in High Renewable Penetration in High Power Micro Grid Systems. He stated that within the Micro Grid systems, there are three crucial required functions;
– Very fast “High Level” control that monitors power line frequency and voltage which can respond with correct system scheduling decisions
– Fast scheduling control such that the various co-generation resources including load control can be scheduled and brought on line within the necessary time intervals to avoid brown outs and black outs
– Overall system scheduling, storage monitoring, optimization, battery life management, operator interaction, control and supervision of distributed elements such as genset array or remote cloud support unit
The purpose of the conference was to find the cost efficient solutions for reliable systems with the knowledge that hybrid systems and minigrids are more complex. Running for two days, lots of ideas and topics had been addressed and hopefully in the future, these ideas can prove to play a vital role in the increase usage of renewable energy.