Examples

Here is a selection of examples so that you can get a practical idea of our solutions. They will give a small insight into the extremely diverse possibilities of our all-in-one monitoring and control solutions.

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Monitoring and control of a hybrid PV system

This combined PV and genset system has been implemented in Johannesburg, South Africa. It combines a 500 kWp PV system and two 600 kVA diesel generators. The system was developed to reduce energy costs and bridge power outages. By integrating both components within the system, the operators can benefit from the efficiency of renewable energy, but also ensure reliability and flexibility during power cuts due to the diesel generators. This enables a continuous power supply while helping to reduce dependence on traditional power sources, which is particularly beneficial in regions with unreliable power supplies.

The challenge in this project was to combine both the existing PV system with two different diesel generator types and control the overall system. The monitoring and control system needs to make sure that all components are integrated and interact with each other. The system includes different controls over different components: The grid feed-in must be limited and the generators have to run in fuel saving mode, yet the system must not be interrupted during power cuts.

With our zero-feed-in system, you can effectively use the surplus solar energy generated by feeding it into your own energy consumption or storing it instead of feeding it into the grid. Our target/actual PV analysis allows you to closely monitor the performance of your PV system and compare it with the expected values in order to identify and rectify potential deviations at an early stage. In addition, with our Fuel Saver feature, we offer an intelligent solution for optimizing the fuel consumption of your diesel generators by efficiently adapting operation to the current energy demand.

EcoPhi was chosen because our monitoring and control solutions are flexibly adaptable and compatible with different inverters and other components like generators – also within a system.

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Energy management system with dynamic prices

Combining multiple components within one system can increase complexity but gives the potential to optimize the system. With dynamic prices based on the intraday or day-ahead market, the economical value of such systems can be highly increased. Therefore, a modern and flexible Energy Management System is necessary.

System: Solar Edge, EV Chargers, Day-Ahead Price

Combining different components within one system such as inverters, battery storage, EV chargers or heat pumps means that different communication protocols and standards must be implemented. Different priorities and regulations also need to be included, such as prioritization of specific EV chargers or feed-in regulations. Controlling and optimizing the whole system based on the volatile energy market is complex, but offers great savings potential.

We used our all-in-one solution with hardware and software. The hardware is easy to install and can be connected to different components at the same time. We used Feed-In Limitation (due to regulatory constraints), peak shaving, self-consumption optimization and dynamic price integration to optimize the system.

EcoPhi was selected because our monitoring and control solutions are highly adaptable and compatible with various inverters, storage systems, EV chargers and heat pumps within the same system. As we are able to control complex systems based on dynamic prices, we are a perfect fit for such systems.

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Optimizing a PV + battery system

This combined solar and storage system has been installed at a school in Cape Town. It has been built to make sure that the school is always supplied with energy, also during load shedding hours (scheduled power cuts in South Africa).

System:

  • PV: 125kWp SMA

  • Storage: 400kWh Atess

The system consists of a PV and storage component that are not able to communicate directly. Also, several controls need to be combined such as peak shaving, self consumption optimization and feed-in limitation.

Our installed hardware combined with our cloud platform makes sure that the system is operated and optimized.

Features of the installed Energy Management System include:

  • Peak shaving
  • Feed-in limitation
  • Self consumption optimization

Along with the EcoPhi solution, several other options have been evaluated. EcoPhi was chosen because our energy management system stood out due to its flexibility and competitiveness in terms of economical value.

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Reducing food waste with efficient solar powered cold rooms

Many countries, particularly on the African continent, have a large rural population, a focus on agriculture and limited energy infrastructure. Here, self-sufficient solar-powered refrigerated containers are of great importance. They can also be used to cool food in areas without electricity, thus reducing waste.

EcoPhi monitors the systems and ensures optimum operation thanks to the integrated control system.

The inverters used include SMA, Growatt, Steca, Felicity and Victron

The systems are often located in remote regions with sometimes extreme climatic conditions. The systems themselves are complex, as in addition to the off-grid PV system for energy generation, other relevant components have to be connected, monitored and controlled, such as different cold storage units, air conditioning units or security cameras.

Another challenge is that different inverters are used.

On the hardware side, a “Plant Controller” is used to monitor and control even complex systems. Various analog and digital sensors and actors can be connected to it. The cooling system is controlled depending on the room temperature.

Depending on the system size and location, different sensors and features are used. These include:

  • Irradiation indicator
  • Door sensor to show when the entrance doors are opened
  • Temperature and humidity sensors
  • Security camera to monitor the cold room interior

Our monitoring and control solutions effectively connect complex systems in terms of both hardware and software. Individual control conditions can be created individually. Our hardware also works with international or local SIM cards and also transmit data in areas with weak signal. This combination makes us the ideal partner for this systems where not only the energy generation but also the application focus must be taken into account.

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