• Pilot Project Demonstrates How Conventional and Renewable Energy, Generation and Consumption Can Be Synchronized to Meet Demands;
• 600 kW Solar Power Plant Combined with 400 kW Flexible Jenbacher Combined Heat and Power Technology, Innovative Battery Solution and Intelligent Energy Management;
• Collaborative Innovative Approach with Kofler Energies and BELECTRIC.
With this pioneering concept, which offers scalable capacity, GE and its project partners Kofler Energies and BELECTRIC are breaking new ground in the area of innovative, decentralized energy supply. Representatives from the involved companies were joined by guests from the worlds of politics, business, and science to witness the launch of operations at the plant.
The new hybrid power plant, which was developed by Kofler Energies and GE’s planning office BLS Energieplan, combines photovoltaic with flexible Jenbacher combined heat and power (CHP) technology and an innovative battery solution. Thanks to an intelligent energy management system and comprehensive operational oversight, the power output can be controlled to meet demands as efficiently as possible.
The plant will not only supply power and heat to the GE Power Conversion production site in Marienfelde, Germany, but it also will feed power into the grid. The system is based on a scalable business model that also can be adapted for larger units.
The centerpiece of the hybrid power plant is a Jenbacher J312 gas engine with integrated heat storage and an efficiency level of 89.2 percent. The 400 kW system covers the basic heat load of the site during the heating season and is fueled by energy-efficient natural gas. The plant enables primary energy savings of around 30 percent compared to systems that generate heat and power separately through conventional heating and external electricity procurement.
A 600 kW solar power system with an operating voltage of 1,500 volts has been installed on the roof of the production hall. All measurement readings required for monitoring and controlling the complex system can be called up and managed remotely via the central energy management system.
When the amount of power being generated is high but consumption is low, surplus power is stored in a battery with a capacity of 200 kWh. This can then be released and fed into the plant network as required to meet higher levels of demand, bringing flexibility to power generation. Surplus power only is supplied to the public grid if the battery is completely full.
The boilers, pumps and valves are controlled in a way that ensures that the system always operates efficiently and in line with demand. The data recorded makes energy consumption transparent and can be used to help adjust the power supply to meet requirements to the optimum effect. Thanks to the separately installed counters, it is also possible to distinguish between measurements for electricity from renewable energy sources and from CHP.
“In the future of energy, supply asks to synchronize conventional and renewable energy and generation and consumption as well,” said Stephan Reimelt, president and CEO of GE Europe and CEO of GE Germany. “This is precisely where our hybrid power plant concept comes in. We need to turn new ideas into reality if we want to ensure Germany’s continued success as the world’s largest energy laboratory and market for innovation.”
Bernhard Beck, executive chairman of BELECTRIC Holding GmbH, the company responsible for the solar power plant, explains the system: “On the roof of the production hall there are 345 lines each containing 20 high-performance, thin-film solar modules. This modular setup offers highly flexible scope for expansion. This is the world’s first roof-mounted solar power system to operate at 1,500 volts. The high operating voltage means that the amount of material used for the power electronics can be reduced, making this process of generating solar power even more cost-effective.”
“As a flagship project, the German hybrid power plant in the Marienfelde district of Berlin shows that CHP, solar power and battery systems complement one another perfectly over the course of the year,” said Günter Nickel, CEO of Kofler Energies AG. “During the heating season, most of the power is produced via CHP, while the amount generated by the solar power system increases in the warmer months of the year. The battery can be used to deal with any temporary surpluses or shortages of power. This combination enables a very high degree of self-sufficiency, ensures a reliable supply and offers the opportunity to store surplus energy and use it efficiently, either internally or externally.”
The companies involved in the Berlin-based project stressed the importance of CHP systems in the future energy generation landscape as decentralized solutions and bridging technologies that operate in close proximity to consumers. This would enable the volatility of renewable energy to be offset with additional capacity that can be used in a flexible way. The amendment of the German Combined Heat and Power Generation Act (KWKG) looks set to increase the target share of electricity produced via CHP to 25 percent by 2020. To achieve this goal, long-term planning and investment security needs to be provided and a reliable regulatory framework put in place for operating CHP plants.
The hybrid power plant is a statement of GE’s commitment to its growth and innovation strategy in Germany. At its Berlin site, which was GE’s first foothold in the German market 130 years ago, the company has recently expanded its capacity by adding a new testing facility and another manufacturing line. With around 800 employees, Power Conversion is one of the largest GE sites in Germany and a globally recognized center of excellence for frequency converters. The new training center is due to open in September 2015. The ground was officially broken in 2013 by Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Technical Data of the Plant:
Combined heat and power plant
electrical output 400 kW
thermal output 491 kW
supplied power 999 kW
electrical efficiency 40,0 %
thermal efficiency 49,2 %
total efficiency 89,2 %
flow/return temperature 90/70 °C
number of cylinders 12
speed 1,500 1 rpm
Solar power plant/SKID
electrical output 621 kW peak
number of First Solar FS Series 3 modules, black, FS-390 6,900 units
GE ProSolar central inverter, PSC-800MV-L-QC 800 kVA
DC system voltage 1,500 V
AC voltage 10 kV
storage capacity 200 kWh
max. discharge power 100 kW
number of battery blocks 154 units
GE inverter, LV8000 120 kVA
output of boiler 1 1,180 kW
output of boiler 3 910 kW
heat storage volume 25 m³
heat demand approx. 3,000 MWh/a
GE (ge.com) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.
In Germany, GE has a presence of more than 50 locations and over 7,000 employees, focusing on renewable energy, healthcare technology, research and development and financial services. GE is one of Germany's most attractive employers, having been awarded "Top Employer Engineers 2014." The company’s ecomagination initiative has been recognized by the jury of the German Sustainability Award as one of the three most sustainable business strategies in Germany.
About Kofler Energies
Kofler Energies (koflerenergies.com) ranks among the leading independent energy efficiency service providers in Germany.
230 engineers and energy experts provide customers throughout Germany with a comprehensive range of solutions from a single source independent of suppliers, manufacturers and energy producers with the objective of noticeably and sustainably reducing energy-related operating costs of buildings. Focus is on optimized energy procurement, energy-efficient planning, energy- and resource-management as well as planning, construction, operation and financing of technical installations.
With various patents and innovations, BELECTRIC (belectric.com) is one of the most successful enterprises constructing free‐field solar power plants and utility‐grade energy storage systems. BELECTRIC is present globally through JV companies and subsidiaries. A high degree of vertical integration between development and manufacturing processes has made BELECTRIC an international technology leader in utility scale solar PV. The reconciliation of commercial and ecological expertise forms the basis for the company’s sustainable success. Complementing its solar power generation capabilities BELECTRIC Drive® manufactures intelligent charging products for electric vehicles.
Contact: Vera Weissl - GE Global Growth Organization
P: +49 69 450909272 / M: +49 16 22569825