Controlling the temperature of the inverter stations
A photovoltaic power station, also known as a solar park, solar farm, or solar power plant, is a large-scale grid-connected photovoltaic power system (PV system) designed for the supply of merchant power.
PV power plants are built across the globe, including areas of high altitude, extreme temperature, proximity to the sea, and desert areas impacted by sand and dust. The inverter is the heart of every PV plant; it converts direct current of the PV modules into grid-compliant alternating current and feeds this into the public grid. At the same time, it controls and monitors the entire plant.
Controlling the temperature inside the electrical cabinets – and therefore guarantee the health of its components – it's a crucial task.
Pfannenberg's outdoor cooling units are the preferred choice – because of the high protection level (comparable to IP 56) together with the reliability of working in extreme conditions.
The full DTS 3000 series was designed utilising high temperature compressors and larger capacitors to best perform in outdoor applications which require a maximum ambient
temperature of +55 °C – such as roadside, rooftop or desert locations. Moreover, these cooling units are UL listed.
In some applications where there was a need to limit the consumption of space inside the container, the system integrator has chosen Pfannenberg DTT cooling units. Their prerogative is the installation on the roof of the electrical cabinet with an integrated condensate management system that prevents its filtration inside the electrical cabinet.
In other cases, the inverter stations are contained inside large containers (i.e. 40’HC), in which room conditioning is provided. Here, instead of DTS cooling units, each station can be equipped with Pfannenberg's bespoken 4th Generations outdoor Filterfans, offering IP 55 for demanding indoor and outdoor applications. UV protected.
Since solar plants are commonly located in remote and isolated areas, often even in desert areas, they are exposed to large temperature variations. For this the inverter stations also need fan heaters that keep the inverters in the right operating range.
Water cooling for battery energy storage cabinets
Although using energy storage is never 100% efficient—some energy is always lost in converting energy and retrieving it—storage allows the flexible use of energy at different times from when it was generated. So, storage can increase system efficiency and resilience, and it can improve power quality by matching supply and demand.
Lithium-ion batteries are one common storage technology, requiring thermal management to achieving efficient, durable and safe operation, while temperature stability is crucial for battery performance and durability.
Active water cooling through chillers is the best thermal management method to improve the battery pack
Weather protection hoods, signaling and alarms
performances, allowing lithium-ion batteries to reach higher energy density and uniform heat dissipation. If control cabinets are cleaned with high-pressure cleaners or if they are exposed to severe environmental conditions with heavy rainfall, rainhoods are recommended as additional protection of the enclosure.
Our extremely robust signaling solutions contribute to the smooth operation of solar energy plants – an acoustic and visual alarm placed on the container door offers a state display and a convenient fault alarm.
Statistics and trends
Aug 2022. Global solar capacity doubled in 3 years from 2018, bringing the world’s solar fleet to 1 Terawatt capacity in April 2022. The global solar market is growing exponentially. It took around a decade for world-wide solar capacity to reach 1 TW, from 100 GW in 2012, while it is expected to more than double to 2.3 TW by 2025.
Solar remains the fastest growing renewable energy, representing over half of the 302 GW of renewable capacity installed internationally in 2021. With 168 GW of additions, solar installed over 70 GW more than the next greatest installer – wind – and more than all non-solar renewables combined.