Micro-grids: Fronius and Victron Energy are partners

Micro-grid ground-mounted system in Laikipia, Kenya. (Photo: Fronius)
Micro-grid ground-mounted system in Laikipia, Kenya. (Photo: Fronius)

The Austrian inverter manufacturer Fronius has announced that it will be teaming up with Victron Energy from the Netherlands. Using coordinated products, the companies plan to offer systems for off-grid and continuous solar power supply.

The basic idea is to temporarily store solar electricity in small residences. The partners already carried out a first project in Kenya in the summer of last year. Particularly in remote areas, a continuous power supply cannot be taken for granted, Fronius emphasised. In areas without a stable power supply, distributed solar power systems are connected directly to a regional, self-contained power distribution grid called a micro-grid. "For this purpose, our inverters are equipped with a special setup that includes different functions to ensure stable operation of the micro-grid," said David Hanek, product manager at Fronius.

Coordinated charging of storage systems

To facilitate temporary storage of solar power, Fronius has adapted its inverters to Victron Energy's technology for off-grid systems. As part of the project in Kenya, eight houses at a residential complex will be supplied with 100% solar energy via a micro-grid, according to the company. The electricity generated by the photovoltaic system and the four Fronius Symo 20.0-3-M inverters is either consumed directly by the houses or it is stored. The Quattro inverter/charger and the Victron Blue Solar MPPT 150/85 charge controllers from Victron Energy continuously supply the batteries. The system technology is designed for trouble-free, uninterrupted operation: "If the load is less than the potential PV generator capacity and the batteries are already fully charged, then the power needs to be automatically reduced," David Hanek said. "Otherwise, the system switches off due to overvoltage." If necessary, functions for voltage-dependent power reduction as well as various reactive power controls can be activated. Matthijs Vader, managing director of Victron Energy, is pleased about the cooperation with Fronius: "Our partnership and the resulting concepts and systems are being very well received by our clients."

Ralf Ossenbrink / Fronius International

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