May 26, 2020 - Merus Power

Save on fuel and diesel genset maintenance costs in off-grid microgrids

The integration of battery energy storages to microgrid helps to achieve the full potential of photovoltaic (PV) systems and ensures microgrid power quality while saving diesel fuel and maintenance costs.

The production of an off-grid microgrid typically consist of renewable energy generation and internal combustion engine powered generators, such as diesel gensets. In rural microgrids the fuel transportation costs, storage and guarding play significant role in the total fuel price. When the Merus™ ESS, a sophisticated battery energy storage system, is installed in the microgrid, substantial savings can be obtained from reduced need of fuel and maintenance cost of the gensets.

This is an example of load and consumption in a micro grid. The consumption (green line) and the production (yellow line, solar and black line, diesel genset) need to be equal all the time. The installed solar PV capacity cannot exceed the usage. The diesel gensets are needed to fill the production gap between the load and the solar PV. The use of diesel gensets causes substantial fuel and maintenance costs.

When the Merus™ ESS (blue line) is added to the microgrid the load and the consumption is balanced with charging and discharging the batteries. The solar PV capacity can be increased (yellow line), and excess capacity is used to charge the batteries. The stored energy from Merus™ ESS is used when there is not enough solar power to cover the production. The diesel generator (black line) turns on when there’s not enough solar power and the Merus™ ESS battery state of charge is low. The usage of diesel generator is decreased remarkably, and the fuel and maintenance service savings cover the investment cost fast. Investment payback time strongly depends on the fuel price but is around 1 – 5 years for typical rural off-grid microgrids.

See the detailed payback time calculations.

Sometimes a battery energy storage is seen as a passive electricity storage component. Merus™ ESS is much more than just an energy storage. With its extremely fast response time and high-quality electricity, the Merus™ ESS has much more to offer for the microgrids.

Benefits of a Merus™ ESS in an off-grid microgrid:
  • Peak shaving ability
  • Reactive power generation and voltage control
  • Fault current provision
  • Virtual inertia
  • Black start capability
  • Fuel and maintenance savings
  • Continuous power supply

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