The Hybrid Power Generation System (HPGS) of national security alliance the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (Nato’s) Energy Security Centre of Excellence has won one of the Energy Transition Trophies 2016.
The awards, held in Paris, France, in June, covered such themes as factories, energy, renewable energy, energy transition and mobility, and were organised by leading professional press group in France, Usine Nouvelle.
The HPGS smart energy system beat more than 130 rival projects in the renewable- energy category. The system is based on Germany-based cable and overhead line accessory manufacturer Pfisterer’s CrossPower technology, which combines conventional and renewable-energy sources in one system.
Pfisterer’s CrossPower system creates isolated power grids, or microgrids, in which wind turbine and photovoltaic (PV) systems are combined with conventional diesel generators.
“This alliance of hybrid power generation and intelligent management ensures a highly secure power supply,” according to Pfisterer.
Further, the system allows for a stable, mobile power supply in various areas.
In emergency scenarios, the ability to rapidly establish a reliable power supply is crucial, the company noted in a press statement last month, adding that, with the HPGS, stable power grids could now be set up rapidly in locations such as remote areas, earthquake zones or refugee camps, or areas of conflict.
While the Lithuanian Armed Forces have been testing the system in field conditions since the beginning of the year, Nato will soon deploy the system in planned military exercises, the Nato Energy Security Centre of Excellence says.
Pfisterer and the centre gave a demonstration of the technology at Eurosatory, the world’s largest international land, air defence and security exhibition, in Paris, in June. This was Pfisterer’s first joint trade fair appearance with the Nato energy organisation. The hybrid power concept attracted military and civilian interest.
Modern lithium-ion batteries store solar or wind power in the system. The control system automatically prioritises renewable-energy sources according to their availability, whereas the diesel generators function only as required to recharge the batteries and always operate at their optimum output range.
This reduces fuel consumption by up to 50% and makes the system remarkably efficient, the company noted.
A single 150 kW plant can provide a reliable supply for a hospital with 100 people or to a military base with up to 150 soldiers, while the entire system is based on touch-safe design and can be operated in the close vicinity of tents and equipment.
The CrossPower system also reduces logistics expenses. Since diesel consumption is significantly lower, fewer costly fuel transports – inevitably entailing security risks – are necessary to conflict areas.
Additionally, the system can be housed in two International Organisation for Standardisation-certified 20-ft containers for transport, taking up very little space.
One container accommodates the PV system and the wind turbine mast, while the second accommodates the management system, switchgear, batteries and diesel generators.
The CrossPower system is scaled by design and is available with rated power outputs from 25 kW up to 1 000 kW/1 MW as a stationary unit. Additional modules can be integrated, for instance, into a hydroelectric power station, a permanent power grid or a Smartflower solar system.