Hybrid technologiesProject Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub
The Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub project set out to develop an innovative high-renewable- energy penetration hybrid off-grid power system, incorporating a significant proportion of third- party renewable generation – be that utility-scale wind generation or distributed solar.
The Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub project set out to develop an innovative high-renewable energy penetration hybrid off-grid power system, incorporating a significant proportion of third party renewable generation – be that utility-scale wind generation or distributed solar. A main objective was to develop scalable and modularised designs for ‘readily deployable enabling technologies’ such as batteries, flywheels and resistors, enabling significant commissioning activities to be carried out in factories, which would reduce time on site.
This objective was achieved through the development of the Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub and subsequently immediately applied to a third-party project at Coober Pedy, South Australia (also funded by ARENA). Though the Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub bore the costs of developing the deployable technology, it has also set up future projects to be commercially viable, not only with the methods developed in this project but also with the capacity gained to further refine the technology and reduce the delivery costs.
The Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub project successfully increased targeted levels of annual renewable contribution up to 60%, and is able to run for periods of continuous zero-diesel operation (up to nearly 100 hours continuously and for approximately 50% of the year). The project installed a 200 kW DC solar farm, 900 kW wind turbine, 1.5 MW dynamic resistor, 850 kVA diesel-UPS, 750 kW/266 kWh battery, distribution line augmentation and feeder management system, all integrated into the existing diesel power station. All these elements were integrated by implementing an advanced automated hybrid power system controller.
Challenges overcome during the project included the ability to integrate the renewable energy, both solar and wind, while maintaining power quality and system security. As the renewable contribution increases, so does the need to carefully manage the wider power system (including diesel generators, feeders and auxiliary systems) to effectively integrate the variable renewable energy sources without putting the power supply at risk.
The hybrid energy control system was the key to successfully integrating renewable energy from solar and wind with the supporting enabling technology, namely the diesel generation, dynamic resistor, diesel UPS (flywheel) and battery. The control system was deployed to meet the practical challenges of implementing a hybrid project with high renewable contribution.
As the sophistication of power generation increases, with an increasing range of technologies deployed, it is essential that sufficient tools and training are provided to owners and operators to achieve diesel savings over the long term. During this project, we trained operators, involved them in project delivery, and delivered tools (such as remote view screens, manuals and data reporting) for monitoring the power system and ensuring optimum operation to maximise renewable contribution.