The integration of diesel generators (DG) with photovoltaic (PV) systems, known as DG PV Integration,  has gained importance as the demand for dependable and renewable energy sources keeps rising. For the generation of electricity, this integrated strategy provides a balanced answer. For the generation of electricity, this integrated strategy provides a balanced solution. The DG PV controller, which is essential to this integration, runs the production and is in charge of controlling the two sources’ coordination. In this article, we provide in-depth discussion of DG PV controllers and their importance for establishing smooth integration.

Diesel generator and PV integration
Diesel generator and PV integration

The Need for Integration

For many years, diesel generators have been a solid source of backup power, supplying energy in off-grid areas or during grid disruptions.  However, the Solar Diesel Hybrid System has become a favored solution due to its efficiency and sustainability. The PV Diesel Hybrid Controller plays a pivotal role in managing how much power is drawn from solar PV panels versus the diesel generator, ensuring optimal energy use and system efficiency. This ensures that energy is used as efficiently as possible and that the system runs at maximum efficiency. While the manufacturers of generator sets advise operating them at a minimum of 30% of their capacity, the remaining load will be supplied by solar photovoltaic panels 1. However, the operational costs and environmental impact of diesel generators have prompted the exploration of alternative energy sources, such as solar PV systems. Integrating PV with DG systems enables a reduction in diesel consumption and emissions, making it a more sustainable solution.

Schematic of PV DG system 2
Schematic of PV DG system 2

DG PV Controller: Overview and Functionality

In order to integrate diesel generators with solar systems, the DG PV controller acts as the brains. This hybrid controller has several functions, such as zero export and a generator protection system 3. PV diesel hybrid controller continually tracks the output capacity of the solar power plant and the load on generators and the grid. The controller device provides a load-sharing capability with generators that maximize fuel efficiency and engine performance while maintaining a minimal load on the grid to avoid export to the grid. Intelligent systems, programmable controllers, and other microcontrollers can be used in the construction and design of the controller. Several microcontrollers, programmable controllers, and intelligent systems are used in the construction and design of the controller. Managing the power flow between the two sources is its main function; it makes sure everything runs as efficiently as possible depending on load requirements, solar energy availability, and fuel economy. A DG PV Controller is required to synchronize a PV plant (solar plant) with a DG (diesel generator), with the sharing point set at 30% 4.

DC PV controller function
DC PV controller function

Key Functions of a DG PV Controller :

  • Continuously monitoring the electrical load, the controller decides whether to activate the DG use the available solar energy to meet the load.
  • Better load planning and optimization are made possible by PV Energy Forecasting, which projects solar energy generation based on real-time weather conditions.
  • The controller facilitates a seamless transition between PV and DG power sources, ensuring a seamless shift to the most economical and efficient choice.
  • To further optimize energy utilization in systems with energy storage, the controller controls battery charging and discharging.
  • The fuel efficiency optimization process aims to reduce the amount of fuel used by giving priority to the use of solar energy wherever possible.

DG PV Controller Components

Key Functions of a DG PV Controller
  • Sensors and meters: These parts provide current information on variables such as solar radiation, photovoltaic array power output, grid voltage, and load demand.
  • Microcontroller or PLC: This is the central processing unit (CPU) that processes sensor data and uses preset algorithms to make decisions.
  • Communication Interface: allows the controller to communicate with other system parts, such as monitoring systems, DG sets, and inverters.
  • Control Logic: It is the core of the controller, containing the logic and algorithms that decide when to switch between PV and DG sources.
  • Actuators: These components physically control the DG set and inverters’ switching and functioning in accordance with the decision of controller.

The advantages of integrating DG PV with a controller

  • Decreased Operational Costs: The integration reduces fuel use, which results in significant cost savings, by utilizing solar energy wherever available.
  • Impact on the Environment: As a result of less emissions from diesel generators, the energy system is more environmentally friendly.
  • Enhanced Reliability: Even in unpredictable weather, a steady and dependable power supply is provided by the smooth transition between DG and PV sources.
  • Optimized Battery Performance: In energy-storage systems, the controller makes the most use of the energy that has been stored, extending the life of the batteries.

Hybrid Solar Systems that combine DG and PV technologies represent the future of energy solutions, offering a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional power systems. An advanced method of energy management is the connection of solar systems with diesel generators using DG PV controllers. As we continue to explore and improve upon Renewable Energy Hybrid Systems, the integration of solar and diesel generator systems stands out as a particularly promising area for development. Through the integration of the advantages of both sources, this system provides a dependable, economical, and eco-friendly solution for a number of uses. We can expect more improvements in DG PV controllers as technology develops, which will result in even more sustainable and effective energy solutions.


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