UAE-based Al Bahar, a major dealer of Caterpillar machinery, heavy equipment and power systems, has successfully completed the installation of its first solar project in Dubai, UAE, for Caterpillar Middle East.
The grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at Caterpillar's regional training centre is now set for commissioning, said a statement from the company.
Inspired by the initiative Shams Dubai – Dewa’s first smart initiative to connect solar energy to buildings, a part of the Distributed Renewable Resources Generation programme, the project intends to enable the facility to reduce dependency on grid power, it stated.
With objectives like reduction of carbon footprint, energy conservation by utilisation of a much cleaner energy source, the project was initiated to set up a PV plant that can be used for regional microgrid training activities, said Al Bahar in its statement.
The new PV plant is expected to provide Caterpillar Distribution Services 237 MW energy yield annually, for the next 25 years. The project also supports Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which has set a target for the emirate to meet 75 per cent of its needs through solar energy within that period.
Al Bahar said the project is the first solar ground installation in Jafza especially for a training centre in the region. In addition to ground installations, it includes panels on a 6-m high canopy that offers shade for generators.
The 138 KWp plant will cover 1,700 sq m, which can accommodate 1,200 Caterpillar 115 Wp Thin Film solar PV modules. Cat photovoltaic module PVT 115 with efficiency of around 16 per cent, have been utilised for the project.
"The Thin Film technology has an advantage over other technologies like multi crystalline," said a spokesman for Caterpillar. "The modules generate more energy than competing modules with same power rating. The Cat PVT115 modules are made to deliver superior performance and reliability to our customers. The photovoltaic panels lower your cost of energy – reducing utility bills for grid-connected installations.
"Due to ‘Superior Temperature Co-efficient’ and better spectral response, the Cat technology Thin Film modules produce seven per cent more power as compared to the conventional silicon modules in hot and humid climatic conditions."
In a future expansion, the system will include two modes of operation, namely grid-connected and Microgrid, where the system can be seen performing with the gensets to reduce fuel consumption.
The system is developed in a way to connect to the state-owned electricity grid. The energy produced in the day will either be consumed by the Caterpillar training facility or will be fed to the utility grid through a bidirectional meter, the spokesman said. "This means that in times of high power consumption, the Cat facility can seamlessly source the additional requirement from the government-owned electricity grid. Conversely, in times where facility power consumption is lighter, the solar-generated power will be used to supplement the city grid – allowing for deductions on overall government utility bills for the district facility," he explained.
The project includes four 25 kW inverters and one 20 kW inverter, offering a total of 120 kW AC. Al-Bahar has run several simulations which indicates the current set-up and use of technology best suit the regional weather conditions, offering optimal results. For hassle-free operations, Cat MMC-M – Remote web-based monitoring system has been utilised for the project. The complete system will be monitored remotely using Cat Connect technology to provide real-time monitoring of the performance and health of the installation.
Solar installations for power requirements call for a high level of cleaning and maintenance, especially in regions like Dubai where sand storms and dusty winds are a frequent phenomenon. "Soiling is the third most important PV performance factor, after insolation and temperature. Considering this aspect, frame-less CAT modules are offering an advantage on cleaning and maintenance. Also, use of Manual Dry Brush Trolley has made dry cleaning much easier and beneficial for our region with limited water availability," the spokesman concluded.-TradeArabia News Service
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