Blockpower has recently completed the second phase – and is in the process of implementing the third phase – of the installation of a 4,6 MW, 3 MVA, 1440 kWh hybrid solar system in Zimbabwe.
The Tanganda Tea Company’s agricultural estate (TTC) is situated in the Chipinge district of Zimbabwe. Tanganda is the largest producer, packer and distributor of tea products in Zimbabwe. In addition to tea, the company also operates several estates which cultivate coffee, macadamia nuts and avocadoes.
Due to an inconsistent power supply in Zimbabwe, Blockpower was tasked to supply a full turnkey solution to stabilise the delivery of power for Tanganda’s operations.
“To safeguard the long-term sustainability of the business,” the client required a system which could offer a cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternative power supply”, explains Sean Crisp, the operations manager at Blockpower.
“The hybrid solution we designed and presented is a comprises a solar, battery and generator system incorporating a universal power platform (UPP) at its core. This has subsequently been implemented on two estates,” says Kyle Bohnsack, BlockPower’s director.
Prior to this installation, the estates were supplementing power be means of diesel generators, often for more than 12 hours a day. Blockpower’s solution reduces the use of diesel by ensuring that power from the solar arrays, batteries and generators are utilised with the grid to keep the estates operational on a stable energy platform.
The installation at Tanganda’s Tingamira estate includes a 1,2 MW ground-mounted solar PV system which uses a 478 kWh battery with an 870 kW inverter installed in a locally manufactured, climate-controlled container”, Bohnsack adds.
“Importantly the solar array, battery storage and battery inverters are modular and scalable,” he says.
Jersey estate’s installation includes a slightly larger PV array (1,4 MW), a 478 kWh battery and a 870 kW inverter in a similar container. The Ratelshoek estate’s installation includes an even larger 2 MW PV array, which has already been installed, with the balance of the configuration, similar to the other sites, to be implemented soon.
These systems include both monitoring and control algorithms. This is achieved by DHYBRID’s universal power platform (UPP) which is installed alongside an operator supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. This makes it possible for the customer to have greater control of power source and consumption as the process is carefully monitored and remotely accessible.
The additional benefit of systems of this nature is the positive impact on the environment. It is estimated that the current installed system will save approximately 4000 to 6000 tonnes of CO2 per annum for the lifespan of the system.
“Our ground-breaking solution for TTC allows for saving a substantial amount for our client, and project payback is estimated to be between three and four years,” concludes Bohnsack.