3 QUESTIONS À : Julien Chirol, RESPONSABLE DES VENTES FRANCE – PV TRADE CHEZ BAYWA R.E.

Quelles tendances observez-vous sur le marché photovoltaïque français ?

« Nous allons sans aucun doute voir de très beaux prochains mois en France. La fin du marché de la revente approche doucement et avec la baisse du prix du matériel on voit de nouveau un fort engouement sur le segment de 9 à 100 kilowatts qui devrait perdurer encore au moins 18 mois. Les clients finaux sont souvent des agriculteurs et l’arrivée du marché de l’autoconsommation va changer le marché. Les installateurs vont devoir adapter leur discours pour convaincre des sociétés dans le tertiaire ou des industriels, ce qui va demander un gros travail de fond. En parallèle, le marché des appels d’offres va continuer à faire les volumes des capacités installées, mais ce sera probablement de plus en plus la chasse gardée des grands groupes. »

Quelles sont les principales clés de réussite par rapport à ces évolutions ?

« Grâce à notre présence internationale, nous avons vu dans des pays comme l’Allemagne ou l’Italie qui ont un prix du kWh plus élevé que l’autoconsommation a bouleversé le marché. Ceux qui ont réussi avec la revente ne seront pas forcément ceux qui réussiront sur ce nouveau marché. Il va falloir être plus précis dans la technique pour dimensionner les installations au plus proche de la consommation, valoriser des économies et non plus un produit financier, puis maîtriser des métiers ou techniques complémentaires pour favoriser l’autoconsommation. On a encore une à deux années de transition et c’est le moment de faire les premières références sur le stockage et l’autoconsommation. »

Pourquoi distribuer les produits et solutions SMA ?

« Notre groupe a été fondé en 1923 dans le secteur agricole et malgré notre forte croissance au fil des décennies et notre internationalisation, nous avons toujours gardé ces valeurs du monde agricole. Diversifier pour ne pas être dépendant et peu de prise risques pour garantir des revenus sûrs. C’est pour cela que SMA est notre premier partenaire onduleur photovoltaïque sur la France et le Benelux. Nous cherchons toujours à minimiser le risque. Les produits sont fiables et performants, le SAV est très réactif et la notoriété de la marque est excellente. C’est pour nous et nos installateurs une « assurance tranquillité » largement justifiable, surtout dans un contexte de fortes baisses sur les prix des panneaux photovoltaïques. De plus, le renouvellement de la gamme avec les nouveaux Sunny Boy et le Sunny Tripower CORE1 va permettre de se repositionner sur de nombreux marchés. »

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What role do large battery storage systems play in the future energy supply? What opportunities does energy market 2.0 offer for companies involved? How is a megawatt-class battery inverter actually built? In April, Large-Scale Storage Day at SMA offered participants interesting lectures, tours of Sunny Central Storage production and the SMA Test center, and plenty of time for networking.

SMA CEO & CSO Pierre-Pascal Urbon sees battery storage systems as a growth driver on the world market because they provide added value for customers.

SMA CEO & CSO Pierre-Pascal Urbon sees battery storage systems as a growth driver on the world market because they provide added value for customers.

Solar energy is competitive and will therefore be a significant energy carrier of the future. The industry anticipates worldwide market growth of at least 200 gigawatts by 2030 (Bloomberg New Energy Outlook). In comparison with today, that means a tripling of the market. This is because solar energy is also one of the most cost-effective technologies in power generation.

Battery Storage Systems as Growth Drivers

Large battery storage systems on the utility grid provide necessary grid services and thus avoid expensive and complex grid expansion. Since prices for battery storage systems have dropped over the last few years, particularly in the field of lithium-ion technology, general conditions are becoming increasingly attractive. The time is more than ripe for storage systems on the utility grid.

During the breaks, the participants took the opportunity to make contacts and talk about new options with storage solutions.

During the breaks, the participants took the opportunity to make contacts and talk about new options with storage solutions.

On Large-Scale Storage Day on April 25, 2017 at SMA in Niestetal, more than 150 interested parties from the energy industry and the areas of project development and research excitedly discussed with SMA experts the new opportunities with large-scale storage solutions. This is because storing energy offers significant added value for electric utility companies, project developers and PV system operators.

Battery storage systems are interesting wherever solar energy or other renewable energies are already installed, or are going to be installed. Grid-connected storage systems enable the integration of large amounts of intermittent renewable energies into the utility grid while simultaneously keeping the utility grids stable. Solar energy and storage systems are the drivers of the energy transition. Megawatt-class storage projects in the UK and South Korea prove that battery storage systems are already running efficiently and are preferred to conventional solutions. Volker Wachenfeld, EVP Off-Grid and Storage business unit at SMA, reports on the subject in an interview.

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Energy Market 2.0 Offers New Opportunities

gridsupport_largescalestoragePrimary Operating Reserve

Primary operating reserve is one of the main tasks of transmission grid operators and ensures the grid stability. Frequency control, or the relationship between load and generation, is decisive here. Storage systems perform this grid management service within seconds, are extremely efficient and are also very flexible and modular during installation.

 

industrialbehindthemeter_largescalestoragePeak Load Shaving

In commercial and industrial systems, and in so-called capacity markets, it is a question of absorbing peaks and offsetting shortfalls. The temporarily required peak load is generally much higher than the average required load.

integrationofrenewables_largescalestorageRenewable Energy Integration

Large battery storage systems, energy provision and grid management services enable the same grid-stabilizing properties as conventional power plants. They can be used worldwide in every application and every system size. The changing electric vehicle market offers new business models, such as for operators of vehicle fleets or parking ramps. Ricky Jark from Koopmann Energie- und Elektrotechnik Hannover GmbH talks about the new ideas and tips for integrating large-scale storage systems into the utility grid in an interview.

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Impressions of the Large-Scale Storage Day

Summary

Large-scale storage systems are the next logical step in making the supply of energy reliable and controllable. Thanks to the flexible and modular design of storage systems, the possibilities are almost endless. These are the ideal conditions for a decentralized and worldwide electricity supply using renewable energies.

SMA has the right solutions for a sustainable and reliable energy supply.

SMA has the right solutions for a sustainable and reliable energy supply.

The Sunny Central Storage 2200/2500-EV Battery Inverter

sunnycentralstorageThe Sunny Central Storage is the central component of the SMA system solution for integration of large-scale storage systems. It is designed to compensate for fluctuations in solar energy generation and offers comprehensive grid management services such as automatic frequency control. The battery inverter is optimized for continuous operation at nominal load and temperatures of −25°C to +50°C and is also available as a turnkey solution with a medium-voltage block.

Find more information on our product page.

Anyone who missed Large-Scale Storage Day but would still like to learn about SMA solutions is invited to visit the SMA booth at Intersolar Europe, May 31 to June 2 at booth B3.210, hall 3.

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Intersolar began in Pforzheim in 1991 as a small but dignified exhibition with a total of five (!) exhibitors, moved to Freiburg in 2000 and has been held in Munich since 2007. The leading international trade fair for the solar industry, with offshoots in North and South America, India and the Middle East, attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually. It will open its doors in Munich again this year on May 31 with the latest trends, exciting developments and pioneering technologies. Over the three days, more than 40,000 visitors are expected to visit approximately 1,200 exhibitors to learn about photovoltaics, energy storage and renewable heating, as well as products and solutions from the field of smart renewable energy.

SMA will be meeting them at booth B3.210 in hall 3. Our product managers will introduce you to a few of the exhibition’s highlights. Further you’ll get a first impression of the new SMA Energy Solutions.

1. Sunny Tripower Storage

Brisa Ortiz, product manager

Brisa Ortiz, product manager

Load flow optimization – for lower electricity supply costs

“As a three-phase battery inverter, the Sunny Tripower Storage is perfectly suited to worldwide use in commercial and industrial systems with high-voltage batteries. With the bidirectional device our customers can implement system solutions up to the megawatt class. Thanks to the integrated energy management, the Sunny Tripower Storage supports a variety of grid management services and thereby opens up new business models.”

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2. Sunny Tripower CORE1

Mathias Strippel, product manager

Mathias Strippel, product manager

Reduces installation costs – stands on its own

“With the new Sunny Tripower CORE1, SMA is proving its leadership in innovation once again. With this 50 kW inverter for commercial systems, we are setting new standards in installations on flat roofs and ground surfaces. The freestanding inverter allows a commercial system to be installed up to 60% more quickly and simultaneously reduces the total cost of ownership considerably. Therefore, the CORE1 has also been nominated for the Intersolar Award.”

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3. Sunny Highpower PEAK1

Bernd Haberecht, product manager

Bernd Haberecht, product manager

Combined benefits – central installation with string inverters

“This inverter is the successor to the Sunny Tripower 60 and is based on the system concept featuring the central installation of string inverters in large industrial and ground-based PV systems. With 75 kW of power, the Sunny Highpower Peak1 is ideal for use in PV power plants. Thanks to this system concept, customers have maximum flexibility in system design – combined with significant cost savings.”

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4. MVPS 5500SC-EV
Bernhard Voll, product manager

Bernhard Voll, product manager

For PV power plants worldwide – because complete is simply a good thing

“The 5500SC-EV Medium Voltage Power Station is a fully integrated, turnkey solution in ideal block size for large-scale PV power plants. Building on the tried and tested MVPS container technology, SMA has now developed the optimal solution for large-scale PV power plants, in a compact, 40-foot format with all components in one container. Inverter, medium-voltage transformer and switchgear are perfectly matched and type-tested for maximum system safety at minimal cost.”

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5. Sunny Boy Storage 3.7/5.0/6.0
Ralf Rietze, product manager

Ralf Rietze, product manager

Battery power times three – ideal for all PV storage systems in the residential sector

“With the new multi-string battery inverters, it is possible for the first time to connect up to three different high-voltage batteries. For connecting larger batteries, the three DC inputs can also be connected in parallel. Uniquely, all new Sunny Boy Storage inverters offer integrated emergency power. In addition, the system can be expanded to supply the entire household with fully automated automatic grid transfer switch. Thanks to AC coupling with proven qualities, the new Sunny Boy Storage is ideally suited to new and retrofit systems, for all households with annual electricity consumption of 3,000 to 12,000 kWh and for PV systems from 3 to 12 kWp.”

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6. Sunny Island 4.4M/6.0H/8.0H
Nico Kreutzer, product manager

Nico Kreutzer, product manager

For off-grid and on-grid – with internet-based user interface

“The motto of our new Sunny Island is: TRIED AND TESTED is now even better. The battery inverter is a reliable all-rounder and suitable for flexible use in off-grid and on-grid systems. It enables easy communication and commissioning as a result of integrated WLAN. The new Sunny Island now always has a ten-year warranty and a significantly lower price!”

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7. Sunny Central Storage 2200/2500-EV
Johannes Otto, product manager

Johannes Otto, product manager

The storage system for power plants – ensuring network stability

“The new large-scale Sunny Central Storage is the flagship of all SMA battery inverters. As the central component of the SMA system solution for large storage systems, the new Sunny Central Storage 2200/2500-EV battery inverter allows integration of a high level of renewable energies into utility grids with maximum grid stability. With its new properties for grid-forming and black starts, it can be used worldwide in all utility grids.”

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Last but not least

In addition to the new products, SMA will be unveiling an entirely new cross-segment energy management platform in Munich. With this solution, SMA aims to offer users Energy Solutions to get the most out of renewable energies. What exactly does this mean? Come and see for yourself at our booth.

A free ticket to Intersolar

Do you want to get a free ticket to Intersolar Europe? If yes, you should answer the question below:

Which SMA product is nominated for the Intersolar AWARD 2017?

Send your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are lucky, you will receive tickets via e-mail. You’ll find the SMA booth in Hall 03, Booth 210.

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4.80 avg. rating (95% score) - 5 votes

Decentralized, digital, networked – in the new energy world, various players constantly exchange information to ensure that clean electricity is always available to and affordable for everyone. But how secure is this system? Prof. Bernd Engel, an expert in sustainable energy systems at the Technical University of Braunschweig, and Marek Seeger, Information Security Manager at SMA, discuss the risks and opportunities of the digital energy revolution.

 

Energy supply structures are changing all over the world. Energy companies are being split up and realigned, while more and more people and companies are gaining independence with self-generated electricity. In this context, experts often talk about the “digitization of the energy transition.” What exactly does this involve?

Bernd Engel: The electricity supply of the future will be almost entirely based on renewable energy sources and will therefore be environmentally friendly and free of pollutants – while also providing the same level of supply reliability and falling electricity prices. All around the world, wind and photovoltaic systems can increasingly produce energy more cost-effectively than new conventional power plants. They feed power into the utility grid on a decentralized basis whenever the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. For this reason, decentralized generators, storage systems and major flexible loads, such as electric vehicles and heat pumps, need to be managed in a targeted way. This allows them to consistently balance generation and consumption in the utility grid. For this to be successful, we need more communication links, including with small- and medium-sized generation plants. So far, only large-scale plants have been integrated into the grid operators’ special communication networks. In the future, however, smaller plants will also be able to directly participate in the energy market by pooling in “virtual power plants,” enabling them to supply electricity to consumers cost-effectively and directly, without having to go through electric utility companies. A fast and secure exchange of information between generators, consumers, grid operators and other players using modern communication channels thus forms the backbone of the future energy supply.

Many new opportunities are arising for generators and consumers

What effects will this have on consumers?

Bernd Engel: Increasing digitization will offer companies and private consumers more and more opportunities to get involved in shaping the energy transition: initially passively through their consumption patterns and later increasingly by also actively participating in the electricity markets. Consumers who also have their own PV systems can sell the electricity they do not use themselves directly over the Internet. If they also own a storage system, they can make the storage capacity available to offset generation and consumption in the utility grid in exchange for a fee. Through targeted management of their electrical appliances, it is also possible to take advantage of particularly cost-effective electricity rates and reduce grid shortages in times of high power generation. As a result, completely new business models are emerging in this area. Electricity prices will stop rising and instead fall – partly because progressively cost-effective photovoltaic power will be available. Photovoltaics will become the most cost-effective energy source and will therefore be a mainstay of the new energy world.

Marek Seeger: And as a result, being able to forecast PV power is becoming increasingly important. SMA already took a crucial step toward the future in this area last year. Around 290,000 PV systems worldwide are registered in our online platforms. We professionally record, analyze and archive the data they deliver and our SMA Energy Services solution makes these data available to transmission grid operators and energy dealers, allowing them to improve the integration of photovoltaic power into the grid and related marketing. Of course, we comply with the highest security and privacy standards in this process.

Speaking of data security – don’t inverters have to meet particularly high requirements in this area in the digital energy world? After all, they control the entire PV system, including feeding solar power into the grid.

Bernd Engel: Exactly. Inverters are the “brain” of every photovoltaic system. In addition to managing the PV array, they perform many grid services without which the utility grid could easily break down. The security requirements are therefore particularly high here. It must be ensured that no unnoticed “backdoor mechanisms” are installed that allow for cyber-attacks. Some countries do not shy away from attacking critical infrastructures in other countries, which always includes the electricity supply.

Marek Seeger: For this reason, it is also very important for manufacturers to be independent from government agencies and other such organizations. This is because if sensitive data is passed on, it could be used to cripple the electricity supply of an entire country in the worst-case scenario. At SMA, this independence is of course guaranteed. There are doubts, however, when it comes to some of our competitors from the Far East. In some cases, they are even excluded from public invitations to bid on projects related to critical infrastructure systems due to security concerns.

 

Inverters need to meet high security requirements

 

What else is SMA doing to protect its solutions from cyber-attacks?

Marek Seeger: IT security is right at the top of the agenda for us at both a strategic and an operational level. By means of firmly established processes and measures, we ensure that our solutions always meet the highest and most recent IT security requirements and comply with all international standards. An interdisciplinary team set up for this purpose works on developing and integrating secure system solutions. This begins early on during product development and extends to regular remote updates of device software in the field to ensure that it is always up to date. Information security is an extremely fascinating and important area that requires constant vigilance. Therefore, as the SMA Information Security Manager, I have continuous contact with all relevant company departments to ensure the highest security standards.

So what is your conclusion? Can we look forward to the decentralized, digital energy world of the future or should we worry about the risks?

Bernd Engel: The new energy world offers so many advantages to everyone involved. By rapidly switching to decentralized renewable energy sources, we can do more than succeed in containing climate change; in addition, the energy revolution also puts an end to the market power of individual states and corporations that supply fossil fuels. This gives more and more people access to an affordable and sustainable energy supply. The risks are completely manageable, provided all parties take the necessary protective measures.

Marek Seeger: I fully agree. As long as we raise and constantly improve awareness of security issues, there are a lot of opportunities in the digitization of the energy transition. It is not just the manufacturers that are called upon to do this but all of the parties involved, including consumers, when it comes to the selection of products and their secure connection.

 

Bernd, Marek, thank you very much for the interview.

Marek Seeger (left), Bernd Engel (right)

Marek Seeger (left), Prof. Bernd Engel (right)

About Marek Seeger

Even as a third-grader, Marek Seeger was fascinated by the PV cells in his calculator. After studying business information technology at the Technical University of Clausthal, he spent several years working as an auditor and consultant for information security. In 2015, he joined SMA as an Information Security Manager, a role in which he is able to perfectly combine his enthusiasm for renewable energy and IT security.

About Prof. Bernd Engel

After studying electrical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Prof. Bernd Engel initially worked on railway technology. From 2003 to 2011, he was responsible for inverter development at SMA. In 2011, Prof. Engel was invited to the Technical University of Braunschweig, where he now researches and teaches in the specialist field of sustainable energy system components. He also works on the topic of electrical energy supply as a member of several committees and working groups.

This Interview was first published in the annual report 2016. 

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