255 ABB Inverters Used in Europe’s Largest Roof-Mounted PV Installation

September 04, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

Power-One, a member of the ABB Group and the world’s second largest designer and manufacturer of photovoltaic inverters, announced today that the company’s AURORA TRIO string inverters were used in Europe’s largest crystalline roof-top solar installation. The 8.1 MW solar plant, which is located in Heddesheim in the south of Germany, was designed and built by WIRSOL, an international solar service provider.

At the same time, Power-One announced that UAB SOLAR LT, a Lithuanian provider of technical equipment and services, chose Power-One’s three-phase, 1,000Vdc AURORA TRIO-27.6 and AURORA TRIO-20.0 string inverters for a 1.5MW solar park near Oranai, Lithuania. The solar park is the first PV installation in the Southwestern Suvalkija region and one of the largest solar plants in the country.

With a total area of eleven hectares, the project in Heddesheim, Germany, has been installed on the roofs of two building blocks of the sustainably built logistic center “multicube rhein-neckar”. During a short construction time of only four weeks, WIRSOL installed over 33,000 crystalline PV modules and 255 of Power-One’s AURORA TRIO-27.6-TL-OUTD inverters. The solar installation was connected to the grid at the end of July and will be used to supplement the energy demand of plant owner pfenning logistics GmbH, thereby making the plant the largest self-consumption PV installation in Europe so far.

The PV installation’s annual energy production is expected to equal the yearly consumption of approximately 1,846 families. This solar plant will save the logistic company up to 5,171 tons of CO2 emissions per year, which equals the annual CO2 amount produced by 554 German citizens.

“This project completed by our long-standing partner WIRSOL demonstrates that the use of photovoltaics still pays off for German investors despite the recent feed-in tariff reductions”, adds Gerhard Schackert, Sales Director Northern EMEA at Power-One. “With the rising cost of electricity, PV installations especially offer companies with high energy consumption an attractive option to reduce their energy bills by producing a portion of the electricity required by themselves.”

In Lithuania, UAB SOLAR LT installed more than 6,224 solar modules in an area of 3.98 hectares. The company used 48 Power-One AURORA TRIO-27.6 string inverters and one AURORA TRIO-20.0. The inverters are especially suited for commercial use with an efficiency of up to 98.3 percent, two independent MPP trackers as well as an output of 27.6kW and 20.0kW respectively. Connected to the grid in mid-May 2013, the plant has already produced more than 781 MWh of clean energy, equaling the energy consumption of approximately 200 Lithuanian three-person households as well as CO2 savings of almost 431 tons.

The energy market in Lithuania depends highly on imported fossils fuels since it has only small domestic oil and gas deposits in the Western part of the country and in the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, the nuclear power plant Ignalina, which covered nearly one third of Lithuania’s energy needs, was closed in 2009. As a result, the government is currently working to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 23 percent of overall energy consumption by 2020.

“We are delighted to be one of the first Lithuanian companies deploying Power-One string-inverters,” said Zilvinas Skardzius from UAB SOLAR LT. “Due to their wide input voltage range they were the perfect choice for this region with its comparatively low solar irradiation.”

“This exciting project gave us the opportunity to support UAB SOLAR LT in their pioneer work for PV energy in this region,” added Gerhard Schackert, Sales Director Northern EMEA at Power-One. “It is very impressive how the company strives to promote solar energy projects in Lithuania and we are looking forward to supporting them further.”