Elum Energy and control systems to optimize hybrid power plants – pv magazine International

Elum Energy controllers can be integrated with existing or under construction installations to optimize energy generation and storage. Initially developed on unstable or off-grid C&I projects seeking to integrate solar power into generators, the company’s technologies have expanded to energy storage and management. The company is now targeting large-scale power plants so that developers can offer network services.

Launched in Paris in 2016, the company Elum Energy provides control solutions for hybrid power plants. Specifically, its controllers make it possible to harmonize the flows of the energy system in order to optimize its operation by promoting solar energy production and limiting diesel production if necessary, by calibrating the grid injection or improving self-consumption, and , in the presence of storage, optimize the charging and discharging of the batteries.

“We started out equipping commercial and industrial projects, either poorly connected or in an isolated location, that aimed to integrate solar power,” explains Cyril Colin, CEO and co-founder of the company. “That’s why we developed our first technology to meet the need to efficiently integrate photovoltaic production with generator sets. Starting in 2017, “when the price of storage started to fall”, the company developed solutions to integrate battery management.

In the Comoros, this solar/BESS power plant connected to the island’s generators can operate in injection mode or off-grid. Depending on the generator in operation, the electricity is injected into the main grid of the island or a small part of the grid. Elum Energy supplied the controllers for the synchronization of the BESSs and the transitions between the different operating modes.

Image: Elum Energy

Since then, the company has also provided energy management solutions that can be applied to different models and in particular in charging station stations, such as the Karrgreen site in Ploërmel in France, which offers bioNGV and rechargeable solar energy.

Elum Energy equips power plants from 10 kW to 20 MW in France, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Morocco, Brazil and soon the United States. Spain, Mexico and the Caribbean islands are also developing markets, according to Cyril Colin, who explains that he wants to rapidly expand his team to support the deployment of Elum Energies technologies.

The products are standardized to be able to connect in particular with the solar inverters on the market and the controls of existing diesel power plants. Elum Energy controllers can be integrated into the construction of the electrical installation, but also when adding storage capacity and without changing the connection contract. For large ground power plants, the company is working on the electrical package through the project’s EPC and addressing the issue of solar aggregation + storage. For smaller C&I projects, the solutions cover multiple use cases, from storage to diesel to optimizing PV generation based on customer needs.

Elum has supplied more than 300 ePowerLog loggers to Sunzil as part of its modernization of monitoring its assets in Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Mayotte to collect consistent data across different inverter protocols. This multi-site project leveraged Elum’s configuration interface to streamline and reduce installation time and costs.

Image: Elum Energy

More recently, Elum Energy has developed a control and data acquisition system – also called SCADA system for “Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition”. The solution, called ePowerMonitor, can be integrated into power systems to control production, storage and grid injection as needed. For example, it has been deployed at the Karrgreen charging station (mentioned above) to monitor the site’s energy consumption and performance online. The data collected from the equipment is then combined in such a way that it informs the operator about the operation of the installation about its various aspects and allows him to identify the areas for improvement and optimize maintenance in a logic of programming.

Since 2019, Elum Energy wants to position itself on large-scale power plants and grid balancing services, among other things. “The increase in solar energy production poses new constraints for grid operators. As storage becomes more profitable, it can be used to optimize production and stabilize the power grid. This kind of service is valuable for developers,” Cyril Colin develops.

Then the leader also confided pv magazine France looking for hydrogen to develop technologies that can link H2 production to existing power plants.

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