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Photovoltaics

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Siemens portfolio of photovoltaic products

The Siemens portfolio of photovoltaic products covers the entire value chain. This includes solutions for application in the field such as highly efficient photovoltaic inverters, dynamic performance tracking, wireless communication and other key components.

Apart from delivering individual components, Siemens can also plan and erect turnkey installations.

In 1987 Siemens Solar GmbH was founded and began with the manufacture of inverters. The development of the master/slave principle for SINVERT photovoltaic inverters signifies a technological advance for the industry.

System solutions developed by Siemens are installed in the largest photovoltaic power plants in the world.

Regardless of the size of the plant - Siemens will accompany you from your very first step until the moment your plant becomes commercially viable.

Communication-capable switchgear and control systems, economically efficient inverters, robust transformers and intelligent HMI software all prepare an efficient and reliable path for carrying solar energy into the grid. The systems for ground-mounted photovoltaic plants are engineered to appropriately large dimensions and such installations are also safely guarded by access control and fire protection systems.

The comprehensive portfolio for photovoltaic plants

SINVERT photovoltaic inverters and components

Making extremely efficient use of the sun and economizing at the same time. This is what we at Siemens can help you achieve with our broad-ranging environment portfolio: SINVERT, the cost-effective grid-infeed system designed by Siemens, including the inverter itself plus a wide variety of options and system components, as well as software for dimensioning the inverter and monitoring the PV installation.

As experts in the field of photovoltaics with 40 years of experience behind us and our broad range of proven products and solutions, we are the experienced partner you can rely on if you want to turn sunlight into your own success story.

As professionals, we are always focused on your total cost of ownership. With SINVERT we are offering you a cost-effective, all-in-one solution, including servicing, which will guarantee you high yields, low costs, improved safety and greater reliability right from the outset – benefits which you will continue to enjoy for the entire operating life of your PV installation.

Check out the benefits for yourself and work with us to make the sun your new partner.

Continuous development, upgrading and innovation make SINVERT an ideal, profitable system for our customers, today and into the future.

By choosing SINVERT, you will get everything you need to run an efficient PV installation from a single source: Flexibly combinable products and a wide variety of solutions developed with state-of-the-art technology, faster servicing and reliable maintenance.

Perfectly coordinated products and solutions

Integrated functionality is guaranteed. You don't need as many interfaces and benefit ultimately from easy planning, configuring, ordering, installation, commissioning and lower total cost of ownership of your plant.

Highly efficient and extremely reliable components

SINVERT is based on fully developed, standard Siemens industrial products which have been tried and tested over decades and is employed in numerous photovoltaic plants around the world. Our equipment complies with country-specific connection regulations as well as international standards.

Fast service anywhere in the world

Our international Regional Companies provide customer support all around the globe. Thanks to this local support for our business partners and flexible manufacturing of standard industrial components, we can guarantee short delivery times and a dependable service. Because our servicing network is global, your supply of spare parts is safe for many years – wherever you are in the world.

Reference installation in Fontebella, Italy

Energy efficiency

In order to ensure that energy supplies in Germany will still be secure in 2020, it is absolutely essential that we expand our production of renewable energy and increase our energy efficiency.

For this reason, the SINVERT portfolio is optimized to achieve maximum efficiency and minimum power losses:

Efficiency factors of up to 98.6% can be achieved with SINVERT inverters.

Reference installation in La Réunion, France

Reference installation in Le Mées, France

Tracking control

The more accurately the modules are pointed towards the sun's radiation, the more efficient their performance. In order to calculate the current position of the sun while at the same time achieving optimum alignment of the panels, Siemens provides sun-tracking support in the form of the SIMATIC controller, version S7-1200, a system which is specially designed for use in photovoltaic plants and has been tried and tested in industrial applications.

Each CPU contains a "Simatic Library for Solar Position" which computes the general position of the sun at the specific location and issues corresponding positioning commands.

The system can respond appropriately to the prevailing weather conditions.

Automatic tracking with SIMATIC S7-1200

In order to achieve optimum guidance of the panels, the astronomically based data for the relevant site are converted into parameterizable control programs.

The distributed SIMATIC controllers on every tracker enable them not only to simulate the astronomical movement of the sun but also to adapt to different climatic conditions – the trackers are also capable of remote control.

Optimum azimuth and zenith orientation

SIMATIC daily computes the optimum irradiation coordinates to achieve ideal tracking of the sun's movement on the horizon. In order to achieve the best possible angle of irradiation in each case, and thus also the greatest efficiency, the photovoltaic modules are moved and tilted along the azimuth axis (in relation to the radiation) and along the zenith axis.

The SIMATIC S7-1200 system is suitable for controlling both one-axis and two-axis trackers irrespective of whether they are installed in a photovoltaic plant (PV) or a concentrated solar power plant (CSP).

Programmed for efficiency

The primary objective of the SIMATIC PV tracking control is to deliver maximum efficiency: If the angle of incidence of the sun is very flat, for example, and the shadow cast is correspondingly long, the control automatically tilts the modules at such an angle that they cannot cast shadow on one another and the same high level of efficiency is maintained.

At night, the panels are positioned in a virtually horizontal position. In severe weather conditions such as gales, blizzards or thunderstorms, the SIMATIC control system immediately moves the panels to a safe position.

Modular expandability and communications capability

The SIMATIC S7-1200 product family comprises a large number of modular units which individually expand the functionality of the CPUs. By means of additional communication interfaces, the control system can be linked via PROFIBUS and PROFINET into the uniquely standardized communication network implemented throughout the entire plant on the basis of TIA (Totally Integrated Automation).

The tracking systems are reliably driven by self-cooling, heavy-duty DC motors and SINAMICS converters which have been tried and tested in countless industrial applications.

Benefits

  • Innovative control system designed to achieve maximum efficiency
  • Suitable for use in single- and double-axis trackers
  • Based on technology tried and tested in countless industrial and photovoltaic applications
  • Standardized TIA-based communication network with other Siemens components
  • Software immediately ready for use with add-on functions available
  • Modular concept to allow expansion to individual requirements

Example installation for automatic tracking with SIMATIC S7-1200

Security systems: Access controls

Since photovoltaic plants are often erected in remote areas, it is reasonable to consider security and ask whether it is possible to protect these large outdoor installations against theft, unauthorized access and vandalism. Interruptions to production, business operations or transport as a result of natural causes or resulting from malicious damage or attempted theft cost the industry many billions every year, not to mention the potential risk to life and limb. Guaranteeing the safety of your employees and other people on or near the site and maintaining business operations demands effective planning, communications and coordination of all measures from a central location.

The command and control solution developed by Siemens - Siveillance Vantage - is specially designed to support security management at critical infrastructure locations such as photovoltaic plants. It provides exactly the right kind of real-time support functions and relevant data to enable you to react effectively at any time to security-related incidents. Using innovative software, our solution permits the integration of many different subsystems and can be adapted to suit your organizational structure, regulations and processes.

As an integral component of the Siveillance product family, this solution can provide you with a dependable, scalable and efficient security management system based on a combination of intelligent video technology and operating and control functions. This unique approach supports fast, effective decision-making for executing daily routine tasks and time-critical processes, and dealing with crises and emergency situations.

Open and flexible integration

Using open interfaces and a powerful integration tool, Siveillance Vantage operates together with a variety of different subsystems, e.g. access control systems, video monitoring and alarm systems, emergency call systems, telephones, two-way radios, etc. These subsystems normally work independently of one another or as interlinked systems. Their consolidation into a single platform enable the security team to identify and evaluate a situation more accurately, to optimize processes and to coordinate quicker responses.

Intuitive graphical user interface

A geographic information system (GIS) is used to automatically display trouble spots or the actual location of resources on maps or site plans in 2D or 3D. Additional support information can be displayed if necessary, making the system convenient to operate. The ability to identify and evaluate a situation can be further improved by linking the Siveillance Vantage system to Siveillance SiteIQ Wide Area, our innovative solution for intelligent video analysis and plant security. Seamless integration between both these systems can significantly enhance the security of your installation.

Improved efficiency with fewer errors

Clearly defined security rules are essential for operation in critical environments. Detailed measures and response plans need to be drawn up for a multitude of potential incidents and scenarios.

Siveillance Vantage is fully adaptable to company-specific security rules and offers a role-based user concept which defines the appropriate measures and countermeasures for executing daily routine tasks and time-critical processes, and for dealing with crises and emergency situations.

This concept drastically reduces the response times to incidents and minimizes the risk of potential decision-making errors.

Siveillance Vantage can be adapted to your plant. It can help you to achieve the desired level of security and implement precautionary measures against any eventuality.

For further information, please go to:

http://www.siemens.com/siveillance-vantage

Optimum monitoring and control of your plant with coordinated subsystems

Security systems: fire protection

The subject of fire protection in photovoltaic plants represents a new challenge because the industry is relatively new and expanding fast. Generally speaking, we are dealing with an electrical fire risk plus a few new problems.

Persons are exposed to the risk of electric shock in photovoltaic plants, but to the risk of scalding by hot liquids in solar thermal power plants. To give an example, 215 firefighters on average are injured by electric shock each year in the USA while fighting fires in buildings.

The problem is that photovoltaic modules generate direct voltage during daylight hours. This voltage is converted to alternating voltage in the inverter and then fed into the power grid at the distribution panel. While it is possible to shut down the inverter by disconnecting the power supply, a high direct voltage continues to flow from the solar modules to the inverter. It is in this area that the greatest risk of fire and electric shock exists. Several fires of this kind have already been reported in California.

Alarm systems

Protect people, safeguard assets and reliably detect fires – with Sinteso. Sinteso is the result of Siemens' decades of expertise in fire protection technology. This expertise will support you over the entire life cycle of your plant – from sound risk analysis to prompt, reliable service.

Thanks to the latest technology, Sinteso will provide you with the best possible protection against all fire risks. Furthermore, full networking capability and expandability to a future-oriented technology platform guarantee the highest level of security for your investment.

A significantly enhanced level of safety is offered by Sinteso's innovative functions – from integrated video monitoring and redundant fire detector sensors and operation to the degrade mode and standby functions integrated in the control panels.

Acoustic alarm systems are used to alert persons in the hazard zone as well as internal emergency personnel. Alarm systems are connected to the control unit either directly via dedicated spur lines or via monitored outputs. Sinteso FS20 allows addressable alarm units to be connected to the detection line.

Visual alarms are employed to warn persons with impaired hearing who cannot hear the siren. It is essential to install visual alarms to protect such people or in noisy operating areas (e.g. generator room).

An alarm in a switchroom can be signaled in stages, allowing personnel to react initially to an acoustic alarm-signaling device and, after checking the validity of the alarm, to activate all other alarm devices.

Addressable alarm-signaling devices can be optionally connected to the detection line.

For further information, please go to:

http://www.siemens.de/sinteso

Fire extinguishing systems

There are currently two main types of fire extinguishing system on the market which are suitable for use in photovoltaic power plants, i.e.

  • Sinorix 1230
  • Sinorix 227

For mission-critical applications such as switchrooms, it is an absolute must to deploy a waterless fire extinguishing system. Owing to the sensitivity of the electrical systems, not even the latest combined water extinguishing systems which use only a small volume of water can be recommended for this purpose. In this case, the potential damage caused by the method of fire extinction is a factor which makes the use of dry technologies highly advisable. Generator rooms are the only exception, as it is acceptable to protect these using combined water extinguishing systems.

The use of sprinklers in buildings or areas as an additional protective measure is also highly inadvisable. The costs which might be incurred as a result of false tripping of the sprinkler system are too high by comparison with the potential scenario that an automatic dry extinguishing system fails to operate. Such measures could be considered if the sprinkler used is of the preaction type, or ideally if preaction dry pipe systems are deployed.

Sinorix 1230

This extinguishing system is based on the extinguishing agent Novec 1230 by 3M and is currently recognized as the best solution involving a chemical agent for this type of application.

The extinguishing agent Novec 1230 is an extremely environmentally friendly product:

  • No ozone depletion potential (ODP=0)
  • Lowest global warming potential of all chemical agents (GWP=1), and thus not mentioned in the Kyoto protocol or the F-Gas Regulation
  • Atmospheric lifetime of only 5 days (ALT=5 days)
  • The agent offers the highest margin of safety relative to all other extinguishing agents on the market.

The extinguishing agent concentration with Novec 1230 is only 5% to 6% and is thus the lowest concentration of all approved agents currently available on the market. It therefore poses minimum requirements in terms of space and pressure-relief valves by comparison with other chemical or inert gas systems.

Sinorix 1230 utilizes 42-bar technology which offers greater flexibility for the implementation of complex piping networks and fulfills the minimum pressure criterion of 10 bar at the nozzle for complete vaporization of the extinguishing agent (maximum 10 s following start of release) and extinction after a few further seconds. This is of vital importance in a switchroom in order to maintain the resultant concentrations of hydrofluoric acid (which are produced by all chemical extinguishing agents which contain fluoride atoms) at negligibly low levels and well below the concentrations deemed critical for personnel and equipment.

Sinorix 227

This system based on the conventional extinguishing agent HFC-227ea still remains a useful alternative means of protecting electrical infrastructure in countries in which its use is still approved and where market competition has not allowed other solutions to become established.

HFC-227ea does not possess ozone depletion potential and is not therefore damaging to the ozone layer (ODP=0). This solution still has its merits even though its use as an agent is being called into question in many countries due to its atmospheric lifetime and its global warming potential (GWP=3500).

For further information, please go to:

http://www.siemens.de/sinorix

Low-voltage components

Tailor-made for ground-mounted systems and industrial roof-mounted installations

Protecting, switching, measuring and monitoring are key functions in any photovoltaic plant. The SENTRON protection, switching, measuring and monitoring devices give you access to a broad range of perfectly coordinated components with a comprehensive selection of accessories with which you can operate a photovoltaic plant of any size cost-effectively and safely.

As the leading global supplier of high-quality, standardized products and systems for low-voltage power distribution, we are contributing to the sustainable and responsible use of electrical power.

With our integrated portfolio of products for applications ranging from power infeed and distribution to personal, fire and cable protection systems as well as energy management, we are supporting sustainable energy concepts for the field of photovoltaics.

Safeguard and protect as demanded by the situation

A comprehensive assortment of photovoltaic fuses offers protection against short circuits and hazardous reverse currents at the DC end, ranging from the pure string fuse to photovoltaic cumulative fuses with rated currents of several hundred amperes. Overvoltage protection devices protect against lightning strike and grid overvoltages and thus guarantee continuous availability of the plant.

Special protective systems are available for the central component of the photovoltaic plant - the inverter - which ensure optimum safety even at the high currents and voltages in the main circuits, at both the AC and DC ends.

Controlled disconnection

According to DIN VDE 0100-712, which covers the installation of photovoltaic systems, it must be possible to disconnect both the DC end and the AC end of a photovoltaic plant under load in the event of a fault or while maintenance work is being performed. Disconnector switches of different designs and power ratings and with a corresponding load switching capacity are available for this purpose.

Precision measurement and effective infeed

Innovative measuring instruments supply reliable data about the quantity and quality of electrical power generated by the plant. They measure the quantity of energy fed into the grid and calibrated instruments can be used as a basis for billing in small-scale plants. In large-scale ground-mounted plants, all measured data can be integrated in TIA and supplied via SIMATIC WinCC for display on both the unit and in the control center.

The benefits for you

  • Standard-compliant components for all sizes of photovoltaic plant
  • Combinable fuse components to suit individual requirements
  • Very high operational safety of the photovoltaic plant
  • Reliable infeed and recording of energy yield
  • Quick and easy installation by mounting on standard rails
  • Innovative measuring systems and dependable quality assurance

Reference installation in Puglia, Italy

Medium-voltage components

From the switchgear to the transformer

As well as its low-voltage systems, Siemens can also offer medium-voltage solutions which will guarantee the operational reliability of your plant and ensure a persistently high quality of grid infeed. A significant role in achieving this standard is played by gas-insulated or air-insulated switchgear and by rugged resin-encapsulated transformers for large-scale photovoltaic plants which have been tried and tested in many applications.

Standard-compliant – gas-insulated switchgear

Switchgear plays a decisive role in guaranteeing the functional safety of photovoltaic plants. As pioneers in the field of gas-insulated switchgear, we have more than 25 years of expertise in this field of technology. This means that today's customers will benefit from the compact design, maintenance-free operation and weather-resistant construction of our systems. For the lower output range, we also offer the air-insulated SIMOSEC switchgear range as an alternative.

Our switchgear systems already have IEC 62271-200 certification and are type-tested for indoor installation. We are pleased to be able to offer you the standards of tomorrow right now so that you can benefit from our intelligent switching technology.

A bonus for the environment:

  • Energy efficient and therefore reduced CO2 emissions in relation to the overall system
  • Environmentally-compatible power distribution

Dependable – GEAFOL resin-encapsulated transformers

To be able to feed the converted AC current obtained from the photovoltaic modules into the grid, it must be transformed into the correct grid voltage. For this operation, Siemens offers its GEAFOL resin-encapsulated transformers which have been tried and tested in numerous power transmission and distribution applications.

With GEAFOL, it was possible to avoid the limitations associated with liquid-filled transformers while retaining the field-proven properties such as operational safety and service life.

All transformer types are characterized by excellent reliability, resistance to humidity, low noise in operation, high efficiency, mechanical strength and compact design. They are equipped with a flexible connection system, have a high overload capability and are environmentally friendly and recyclable. Moreover, GEAFOL transformers meet the toughest protection-class requirements defined in IEC, including environmental category E2, climate category C2 and fire category F1. We can of course offer you variants which conform to special national standards.

A bonus for the environment:

  • The mineral oil normally used as an insulating medium has been replaced entirely by a biologically degradable vegetable oil which does not pose any threat to the environment if it were to leak: Water hazard class zero
  • Natural ester is more flame resistant than mineral oil

The benefits for you

  • Climate-resistant, compact and maintenance-free switchgear
  • Transformers compliant with the highest safety standards
  • Reliability and operational safety
  • Environmentally-friendly, cost-effective technology

Reference installation in Le Mées, France

Service solutions

Our international Regional Companies provide customer support all around the globe.

Thanks to this local support for our business partners and flexible manufacturing of standard industrial components, we can confidently guarantee a dependable service.

By choosing Siemens, you are also opting for long-term security of investment for your project, high availability of your photovoltaic plant, competent and professional support world-wide, as well as a modular service concept ranging from the individual service solution for materials and personnel to contractually guaranteed all-round protection.

Because our servicing network is global, your supply of spare parts is safe for many years – wherever you are in the world. And when your plant needs servicing, downtimes will be kept to a minimum.

We are your dependable partner in locations such as Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Germany, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Canada, Korea, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic and the USA.

References for SINVERT inverter products

Year

Town

Country

PV output

2011

Les Mées

France

31.0 MWp

 

Eilat

Israel

5.0 MWp

2010

Rothenburg

Germany

21.0 MWp

 

Puglia

Italy

15.0 MWp

 

Shi Lin

China

10.0 MWp

 

Dobre Polé

Czech Republic

4.0 MWp

 

Agrionion

Greece

3.5 MWp

2009

Desoto

USA

20.0 MWp

 

Weinbourg

France

4.5 MWp

 

La Réunion

France

2.0 MWp

2008

Seoul

Korea

20.0 MWp

 

Cuenca

Portugal

9.5 MWp

 

Olivenza

Spain

9.0 MWp

2007

Beneixama

Spain

20.0 MWp

 

Rende Cozenza

Italy

1.0 MWp



Reference installation in Eilat, Israel

Photovoltaics