The off-grid experts Dhybrid and Blockpower have implemented an environmentally friendly, independent renewable energy supply for the Cheetah Plains Lodge, located in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. The system comprises three solar plants with a total capacity of 300 kWp and a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system. A diesel generator which is also integrated into the microgrid is only utilized during low irradiation periods to support the storage system. Dhybrid’s Universal Power Platform (UPP) monitors and controls all the components in the system and therefore ensures a reliable energy supply at any time. In order to reduce operating costs along with carbon emissions, the system controls the connected energy generators and energy storage in a way to maximize the utilization of renewable energy.
In addition to the new and quiet energy supply, the lodge uses custom-engineered electric vehicles for its safaris. A separate gray water recycling system as well as a sewage treatment plant have also been installed on the property to minimize water consumption and environmental impact.
Smart control of the on-site power grid
In the interest of modernization, the lodge has been equipped with a microgrid which is capable of reliably supplying electricity even to large three-phase energy consumers such as cooling systems or motors. The available peak power capacity for the lodge has been increased by four times to 250 kW since it switched over to the microgrid from its previous energy supplier.
Unlike traditional independent microgrids where either the diesel generator or the solar installation can be run at a given time, the UPP can control different energy generators simultaneously. This makes the entire system noticeably more efficient, meaning that the diesel generator only needs to be switched on when energy consumption is unusually high or in periods of bad weather.
Further information is available at the Dhybrid website.