Reaping the desert sun

2012-11-28 - Leading edge electrical balance of plant equipment for Punj Lloyd’s solar plant in Rajasthan reduces lead time and delivers cost benefits
In the heart of Rajasthan’s Thar Desert, 140 kilometers from Jodhpur, the village of Bap presents a vista of endless desolation marginally fragmented by a scattering of human habitation. Only the most persistent survive in the more or less perpetual environment of drought and acute scarcity.

Rajasthan’s maximum daily temperature, varying between 40-45 degrees celsius, and occasionally rocketing up to 49 degrees proved ideal for Punj Lloyd Solar Limited’s 5 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, with its 80,000 solar modules stretching across more than 40 acres of barren wasteland. A feature peculiar to Bap is the virtually flat terrain that makes it a shadow-free area and therefore, the ideal location for generating solar power and the plant is expected to reduce carbon emissions up to 5,500 metric tons per year.

This was the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm, Punj Lloyd’s first solar turnkey project. It was commissioned in a record time of less than three months, due in some part to ABB’s optimization of systems and processes. Our innovative electrical balance of plant (EBoP) solution covers every electrical control and instrumentation system and each component in the power plant, leaving aside the generator and turbine.

We take responsibility for the complete EBoP package, from engineering, supply, manufacture and delivery, to site, installation, commissioning, testing and quality. Direct control over all engineering and project management functions enables ABB to ensure the best performance and quality of engineering workmanship and deliveries. It also makes us the single point of responsibility for inverter and all electrical works, allowing for a unified design philosophy for inverter and electrical throughout the project, reduced lead time and cost benefits for our customer.

From the early 1990s we have been involved at a pioneering stage in just about every type of PV and concentrated solar power (CSP) technology developed across the world – this unique expertise allows us to offer everything from EBoP solution to turnkey photovoltaic power plants and complete power and automation solutions for CSP plants and for PV installations.

Smart grids are the future and ABB is at the forefront in developing the technologies and solutions that will integrate traditional types of large-scale, centralized power generation with small-scale, localized types of renewable energy like solar and wind, creating a single, optimized network with multi-directional power flows and real-time grid monitoring and market mechanisms. For more information: