With a total output of one megawatt the solar power plant on the former ordnance depot is one of the largest in Franconia. Twenty-seven inverters made by the Swiss manufacturer Sputnik Engineering AG turn the power generated by the 5,700 solar modules into the alternating current used on the grid.
The solar modules generate roughly one million kilowatts annually, enough to power 400 households. On the 16 May, the system supplier Sunflower and the inverter maker Sputnik Engineering introduced this showpiece to the general public.
After the ceremonial opening speech, Sunflow presented its newly developed tracking system that boosts the yield from solar power plants by as much as 30 percent. “We have developed this system in cooperation with the Amberg-Weiden University especially for industrial roofs,” explained Sunflow CEO Stephan Riß. In the case of these roofs, you have to take into account their varying static and design characteristics. Because the roofs are very light they cannot support heavy loads. Moreover, the sun sail must not be too large, so that it cannot be damaged by the wind. “We have built a light-weight but stable system,” according to Riß. A test plant will go into operation this month at the Amberg-Weiden University.
The subsequent podium discussion included business people, scientists and politicians who talked about the possibilities and benefits of regenerative energies in structurally weak regions. Pierre Kraus, sales engineer at Sputnik’s Germany subsidiary Sputnik Engineering GmbH, held a talk entitled `SolarMax – the flexible inverter`.
As Mr Kraus noted: “The SolarMax inverters have a very broad input voltage range. This is why we were easily able to connect three different module types into strings with the inverters at the solar plant in Markt Taschendorf. Because the SolarMax inverters also work across a broad range of temperatures and the housing meets the IP54 protective standard there was no need for Sunflow to drill any holes in the bunker roofs to wire up the units, and they were free to place the inverters at a suitable outdoor position.” Additional advantages which Mr Kraus mentioned were the light weight of the transformer-less units and the high degree of availability. “The SolarMax 35S central inverter is among the first genuinely three-phase transformer-less units on the market. Because three-phase inverters have less need for temporarily stored energy, we can do without electrolytic capacitors. In the new SolarMax-S series we only use film capacitors. They extend the life of the units because, in contrast to capacitors which run on liquid electrolytes, they do not dry out.”
In the afternoon the winners of a children’s energy competition were awarded prizes which Sunflow had announced in all the kindergartens and schools in Middle Franconia. Hans-Josef Fell, member of the Bundestag, presented the winners with exciting weekend trips to the Bavarian Forest, entrance tickets to Legoland and sets of educational building blocks all about renewable energy. The dedication ended with a spring festival complete with Bavarian cuisine and music.
Mono- and polycrystalline modules
SolarMax 35 S (27x)
Inclination and orientation
Inclination 27.5°, South
Expected annual yield
about 970 kWh/kW
About Sputnik Engineering AG
Sputnik Engineering AG was founded in 1991 by Christoph von Bergen and Philipp Müller and has focused since then exclusively on the development, sale and maintenance of inverters for grid-connected photovoltaic plants. The SolarMax series supplied by the company based in Biel (Switzerland) consists of a broad product range of inverters for single-family homes and central inverters for solar power plants. Thanks to many years of experience and continuous optimization these units feature the latest technology, best quality, reliability, maximum yield and a highly attractive price/performance ratio.
Today, Sputnik Engineering has a staff of 240 working at its Swiss corporate headquarters and its subsidiaries in Neuhausen (Germany), Madrid (Spain), Milan (Italy) and Paris (France). This year they will produce SolarMax string and central inverters with a total capacity of 420 megawatts.
Sputnik Engineering AG
CH-2502 Biel / Bienne
Tel.: +41 (0) 32 346 5600
Fax. +41 (0) 32 346 5609
Dillenburger Straße 85
Tel. +49 (0) 221 91249949
Fax +49 (0) 221 91249948