November 2020 – Energy Scouts design photovoltaic plant for ABB in Bulgaria

The ABB plant in Petrich was opened in 2019 and mainly produces electronic components for the low voltage range. The Bulgarian city of Petrich is one of the warmest regions in the country, with a high average annual temperature, long hours of sunshine and rare snowfalls in winter. The ABB plant is located on the outskirts of the city in an area without tall buildings or trees. Moreover, the company’s buildings face south. Energy Scouts Atanas Milev and Ivan Lazarov analyzed the location and decided that the site is very well suited for the construction of a photovoltaic system. The region’s average annual solar radiation of over 1,500 kWh/m2 additionally speaks for it.

The production at ABB’s Petrich plant has an average energy consumption of 30 kWh during the day. In order to make optimal use of the region’s natural resources and to make full use of the energy produced, the Energy Scouts focused their project on the construction of a 30 kWp rooftop photovoltaic system for the plant’s own consumption.

The generated energy will be used directly in the plant
The system will work parallel to the power grid and will consist of photovoltaic modules, a control panel and at least one grid inverter. During their analysis and evaluation, the Energy Scouts found that the plant can use 100% of the maximum electricity generated during the day at any given time. Therefore, they decided not to use batteries to store energy. This reduces investment costs. A monitoring system allows the power generation to be monitored in real time. The monitoring also allows a quick reaction in case of problems or malfunctions in the system.

The Energy Scouts calculated annual savings of 37,702 kWh electricity and approx. 32 tons of CO₂ emissions with an amortization period of 6.5 years for the project. The estimated annual electricity production was calculated taking into account the reduction in the efficiency of the selected panels and based on electricity prices of 2019/2020.

Part of the project is to collect data on the electricity generated and on the CO₂ emissions and financial resources saved. These are to be displayed on a screen at the entrance of the company in order to raise employees’ awareness for the efficient use of natural resources. Further practical examples and best practices will also be shown for this purpose. By using specific examples and success stories, the Energy Scouts plan to create an atmosphere that motivates guests and employees to think and act sustainably both at work and in their everyday life. The project was awarded 1st place by the jury in Bulgaria.

Awareness

Energy Management

Photovoltaics

  • Industry sector: Electrical engineering
  • Energy source: Electrical energy
  • Energy saving potential: 37,702 kWh/a
  • CO2 saving potential: 32.24 t/a
  • Potential cost reduction: ca. 4,000 €/a
  • Investment costs: 26,070 €
  • Payback period: 6.5 years
The ABB Petrich plant offers good conditions for photovoltaic usage. (©DIHK Throm)
In the company, they adjusted the generation capacity of the PV system to the minimum consumption. (© DIHK Throm)
Energy Scouts Atanas Milev and Ivan Lazarov (from right to left) receive the main prize (© AHK Bulgaria)
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