GE is putting a new, highly efficient hybrid power plant into operation in Berlin. With this pioneering concept, which offers scalable capacity, GE and its project partners Kofler Energies and BELECTRIC are breaking new ground in the area of innovative, decentralized energy supply.
The new hybrid power plant, which was developed by Kofler Energies and GE’s planning office BLS Energieplan, combines photovoltaic with flexible Jenbacher combined heat and power (CHP) technology and an innovative battery solution. Thanks to an intelligent energy management system and comprehensive operational oversight, the power output can be controlled to meet demands as efficiently as possible.
The plant will not only supply power and heat to the GE Power Conversion production site in Marienfelde, Germany, but it also will feed power into the grid. The system is based on a scalable business model that also can be adapted for larger units.
The centerpiece of the hybrid power plant is a Jenbacher J312 gas engine with integrated heat storage and an efficiency level of 89.2 percent. The 400 kW system covers the basic heat load of the site during the heating season and is fueled by energy-efficient natural gas. The plant enables primary energy savings of around 30 percent compared to systems that generate heat and power separately through conventional heating and external electricity procurement.
A 600 kW solar power system with an operating voltage of 1,500 volts has been installed on the roof of the production hall. All measurement readings required for monitoring and controlling the complex system can be called up and managed remotely via the central energy management system.
When the amount of power being generated is high but consumption is low, surplus power is stored in a battery with a capacity of 200 kWh. This can then be released and fed into the plant network as required to meet higher levels of demand, bringing flexibility to power generation. Surplus power only is supplied to the public grid if the battery is completely full.
The amendment of the German Combined Heat and Power Generation Act (KWKG) looks set to increase the target share of electricity produced via CHP to 25 percent by 2020. To achieve this goal, long-term planning and investment security needs to be provided and a reliable regulatory framework put in place for operating CHP plants.