GPTech's solutions for PV grid integration challenges in Chile

Author: Sergio Ceballos | Title: Country Manager of Chile | Published on: Energetica International

Since 2012, GPTech has looked at Latin America as one of its main objectives due to its favorable conditions for the renewable energy sector. The efficiency in providing the most suitable integral solutions to comply with any technical requirement has made GPTech becoming the leader supplier company in the area. 


GPTech has collaborated in the construction of the first PV plants: Calama Solar 3 (Chile), Cañada Honda (Argentina), Majes, Reparticion, Tacna Solar and Panamericana Solar (Peru). In total, GPTech has achieved more than 100 MW of installed capacity. The most paradigmatic example is Calama, placed at Atacama Desert, where the altitude and the hardness conditions in density of dust hinder the operation of the equipment. GPTech has provided PV inverters which offer full operation at 2400 m above sea level, as well as a number of daily hours of operation above the mean. Additionally, they work at Power Levels higher than the rated, with a maximum performance over 98% to achieve plant factor of 31%. 

GPTech's experience in the development of integral solution meeting highly complex requirements makes it the most suitable partner to work with in Latin American renewable energy projects. In order to consolidate its position, GPTech has opened a sales engineering office in Santiago to cover important areas, as giving support to the management of grid connection license, carrying out the technical evaluation of projects or participating in working groups and research projects related to new technologies and power electronics. In this sense, GPTech has come to an agreement with Federico Santamaria de Valpariso University, and is already in contact with Concepcion and Santiago Universities.

For the Chilean PV solar market, GPTech offers Smart PV inverters and Advanced Power Integrated Stations for fast and easy grid integration. Apart from that, due on its exhaustive knowledge of the electrical system of the country, it has developed two solutions: Plug & Play solutions and Energy Management System (EMS).

Plug & Play energy storage solutions are composed by a Power Plant Controller (PPC) and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). The PPC is a central control system that guarantees optimum performance of hybrid power plants. It coordinates different energy sources, what enhances the grid-integration capabilities of hybrid plants, as well as controlles reactive power supply, regulating system voltage and stabilizing weak grids. Additionally, the PPC allows different operators to modify the systems according to different specific objectives, as minimizing the total cost of grid energy consumption or the power exchange with the grid.  On his hand, the Battery Energy Storage System's main function is to provide spinning reserve in the event of power plant or transmission line equipment failure, in roder to maintain generation and load balances. The BESS is equipped with own developed power electronics and controlled by the PPC. Both equipment allow the plant to provide essential spinning reserve services. GPTech offers this complete solution to be connected to the Chilean high voltage grid, using modular energy storage banks in the MW range, during at least 15 minutes, and the possibility of symmetrical charge and discharge. This system might run at increased maximum charging power in order to be adapted to the customers’ needs. 

Energy storage solution

The Energy Management System (EMS) aims to enhance grid integration in different environments, with multiple energy sources and different performance requirements, getting a qualitative improvement of facility features and full monitoring of the global performance. It interacts with several generation units (solar inverters, wind turbines, diesel generators, FACTS controllers for real and reactive power...) in a very fast way. Additionally, the EMS manages real power compensation based on Energy Storage Systems and VAR support required for ancillary services for the new generation of flexible grid-connected plants. 

Apart from projects related with PV energy and solutions for Renewable Energies' grid integration, GPTech is also participating, as a sponsor, in the construction of the first smart city of Latin American, placed in Buzios (Brazil).  For this project, the company has carried out the development and supply of the GPTech SmartCom solution, aiming at large consumers, as industries and big office buildings, for the management of PV and wind energy and the maxim exploitation of its consume.

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