Solar Powers Offshore Oil Rigs in Southeast Asia
Location: Gulf of Thailand
System size: Solar power systems on eight wellhead platforms with a battery bank producing 15 kWh/day
Partners include: Orga BV, PTTEP
Offshore unmanned wellhead platforms are automated oil and gas assets designed for remote operation controlled by onshore teams. Deploying maintenance crews in harsh sea conditions is treacherous and expensive, so reliability is of the utmost importance when it comes to the power generation systems deployed on these assets.
Over the last 20 years, many offshore oil and gas operators have switched to solar-based power generation solutions to minimize maintenance and maximize power availability in the confined space available on these units. For example, Orga BV outfitted eight of PTTEP’s wellhead platforms in the Gulf of Thailand with solar. Orga chose to use Morningstar components because their MPPT technology minimizes expensive enclosure space requirements while automated resetting offers extended maintenance intervals.
Solar Powers Offshore Satellite Communications in Malaysia
Location: Malaysia/Southeast Asia
Products: TriStar TS-MPPT-60-48V controllers
System size: 23kW of 320W solar panels with five sets of 48V, 1965Ah battery banks
Partners include: Swift Energy, PTTEP, Honeywell
Coming out of a challenging year with the COVID-19 severely affecting the global economy and causing a significant drop in demand for crude oil, national petroleum exploration and production company PTTEP is glad to get back on track with the installation and start-up of the Pemanis gas facility. The project’s wellheads sit offshore Malaysia’s Kuching shipyard and transmit information in regard to pressure, temperatures, gas metering, etc. back to an operations center on land via satellite.
PTTEP commissioned Swift Energy to provide a solar installation to power remote data gathering on the wellheads. The system included 48V VRLA batteries, 72 320W zone 1 solar panels wired in 48V, and eight Morningstar TriStar controllers. The TriStars include a Modbus interface which gathers data and passes it along to a Honeywell remote terminal unit (RTU) cabinet that transmits back to the operations center. The efficiency and dependability of Morningstar’s MPPT technology, along with its range of online resources to help simplify sizing and easily perform site and cost software analysis, made Morningstar a good choice for this and other Swift Energy projects.
Soluz Powers Honduras Amid Pandemic
Application: Rural Electrification
Products: Morningstar Tristar MPPT 600V and EcoPulse controllers
Partners include: Soluz, Trojan Battery, Jinko Solar, Magnum Energy, Solectria
Honduras is a poor country in which 28% of the rural population doesn’t have access to the electrical grid. This leaves people vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as severe flooding.
Soluz has spent decades installing stand-alone solar systems for homeowners and businesses including solar-powered freezers to preserve food in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Soluz trusts Morningstar products for their reliability and customer service. Soluz president Richard Hansen even chose a Morningstar controller for his home system, which provided backup power after two catastrophic hurricanes that knocked out the utility grid for days.
Renewable Energy Powers Research from Pole to Pole
Application: Rural Electrification
Location: Arctic and Antarctic
Year: Late 1990s to present day
Products: Various Morningstar charge controllers, SureSine inverter, Relay Driver, and meters
Partners include: Tracy Dahl, KiloVault, Sunwize Technologies, Polar Field Services
Tracy Dahl is passionate about developing sustainable solutions. When his mechanical expertise landed him a job as a snowmobile mechanic in the Antarctic in the mid-1990s, he saw an opportunity for renewable energy there as well.
For the past two decades, Dahl has worked alongside researchers in the Arctic and Antarctic to lead the transition from diesel generation to renewable power from pole to pole. He’s done a variety of wind and solar projects including systems with a single solar panel, charge controller and battery; vehicles with DC and AC power; chalets at research stations; and complex projects like large autonomous power and communication systems with remote-control monitoring that run lidar, radar and other research equipment.
No matter the application, Dahl says that Morningstar charge controllers are his go-to solution. In addition to their price point, they can withstand the difficult, condensing environments that often take out power electronics. He’s especially fond of the controllers’ maximum power point tracking (MPPT) capability.
“In a high-altitude, low-temperature environment with reflective snow cover, the MPPT works incredibly well, providing about 20% to 25% more energy capture than PWM controllers,” he said. “The cold weather pushes the panel voltage way up, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you can turn it into amps through the MPPT. I have actually measured it out side by side and it’s astonishing how much better it works in these environments.”
Community Monitoring at Ground Zero Nuclear Test Sites
The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, is located just 65 miles outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a 1,360-square-mile area of land which, for 41 years, served as the literal “ground zero” for nuclear testing in the continental United States. From 1951-1992, 928 nuclear tests were conducted at the site, including 100 atmospheric tests.
Many of the atmospheric tests, as well as some of those conducted underground that lost containment, resulted in contamination of downwind areas off-site, exposing nearby communities to radioactive fallout, and causing significant concern and fear in the affected populations regarding the potential for adverse health effects.
Additionally, communities downgradient from the NNSS had concerns about the contamination of groundwater from underground testing at the site and its potential to affect public water sources in the future.
Morningstar and TÜV Rheinland
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Partners include: TÜV Rheinland
When the people responsible for certifying compliance and safety for the industry want to profile your brand for a case study, you know you’re doing something right. At Morningstar, we’re proud that TÜV Rheinland—an international organization at the forefront of testing, standards and certification for everything from consumer products to industrial and medical devices—selected us for its own case study in solar.
As the case study notes, “in the solar industry, standards and regulations change quickly, with new standards emerging at a rapid pace.” Morningstar’s advanced designs and proven reliability provided TÜV with an ideal partner to showcase in this category.
-Photo courtesy of TÜV Rheinland
Tiny Houses Provide Life-Changing Shelter for Homeless Population
- Chronic homelessness afflicts over a half-million men, women and children in the United States,* with veterans particularly vulnerable. Almost 1 out of 4 are in the state of California**
- Turning Point Foundation, a community-based nonprofit in Ventura, California, offers shelter, services, and support to homeless, mentally ill individuals
- A transitional housing project, River Haven, provides housing and a sense of community to individuals ready for independent living
- Morningstar controllers are a key component in the solar lighting system used to power these homes
**source: “10 Facts About Homelessness in America,” U.S. News and World Report, September 23, 2019 https://www.usnews.com/news/cities/articles/2019-09-23/10-facts-about-homelessness-in-america
Solar Energy Solutions for Rural Communities in Peru
Application: Rural Electrification
Product: Morningstar charge controller
System size: Residential DC Energy Box sized for individual home (50,000 units)
Partners: Tozzi Green
With explosive economic growth in population-dense urban areas, Peru’s economy has become one of the fastest-growing in the world. However, populations of small, remote villages struggle to survive in harsh climates, leaving one-third of the population without access to a power grid. To encourage development and improve the quality of life in these remote villages, the government of Peru launched the most ambitious rural electrification project ever attempted. The National Rural Electrification Plan will bring access to electricity to 96% of the country’s population.
Italian renewable project developer Tozzi Green is working with the Peruvian government to deliver three solar energy centers, including a high-volume residential DC Energy Box sized for individual homes. In 2017, Tozzi Green chose Morningstar Corporation charge controllers for the project because of their reliability and long life span. The success of this Peru project is a model for future solar rural electrification to bring power to more of the one billion people living without it today.
Read more about the project here.