Santa Barbara, CA (PRWEB) January 16, 2014
Lufft USA, Inc., a global manufacturer of high quality, precision weather monitoring solutions for industry and government, and Trimark Associates, Inc., a provider of measurement and communications solutions for the electric power industry, today announced that the Lufft WS500-UMB Weather Station has been deployed at the Imperial Valley Solar 1 facility, a 200 MW (megawatt) photovoltaic solar farm in Southern California.
Installed by Trimark Associates, a Lufft USA partner based in Folsom, Calif., the Lufft family of weather stations gather real-time meteorological data such as solar irradiance, air temperature, wind speed and direction and other weather conditions, a crucial factor for optimizing the power output of the massive Imperial Valley Solar 1 array.
“Everything about the Imperial Valley Solar 1 project is state-of-the art which meant specifying hardware components of the highest possible quality and reliability,” stated Robert Hinchman, regional director of Trimark Associates. “As with many solar PV installations in desert areas, durability is essential due to extreme heat and cold and the sand and grit blowing around. We choose the Lufft WS500 and WS503 for these kinds of applications because they are industrial-grade instruments with a very low maintenance factor. In remote installations, the last thing you want in a weather station are spinning cups and moving parts that fail over time.”
Use of Lufft weather station technology in the solar industry has surged in recent years due to state laws which mandate the monitoring of meteorological data at grid-connected solar arrays. Accurate, real-time weather monitoring and forecasting enables public utilities such as San Diego Gas & Electric, the utility drawing power from Imperial Valley, to more accurately predict the availability of energy on the grid from renewable sources to avoid power shortages and ensure more efficient management of electricity and other energy resources.
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) requires all grid-connected solar resources in California generating more than one MW of power to provide at least one meteorological station. As a solar project generating 200 MW of power, Imperial Valley Solar 1 required two meteorological stations to monitor ambient temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, barometric temperature, solar irradiance, and back panel temperature. Serving as a non-profit Independent System Operator (ISO), serving the State of California, CAISO oversees the operation of the state’s bulk electric power grid, delivering 300 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year and managing about 80 percent of California's electric flow.
In addition to the resilience of the Lufft device, the versatility of its multi-parameter data platform also came into play, according to Mr. Hinchman.
“A unique aspect of Imperial Valley Solar 1 is that the site network was not built to accommodate metrological stations,” he explained. “Instead of trenching and installing fiber optic cable between the control room and the MET stations, we recommended that the client connect the instruments with the Remote Intelligent Gateway (RIG) via a secure radio frequency. This approach allows us to transmit to CAISO the data they require on generation and weather conditions while minimizing construction costs.”
Designed and constructed by Abengoa, a Spanish multinational renewable energy developer, in conjunction with subcontractor AES Solar, the $360 million Imperial Valley Solar 1 facility is one of five planned for the area and is among the first to go online to supply energy to the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) territory. When fully operational, SDG&E officials forecast that Imperial Valley PV farms will generate more than 1,100 MW of renewable energy delivered via the Sunrise Powerlink, a 117-mile transmission line that will carry power to San Diego.
“We’re extremely pleased to have one of our all-in-one weather stations be selected to gather real-time data to help manage operations for a solar facility of this scope,” commented Ann Pattison, CEO of Lufft USA, Inc. “The Imperial Valley is one of the largest proving grounds in the world for bringing solar power onto the grid and into the mainstream of the energy industry. Lufft’s involvement as a supplier of a key component of the infrastructure to optimize operational efficiency represents the role we are ideally suited to play as solar grows in stature globally.”
Snapshot of Imperial Valley Solar 1 Project:
Weather Monitoring Technology: Two Lufft WS500-UMB Weather Stations
Data Transmission: Via Trimark’s Remote Intelligent Gateway (RIG) radio frequency transmitters
Metering System: Trimark’s Charge Controller panel for revenue metering
About Trimark Associates, Inc.
Trimark Associates is a leading provider of measurement and communications solutions for the electric power industry. Trimark develops reliable, affordable revenue-grade metering, monitoring and reporting solutions that power producers require for ISO compliance, accurate billing and settlements, and optimization of power production. Over the past decade, Trimark has grown to be responsible for metering and monitoring nearly 20,000mw of power generation in California, Hawaii, and Virginia. For further information, visit http://www.trimarkassoc.com, or call (916) 357-5970 or e-mail info(at)trimarkassoc(dot)com.
About Lufft USA, Inc.
Lufft is a global manufacturer of high quality and precision weather monitoring equipment. Engineered to exacting specifications and manufactured entirely in our Stuttgart facility, Lufft’s all-in-one weather stations integrate seamlessly into existing infrastructures to measure solar radiation, wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and rainfall. For further information, visit http://www.lufft.com, or call Ann Pattison, CEO of Lufft USA, Inc. at 1 888 519 8443 or e-mail ann(dot)pattison(at)lufftusainc(dot)com.