DIMO, a leading diversified conglomerate in Sri Lanka, is now well equipped to implement microgrid systems for local industries to ensure an uninterrupted power supply, following the successful completion of the nation’s first comprehensive grid tied renewable energy microgrid project at the University of Moratuwa (UOM).
DIMO will also deliver microgrid services to the Maldives and rural African regions where it has already established a presence through other engineering solutions.
DIMO, as a firm that is constantly striving to redefine Sri Lanka’s green energy environment, provides advanced solutions for mini-hydro, bio mass, solar, and wind power facilities in the country. DIMO was also instrumental in the installation of Sri Lanka’s first wind power plant in Mannar, and the successful completion of the nation’s first microgrid system demonstrates DIMO’s commitment to implementing new green energy programs.
Despite the country’s ongoing power outages, the UOM’s microgrid system provides uninterrupted power to the university. Even throughout the 13-hour power outage, the microgrid managed the demand of the associated loads effectively.
DIMO installed the microgrid system at UOM in partnership with Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) and with funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This project connects separate grids to ensure a continuous, renewable power supply throughout the distribution area at all times.
The finished system includes a 375kW solar PV system, 418kWh of battery storage, and a 1170kVA backup diesel generator. UOM can now produce its own power without relying on the national grid thanks to this effort.
For this project, DIMO collaborated with German off-grid experts DHYBRID, a prominent producer of renewable energy solutions with personalised control systems for hybrid energy delivery. DHYBRID has completed over 75 projects in over 25 countries worldwide. DHYBRID’s energy solutions combine power from several renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, with the traditional grid, diesel powered generators, and battery storage, while properly managing these sources to satisfy the clients’ diverse power requirements.
The microgrid system is a decentralized network of synchronously connected electrical sources and loads to the main power grid. A microgrid operates in two modes. The off-grid mode provides electricity to loads without using the grid, whereas the on-grid mode keeps the system synchronized with the grid and feeds any extra power back into the grid.
Microgrids intelligently and seamlessly integrate renewables into the energy mix, balancing the variable production of renewable energy while allowing the system to easily transition from on-grid to off-grid mode during power outages. Thus, by intelligently incorporating energy storage, the microgrid overcomes the fleeting characteristics of solar and wind energy.
When the renewable energy source is unavailable, a microgrid can use other resources such as the grid, diesel generators, or battery storage without the need for human involvement. Microgrids have been effectively adopted in smart cities in the United States, Australia, and other developed regions, as well as in rural areas and remote electrification worldwide.
In Sri Lanka, power from hydro plants fell below 28 percent during the dry season, resulting in protracted power outages caused by the country’s current forex crisis. Energy demand will continue to climb, and even if commercial and industrial sectors have installed solar power, it will be useless during power outages. Microgrids enable renewable energy to be used even during power interruptions.
“The completion of the historic microgrid project is a tremendous milestone towards the nation’s future of adapting renewable energy,” stated DIMO Group CEO Gahanath Pandithage. Developing such solutions is critical for the nation’s progress during these difficult times. DIMO will continue to undertake creative initiatives like this microgrid project with our partners as we continue to feed the ambitions and aspirations of the communities we serve.”
This is a timely concept that provides an appropriate solution for a variety of industries such as business centers, factories, resorts, hospitals, universities, data centers, and others. Given the prevalent continual power outages, there are numerous incidents of operational shutdowns that have a direct impact on the nation’s economic viability. Microgrid systems are an ideal answer for such cases, and are especially beneficial for industries such as glass and ceramics, which suffer significant operational losses owing to even minor power outages.
The primary benefits of microgrids are power reliability, energy resilience, and cost reduction through effective energy supply management. At any given time, the microgrid will select and power the most effective power source inside the system. As a result, there is a smooth transition between power sources, allowing for an uninterrupted power supply.
DIMO is now well-positioned to offer microgrid systems as an uninterrupted power supply solution for numerous industries in Sri Lanka, thanks to the overwhelming success of the complete project at the UOM.