Grid integration
Grid integration 3 min. reading time

Overcapacity of solar panels

Solar panels generate much more electricity on sunny days than on dark days. On summer days with many hours of sunshine, solar panels (sometimes) produce even more than necessary. This abundance of electricity is also known as overcapacity.

Overcapacity of solar panels means that more renewable electricity is generated, than can be used at that time. For example, the energy cannot be used because the power grid is too full (grid congestion). Or because little energy is consumed at those sunny moments. And so it is simply not needed.

For companies, this can cause problems, such as unused energy installations or restrictions on feeding excess power back to the grid. Or - in the longer term - not even being able to grow or expand. How to avoid these problems: how to ensure that valuable energy is not lost?

What are the solutions for solar panel overcapacity?

There are several solutions for solar panel overcapacity. The sun always shines during the day, so there is always generation. Even on dark rain days. By being smart with this energy source and thinking in terms of possibilities, a lot is possible. With the solutions below, we at Novar take steps together with you towards a more sustainable future.

Solution 1: Energy storage systems (battery)

One solution we are deploying for the excess capacity of solar panels is the battery. This is a smart innovative form of energy storage. We store energy that is not currently being used in a battery. We can use this stored energy later, when there is little sun and the solar panels generate less energy, when the energy demand is high.

Solution 2: Closed Distribution System

By working with a Closed Distribution System (GDS), you use generated energy as efficiently as possible. You put the generated energy away locally. For example, for a specific company or part of a municipality. In this case, you do not supply the energy to the electricity grid. This way you are not dependent on the main network and you ensure less congestion on the grid. Generated energy from a GDS is therefore very stable.

A GDS is often paired with an energy management system. With such a system, you have more insight into generation and consumption. It allows you to respond intelligently to consumption, especially when combined with the first solution: a battery.

Often different local energy sources are combined within a GDS: for example, wind turbines and solar panels. We already realized a GDS together with Smart Grid Flevoland.

Solution 3: Adjust energy consumption

Another solution is to adjust your energy consumption. Devices that consume a lot of energy, for example, you then turn on mostly during sunlight hours. For example, you can choose to charge electric vehicles only during peak hours. This way you can still use the excess solar energy generated by solar panels at the time.

Solution 4: Feed back to the grid

If the solar panels generate more energy than is currently needed, in some cases it is possible to feed excess energy back into the electricity grid. This energy is then used elsewhere. Due to a "full" electricity grid, this is no longer possible in every region.

What effect does overcapacity have on the power grid?

Overcapacity is actually an "excess" of generated energy. That excess has to go somewhere: usually to the power grid. The grid cannot always process this excess capacity properly. For example, because at that moment it is already very busy on the grid.

A consequence of overcapacity can be overloading. This can cause "blackouts" where the power goes out. This makes the power grid unstable and can cause unsafe situations. In the Netherlands there are therefore very strict rules from the national and local grid operators. So that unsafe and unstable situations do not arise.

With the advent of renewable energy, it has become more challenging to properly match supply and demand to create a stable consumption profile in the Netherlands. The solutions mentioned earlier in this article all contribute greatly to this: they help balance supply and demand on our grid. 

Green energy management systems

Above, we already briefly talked about energy management systems in conjunction with a Closed Distribution System. With an energy management system, we closely monitor energy production and consumption. This monitoring allows us, together with companies, to deal intelligently with overcapacity. Think, for example, of charging electric vehicles during sunny hours.

Our main challenge today is grid congestion: an overcrowded power grid. Fortunately, green energy systems are the answer to these limitations. Here we cleverly coordinate supply and consumption. Novar supplies these green energy systems on a turnkey basis. Together, we keep the power grid stable.

Technology solutions

By continuing to innovate and not shying away from any challenge, we are moving forward. Solar panels are becoming more efficient and batteries can store more and more energy. These technological solutions help to better manage excess capacity.

With a green energy system, we can still generate and use renewable energy. This way you become less dependent on the electricity grid and always have access to electricity and a sustainable stable network.

We fix your energy transition

Each of these topics can be a complex discussion in itself, so depending on your particular interest or need, you may want to go into more detail in one or more of these areas. Novar is happy to help you with this.

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