SAERA project

Energy saving solution for isolated power grids through renewable energies SAERA

SAERA - Energy saving solution for isolated power grids through renewable energies

January 2013 - December 2016

Project financied by:
SAERA spri


The main aim of this project is to develop a technical solution based on renewable energy to power supply isolated communities, not interconnected to the general power system. This product allows to provide an energy saving solution to communities or installations supplied by local diesel power units.
This power supply and energy saving commercial solution can be exported to many developing countries, mainly located in Central America, South America and Africa. Most of these countries have wide areas non interconnected to the main power distribution grid. Power supply to these communities on non connected areas is made by isolated grids fed from diesel power units. This fact implies high power generation costs due to high fuel consumption and environmental pollution.
Furthermore, there are multitude of small islands and remote areas non interconnected throughout the globe that are supplied by diesel power units. . This islands and remote areas buy their fuel at high rates due to the high transport and distribution costs so the price of power generation is excessive.
A technical solution which allows a sharp reduction on power generation costs by means of using local renewable energies, comes to a deeply valuable and appealing tool for these isolated communities.


The broad experience accumulated by the participating partners of this project in wind energy developments and isolated power grids, would enable direct R&D efforts towards isolated areas power supply through renewable energies.
Argolabe Ingeniería S.L. has extensive experience in wind turbines integral design. ISA Department of UPV-EHU develops wind turbine control strategies and algorithms as well as mathematical models and wind turbine simulations. Tecnalia has a broad experience in micro isolated systems and network control system design.

The main aim of this project is to develop an energy saving technical solution based on renewable energies for power grid isolated communities. This energy saving solution would consists on a medium sized wind turbine for isolated performance together with a general grid supervisor. This group sets up a plug&play system which enables to direct connect to any existing isolated power grid.
This product has a high rate of flexibility which enables to adapt itself to the configuration and needs of each specific isolated installation. On the other side, the configuration of this solutions ensures an easy connection to other renewable resources such as photovoltaic, small-scale hydro power, biomass, etc.
The general grid supervisor should manage the instant power generation of each system, conventional or renewable, depending on the power demand of the installation at any time. The general control system should act on each generation unit in order to balance the supply and demand curve. This keeps frequency and voltage grid stability. The whole system should be robust enough to avoid blackouts, voltage fluctuations, harmonic distortions and any other disturbances on the local grid.
There are thousands of power systems not interconnected in the world; rural communities, farms, industrial parks, pumping stations, etc, which obtain their power supply from diesel power units. This kind of power generation has several handicaps:
  • High fuel consumption
  • High lubricating oil consumption
  • High oil and fuels costs
  • Complicated fuel transport logistic
  • Need of fuel storage
  • High cost in diesel power unit maintenance
  • High greenhouse gas emissions
  • Risk of accidental fuel spills in transport or storage

This project technical solution provides the chance of using the renewable, local clean endless resources this communities have to highly reduce their fuel consumption, minimizing associated disadvantages.

Argolabe's role

The aim of Argolabe Ingenieria S.L. is to dispose a wind turbine able to perform in isolated operation, disconnected from the main power supply together with a grid supervisor hardware which allows it to connect directly with any other existing micro-grid, as well as to hybridize it with other renewable energies.
Achieving proposed goals of this project will allow the company to open a new line of business to enter the abroad marketplace, mainly in Central and South America, where there is a wide rate of commercial opportunities for this project solution.

Project partner leader:

SAERA Argolabe

Partners and collaborators:

UPV EHU Argolabe    Tecnalia Argolabe

Financial backers:

SAERA project