With the recentsuccessful completion of the nation’s first comprehensive grid tiedrenewable energy microgrid project at the University of Moratuwa(UOM), DIMO, a leading diversified conglomerate in Sri Lanka, is now wellequipped to implement microgrid systems for the local industries to ensurean uninterrupted power supply. DIMO will also provide microgrid services to theMaldives and rural regions in Africa where the company has already establishedits footprint through other engineering solutions.
As a company that continuously strives toreshape the green energy landscape of Sri Lanka, DIMO is providing advancedsolutions for mini-hydro, bio mass, solar and wind power plants in the country.DIMO has also played a key role in the implementation of Sri Lanka’s first everwind power project in Mannar and the successful completion of the nation’sfirst microgrid system is a true testament to DIMO’s commitment to implementinnovative green energy initiatives.
The microgrid system at the UOM suppliesuninterrupted power to the university despite the current power cuts faced bythe country. Even during the 13-hour power cuts, the microgrid was capable of effectivelymanaging the demand of the connected loads. DIMO implemented the microgridsystem at UOM in collaboration with Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) and withthe financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This projectconnects stand-alone grids to ensure an uninterrupted, renewable power supplythroughout the distribution area at any time. The completed system consists ofa 375kW of Solar PV, 418kWh of Battery Storage and a 1170kVA backup Dieselgenerator. With this project, UOM now can generate its power requirementwithin its own premises, without depending on the national powersupply.
DIMO also partnered with German off-gridexperts DHYBRID, a leading provider of renewable energy solutions withindividualized control systems for hybrid energy supply, for this project.DHYBRID has implemented over 75 projects in more than 25 countries around theworld. DHYBRID’s energy solutions combine power from multiple renewable energysources including solar and wind, with the traditional grid, diesel poweredgenerators and battery storage, while perfectly controlling these sources toeffectively and efficiently meet the varied power requirements of theclients.
The microgrid system isa decentralised group of electricity sources and loads that are connectedsynchronously to the main power grid. A microgrid runs on two modes. Theoff-grid mode supplies power to the loads via energy sources without thesupport of the grid, whereas in the on-grid mode, the system stays synchronisedwith the grid, and any excessive power is fed to the grid. Microgridsintegrate renewables into the energy mix intelligently and seamlessly balancethe variable output of renewable energy while enabling the system to seamlesslytransfer from on-grid to off-grid mode during power outages. Thus,the microgrid overcomes the transient nature of solar and wind energy throughintelligently accommodating energy storage. With no human intervention, amicrogrid can tap into other resources including grid, diesel generators or batterystorage, when the renewable energy source is unavailable. Microgrids havebeen successfully implemented in smart cities in USA, Australia and otherdeveloped regions, in rural areas and isolated electrification around theworld.
In Sri Lanka, power from hydro plants havedropped below 28% during the dry season and this, along with the prevailingforex crisis, has led to extended power cuts in the country. The demand forenergy will continue to rise, and even if commercial and industrial sectorshave implemented solar power, it is of no use during power outages. Microgridsallow renewable energy to be utilised during power outages as well.
Mr. Gahanath Pandithage, Group CEO ofDIMO, said, “The completion of the historic microgrid project is a great steptowards the nation’s future of adapting renewable energy. During thesechallenging times, the development of such solutions is vital in the nation’sprogress. Together with our partners, DIMO will continue to implementinnovative projects similar to this microgrid project, throughout our journeyof fuelling the dreams and aspirations of the communities, we servein.”
This is a timely conceptoffering an ideal solution for many industries including business centres,factories, resorts, hospitals, universities, data centres and more. Given theprevailing continuous power interruptions, there are many cases of operationalshutdowns which directly affect the nation’s economic survival. Microgridsystems are a perfect solution for such scenarios and especially useful forindustries such as glass and ceramic, as they incur huge operational losses dueto even the most minuscule of power outages.
The key advantages of microgrids are powerreliability, energy resilience and reducing costs through theefficient management of energy supply. At any given time, the microgrid willidentify the most effective power source within the system and supply it withpower. The result of which is a seamless transition between power sources thatallows an uninterrupted power supply.
Backed by the resoundingsuccess of the comprehensive project at the UOM, DIMO is now well-geared tooffer microgrid systems as an uninterrupted power supply solution for multipleindustries in Sri Lanka.
The Microgrid project at UOM
The brief work process of a Microgrid system
Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) is involvedin a number of related fields and represents many prestigious principals -Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Jeep, KSB, TATA Motors, MTU, Komatsu, Michelin, Zeiss,MRF, Bomag, Claas, TK Elevator, Mahindra Tractors and Stanley to name a few.From a company known for vehicles, DIMO today has diversified into many areas.Medical Engineering, Building Management Systems and Services, Power Generationand Distribution, Material Handling, Storage and Warehouse solutions, PowerTools, Agricultural Equipment, Total Lighting Solutions, Power systems andGenerators, Refrigeration, Ship Repairing and Driver Training Courses are some ofthe areas into which DIMO has entered during the past few decades. DIMO hasalso diversified into fertilizer and agriculture input market. DIMOsuccessfully entered into overseas markets in the Maldives and Myanmar, byexpanding their Marine and General Engineering services through partnerships inthe Maldives and their automobiles and automobile servicing segments intoMyanmar. DIMO is currently working to consolidate on current overseasoperations with new markets in East Africa.