Ensuring trouble-free integration of solar panels for KLM

At Schiphol in Amsterdam, the largest airport in the Netherlands and one of Europe’s main airports,  more and more solar panels are being installed on buildings, in order to generate as much renewable  energy as possible. The use of solar panels is essential to KLM's environmental goals, which support the Paris Climate Agreement as well as the Science Based Targets initiative of the UN and the World Wildlife Fund, among others.

 

Preventing interference Installing Active Harmonic Filters 4 MW solar energy added to grid

The Challenge

KLM decided to install approximately 4 MW of solar panels at Hangar 14.  A significant portion of the power used at Schiphol East has been generated by these solar panels since 2021. However, the deployment of renewable sources often creates distortion in the power supply and can significantly impact the efficiency and safety of electrical installations and connected equipment. HyTEPS was invited to assess the status and possible risks, and to advise.

Goals

  • Ensure solar panels do not interfere with Schiphol's electricity grid
  • Provide insight into load, power capacity and consumption of installations in the hangar
  • Report on power quality aspects, such as harmonic distortion

Solution

PQ analyzers were selectively placed on several transformers to calculate total consumption in the hangar. The analyzers provided additional information such as Total Harmonic Distortion and RMS. These parameters were analyzed and visualized in a report. High odd harmonics (3,5,7) were observed in one of the transformers. Harmonics observed in another transformer indicate load switching.

Christan van Dorst, Manager Technical Engineering, HyTEPS, explains: "From the engineering phase of these solar panels, we thought along with the customer and anticipated consequences for the grid. We advised installing Active Harmonic Filters. These have now been put into operation. An Active Harmonic Filter can solve a variety of Power Quality problems. One of the most common applications is to reduce harmonic pollution within electrical installations."

Results

The Active Harmonic Filters eliminate the effects of the solar panels on the rest of the installation, ensuring reliability. This means a significantly reduced chance of malfunctions and issues. An additional benefit is the fact that an Active Harmonic Filter reduces reactive power flowing back and helping achieve a longer life. In addition, HyTEPS has issued recommendations with a view to improving capacity by reducing inrush currents and realizing peak shaving.

"As the electricity demand at Schiphol increases due to electrification and the energy transition, Power Quality becomes more important," says Ton Baltus, Head of Installation Managers at Schiphol. "When it comes to Power Quality, inspections and standards often fall short. The data that we obtain through HyTEPS makes it possible to find optimal solutions!"

 

"When it comes to Power Quality, inspections and standards often fall short. The data that we obtain through HyTEPS makes it possible to find optimal solutions!"
Ton Baltus, Head of Installation Managers at Schiphol