OMRON Corporation (TSE: 6645; ADR: OMRNY; “OMRON”), a global leader in sensing and control technologies, announced that its control components have been used in a sun-tracking solar power system situated near to Madrid, Spain. The system was installed by Electricidad Alsanbo S.A. (“Alsanbo”), a Spanish systems integrator.
The system adjusts the positioning of solar cell panels to ensure that they remain perpendicular to the incident angle of the sun’s rays in order to maximize energy output. As a result, the system is able to generate 30 to 40% more power than traditional stationary systems.
In response to Alsanbo’s need for a total solution, OMRON supplied all of the components necessary for the system’s operation including solar conditioners, programmable logic controllers (PLC), a PLC-based communications interface, programmable terminals, power supplies and limit switches.
Main Component Functions
Programmable Logic Controllers
Programmed with historical data on the position of the sun, OMRON’s PLCs precisely control the horizontal rotation and vertical tilt of the solar panels to accurately track the sun’s movement.
Solar Power Conditioners
OMRON’s solar power conditioners convert DC power generated by the solar panels into AC power for household use. They also incorporate a grid interconnection protection function which automatically stops the system operating if a disturbance occurs in the commercial power system or an accident occurs on the power company side of the interconnection. The methods and safety standards concerning interconnection for power companies vary between countries. OMRON optimized this system to conform with the Royal Decree that regulates interconnection in Spain.
Inverters alter electrical frequency in response to data from the PLC on the rotation and tilt angles in order to control the motors that move the solar panels.
Renewable Energy in the EU
The EU has set a target of increasing the percentage of renewables, such as solar power and wind power, in the energy supply from 14% in 2005 to 22% by 2010.
Solar and wind power represent sources of unlimited renewable energy that do not discharge CO2, a major cause of global warming. In comparison to wind power, solar power is considered a quieter and more stable source of energy. In addition, solar power systems are free from the problems presented by the windmills used in wind farms which are a hazard to migratory birds on their journey between Africa and Northern Europe. As a result, solar power is now considered one of the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly forms of renewable energy and demand is expected to grow in the future.
OMRON’s Solutions to New Market Needs
OMRON is currently focusing on solving emerging needs related to product quality, safety, and the environment. Through its European sales subsidiary, OMRON Europe B.V., OMRON will continue to focus on supplying the robust and highly reliable control components required for solar power systems, while leveraging its strong sales and support systems in the EU to actively expand sales in this area.
Founded in 1989, Alsanbo is a systems integrator that is strongly committed to the development and diffusion of development of renewable energies in order to contribute to the reduction of detrimental atmospheric emissions.
The trust developed over 17 years of working with OMRON was one of the major reasons why we selected the company for this project. In addition, the fact that OMRON was able to provide all of the components we required, and that its products offer a high level of environmental-resistance and reliability were also key factors in our decision. As a result, we were able to swiftly complete the power system and begin long-term, stable power generation. As similar solar power systems spread, I believe OMRON will be an ideal partner for Alsanbo in the future not only because of its EU-wide support systems, but also because of its comprehensive support and customer services in Spain.
About OMRON Corporation
Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation (TSE: 6645; NYSE: OMRNY) is a global leader in the field of automation. Established in 1933 and headed by President and CEO Hisao Sakuta, OMRON has more than 28,000 employees in over 35 countries working to provide products and services to customers in a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components, social systems (ticket gate machines, ticket vending machines, and traffic control) and healthcare. The company is divided into five regions and head offices are in Japan (Kyoto), Asia Pacific (Singapore), China (Shanghai), Europe (Amsterdam) and US (Chicago).