Wärtsilä has launched its “Engine+Hybrid Energy” solution, which pairs IC engines with energy storage to form a fully integrated, automated system to provide what it says is a reliable and environmentally sound power generation solution with improved efficiency for the operators and power producers of islanded grids.

The system integrates standardised energy storage solutions and energy management systems with flexible engine power plants, leading to greater efficiencies, maintenance optimisation, emission reductions and a more streamlined addition of renewables into power systems. The system can meet load instantly, it addresses step changes and intermittencies, and provides spinning reserve. GEMS, Wärtsilä’s control platform, automatically dispatches available assets and takes into account any operational constraints to ensure optimal operation.

The system is said to enable customers to configure or reconfigure power plants with a wide range of goals, and use machine learning to predict operational conditions and automatically dispatch resources. Payback periods as short as two years are predicted.

The system can face up to two significant operational challenges related to how assets are utilised. The first is spinning reserve – the need to maintain online reserve capacity in order to meet rapid grid demand changes and ensure grid stability in case of generation disturbances. The second is how to determine the operating schedule of generating units with varying loads under different constraints and environments. The Engine+ Hybrid Energy solution addresses these challenges for island and remote grids, such as mining operations and other self-generation systems.