Insights into Jordan’s Largest University Solar PV Plant

Jordan-PV-UniversityConstruction is underway at the solar PV plant in Hashemite University, the largest PV project in all universities in Jordan. This Project is the culmination of four years of work, that started with the call by Hashemite University’s president Prof. Kamal-Eldeen Bani Hani to move forward with the vision to establish the University’s position as a leader in renewable energy research, and achieve full energy independence for the university.

The Faculty of Engineering at the Hashemite University took its role in fulfilling this vision.  Capable teams at the faculty worked since the inception of the project on the feasibility studies, tendering documents and technical specifications, followed by the technical and financial evaluation of the offers. These teams are seeing this project through its completion.

The 5MW plant will cover 100% of the annual electricity needs of the university. The project is divided into two sub-project; a 4MW ground-mounted PV Plant and a 1MW solar Canopies spread across the campus. Several pilot projects were implemented before adopting this design, and according to one study conducted by the university professors, the accumulated annual soiling effect at the same area can reach up to 7%.

Two ramming machines are available on site and nearly all the vertical post are installed at this time. The posts are driven 1.2m – 1.4m into the ground according to the recommendations of the geotechnical study. The mounting structure is designed to withstand wind speed up to 160km/hr. The Jordanian National Building Codes pertaining to the civil, structural, mechanical and electrical works were implemented. This is considered a research station that will serve to educate the students on campus on how to design, construction, maintenance and monitor PV plants.

The ground mounted PV plant is surrounded by a fence, off grid solar PV lighting poles, and a CCTV camera for security. The area is designed to collect the surface rain water and direct it into a rain water harvesting tank that will be used as cleaning water for the PV modules.

The PV Plant is design according to the ideal conditions to optimize performance. The tilt angle is 26 degrees and the Azimuth is zero. Each string has 17 PV modules (310W), and each inverter has two MPPT with three strings each. The DC:AC ratio is 15%. The plant is using 27.6KW inverters and each 1MW is connected to a small electrical panel board. The overall project controlled by a SCADA system and the completion date is expected in March 2016

Samer Zawaydeh

Samer A. Zawaydeh is a Sustainability Consultant and trainer in Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings and Renewable Energy sectors. He was a Project Manager in the energy sector; power stations, refineries and oil and gas completing over 30 projects. MSc Structural Mechanics from the University of New Mexico, USA, 1994 and currently enrolled in the Environmental and Renewable Energy Master’s Program, at the German Jordanian University 2015. He is also serving as the President of the Jordan Energy Chapter EDAMA which is the local Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers.

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