Remote Area Power Solutions

Most small island and remote communities around the world today are dependent on imported fossil fuels for most of their energy requirements. Solar and Wind power technologies are clean, affordable, readily available, and sustainable and can replace or supplement generators in both residential and commercial applications.

Hybrid energy systems integrate renewable energy technologies such as solar photovoltaic and wind with diesel generators, inverters and batteries to provide grid quality power in remote areas not connected to a utility grid. Such an isolated grid is known as Micro-grid and is widely recognised as the island electrification technology for the 21st century.

DLRE has developed the most advanced Micro-Grid distributed generation system

We use state-of-the-art wind turbines, photovoltaic modules, an innovative variable speed diesel/bio-diesel generator and advanced power electronics and control technology for the electrification of in remote locations in the world with proven installations in South East Asia and South Asia.


There are two general methods of supplying electricity to remote areas- grid extension or the use of diesel generators. Grid extension can be very expensive in many locations, which makes autonomous electrification the better choice.

Remote areas with relatively small communities generally show significant variation between the daytime peak loads and the minimum night-time loads.

Diesel powered electric generators are typically sized to meet the peak demand during the evening but must run at very low loads during “off-peak” hours during the day and night. This low load operation results in poor fuel efficiency and increased maintenance. Isolated power systems using large amounts of renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) are emerging as technically reliable options for electricity supply. Power systems using multiple generation sources are known as “hybrid power systems” which incorporate different energy sources such as wind, PV, diesel generators, battery or other types of storage, power electronics, system control and remote monitoring.

The addition of renewable energy sources to save diesel fuel often reduces engine load further.

Find out more about the technologies involved

We have developed a new variable speed diesel generator (VaRegen) using “Doubly Fed Induction Generator (DFIG) which can maintain constant voltage and frequency irrespective of load and speed variation.

The variable speed diesel driven DFIG is an attractive option for remote area power systems with the high penetration of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. The major benefit of the scheme would be the reduction in diesel fuel consumption and high penetration of renewable energy sources renewable energy sources without or with small battery storage.

The motivation for the development of VaRegen is based on :

  • Run the diesel generator in optimum speed , but, at the same time keep the voltage and frequency constant
  • High penetration level of renewable energy sources ( solar and wind) to stand-alone remote area power systems
  • Control of reactive power without interfering with the active power.
  • Increasing rated power of the  generating unit
  • Easier expansion of generators without complicated synchronising system
For small scale (10kW – 100kW) micro-grid applications, we have identified the 2.4kW Skystream 5.0 wind turbine as the most cost effective solution for the Micro-Grid application.

The low cut in wind speed, 2.5m/s, of the Skystream 5.0 is ideal for low wind regimes often found in Singapore. DLRE is the Asia Pacific Logistics Hub and Regional Service Centre for Southwest Windpower Inc, the manufacturer of Skystream™. Territories covered includes Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, SE Asia and South Asia. Multiple wind turbines connected to the Micro – Grid created by the Variable Speed Diesel Generator (VaRegen) will supply the renewable energy. When the wind power penetration increases, VaRegen will automatically run at lower optimum speed to further save diesel fuel.

The power balancing function on a short time scale can be achieved by a combination of Lead Acid Battery and Super Capacitors.

Supercapacitors can provide both higher power outputs and store lots of energy, in contrast to normal capacitors and batteries.

Other features :

  • Can be charged and discharged almost an unlimited number of times
  • Can discharge in matters of milliseconds or as long as tens of seconds or several minutes
  • Can be charged in seconds to minutes
  • High power density
  • There is no danger of overcharging
  • Are not affected by deep discharges as are chemical batteries
  • Have a long lifetime – estimated to be 20 years
  • Charge/discharge round-trip efficiency is 80%-95% in most applications

The Key advantage of the DLRE Micro-Grid System

Typical approaches for island systems work with a huge battery storage system, which typically allows around three days autonomy in the absence of the Diesel Generator and the Renewable energy sources. Lead acid battery storage systems are not limited in the amount of energy they can store, but also require high maintenance and have a short lifetime compared to the rest of the Micro-Grid system components.

DLRE’s VaRegen engine can operate without batteries, employing instead a revolutionary hydrogen fuel cell system for energy storage.
The VaRegen can run at a whole range of loads and wind speeds much more efficiently than traditional battery-supported technologies, ensuring that regardless of consumer demand, the system is always operating at optimal productivity, minimising waste.