Chile is one of the countries with the highest potential for solar power generation in the world, with more and more photovoltaic systems being installed.
The Swiss inverter company SolarMax has recently finalized a photovoltaic self-consumption plant at the Chuquicamata mine, the largest copper mine in the world. The PV system, which has been built on the deck of the second level of the mine, was installed by the company IM2.
The installation is a pioneering project as only a very small number of mines are able to generate their own photovoltaic energy. SolarMax has participated in the photovoltaic system by providing three SolarMax 2000S single-phase, grid connected inverters. The high build quality and rugged aluminium housing, covering the electronic components of the inverter, offers the best protection possible. The photovoltaic system also consists of 27 YL240P-29b Yingli modules with a power output of 240 Wp each.
The installation on the roof of the second level of the mine has a peak power output of 6.48 kWp. As for the rated power, the system generates electricity on their internal network to a voltage of 380-400 V with a maximum power of 5.94 kW, corresponding to the installed photovoltaic power plant.
The facility has a storage system comprising of 48 Vcc composed of 24 batteries Victron AGM 220Ah totalling 1,320Ah and is capable of providing a total power of 63.36 kW. The annual production will be mainly consumed by electrical operations on site.
Chuquicamata is a copper and gold mine in an open pit, located 15 km north of Calama in the region of Antofagasta, Chile. The mine is considered to be the world's largest and is the largest producer of copper in Chile.