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Fénykör Solar Power Project, Hungary

Overview

The Fénykör (in English: Circle of Light) Solar Power Project connects solar PV systems already installed or under development on more than 100 sites in dozens of settlements in Hungary as a kind of virtual power plant, with the pronounced aim to change people’s attitudes in favour of sustainability. This is achieved through programs that are mainly aimed at children and young adults, but are very effective in reaching people of all ages directly or indirectly as well. 

Energy Factory is a series of interactive competitions held by Fénykör in elementary and high schools every year. The competitions aim to use unique ideas students come up with to raise awareness in more and more people of the importance of sustainability and the use of renewable energy sources. Within the framework of the Solar Power Household Program, engineers present the applicability and efficiency of solar systems using everyday tools and examples, while Sun Quiz is a sustainability quiz game specifically designed for families. 

Therefore, the Fénykör project is a community whose members (called Fénypont) do not only use renewable energy in their everyday activities, but are also active in their local community helping create a sustainable way of life. The Fénykör project uses a minimum of 70% of its revenues from carbon credits to further raise awareness and support environmental protection.

In the first phase, the plan is to install a decentralised power generation system with a total capacity of 6.5 MWp, which is expected to produce 5,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions per year. In addition, since credits from projects abroad have been mostly available to Hungarian companies and individuals intending to offset their emissions thus far, the project is a true pioneer in boosting the Hungarian voluntary carbon credit market.


Description of the project

Solar modules are made up of silicon crystals, which start to produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. This is due to the fact that two types of semiconductors (p-type and n-type semiconductors) are used, and as a result of the ionisation of atoms, excess charge carriers are generated. The structure of the solar panels is such that the resulting electromigration can be managed and utilised.

Direct current electricity produced by solar panels is transmitted via wires to an inverter. The inverter converts it to alternating current electricity, so it becomes usable for consumers in a building. When the energy produced is not used, it is fed into the public grid. The energy fed into the grid can be measured with the help of a so-called net meter, which must be installed specifically for this purpose.

A so-called WebBox (production monitoring equipment) records the production data of solar PV systems in real time, and sends the data to a dedicated server, where it is stored. This enables users to analyse, evaluate, and even debug the data if necessary.

In order to determine the production of solar PV systems, certain factors must be taken

into account. Under Hungarian conditions, the exploitation of solar energy is most efficient in areas with a southern (or south-east, or south-west) orientation and a tilt of 25° to 35°. An installation site with these parameters can be expected to produce 1,200 kWh per installed kWp nominal power.


Therefore, the project with its total installed capacity of 6.5 MWp can generate 7,800 MWh of AC power per year, which in part is used by consumers locally, with the rest fed into the Hungarian Electricity Grid (HEG). An area of approximately 44,000 m2 is covered by approximately 27,000 solar modules, more than 95 percent of which are installed on roofs.

Project achievement

Sustainable development

Implementation of the project has a positive effect nationwide as jobs are created and preserved. In the construction phase, the large number of solar PV systems creates approximately 80 jobs, whereas in the maintenance phase, 20 jobs will be created in Hungary.

The project is designed to contribute significantly to efforts to make sustainable development and environment-friendly energy supply a reality in Hungary. Since solar PV systems can reduce Hungary’s high electricity import dependency and mean a long-term contribution to the domestic production of cheaper electricity through the diversification of energy resources, the project will reduce Hungary’s dependence on imported energy.

As most installed units are owned by public schools and local governments, purchasing credits from them makes it possible to support these public institutions. The systems installed on school buildings can also draw the attention of pupils to the importance of solar PV systems and renewable energy, so the project will contribute to raising awareness in children as well.

At least 70 percent of the revenue from credits is used to support further renewable energy and environmental protection activities, as well as awareness-raising.

Environmental impacts

  • The project produces significant greenhouse gas emission savings because 5,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions are avoided annually thanks to the solar PV systems.
  • No air pollution (e.g. CO2, SO2, NOx, or dust) is generated during operation. However, during the production, transport and end-of-life treatment of solar panels, some air pollution may be generated.
  • During operation, there is no noise pollution, although the production and transport of solar panels may generate some noise, which is negligible. Installation of the units can also cause some noise on site, but it takes only a short time and the resulting noise does not exceed either the levels considered normal at a construction site, or the limit set by law.
  • The operation of the solar panel systems connected to the grid produces no waste. The amount of waste generated during other phases of their life cycle (production, transport and waste management) is considered to be outside the boundaries of the project and it is insignificant, compared to other technologies.
  • Visual impact: as environmental consciousness is becoming more and more popular, photovoltaic systems installed in settlements and built-up areas are considered more and more attractive visually in the eyes of users.
Overall, solar PV systems have a negligible environmental load, compared to conventional fossil energy resources, which can be reduced even further by careful planning and implementation, as well as through good operating practices.
Standard CSG Standard
Planned annual CO2 reduction 7410 tCO2e
Verified by Rendszertechnika Kft.
Register CSG