Solis Is Ready To Enter the Next Stage of Australian Renewable Energy Market

1.     Background

In the June 2020, Australian renewable energy market has proposed a bunch of modifications and changes on the standards and regulations.

Standards Australiaissued the draft version of AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 as a revision of AS/NZS4777.2:2015 and added some detailed additional requirements for inverters. 

Australian EnergyMarket Operator (AEMO) together with South Australian Government proposed some regulatorychanges in several consultation papers for public comments.

In the following sections of the article, Solis will explain some of the major proposed changes recently in Australia together with the status of the compliance of Solis products.

2.     Draft AS/ NZS4777.2:2020

Since 9th October 2015 when the AS/NZS 4777.2:2015 was published, it has been 5 years. Standards Australia published the draft revised version and open for public comments. Even though it is not a finalized version, Solis has already started the process of document analyzing and has prepared to meet the revised requirements in the draft document.

Isolation of energy sources

In Clause 2.12, the draft AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 defines the requirements for isolating devices that are part of and within the inverter which was originally from AS/NZS 5033.

Solis worked with different DC switch manufacturers to select the suitable components to meet the requirements of both AS/NZS 5033 and the draft AS/NZS 4777.2:2020. If customers have the need of installing Solis inverters with integrated DC switch, please contact Solis sales reps for further consultation.

Inverter power quality response modes 

In Clause 3.3, the draft AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 modified the original set points to give a detailed and flexible setting capability. Compared with previous united set points for the whole Australia, the draft standard specifies 3 sets of parameters for different applications.

-           Australia A: Intended for application in large interconnected power systems.

-           Australia B: Intended for application in small interconnected power systems.

-           Australia C: Intended for application in isolated or remote power systems.

For different kind of applications, different default voltage response set points are applied which can more accurately define the response in different scenarios. Meanwhile, a wider allowed range is defined which suits for special applications.

Voltage and frequency limits (Passive anti-islanding protection)

In Clause 4.4, the draft AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 defined a more detailed two-level voltage and frequency protection compared with the previous version.

* Take the Australia A set points as an example

 

Two-level of protection can have a faster response on the drastic change of the grid voltage and frequency. For all Solis inverters, two level of protection has already been developed since a few years ago. Solis products can fully support this requirement with just a simple parameter modification.

Generation Control Function

Section 6 of draft AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 introduced the requirements on generation limit control and export limit control since there are a lot of limiting scenarios in Australia.

Generation limit control indicates the limiting on the inverter output port to reduce the inverter output power thus meeting the specific connection requirement. Solis already supports the generation limit control by using the inverter internal measurements and a simple setting on the inverter LCD is able to de-rate the inverter generation.

Above sections may not cover all the changes of the draft standard, but generally speaking, Solis is in the process of analyzing the full draft document of AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 and Solis guarantees the future full compliance of the officially released standard requirements. 

3. Consultation papers from AEMO and SA government

Background: Recently, AEMO worked with SA government and performed some technical investigations and tests. Then a technical report about minimum operational demand thresholds in South Australia has been prepared by AEMO for SA government.

With a higher penetration of distributed energy resources within the SA network, the minimum operational demand reaches a lowest value of 458MW in 2019 at one day noon of Nov. And it is estimated to continuously decrease to zero by late 2022. Following are the corresponding consultation topics related to solar inverters.

  

Remote disconnection and reconnection requirements for distributed solar generating plants

Solis has already supported the DRM control or the Modbus control on Australian version inverters and there is no technical difficulty on Solis inverters to achieve the requirement. All we do is waiting for SA government’s final decision.

Export limit requirements for distributed solar generating systems

Export limit requirements for distributed solar generating systems SA government proposed to require the solar system to be capable of being export limited and for export limits to be updated remotely. And the proposal is technology neutral which allows for variety of ways to achieve this. This function can also bring the SA network with a flexible control of the system export power.

Current Solis Australian inverters can perfectly meet this requirement by either using a Solis smart meter for one inverter or using an external Solis export power manager for multiple units of inverters. Through the Solis monitoring system, Solis technicians are able to modify the export limits remotely as requested by customers or the network operator without a person being required to attend the site.

New low voltage ride-through requirements for smart inverters

AEMO and SA government did some tests on solar inverters in the Australian market for the last a few years and find out a lot of inverters does not have the capability to withstand the voltage disturbance which can easily disconnect from the network and lead to a worse situation on the voltage disturbances within the network. This voltage disturbance withstand capability is essential for system stability which has also been added into the draft AS/NZS 4777.2: 2020.

After receiving the detailed test procedure from AEMO, Solis testing department has lunched the initial test for current Solis Australian inverters and the result is positive. Solis will continually work with 3rd party certification organizations on these testing requirements and ensure a certified test report to be provided to Clean Energy Council for updating the approval list.

4. Summary

Solis is always one of the major players in Australian market and we will keep following the latest standard and regulation proposals and updating the products if necessary to meet there quirements as soon as possible. Solis has full preparation for the coming changes in the Australian market and is always keen on providing the mostreliable and trustable products for customers in Australia.

About Ginlong Technologies:

Established in 2005, Ginlong Technologies (Stock Code: 300763.SZ) is one of the most experienced and largest manufacturers of PV string inverters in the world. With 1,000+ employees worldwide, and 200+ technicians in the company. Presented under the Solis brand, the company’s portfolio uses innovative string inverter technology to deliver first-class reliability that has been validated under the most stringent international certifications. Armed with a global supply chain as well as world-class R&D and manufacturing capabilities, Ginlong optimizes its Solis inverters for each regional market, servicing and supporting customers with its team of local experts. For more information on how cost-effective Solis delivers value while maximizing reliability for residential, commercial, and utility customers, visit www.solisinverter.com