Substation-level control of PV inverters and other assets.
Project OverviewThe Client
The UK's New Future Homes Standard sets out rigorous new energy efficiency standards to lower energy consumption. It aims to 'radically improve' the energy performance of new homes, making them 'zero carbon ready' by 2025.
As a first step, from 2021, all new homes are expected to produce 31 per cent lower carbon emissions as part of an 'interim uplift'.
As part of this interim target of a 31% reduction in CO2 emissions, energy-saving technologies are now being incorporated into new residential builds.
From a grid perspective, this has resulted in an urgent requirement to manage and control multiple dispersed sources of renewable energy.
As the number of domestic solar installations increases, the grid operator's requirement to control the exporting of energy from this source will become increasingly important.
Full Stack Energy was approached to design and develop a front-of-meter system to control and manage the solar PV assets for a new housing estate of 500 houses. Upon completion, there will be up to 2MW peak generation.
The requirement was to allow the substation to send export control limitation signals in real-time to the individual household PV inverters while ensuring that export limitation was the minimum required to maintain grid stability and substation capacity.
Azure, InfluxDB Cloud, PostgreSQL, Python, flask, Asyncio, Kubernates, Helm
Azure IoT Edge, Linux with custom BSP, Moxa embedded, Python, Yocto, C++, 4G Cellular, redis
MODBUS, proprietary communications standard for Solis inverters, MQTT, assorted PLC standards
Advanced technical and energy domain knowledge enabled Full Stack Energy developed an entire end-to-end system, incorporating IoT software and cloud technology over a dedicated powerline network for the substation.
This included the development of a G100 compliant home-based hardware solution communicating directly with the solar inverter, together with load controller firmware, load control algorithms and the integration of a highly reliable substation-based controller that measures import/export power flows and adjusts the downstream asset generation as well as a cloud-based management platform. For security, the solution communicates over a dedicated power line network from the substation.
The system is scalable to include support for EV charging and heat pump control and includes a failsafe zero export fallback should communication between the substation and individual inverters fail.
This solution allows the substation operator to intelligently control the exporting of power from dispersed solar PV assets avoiding overloading of the substation due to uncontrolled exporting of a significant amount of PV power.
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