NREL is partnering with solar inverter manufacturer Solectria at the ESIF to develop 500- and 750-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) inverters with advanced features that can support the electric grid.
The ESIF’s utility-scale power hardware allows Solectria to test its inverters using simulated utility grid and solar PV emulation so researchers can see the impact of the inverter’s advanced features on power reliability and quality. The?ESIF’s grid simulator allows researchers to subject the solar inverter to practical abnormal grid conditions, and the solar PV simulator allows re-creation of solar variations due to weather. This unique testing capability allows Solectria to test its inverter’s controls and functionality at full power—and determine how its integration supports and impacts the grid under a variety of conditions.
This work supports the development of PV inverters that can provide bulk system support to utilities under fault conditions—which will ultimately allow for increased penetration of solar on the grid.