ETAP Grid Interconnection Solutions for Solar & Wind Power Plants

Conform to Grid Codes & Maintain Compliance from
Design, Operations to Performance

Design, Validate, Control, Audit

The variable nature of renewable energy introduces power quality concerns, including frequency and voltage control, that may negatively impact the reliable performance of a power system. Grid codes, interconnection, or evacuation criteria must be followed during the proposed system design and continue to maintain compliance under grid-connected operation.

ETAP GridCode™ Solution is used for the Design, Analysis, Protection, Optimization, Operation & Maintenance of Renewable Energy Systems.

 
Benefits

Solution Benefits

ETAP GridCode utilizes a model-driven electrical digital twin with automated analysis, predictive calculations, network optimization, validation processes, and intelligent, secure power plant control hardware to ensure local grid code or standards compliance throughout the power system design and operations lifecycle.

 

Design and operation solutions for continuity, quality, and reliability of power supply.

Shift from static to dynamic plant control and reducing grid voltage variations & enhance grid stability.

Help power plants conform to local grid standards & interconnection requirements early in the design stages.

Enhance solar plant & wind park reliability using a full dynamic network model (RMS & EMT) to stabilize and guarantee reactive power, voltage, frequency, and power quality.

Meet investor expectations through an accurate forecast of energy yield and power transfer capability.

Condition power produced to interconnect with the power grid and improve overall grid performance.

Operation, maintenance, and compliance auditing including ancillary system control.

ETAP Real-Time™ Model-Driven power plant eSCADA & Power Plant Controller (ePPC) for increased transparency & investment security.

 
Solutions

Explore Solutions

ETAP GridCode provides objective assessment of grid connection for generating plants, allows for TSO/DSO based grid connection studies, design and dimensioning of RES, the configuration of optimal offshore solutions for platforms and grids & wind and PV power plant control. Leverage the Model-Driven Power Plant Controller-ePPC™ from design to operations and perform network stabilization with advanced operational planning using ETAP renewable energy management system.

Electrical Digital Twin & Analysis

Intelligent Control & Management

Challenge

Grid Compliance Challenges

A renewable power plant is a huge investment that requires control, routine maintenance, and continuous insight to keep it running efficiently, safely, and profitably. Wind or solar parks require many inverters to process the output of multiple turbines or arrays. Each inverter is capable of individual control functions but must coordinate, as a unified regiment, to appear as a single source at the Point of Interconnect (POI). In today’s dynamic energy generation environment, power plant owners, therefore, require sophisticated & integrated control solutions to meet a variety of operational compliance and interconnection standards.

An important step in assessing project feasibility is to calculate the electrical energy & revenue expected from the plant. Typically, the energy yield is estimated using simple simulation software based on estimated losses, site conditions & historical irradiance. These are good for estimation and do not capture detailed AC & DC losses, auxiliary power, grid availability, grid compliance loss, plant controller performance, and storage size optimization.

The ultimate aim of the designer is to design a plant that maximizes financial returns by minimizing the Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). LCOE does not take into account the site environmental factors such as panel soiling, which may be accelerated due to unforeseen conditions, technical faults such as an inoperative inverter or shattered solar panel due to dust or rocks, and changing site conditions such as vegetation. A plant controller should be able to detect and adapt to these changing conditions.

The logic used for the plant controllers during the design stage must be the same as that used for the operation phase for another reason. You run the risk of meeting grid code requirements during the design stage but not during operations if you utilize a controller logic in simulation mode, that is not commercially available to be used in operations. The cost to design, rewrite and maintain two-controller logics can delay commissioning and increase start-up costs.

A power plant owner/operator can easily lose their license to operate or incur financial losses should their plant fail to meet ongoing/evolving operational grid code requirements. Therefore there is a need to continuously monitor the power exchanges, power quality, and grid conditions and proactively adjust plant performance should it not be within grid code requirements.

SCADA technology is essential during the operational phase to maintain a high level of performance, reduce downtime, and ensure rapid fault detection. A SCADA system allows the yield of the plant to be monitored and raise warnings if there is a performance shortfall. A model-driven SCADA can compare actual vs predicted vs theoretical yield and provide predictive and preventive solutions. Without a reliable model-driven system, it can take many months for a poorly performing plant to be identified leading to revenue loss.

 
Key Features

Key Features

 

Design

  • Utilize & tune the Power Plant Controller in design phases & de-risk future phases
  • Utilize Python® based scripting to automate studies & evaluation
  • Perform Grid Studies including Harmonics, Reactive Power Capability, Switching Transients, Ride-Through and more
  • Dynamic model validation & parameter tuning
  • Detailed Grid Response and Plant Characteristics
  • Avoid trial & error through precision tuning & control
  • Flexibly expand & adapt functions to any plant topology and reliable grid integration

Operations

  • Continuous Monitoring of Performance Compliance
  • Solve stability problems, Operate within Stability Margins
  • Single Point of Management
  • Voltage Stability Monitoring & Steady-State Instability Evaluation
  • Optimal Support for Commissioning
  • Continuously expand compatibility for a sustainable, future-proof solution
  • Modular Interfaces with a high level of scalability
  • Handle protocol variety with a maximum level of flexibility
 
 

Grid Code Fundamentals


What are Grid Codes?

Grid Codes are technical specifications which define the parameters that a facility connected to a public electric network must meet to ensure safe, secure and economic proper functioning of the electric system. The facility can be a power generation plant, solar farm, or any other grid-connected source.


Operating Limits

Voltage and frequency limits or operating areas are defined where a generator is capable or expected to run permanently, regions of temporary operation time. It is not permitted to disconnect gen-set sooner than the time defined in this area.

Grid-code-operating-limits

Dynamic Grid Support

Ride Through (XXRT) functions support the grid during faults or short circuit events. There is a defined area or region where the power plant is not allowed to disconnect from the grid. The area is defined by voltage level and time and/or frequency limits and time. The RT function can be split into two main types:

Voltage Ride Through

  • Low Voltage Ride Through (LVRT), supports the grid during voltage degradation
  • High Voltage Ride Through (HVRT), supports grid during voltage peaks or surges
Grid-code-HVRT

Frequency Ride Through

Frequency is one of the most important indicators of power in the grid. Falling frequency indicates lack of active power in the network and rising condition implies more active power is being generated than is necessary.

GridCode-LFRT

 

  • Low Frequency Ride Through (LFRT), supports the grid during frequency decline by increasing power plant output and/or discharging stored energy.
  • High Frequency Ride Through (HFRT), supports the grid during over frequency or excess generation conditions by reducing power plant output.

Reactive Power Control

Control of reactive power is a crucial aspect and indicates the voltage health of the power system. Generator operating capability is given by P/Q ratio and maximum apparent power (Smax) is determined dynamically based on this curve.
Reactive power control is important especially in case of undervoltage when reactive power demand is increased and must be compared with the generator capability. In this situation, reactive control system may decrease real power over reactive power, without exceeding maximum apparent power Smax.

Gride-code-RPC

Reactive and Power Factor Control Modes

Number of possible reactive power and power factor control modes that may be applied to satisfy local grid code requirements include but are not limited to:

Grid-code-RPFCM
  • Fixed PF
  • Fixed Q
  • Q as function of voltage (Q-V)
  • PF as function of Power (PF-W)
  • Power as function of voltage (P-V)


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