Technical Aspects - Connecting to the GridGEM Energy can make Large-Scale Solar compliant in any State.
Connecting to the grid is usually the main show stopper for large-scale connections.
Most network providers simply cannot take any more excess solar onto their network as the variations in solar production are causing all sorts of problems with local electrical infrastructure. As solar produces low voltage power, it cannot interface on a level above the local network, so when excess power gets pushed to the grid, it causes the voltage at the transformer to increase. Voltages as high as 265v have been seen when it should only be 240-250v. This excessive voltage is causing problems, such as power trips and appliance failure, for all consumers on the electrical network as electrical appliances are designed to use 240v.
To counteract these spikes, the standing voltage on some transformers has been reduced from 240v to 230v in areas with a high amount of solar penetration on the network. This allows the solar to feedback in and not cause the voltage to exceed acceptable levels.
Unfortunately, reducing the voltage of the transformer is not a long-term solution to the problem.
It means that in cloud cover or at night time, when there is little or no solar on the network, the voltage is too low and the same problems occur. This is still an on-going battle for power companies and will eventually lead to the installation of large-scale battery systems that will be able to capture excess energy during the day and ‘dump’ it back onto the network at times when the voltage is too low.
One responsibility of network owners and operators like Essential Energy, Energex or Ergon requires them to supply quality and safe power to consumers, and excessive solar penetration can cause them to fail to meet these responsibilities.
GEM Energy offers sophisticated equipment to make Large-Scale Solar compliant.
We have now even reached a point where retailers are refusing to pay a ‘Feed In Tariff’ for excess power put back into the grid and enforcing the installation of sophisticated electrical equipment that effectively prohibits any power leaking back onto the network. This equipment works in the form of an advanced relay system.
These relay systems are designed to ‘kick in’ when solar production exceeds demand at the property and in doing so will effectively shut off the solar instantly to stop any power possibly feeding back into the grid. The more simple designs simply act as an on-off switch which is not good for the power network or the appliances at the property due to the flood-gate or water hammer type effect you have with electricity when a high demand is turned on or off immediately.
GEM Energy offers sophisticated grid protection equipment to make large solar systems compliant in any state.
The Solution: Responsive Solar Systems that Ramp Up and Down.
More sophisticated systems like those used by GEM Energy and recently installed on businesses like Bundaberg Palms, Austchilli, and Gin Gin & Dry effectively ‘ramp’ the solar system up and down to meet the demands of the building. These systems are more expensive but certainly worth the extra cost. GEM Energy’s electrical engineers can ramp our systems in 1% increments while most competitors can only ramp at 20% commonly or 6% increments at the best of times.
The incremental ramping allows our systems to produce more power when others are limited.
When commencing a solar installation, GEM Energy prepares electrical diagrams drafted by our Electrical Engineers providing full visibility on our sophisticated electrical grid protection equipment. These documents are submitted to the power company to get 100% approval on the solar connection to the network.
What our customers say about us
…it wasn’t until we met with GEM Energy Australia that we were confident we were dealing with a compay that had the expertise to get the job done.Phil Sellwood