Investigating load scenarios for grid-forming inverters


A German consortium led by Fraunhofer ISE, inverter manufacturer Kaco New Energy, and semiconductor supplier Infineon Technologies AG plans to develop grid-forming (GFM) synchronous inverters for solar plants.

The “Stabil” research project aims to investigate the potential load scenarios to which grid-forming inverters could be exposed in the future.

“Based on these investigations, conclusions will be drawn about the optimal and cost-efficient dimensioning, especially with regard to the power semiconductors,” said Fraunhofer ISE.

The consortium will measure the performance of the first grid-forming inverter prototypes at a PV plant in Dürbheim, Germany. The aim of these first tests is to examine the performance of the devices under real operating conditions, stress factors, and typical stress profiles.

After these tests are finalized, experts from the three entities will be able to develop so-called “mission profiles,” which define values such as global horizontal, direct, and diffuse irradiances and ambient temperature.

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“These will be analyzed in the laboratory in combination with the identified future loads,” they said. “From this feedback, recommendations of an optimized design for durable devices and their components with long lifetimes are to be derived and presented to the public.”

Kaco New Energy will participate in the project by integrating the grid-forming control for PV into its devices. Infineon Technologies will provide optimized semiconductor modules for the inverters.

“In the energy system of the future, which will be largely built without the grid-forming synchronous machines in today’s must-run conventional power plants, grid-forming inverters must provide grid stability not only during normal operation, but also during severe grid faults,” said Fraunhofer ISE.

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