Beaming faces were seen at meteocontrol’s trade fair booth with the company one of the first providers of independent monitoring and control systems for PV systems to receive component certification for its PGS controller at Intersolar 2019.
“This certificate underscores the pace-setting role we play in Germany,” said Martin Schneider and Robert Pfatischer, managing directors of meteocontrol. “Grid integration is a key aspect of photovoltaic expansion. By obtaining this challenging certification, we have achieved a significant milestone. Now, we’re in the process of developing solutions for grid-friendly PV plant control around the world.”
Grid stability throughout Europe
The legal conditions governing feed-in for all voltage levels have changed. The changes were brought about by pan-European standardization of grid-connection requirements under EU Regulation 2016/631, Requirements for Generators (RfG) and the modification of legal conditions in Germany (EnWG, NELEV). In the past, a manufacturer’s declaration regarding PGS controllers was sufficient. But as of April 27, grid-connection guidelines VDE-AR-N 4110 and VDE-AR-N 4120 have required component certification on PGS controllers in addition to unit certification for PV inverters. The EU regulation is designed to create a stable power grid across Europe as a way of increasing the share of renewable energies. With its certified Power Plant Controller, based on the blue’Log XC, meteocontrol has laid the optimal foundation for grid-connection conformity of PV systems across Europe.
More transparency and planning security for grid connections
In addition to conformity with national and international grid codes, investors and operators of PV systems will profit from the future-oriented concept of the certified plant controller: broad flexibility in system design and selection of PV system technology; wide compatibility, enabled by interface and protocol variety; and simple configuration thanks to a comfortable, user-friendly system. This makes planning more transparent and investments safer. Commissioning costs fall as well. The new legal regulations address a gray area at project level. Manufacturers had been issuing declarations to demonstrate plant controllers met requirements, resulting in project-specific ambiguity during commissioning.
“Independent component certification demonstrates to our customers in advance that they will be able to meet all requirements when they use the meteocontrol plant controller,” said Schneider. “The simplified system certification requires an assessment of the PGS controller, starting at a system capacity of 135 kW. The requirements go a step farther for PV systems with more than 950 kW of capacity and this is crucial: These PV systems will not be allowed to go online without certified plant controllers.”
A good team: DNV GL and meteocontrol
During the certification process, the accredited DNV GL – Energy, Renewables Certification proved a dependable partner for meteocontrol. The certification body, an organization with the best international connections, works to implement and test the requirements of tomorrow. The DNV GL – Energy, Renewable Measurements testing lab has measured the standardized Power Plant Controller and submitted it to 18 tests.
Kim Mørk, executive vice president of DNV GL – Energy, Renewables Certification, said the certification was a cause for celebration. “We congratulate meteocontrol on the successful certification of its plant controller,” he said. “Meteocontrol is one of the first companies in the industry to gain it and will make a tremendous contribution to improved grid stability during the expansion of distributed PV systems. The component certification of the PGS controller represents another important step for efficient grid and resource use.”
Successful validation of the simulation model for the blue’Log XC controller, in accordance with the requirements of FGW TG4, will facilitate the use of the model for system certification. That will enable certification bodies to evaluate the control behavior of active and reactive power control of the Power Plant Controller as early as the planning phase of PV systems, and to identify the electrical characteristics and functions of the plant controller.