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The Inverter: A Multi-Purpose Control Element

  • The need for innovation around the control functions of inverters is great. PV inverters were initially expected to be passive followers of the grid and to disconnect as soon as abnormal conditions happened. Since future power systems will be dominated by generation and storage resources interfaced through inverters these converters must move from following to forming and sustaining the grid. As “digital natives” PV inverters can also play an important role in the digitalisation of distribution networks. In this short review we identified a large potential to make the PV inverter the smart local hub in a distributed energy system. At the micro level, costs and coordination can be improved with bidirectional inverters between the AC grid and PV production, stationary storage, car chargers and DC loads. At the macro level the distributed nature of PV generation means that the same devices will support both to the local distribution network and to the global stability of the grid. Much success has been obtained in the former. The later remains a challenge, in particular in terms of scaling. Yet there is some urgency in researching and demonstrating such solutions. And while digitalisation offers promise in all control aspects it also raises significant cybersecurity concerns.

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Document Type:Conference Object
Author:Pierre-Jean Alet, Giovanna Adinolfi, Grazia Barchi, Roland Bründlinger, Giorgio Graditi, Norbert Henze, Marco Jung, Andreas Stavrou, Guangya Yang
Parent Title (English):36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Number of pages:6
First Page:946
Last Page:951
Place of publication:München
Date of first publication:2019/10/22
Keyword:Cybersecurity; Grid Control; Grid Stability; Information and Communication Technologies; Inverter
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Ingenieurwissenschaften und Kommunikation
Institut für Technik, Ressourcenschonung und Energieeffizienz (TREE)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 62 Ingenieurwissenschaften / 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und zugeordnete Tätigkeiten
Entry in this database:2020/06/03