Balancing power with PV systems for stable grid operation

Project state
PV plant of SMA Solar Technology AG
In the PV-Regel project, the researchers are investigating the suitability of photovoltaic systems for providing balancing power. Source: SMA Solar Technology AG

The aim of this research project is to find out how the different types of PV systems can contribute to providing balancing power in future. The project partners are therefore investigating systems with different sizes, ranging from small-scale private systems to large-scale photovoltaic power plants. To enable photovoltaic systems to participate in the balancing power market requires appropriate technical solutions that the engineers want to test in a field trial following their development.

On the one hand the scientists want to explore the fundamentals against an international backdrop. On the other hand they also want to define the framework conditions for the economically optimal integration of photovoltaic systems in the balancing power market, whereby they want to realise innovative PV power plant solutions that can provide balancing power. In this context they also want to test out an instantaneous reserve-capable megawatt battery inverter and create and evaluate practical system solutions for providing balancing power with decentrally distributed small-scale PV systems. They initially want to focus on several hundred systems but in later applications it is also possible that they will investigate thousands of systems. In addition to the provision of balancing power, the researchers also want to investigate the extent to which PV systems can be used for grid restoration purposes. To this end they will be investigating, among others, the grid connection conditions, communication interfaces, prequalification, dynamic behaviour and the availability.

Taking into account changes in the entire electricity supply system

But what will happen if photovoltaic systems contribute to the balancing power? This means that the previously used sources for providing rapid load balancing will not have to provide so much capacity. This also means that the entire power supply system can change. The researchers want to investigate this and check possibilities for optimising the entire system, whereby they will be focussing among other things on interactions with other renewable energy sources and changed load behaviour. The project partners expect the first results at the end of 2015.

Project duration

08/2014 – 07/2017


Daniel Premm
Project coordinator
SMA Solar Technology AG
Sonnenallee 1
34266 Niestetal, Germany

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