05 Apr '12, 3pm

The Solar Inverter-Smart Grid Connection: Rooftop solar panels can really destabilize the grid with their on-a...

The Solar Inverter-Smart Grid Connection: Rooftop solar panels can really destabilize the grid with their on-a...

Rooftop solar panels can really destabilize the grid with their on-again, off-again power, if you’ve got enough of them concentrated in one place. It’s a good thing, then, that the inverters that connect solar panels to the grid can be designed to solve most of those problems -- and even add some new grid-stabilizing features of their own. So why do the IEEE 1547 regulations governing solar-grid connections in the United States demand that those inverters disconnect any time the grid gets unstable? There’s a simple answer — it’s for safety, to make sure solar power doesn't flow through a downed power line and shock a utility worker, for example. But that safety measure also prevents solar inverters from helping out in cases in which the instability isn’t caused by a downed line. Indeed, by turning off lots of inverters all at once, it can actually destabilize the grid even...

Full article: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-solar-inv...

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