In the USA, people are continually moving to solar energy, and it is proven by the fact that photovoltaic installations gone up tremendously. It is just the beginning, compared to the millions of rooftop and ground-mount PV system that will be released in the market very soon. Due to this rising demand, there has to be some improvement in the grid infrastructure to become more resilient and smarter so that the electricity always flows smoothly and consistently. It is where smart inverters come into play.
Let’s first understand what smart inverter is
To become a smart inverter, the machine has to have three things:
i) Digital architecture – A typical smart inverters have
ii) Capacity to communicate bi-directionally
iii) Solid software infrastructure
These are the most cutting edge inverters in solar technology that has the capacity to integrate distributed energy resources most efficiently. Like a regular inverter, it converts direct current output generated by solar panels to the alternating current that has the usage mostly in offices and homes. Besides that, smart inverters can be used in various functions of grid support.
The demand for smart inverters is directly proportional to the increasing number of DER’s on the grid. According to the current data, few states are encouraging to use smart inverters through their own unique rules. By using these inverters, the electric grid’s reliability increases many folds because of the DER’s constant connection to the grid even if any minor fluctuations of voltage and frequency occur. Now, compared to traditional solar inverters, they were not able to handle such fluctuations.
The SEPA is confident about smart solar inverters to play a significant role in the expansion of solar technology in the future. It will not only help DER’s to penetrate much faster but will also increase the longevity and reliability of electric grids. But, the mission to be successful, inverters that are IEEE standard much be revised, and the focus should be given on the usage of smart solar inverters for any new distributed solar projects.