Close search
Back to results
Solar

Real-time operational PV simulations for distribution network service providers

  • $1.19m

    ARENA Funding

  • $2.79m

    Total Project Value

  • Project basics

    ARENA Program

    Research and development

    Lead Organisation

    Australian National University

    Start Date

    Apr 2016

    Project Partners

    Soly Pty Ld, SOLAR HUB, SMA, Si Clean Energy, Regional Power Corporation, POWER AND WATER CORPORATION, Essential Energy, Ergon Energy Corporation, Electricity Networks Corporation

    Location

    Australian Capital Territory, Canberra

    Status

    Current

Project Basics

ARENA Program

Research and development

Lead Organisation

Australian National University

Start Date

Apr 2016

Project Partners

Soly Pty Ld, SOLAR HUB, SMA, Si Clean Energy, Regional Power Corporation, POWER AND WATER CORPORATION, Essential Energy, Ergon Energy Corporation, Electricity Networks Corporation

Location

Australian Capital Territory, Canberra

Status

Current

This project will provide low voltage network operators (DNSPs) with high-resolution solar energy forecasting data mapped to their electricity networks.

Need

The inherent intermittency of Australia’s 1.8 million small-scale solar PV systems can create problems on distribution networks. Maximum penetration levels of solar PV are already being reached in some areas of Australia, with long fringe-of-grid lines most vulnerable.

Current sources of solar PV system power output information are time-lagged, only allowing for reactive decision making, which is too late for effectively managing high penetration solar PV variability.

Project innovation

This project will deploy an operational framework for the prediction of power output from solar PV, which groups total power generation according to low voltage network assets (e.g. zone substations). This operational framework combines solar PV installation data (locations, capacities), along with electrical network information (which zone substation or feeder line the PV site is connected to) that is provided by the DNSP partners, to make near-term predictions of the power output from those PV systems.

Forecasts are created by operational solar forecasting systems developed and maintained by commercial entity (Solcast Solar & Storage Modelling Pty Ltd). Solcast is a partner in the ANU project and has been engaged to provide global coverage of rapid update solar forecasting technologies, which detect, track and predict the future positions of cloud cover through the use of weather satellites and numerical weather models. In the Australian region, services for cloud cover imagery are provided by the Himawari 8 satellite. Solcast provides forecasts of PV power output through solar radiation forecasts produced by these operational systems, which are converted to power output predictions via proprietary PV modelling algorithms.

These innovative solar forecasts will help DNSP monitor the real-time solar generation across the distribution networks, and the forecasting technologies will provide them with enough lead-time to proactively manage solar PV-induced voltage fluctuations.

Benefit

This project is focused on identifying the use cases for solar forecasting data in low voltage networks, in order to enable network service providers to manage solar PV integration challenges with solutions such as energy storage technologies and demand management. This has the potential to allow higher penetrations of solar PV on Australian electricity networks.

More information

Contact information

Dr. Nick Engerer

+61 435 943 206

nicholas.engerer@anu.edu.au