ABB announces smart grid interface for solar power

ABB, the leading power and automation technology company, will introduce the world’s first fully integrated solar power generation plant controller and smart grid interface as part of its Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) system at the Solar Power International conference and exhibition to be held in Orlando, September 11-13.

With its full range of power equipment and controls, EPC and support services, ABB’s complete sun-to-grid CPV solution now offers utilities higher levels of control for next-generation grid management.

“Our CPV system advances the state of the art in the solar industry for smart grid. It provides all of the communication and control needed for today’s most advanced smart grid capabilities,” said Bob Stojanovic, ABB director of Solar Power Solutions, North America. “In addition, because it is fully integrated, it provides capabilities not currently available for any other solar plant, providing the next level of intelligence for the grid.”

Interconnecting variable generation sources, such as solar and wind, is a major challenge for utilities. Smart grids that allow utilities to manage distributed power generation deliver the benefits of energy sustainability while reducing carbon emissions. However, today’s solar plants do not provide the information and control needed by smart grids, as the solar industry consists of component-based suppliers without the systems approach necessary for integration to a smart grid infrastructure.

ABB provides a complete, fully integrated, intelligent CPV system with a single point of connection for sophisticated plant management. Operators can now control voltage, frequency, real power, reactive power, power factor, and ramp-up rate of generation to maximize reliability and efficiency on the network.

In addition, operators will have visibility down to the component level of the plant to optimize performance and O&M costs. This includes monitoring of UPSs, low and medium voltage switchgear, security equipment and transformer signals, and the ability to make operating adjustments. The controller also interacts with the energy meter, transformer, and weather station. Because the system is fully integrated, real-time and historic performance data are available for every module, tracker, and motor for the most extensive plant monitoring, reporting, analysis, and control in the solar industry.

The CPV solar plant with the new smart grid capabilities, available now and supported worldwide by ABB, is a result of an investment in, and strategic partnership with, GreenVolts®, Inc., of Fremont Calif. GreenVolts provides the world’s only complete and fully integrated solar system design.

Learn more about distributed power generation plant control and smart grid from ABB in booth 4100, Hall C at the Solar Power International event.