meteocontrol GmbH has completed the certification process for its plant controller used in PV systems. At Intersolar Europe 2019, Liselotte Ulvgård of the certification body DNV GL – Energy, Renewables Certification handed over the component certificate to the company. With its certified Power Plant Controller (PPC) based on the new blue’Log XC, meteocontrol guarantees to operators of solar parks that feed-in will be conducted in a grid-compliant manner according to VDE-AR-N 4110 and VDE-AR-N 4120, ensuring these PV systems will be fit for the future.
Beaming faces at meteocontrol’s trade fair booth: The company is one of the first providers of independent monitoring and control systems for PV systems to receive component certification for the PGS controller at Intersolar 2019. “This certificate underscores the pace-setting role we play in Germany,” said Martin Schneider and Robert Pfatischer, the Managing Directors of meteocontrol. “Grid integration is a key aspect of photovoltaic expansion. By obtaining this challenging certification, we have achieved a significant milestone. Now, we’re in the process of developing solutions for grid-friendly PV plant control around the world.”
Grid stability throughout Europe
The legal conditions governing feed-in for all voltage levels have changed. These changes were brought about by the pan-European standardization of grid-connection requirements under EU Regulation 2016/631 Requirements for Generators (RfG) and the modification of legal conditions in Germany (EnWG, NELEV): In the past, a manufacturer’s declaration regarding PGS controllers had been sufficient. But as of April 27, 2019, the grid-connection guidelines VDE-AR-N 4110 and VDE-AR-N 4120 have required component certification on PGS controllers in addition to unit certification for PV inverters. The EU regulation is designed to create a stable power grid across Europe as a way of increasing the share of renewable energies in line with climate requirements. With its certified Power Plant Controller (PPC) based on the blue’Log XC, meteocontrol has laid the optimal foundation for the grid-connection conformity of PV systems across Europe.
More transparency and planning security for grid connections
In addition to conformity with national and international grid codes, investors and operators of PV systems will profit from the future-oriented concept of the certified plant controller: broad flexibility in system design and selection of PV system technology, wide compatibility created by interface and protocol variety, and simple configuration thanks to a comfortable, user-friendly system. This makes planning more transparent and investments safer. Commissioning costs fall as well. The new legal regulations address a gray area on the project level: Manufacturers had been issuing their own declarations to demonstrate that their plant controllers met requirements. This resulted in project-specific ambiguity during commissioning.
“Independent component certification demonstrates to our customers in advance that they will be able to meet all requirements when they use the meteocontrol plant controller,” Martin Schneider said in explaining the relevance of the certificate. “The simplified system certification requires an assessment of the PGS controller starting at a system capacity of 135 kilowatts. The requirements go a step farther for PV systems with more than 950 kilowatts of capacity, and this is crucial: These PV systems will not be allowed to go online without certified plant controllers.”
A good team: DNV GL and meteocontrol
During the certification process, the accredited DNV GL – Energy, Renewables Certification proved to be a dependable partner for meteocontrol. The certification body, an organization with the very best international connections, works today to implement and test requirements for tomorrow. The testing lab DNV GL – Energy, Renewable Measurements has measured the standardized Power Plant Controller (PPC) and submitted it to 18 comprehensive tests. Kim Mørk, the Executive Vice President of DNV GL – Energy, Renewables Certification, said the component certification was a cause for celebration. “We congratulate meteocontrol on the successful certification of its plant controller. meteocontrol is one of the first companies in the industry to gain it and will make a tremendous contribution to improved grid stability during the expansion of distributed PV systems,” Mørk said. “The component certification of the PGS controller represents another important step for efficient grid and resource use.”
The successful validation of the simulation model for the blue’Log XC controller in accordance with the requirements of FGW TG4 will facilitate the use of the model for system certification. This will enable certification bodies to evaluate the control behavior of active and reactive power control of the Power Plant Controller (PPC) as early as the planning phase of PV systems and to identify the electrical characteristics and functions of the plant controller.