Gridco Systems, a provider of agile grid infrastructure solutions, says that Hawaiian Electric Co. has deployed the Gridco Systems In-Line Power Regulator (IPR) to enable integration of increasing levels of rooftop PV systems.
The Gridco IPRs help maintain reliable power delivery within required voltage limits, supporting Hawaiian Electric’s goal to triple distributed generation on its system by 2030.
“We work in concert with our planning groups within Hawaiian Electric to investigate new technologies and products, such as the Gridco Systems In-line Power Regulator, to better see and manage what’s happening on the grid,” says Dora Nakafuji, director of renewable energy planning for Hawaiian Electric.
In February 2015, crews installed pole-mounted IPRs on an overhead line identified by Gridco’s modeling team and Hawaiian Electric engineers as having voltage issues due to high rooftop PV penetration.
“With high-penetration PV on our lines, we see high-voltage or back-feed conditions on some circuits,” Nakafuji says. “The Gridco IPR allows us to see what is actually happening right at the pole that serves a cluster of customers. At the same time, it allows us to regulate voltage at that location as needed, based on how much power the PV systems are producing and power consumption by customers at the time of day.
Nakafuji adds that Gridco’s IPR allows the company to get measurements down to the pole closest to the customer load where voltage issues might be occurring, enabling Hawaiian Electric to manage those specific conditions without affecting everybody on the circuit.
“Distributed PV can impact a specific section of an electrical circuit without affecting the entire circuit,” she says. “Traditional controls don’t allow for that fine level of control, so raising or lowering the voltage on a line may help some customers but cause problems for others.”