Inverter manufacturer SMA has completed functional and safety testing with United Laboratories (UL) according to the UL 1741 SA (Supplement A) draft standard, which identifies inverter functions required for optimal grid stability.
To achieve that, SMA says it enhanced the smart-inverter capabilities of its Sunny Boy TL-US series of inverters with Secure Power Supply to help maintain voltage, frequency and general grid health. Although the new grid-support functionality is optional as defined in the UL 1741 SA, SMA notes it will become mandatory for all new California interactive inverter installations 12 months after the highly anticipated publication of the finalized UL 1741 SA.
SMA says it developed these capabilities to meet the grid-support needs of the Arizona Public Service (APS) Solar Partner Program, a rooftop solar initiative designed to generate up to 10 MW of PV-generated power. APS will own, operate and receive energy from 1,500 PV systems, installed and maintained free of charge to the utility’s customers.
According to SMA, APS needed to be able to collect data that will help the company better understand and manage the energy flowing into neighborhoods across the state in order to achieve a more reliable and sustainable grid, while providing for greater customer technology choice. The smart-inverter technology developed by SMA will allow the utility to operate the solar installations as the utility would a power plant, ramping up or curtailing power and other control features based on the real-time needs of the grid.
“Brownouts or blackouts have demonstrated the far-reaching impacts of utility grid instabilities,” says Jeff Smidt, vice president and general manager of UL’s energy and power technologies division. “We are pleased to see manufacturers like SMA America proactively meeting the needs of a modern utility grid by developing grid-supported, utility-interactive inverters.
“SMA America’s Sunny Boy TL-US series of inverters not only meets the safety requirements of UL 1741, but also complies with the draft specifications of UL 1741 SA for Grid Support Utility Interactive Inverters that support a more stable utility grid for the future,” continues Smidt. “While Supplement A is still being finalized, by taking the lead and certifying to UL 1741 SA now, SMA America can accelerate their products to market.”
Marko Wittich, SMA executive vice president of sales for the Americas region, comments, “SMA believes achieving compliance with the expected revisions to UL 1741 demonstrates our eagerness to work with industry stakeholders to ensure solar power can continue to grow responsibly on the grid.”