Smart solar and battery to benefit communities and networks

Smart solar and battery to benefit communities and networks

The rapid update of rooftop solar systems in Australia has led to increased challenges in managing fluctuations in voltages on electricity networks. In simple terms this means that during the sunniest parts of the day rooftop solar systems are pumping a significant amount of energy back into the grid, which often coincides with a period when residential demand for energy is at its lowest. The lack of demand for energy means the excess solar energy cannot be ‘soaked-up’ and can potentially overload constrained parts of the local network.

Until recently the most common way to manage this has been to limit the amount of solar energy which can be ‘exported’ to the grid. These limitations can mean that solar system owners are not realising the full financial potential of their investments and that we are not realising the full environmental benefit of solar energy more broadly.

Mondo has been working with University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the community of Yackandandah on the $5 million ARENA supported ‘Networks Renewed’ project.

The project aimed to demonstrate how solar and battery systems can instead be a valuable resource for network managers, when combined with smart energy management systems.

Mondo’s Ubi device was installed on a number of homes as part of the Yackandandah portion of the trial to provide voltage management services. The trial proved that this solution can both support network voltage issues and benefit residents, both those that own the solar systems and their neighbours.

The results of the trial also demonstrated that this type of approach may avoid the need to put in place solar network limitations and, in some cases also; reduce or delay the need to conduct expensive network upgrades.

More info
  • 14 homes with solar, battery and Mondo Ubi participated in the trial
  • The trial won the Clean Energy Council Innovation Award.
  • Read more about the project on the UTS website.

Video courtesy of UTS