Magellan's New Innovation
Passing clouds cause big problems for weak grids laden with solar power. Magellan Sky Imaging technology solves this problem and allows more solar penetration on weak grids.
The need for Solar Generation Management
Solar energy is very popular in Australia and its installation on both small (regional) and large (metropolitan) grid systems is rapidly increasing. However, the erratic nature of solar generation causes problems for the grid and more installations result in more power disturbance. For example, when clouds cover the sun, the amount of electricity the (solar using) homes generate will drop suddenly, causing this loss to be compensated by the grid. This loss may not be significant for a large, strong grid but it is for a small (weaker) grid. When this happens en mass the loss of electricity may be too sharp for the grid to cope with, resulting in too much demand on the network - thus causing reliability problems. The first utility to respond to this problem was the Western Australian regional grid power supplier Horizon Power which mandated that all new solar installations using its grid be equipped with technology to smooth the transition of renewable energy, and give time for diesel generators to operate.
Solutions: The Solar Smoother
In response to the challenge of passing clouds, since 2013 Magellan Power has been designing and manufacturing a range of battery based Solar Smoothers using both Lead Acid and Lithium batteries to suit various applications. This equipment can be described as a "reactive solution" to the problem as it "reacts" to the reduction of the solar generation by injecting battery power (in accordance with Horizon Power generation management specification) into the load to compensate for the loss of solar power.
Sky Eye Camera - the Pro Active Solution
Magellan's latest Australian designed and made product the SKY EYE works in the proactive manner.
It uses the latest imagery and predictive algorithms together with machine learning software, working in a "proactive manner" as it knows what is coming.
It "sees" the approaching weather, by tracking the cloud movement and precisely calculating the moment of impact of the cloud shadow on the solar panels and therefore the solar generation.
It then commands the solar inverter to reduce solar generation in a controlled manner, allowing the grid generator to ramp up and take the load again in accordance with guidelines of Generation Management.
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