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Testing Of solar inverters

& EPC
Helen Catherine R L
Need for Testing
• Solar inverters are the operational heart and most defect-
sensitive part of every solar PV system
• Inverters are required to handle high, varying voltages, consistently
face extreme temperature ranges and are exposed to environmental
stress, for example in form of moisture and dust.
• Therefore, solar PV inverters and/ or its single components may fail for
a range of reasons.
• These reasons start from low component quality and its
quick degradation during ongoing performance,
frequent electrical transients from the panels or grid, current/ voltage
stress, frequent vibrations, usage beyond operating
limits, component contamination etc.
• In the end, malfunctioning or even failing inverters may not only result
in low power output yields, but may also offset the operational safety
of the whole solar (pv) system.
PV Commissioning Reports .

• Documentation of System As-built drawings


– O&M Manuals
– Equipment datasheets .
• Verification Certificate Certifies that commissioning was conducted according
to standard
– Needed for financing and warranty
• PV System Inspection Report Compliance with codes and standards
• PV Array Test Report Details of PV array
– Results of polarity, insulation, grounding, voltage and current tests
– Complete System Performance Test Comparison of actual performance with
estimate based on environmental conditions

• Applicable Standard
• IEC 62446 grid connected photovoltaic systems
• Minimum requirements for system documentation
• Commissioning tests and inspections
Different Tests of PV Circuits

– Check Fuses in Combiner Boxes and Inverter Ohm-meter - seek zero ohms across
removed fuse
– Open Circuit Voltage Voltage meter, at inverter, combiner boxes, module strings
– Compare to each other and expected value calculated from temperature
– Short Circuit Current Clamp-on current meter at inverter, combiner boxes and module
strings
– Compare to each other and to the expected value calculated from solar radiation
– Continuity of Grounding System Resistance meter - seek zero ohms to ground
– Integrity of Electrical Insulation on Power Circuits Mega-ohm meter (megger), seek
infinite ohms to ground
• Operating Voltage
• Operating Current
– I-V Curve Trace Trace entire current /voltage curve by charging a capacitor
• Whole System Performance Test
– Performance ratio = actual/predicted

» Operating Point Applicable Standard:


» IEC 61724 PV system performance monitoring
» Guidelines for measurement: Part 1: Measurement methods Part 2:
Capacity Test Part 3: Energy Test
Impact on Levelized Cost of Energy
(LCOE)
Solar PV O&M Maintenance Plan
Example
Solar PV O&M Costs Depend On
• Location
• Environmental Conditions
Remote
Controlled access •Snow
Restricted hours of operation
Pollen
• System Type Bird populations
Roof Sand/dust
Ground-mount
Tracking vs. fixed Humid
Hot
• Components High wind
Number of modules
Number of combiners Hail
Number/type of inverters Salt air
Number of transformers Diesel soot
• Warranty Coverage Industrial emissions
Construction site nearby
High insolation
INVERTER DC PERFORMANCE TEST
• Test 1 – Inverter “DC On” Time Delay Test

• Test 2 – Inverter “DC Off” Delay Test

• Test 3 – Irradiance Profile Test


INVERTER AC PERFORMANCE TESTS
• Test 1 – Inverter Output Time Delay Test

• Test 2 – Inverter Anti-Island Test

• Test 3 – Under-Voltage Transients Test

• Test 4 – Over-Voltage Transients Test

• Test 5 – Voltage-Oscillation Test

• Test 6 – Under-Frequency Fluctuations Test

• Test 7 – Over-Frequency Fluctuations Test

• Test 8 – Frequency Oscillation Test

• Test 9 – Voltage Ramp Test

• Test 10 – Frequency Ramp Test

• Test 11 – Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) Test

• Test 12 – Harmonics Data Recording

• Test 13 – Short Circuit Test
3-PHASE INVERTER AC
PERFORMANCE TESTS
• Test 1 – Unbalanced Under-Voltage Transients
Test

• Test 2 – Unbalanced Over-Voltage Transients


Test
INVERTER ADVANCED FEATURES
PERFORMANCE TESTS
• Test 1 – Start-Up Power Ramp-Up Rates

• Test 2 – Voltage Ride-Through

Test 3 – Over-Frequency Power Curtailment

• Test 4 – Autonomous Power Factor Adjustment

• Test 5 – Autonomous Voltage Support (Under-Voltage)

• Test 6 – Autonomous Voltage Support (Over-Voltage)


objectives of the inverter testing

• Investigate the dynamic performance of inverters


during voltage and frequency fluctuations and
oscillations typically found on the grid
• Understand smart inverters features behaviors
• Analyze test data to determine whether these inverters
are grid-friendly devices and/or what needs to be done
to ensure they will be in the near future
• Contribute to the development, testing, and/or
validation of solar PV inverter models that can
eventually be used in dynamic, steady-state, and
harmonic system impact studies
Basic equipment required for Solar PV
Inverter Test Procedure
• Grid simulator (GS): supplies typical actual
voltage and frequency deviations
• Solar PV Simulator (PVS): Emulates solar PV
panel performance
• Equipment under test (EUT): Solar PV
inverter (1-phase or 3-phase inverter)
• Load Bank (LB): Real and reactive load
variable impedance
• Power analyzer (PA): records voltage and
current raw data at high sampling rates
• Computer (CPU): control the grid simulator
and power analyzer
• The digital scope will record the raw voltage
and current data at a high sampling rate
specified for each test and will calculate
other parameters such as real, reactive
power, frequency, and harmonics.
Inverter Setup
• The test setup should employ the
necessary protection equipment
such as circuit breakers and/or
fuses to disconnect the circuit in
the event of short circuits.
• A circuit breaker should be used
to provide protection between
the DC source and the inverter
input as well the AC source and
the inverter output.
• The grid simulator has additional
internal multiple protection
mechanisms; one input circuit
breaker, one output circuit
breaker, a power contactor, and
multi-protection mechanisms.
Inverter “DC On” Time Delay Test

• The purpose of this test is to determine the


time it takes the inverter to start generating
AC power and its ramp rate when connected
to a DC source.
• Step 1: Test Setup
Turn the grid simulator ON and make sure the
voltage and frequency are at steady-state
and connect it to the inverter before the test

Turn the PV simulator ON but with its output


switch in the OFF position before starting this
test
• Step 2: Close the PV Simulator switch to the
ON position as illustrated
• Step 3: Analyze the output current/power of
the inverter and determine how long the
inverter took to reach its nominal output
• Step 4: Perform the test multiple times to
ensure the delay time is consistent
Inverter “DC Off” Delay Test
• The purpose of this test is to determine the
inverters delay time to shut down the power
conversion upon disconnection.
• Step 1: Test Setup
• Turn the PV simulator ON and connect it to
the inverter before starting this test
• Turn the grid simulator ON and make sure
the voltage and frequency are at steady-state
and connect it to the inverter before the test
• Make sure the inverter is generating power
before this test starts
• Step 2: Shutdown the inverter by turning the
PCC circuit breaker to the OFF position as
illustrated.
• Step 3: Analyze the output current/power of
the inverter and determine how long the
inverter takes to reach the minimum current
output
• Step 4: Perform the test multiple times to
ensure the delay time is consistent
Irradiance Profile Test
• The purpose of this test is to record the transients
and the overall inverter response generated when
the inverters input from the PV simulator changes
drastically due to a rapid shading of the solar
generation site.
• Step 1: Test Setup
• Turn the PV simulator ON and connect it to the
inverter before starting this test
• Turn the grid simulator ON and make sure the
voltage and frequency are at steady-state and
connect it to the inverter before the test
• Make sure the inverter is generating power before
this test starts
• Step 2: Feed-in or playback an irradiance profile into
the PV simulator as shown The irradiance profile
test can be implemented several times, in real-time
and at faster speeds.
• Step 3: Analyze the output current/power of the
inverter and determine the inverter behavior during
irradiance variability
• Step 4: Perform the test multiple times with
different speeds of irradiance to ensure the delay
time is consistent
The Inverter AC Performance Tests
• purpose is to assess the inverter performance during changes in the AC voltage
and frequency. For all of these tests, the grid simulator, inverter, load bank, and DC
source are connected as illustrated in the test setup diagram Steady-state nominal
voltages are: 480VL-L, or 240VL-L, or 208VL-L, or 400VL-L, or 230VL-N.
• Test 1 – Inverter Output Time Delay Test
• The purpose of this test is to find the inverters delay time when it is suddenly
connected or reconnected to the grid, especially its power generating to the grid.
• Step 1: Test Set upTurn PV simulator ON and connect it to the inverter before
starting this test
• The grid simulator voltage and frequency should remain at steady-state and NOT
connect it to the inverter before the test Make sure the inverter output switch is in
the OFF position (open) before starting this test
• Step 2: Power on the inverter by turning the A/C switch to the ON position
• Step 3: Analyze the output current/power of the inverter and determine how long
the inverter took to reach its nominal output
• Step 4: Perform the test multiple times to ensure that the delay time is consistent
Test 2 – Inverter Anti-Island Test

• The purpose of this test is to assess the inverters anti-islanding performance.


Detailed anti-islanding tests can be found in the Sandia National Laboratories
reports.
• This test will also provide information on the inverters transient over-voltages
generated during grid disconnection.
• Step 1: Test Setup.
• The PV simulator should be ON before this test begins
• The grid simulator voltage and frequency should remain at steady-state before and
during the test
• Set up the power analyzer to collect high sampling voltage and currents
• The inverter should be generating full power into the grid
• Step 2: Perform multiple tests by disconnecting the inverter from the grid as
illustrated
• Step 3: Analyze the transient over-voltage generated by the inverter as well as the
voltage across the terminals of the breaker that was opened during testing
Test 3 – Under-Voltage Transients Test
• The purpose of this test is to evaluate the
inverters performance during under-voltage
transients and/or sags that are typical in the
electric grid and/or IEEE standard protection • Step 2: Implement a voltage transient similar to
requirements. These voltage sags must have t the one shown Grid simulator switching states,
cycles of duration time and 1 to 3 seconds of 100% voltage to ε V and ε V to 100% voltage,
interval time between voltage changes in order to should be achieved as quickly as possible (~0.2
let the inverter to settle. These different sag ms). If the inverter shuts down on any transient,
voltage duration times (t = 3, 6, 9, and 12 cycles) the restarting may take as long as 5 minutes.
represent switching times for some common
circuit breakers. The additional tests (t = 10, 110,
120, and 130 cycles) represent the IEEE 1547 • Step 3: Lower the grid simulator output voltage
protection requirements. The t=1 cycle test (ε V) at t1 and increase it back to nominal voltage
represents a fast transient generated by at t2 as shown Start with the sag voltage (ε V)
switching equipment. level at 90% and reduce it in decrements of 10%
• Step 1: Test setup. until the unit shuts down.
• The PV simulator should be ON and connected to • Step 4: Analyze the inverter output
the inverter before this test begins current/power to determine the corresponding
voltage magnitudes and trip times, inverters
• The grid simulator frequency should remain at a voltage protection envelope
steady-state of 60 Hz before and during the test
• The grid simulator voltage should be at steady
state and connected to the inverter before the
test begins
• The inverter should be generating full power into
the grid
• The load bank must be greater than 100% of the
inverters rated power
Over-Voltage Transients Test

• The purpose of this test is to assess the inverter


performance during over-voltage transients
and/or swells that are typical in the electric grid
and/or IEEE standard protection requirements. • Step 2: Implement a voltage transient similar to
These voltage swells must have t cycles of the one shown Grid simulator switching states,
duration time and 1 to 3 seconds of interval time 100% voltage to ε V and ε V to 100% voltage,
between voltage changes in order to let the should be achieved as quickly as possible (~0.2
inverter to settle. These different swell voltage ms). If the inverter shuts down on any transient,
duration times (t = 3, 6, 9, and 12 cycles) the restarting may take as long as 5 minutes
represent switching times for some common
circuit breakers. The additional tests (t = 10, 50,
60, and 70 cycles) represent the IEEE 1547 • Step 3: The grid simulator output voltage must
protection requirements. The t=1 cycle test be increased to the swell voltage (ε V) at t1 and
represents a fast transient generated by fall back to nominal voltage at t2 shown. The
switching equipment. swell voltage (ε V) level is performed by the grid
• Step 1: Test setup simulator starting at 100% and increased in
increments of 2% until the unit reaches 124% or
• The PV simulator should be ON and connected to until the inverter shuts off.
the inverter before this test begins
• Step 4: Analyze the inverter output
• The grid simulator frequency should remain at a current/power to determine the corresponding
steady-state of 60 Hz before and during the test voltage magnitudes and trip times, inverters
• The grid simulator voltage should be at steady voltage protection envelope
state and connected to the inverter before the
test begins
• The inverter should be generating full power into
the grid
• The load bank shall be greater than 100% of the
inverters rated power
Test 5 – Voltage-Oscillation Test

• The purpose of this test is to assess the


inverters performance during voltage • Step 2: Program the grid simulator voltage to
oscillations typically seen on the grid during emulate the behavior shown for the different
disturbances. The inverter output voltage swing frequencies. Data will be collected at a
amplitude is modulated between 100% and sampling rate of at least Ψ thousand samples
90% at different envelope frequencies as per second for ∆ seconds
shown. The sample envelope frequencies • Step 3: Analyze the inverter output
(f(swing) = 0.1, 0.25, 0.7, 1, 2 Hz) represent current/power to determine the corresponding
the oscillation of the grid. voltage magnitudes and trip times
• Step 1: Test setup
• The PV simulator should be ON and
connected to the inverter before this test
begins
• The grid simulator frequency should remain
at a steady-state of 60 Hz before and during
the test
• The grid simulator voltage should be at
steady state and connected to the inverter
before the test begins
• The inverter should be generating full power
into the grid
• The load bank shall be greater than 100% of
the inverters rated power
Test 6 – Under-Frequency Fluctuations
Test
• The purpose of this test is to evaluate the inverters
performance during under-frequency fluctuations • Step 2: Implement a frequency transient similar as
typically observed in the electric grid and/or IEEE the one shown. Grid simulator switching times
standard protection requirements. These voltage between the different frequency levels must be
sags must have t cycles of duration time and 1 to 3 performed as quickly as possible (~0.2 ms). If the
seconds of interval time between voltage changes inverter shuts down on any transient, restarting
in order to let the inverter to settle as shown in. may take as long as 5 minutes; be sure to evaluate if
These different under frequency durations (t = 3, 6, this time is consistent or random.
9, and 12 cycles) represent switching times for • Step 3: The grid simulator frequency is to be
some common circuit breakers. The additional tests lowered to a sag frequency (ε Hz) of t1 and taken
(t = 10, 110, 120, and 130 cycles) represent the IEEE back up to 60 Hz at t2 The sag frequency (ε Hz)
1547 protection requirements. The t=1 cycle test could start at 59.8 Hz and then reducing it in
represents a fast transient generated by switching decrements of 0.2 Hz until the unit shuts down.
equipment.
• Step 1: Test setup • Step 4: Analyze the inverter output current/power
to determine the corresponding frequency values
• The PV simulator should be ON and connected to and trip times used for the inverters frequency
the inverter before this test begins protection envelope.
• The grid simulator voltage should remain constant
at steady-state before and during the test
• The inverter should be generating full power into
the grid
• The load bank must be greater than 100% of the
inverters rated power
Test 7 – Over-Frequency Fluctuations
Test
• The purpose of this test is to assess the inverters
performance during over-frequency fluctuations • Step 2: Implement a frequency transient similar to
typically observed in the electric grid and/or IEEE the one shown Grid simulator switching times
standard protection requirements. These voltage between the different frequency levels must be
sags must have t cycles of duration time and 1 to 3 performed as quickly as possible (~0.2 ms). If the
seconds of interval time between voltage changes inverter shuts down on any transient, restarting
in order to let the inverter to settle. The different may take as long as 5 minutes; be sure to evaluate if
over frequency durations (t = 3, 6, 9, and 12 cycles) this time is consistent or random
represent switching times for some common circuit
breakers. The additional tests (t = 10, 110, 120, and
130 cycles) represent the IEEE 1547 protection • Step 3: The grid simulator frequency is to be
requirements. increased to the swell frequency (ε Hz) of t1 and
• Step 1: Test setup then lowered back to 60 Hz at t2 The swell
frequency (ε Hz) is implemented by starting at 60.2
• The PV simulator should be ON before this test Hz and increasing it in increments of 0.2 Hz until the
begins unit shuts down.
• The grid simulator voltage should remain constant • Step 4: Analyze the inverter output current/power
at steady-state before and during the test to determine the corresponding frequency values
• The inverter should be generating full power into and trip times used for the inverters frequency
the grid protection envelope
• The load bank must be greater than 100% of the
inverters rated power
Test 8 – Frequency Oscillation Test
• The purpose of this test is to evaluate the inverters
performance during frequency oscillations typically
seen on the grid during disturbances. The inverter
frequency is to be modulated between 61 Hz and
59 Hz at different envelope frequencies The sample
envelope frequencies (f(swing) = 0.1, 0.25, 0.7, 1, 2
Hz) represent the oscillation of the grid.
• Step 1: Test setup
• The PV simulator should be ON and connected to
the inverter before this test begins
• The grid simulator voltage should remain at a
steady-state before and during the test
• The inverter should be generating full power into
the grid
• The load bank shall be greater than 100% of the
inverters rated power
• Step 2: Program the grid simulator frequency to
replicate the behavior shown for the different swing
frequencies. Data will be collected at a sampling
rate of at least Ψ thousand samples per second for
∆ seconds
Test 9 – Voltage Ramp Test
• The purpose of this test is to understand the • Step 3: Analyze the inverter output current/power
inverters dynamic behavior including the and its behavior in response to changes in the
relationship between its output values (I, P, and Q) system voltage
at different voltages. The data collected will later be
used for model development and validation.
• Step 1: Test setup
• The PV simulator should be ON and connected to
the inverter before this test begins
• The grid simulator frequency should remain at a
steady-state of 60 Hz before and during the test
• The grid simulator voltage should be at steady state
and connected to the inverter before the test
begins
• The inverter should be generating full power into
the grid
• The load bank must be greater than 100% of the
inverters rated power
• Step 2: Program the grid simulator to ramp-down
and ramp-up the system voltage in 4, 8, and 16
second durations from 100 percent to 90, 80, 70,
60, and/or 50 percent voltage under the condition
that the inverter does not trip off If the inverter
shuts down on any transient, the restarting may
take as long as 5 minutes
Test 10 – Frequency Ramp Test
• The purpose of this test is to understand the inverters dynamic behavior including
the relationship between its output values (I, P, and Q) at different frequencies.
The data collected will later be used for model validation purposes.
• Step 1: Test setup
• The PV simulator should be ON and connected to the inverter before this test
begins
• The grid simulator frequency should remain at a steady-state of 60 Hz before the
test
• The grid simulator voltage should be at steady state and connected to the inverter
before and during the test
• The inverter should be generating full power into the grid
• The load bank must be greater than 100% of the inverters rated power
• Step 2: Program the grid simulator to ramp-down and ramp-up the system
frequency in 4, 8, and 16 seconds durations from 60 Hz to ε Hz under the condition
that the inverter does not trip off If the inverter shuts down on any transient, the
restarting may take as long as 5 minutes
ENGINEERING, PROCUREMENT &
CONSTRUCTION
• The purpose of this Agreement includes design,
manufacture, supply, erection, testing and commissioning
including warranty, operation & maintenance for a period
of 5 years of a _____KW proof-top Solar PV Power System
(hereinafter referred to as the “Solar Power System”) for
the CUSTOMER/BENEFICIARY, (hereinafter cumulatively
referred to as the “Works”), for which the
CUSTOMER/BENEFICIARY has handed over the premises,
which is with a clear title and is encumbrance free, to the
CONTRACTOR, along with required approvals from
concerned authorities, and the CUSTOMER/BENEFICIARY’s
entering into this Agreement is proof enough of its consent
to start work thereon
EPC
• The technical specifications (hereinafter referred
to as the “Technical Specifications”) that need to
be adhered to by the CONTRACTOR in
implementing the roof-top Solar PV Plant for the
CUSTOMER/BENEFICIARY shall be in accordance
with the ones issued by vide RfS / Tender
No.__________dated_____ and the performance
parameters (hereinafter referred to as the
“Performance Parameters”) that shall govern the
Scope of Duty of the CONTRACTOR regarding the
Works for the CUSTOMER/BENEFICIARY are
mentioned
Determination of Tariff
• The Project Developer based on the cost bids received under the two scenarios,
• shall determine the likely tariff based on the following parameters:
• i) Capacity Utilization factor (%) - 19%
• ii) Auxiliary Consumption (%) - 0.00%
• iii) Useful Life (Years) - 25 years (Minimum) (as per CERC).
In case the Project Developer adopts any other useful life for determining the tariff, then the higher of the two
shall be adopted.
• iv) Tariff Period (Years) - 25 years (as per CERC).
In case the Project Developer adopts any other tariff period for determining the tariff,
then the higher of the two shall be adopted.
• v) Debt (%) - 70%
• vi) Equity (%) 30%
• vii) Weighted Average Return on Equity
• (Post Tax)- 14%
viii) Interest Rate - 11% (Maximum). In case the Project
Developer adopts any other interest rate for determining the tariff, then the lower of the two shall be adopted.
Contd.,
• ix) Debt Repayment period (Years) - 12 Years
(as per CERC). In case the
• Project Developer adopts any otherrepayment
period for determining thetariff, then the
lower of the two shallbe adopted.
• x) Discount Rate (%) - 10.70%
Contd.,
The tariff may be determined
considering the following formulation
Contd.,
• The design, engineering, manufacture, supply, installation,
testing and performance of the equipment shall be in
accordance with latest appropriate IEC/Indian Standards as
detailed in the relevant MNRE’s scheme. Where
appropriate Indian Standards and Codes are not available,
other suitable standards and codes as approved by the
MNRE shall be used.
• Any supplies which have not been specifically mentioned in
this Contract but which are necessary for the design,
engineering, manufacture, supply & performance or
completeness of the project shall be provided by the Bidder
without any extra cost and within the time schedule for
efficient and smooth operation and maintenance of the
SPV plant
WARRANTIES
• The CONTRACTOR hereby warrants to the
CUSTOMER/BENEFICIARY that the Scope of Work
as executed by the CONTRACTOR shall be of good
workmanship for a period of 5 years from
Acceptance. During the period of 5 years from
the date of completion of work (“Warranty
Period”) the CONTRACTOR shall rectify any part
of the Works done found defective due to faulty
materials and workmanship, for reasons solely
attributable to the CONTRACTOR.
Example
Contd.,