By the end of 2016, according to Fortune Magazine, more than 70 percent of the solar power consumed in the United States came from grid-connected solar farms. The remaining 30 percent was derived from residential rooftop installation. Overall solar capacity is expected to triple over the next five years, implying a robust future for grid-connected solar farms.Every grid-connected solar farm that comes online must undergo rigorous load bank testing to ensure that each system is ready to absorb the typical electrical loads for a given area.Here are five important considerations to keep in mind when developing a load testing strategy for grid-connected solar farms:
- Investigate Inverter Performance. Inverters are the critical devices attached to grid-connected solar farms that convert DC coming from each photovoltaic panel into AC, usable by any electric-powered device. The dynamic performance of these inverters under varying levels of electrical load is an important measure for utility companies looking to maximize the output and life of their grid-connected solar farms.
- Choose the Load Bank That Is Right for You. With dozens of options in the marketplace, it’s important to talk to an expert to find out which load testing service is right for your project. Various types of load banks, such as resistive, reactive, inductive, as well as varying sizes—ranging from 4 KW to 5,000 KW—each serve a different purpose. Finding the right one can make a significant impact on the process of commissioning your grid-connected solar farm.
- Understand Smart Inverters. Smart inverters are distinguished from traditional inverters by their digital architecture, scalable software platforms, and adaptive, two-way communications capability. Smart inverters allow owners to make remote diagnoses of system failures and to initiate maintenance with unprecedented speed and precision.
- Analyze Test Data. A primary objective for managers of grid-connected solar farms is to properly analyze key data sets to determine how grid-compatible a power plant’s systems and devices are.
Comrent offers a variety of load bank testing solutions for grid-connected solar farms. Our teams use only the most up-to-date hardware and software to make sure your load testing services are efficient and effective.Contact us today to learn more and to set up a complimentary consultation.