What are the new requirements?
As of 1 July 2017, the Standards Australia has mandated that all PV solar systems 30kVA and greater must install secondary protection relays and comply with the standards outlined in AS/NZS 4777:2015. This regulatory amendment delegates the responsibility on the owner of the PV solar system to comply with the new protection requirements. This places a duty of care on solar companies and installers in Australia to carry out secondary protection injection testing for their customers with 30kVA systems and greater, to ensure their secondary protection relays are functioning to meet their obligations to distributors so they can stay connected.
In Victoria, the majority of the major network distributors are mandating that evidence of successful testing of secondary protection relays is provided during the commissioning of new PV solar systems 30kVA and greater before they can be approved for grid connection. This is also the case for the likes of Ausgrid in New South Wales and we expect this to become the standard across the rest of the country in the not too distant future.
AS/NZS 4777:2015 – The standard states that any system 30kVA or greater now requires secondary protection devices on inverters that have power flow in either direction between the energy source and the grid.
Requirements for inverter integrated protection and central protection functions
For these protection relays, secondary injection testing is being mandated by some electricity distributors. After this test is completed the installer has to submit all relevant combined paperwork to the retailer for approval before final connection to the network is granted.
Another aspect of the new requirements are from July 1st 2017, the distributor may witness the commissioning on site and will request the commissioning results be provided to them. If the commissioning results confirm the protection will operate as agreed, the distributor will issue the sanction to connect allowing the generator to be connected to distributor’s network.
AS/NZS 4777.2 2016 – Clause 126.96.36.199
Central voltage and frequency protection requirements
In addition to inverter integrated protection, voltage and frequency protection is required for IES larger than 30kVA as specified in Table 1. The additional protection provides a level of coordination between the point of supply, individual inverters and equipment within a consumer installation.
- The utilization voltage for all equipment needs to be maintained within an acceptable range at all times. Increases in the utilization voltage may be caused by the supply voltage or by internal voltage rises caused by the IES, whereas the utilization voltage falling below the minimum may be caused by grid supply voltage reduction or excessive loads on site.
- The additional protection also provides additional anti-islanding protection.The central voltage and frequency protection shall have the setting parameters specified in Table 2. It should have the default set points nominated in Table 2. The disconnection time in Table 2 shall be coordinated with the inverter protection requirements of AS/NZS 4777.2.
Secondary Protection Clause
How do I to meet the new regulations?
To meet the new regulations outlined in AS/NZS 4777:2015, secondary protection devices must be installed for any system installed after 1st July 2017 30kVA and greater. In addition to this, most distributors and mandating secondary protection injection testing is also carried out.
Greenwood Solutions provides the most competitive priced secondary injection testing service to CEC accredited solar installers in Victoria and Australia. The tests take about 2hrs and we provide the testing report the same day so your customer is compliant with the new regulations.