All commercial solar systems now require secondary protection
As of 1 July 2017, the Standards Australia has mandated that all PV solar systems greater than 30kVA 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 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.
Contact us today and get a quote to have your PV solar system tested.
What is secondary protection injection testing?
Secondary protection injection testing, sometimes referred to as “witness testing”, is performed by connecting an injection test unit (trip device, over current module, protection device, OCR, ETU) to a PV solar system to simulate a current overflow causing the protection relay to trip, and cut the flow of electricity back into the grid. During the test a multitude of scenarios are performed on the trip unit to prove the circuit breaker works within different tolerances of simulated current.
Why is secondary protection injection testing important?
Secondary protection is now an Australian Standard regulation for all PV solar systems 30kVA and greater. To ensure correct operation of secondary protection devices, injection testing needs to be carried out for electricity distribution compliance. This ensures excess current is not being fed into the grid. As more households and businesses build capacity to generate their own power, these safeguards are paramount to protecting the grid from oversupply.
What are the new requirements?
AS/NZS 4777:2015 – The standard states that any system 23kVA and 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.
For more information about secondary protection requirements and solar injection testing.
What does this mean for solar installers?
New PV solar systems
For every new solar system that is 30kVA or greater, the customer must comply with new secondary protection requirements to satisfy the network distributor that the system has a working secondary protection failsafe before grid connection is approved. This is now part of the standard Distributor Network Application process and must be completed and approved by the distributor or the PV solar system will not meet the safety requirements and be denied connection to the grid.
Grid protection approvals and implementation are often the lead cause of cost and timeline overruns for commercial solar projects. It’s crucial that all aspects of grid connection submissions contain the necessary detail to gain approval. For more information and assistance with grid connection, visit our Distributor Network Application page.
Existing PV solar systems
All existing PV solar systems 30kVA or greater are now subject to auditing and must comply with the new standard by having a secondary protection device as part of their system. This places a burden on solar installers to ensure existing PV solar systems have these failsafes in place and we recommend they carry out the test procedure and provide a test report to their customers to avoid being disconnected from the grid following a DNSP audit.
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 over 30kVA. 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.
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Referral Program for solar installers
15% discount for all referrals
Greenwood Solutions strive to provide exceptional services to our clients and therefore value the contribution they may to our business. Therefore we offer a 15% discount on your next secondary protection injection test to any PV solar installer that refer our testing services to another individual or company who engage Greenwood Solutions to perform secondary protection injection testing.
Greenwood Solutions are all about forging long term commercial relationships. For clients who engage Greenwood Solutions to perform multiple secondary protection injection tests, every sixth test will be free of charge allowing the PV solar installer to keep any fees they pass onto their customer for the service.
Preferred partner pricing
For any PV solar installer or company who promote Greenwood Solutions as their preferred secondary protection injection testing partner with a link this page on their website will receive a 10% discount on any solar injection testing services.