Industrial Electronics

Advances in grid-forming inverter technology

30 September 2021
Source: Electronics360 News Desk

As renewable energy increases its contribution to the electric grid, the U.S. Department of Energy has taken an important step to ensuring that these technologies also provide stability and coordinated services to the future grid.

The agency has launched the Universal Interoperability for Grid-Forming Inverters (UNIFI) Consortium to evaluate and design grid-forming inverter solutions, with the goal of developing a universal set of guidelines that enable seamless integration of inverter-based resources like solar, wind, batteries and electric vehicles. Inverter-based resources are changing the physics of the power system by substituting fast-response digital devices for traditional physical generators. In some locations, inverter-based resources are even close to providing 100% of local power.

Grid-forming inverters are an upcoming category of controls and coordination strategies for systems with a large proportion of inverter-based resources and could enable renewable integration at scale with added security, resilience, efficiency and affordability.

The UNIFI consortium will build consensus on interoperability and functional requirements for grid-forming technologies and will demonstrate next-generation power systems using federated hardware test beds housed at partner institutions. The field demonstrations will include at least a 20 MW system featuring different manufacturer technologies and operating scenarios.

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