AMETEK ships power grid simulation system to Chinese government's solar cell test center



AMETEK Programmable Power, a leader in programmable AC and DC power test solutions, is shipping regenerative 810kVA AC + DC source systems. AMETEK most recently shipped a system to the Chinese National Center of Supervision & Inspection of Solar PV Products Quality (CPVT) located in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China. The systems, based on AMETEK's California Instruments RS Series High-Power AC Source, are used for grid simulation in the test and certification of PV (photovoltaic) inverters. Dubbed the RS810, the nine chassis solution consists of three RS270 systems, with each system defined as three 90kVA chassis. Each RS270 system is capable of generating 270 kVA of 3 ø power at up to 520 Vac (L-L). Three control chassis allow engineers at the CPVT to configure the entire solution as a single 810 kVA, three separate 270 kVA, or one 540 kVA with one 270 kVA system. This capability provides the flexibility to size the simulated power grid appropriately for the device being tested as well as increase testing capability throughout. A key feature of the simulation system is the ability to support the Low Voltage Ride-Through (LVRT) test. This is a critical capability for PV inverters in PV power generation stations to resist, and even support, the utility under specific abnormal voltage drop conditions to avoid large-scale, severe grid voltage drop caused by a chain reaction starting from a single inverter failure. To test the LVRT capability, the grid simulator is required to generate customized voltage drops when the inverter under test is running at full power in the lab. Due to its unique regenerative mode and hardware design, the RS Series can keep working smoothly through the entire LVRT test process, including the moment of programmed voltage drop when there will be an extremely high peak current imposed by the inverter under test. Additionally, the independent phase control capability and powerful graphical user interface software enables the CPVT engineers to handle different voltage drop levels, asymmetrical phase faults and customized starting phase angle with convenience. Key features of the California Instruments RS Series include: ∑ Power regeneration. The RS Series can re-capture and return to the facility's utility grid up to 85 percent of the inverter's output, or, in other words, up to 85 percent of the energy inputted to the inverter, which is sourced from the facility grid during testing. This reduces costs in two ways: o Energy costs directly related to driving the Device Under Test (DUT) o Heat load on the facility HVAC system and therefore resultant secondary energy use and cost ∑ Simplified test configuration. This approach eliminates the need for traditional AC sources and load combinations with complex controllers. ∑ Sophisticated signal generation and measurement. The RS Series uses a sophisticated digital signal processor-based arbitrary waveform generator and power analyzer for the generation, measurement and documentation of anomalous grid conditions. This integrated, multi-instrument approach effectively eliminates the need for additional equipment to create a complete AC power test system. AMETEK Programmable Power