Sputnik’s new data logger, MaxWeb xp, with integrated network management
Biel, 04 February 2010. In December, Sputnik Engineering AG launched the web-based data logger MaxWeb xp. Like its predecessor MaxWeb, MaxWeb xp also records power measurement values, yield data and events in photovoltaic plants and transmits them automatically to the SolarMax web portal. In addition, the data logger also monitors the plant’s operation for faults and sends fault signals to as many as three recipients by e-mail or SMS. The set-up wizard helps you to configure your MaxWeb xp.
Remote control for network management
MaxWeb meets the requirements of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the guideline published by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, "Generating Plants Connected with the Medium-Voltage Network", which have been in force in Germany since 2009. They demand that grid operators be enabled to reduce the effective output
of large-scale PV plants. On the grid in Germany, access to the relevant PV plants is usually provided by wireless control signals. Since January 2009, the new requirements apply to all PV plants with a connected capacity greater than 100 kW or with a grid contact point to the medium-voltage grid.
The addition of the MaxRemote option to the expansion port integrated into the MaxWeb xp makes additional, external interface converters unnecessary. An easily navigable menu permits the plant operator to give the signal from the wireless remote control receiver unrestricted access to the necessary inverter control commands. The configuration of the command execution on MaxWeb xp is protected by a password and is also possible on the Internet.
In the words of Michel Ryser, the assistant head of development at Sputnik Engineering in Biel, "The grid operator specifies an effective output reference value which the connected plant must respond to within 60 seconds." First the energy suppliers send a wireless signal to a wireless receiver. The receiver then sends via relays digital signals which the MaxWeb xp data logger interprets and sends to all connected inverter.
Ryser says, "Usually the grid operator signals four different output levels." In relation to the rated capacity of the solar plant that means 100 percent, 60 percent, 30 percent and 0 percent. While 100 percent means no change in output, when output is set to 0 percent, the plant shuts down. In response to the 30 or 60 percent command, of course, MaxRemote reduces plant output correspondingly. Unlike the inverters of many other makers, SolarMax inverters do not need an additional interface converter. This reduces the amount of work needed and cuts costs.
The data logger MaxWeb xp signals the feed-output back to the grid operator via the SolarMax web portal or by e-mail. All the steps are stored and recorded so that the plant operator can trace the relevant events.
MaxRemote also makes it possible to meet the grid operator’s future requirements such as transmitting commands for the input of reactive power to the connected inverters.
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