New Industry Products

PV Power Plant Controller that Provides Single Point of Control

October 21, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

At Solar Power International this week, Elettronica Santerno S.p.A. will display its new Santerno PV Power Plant Controller (PPC). The Santerno PPC is a utility-scale solar power system controller that consolidates management of photovoltaic (PV) power plants, providing a single point of integrated control and monitoring. Santerno developed its own power plant controller in order to reduce costs and expand management capability and control for its utility PV customers. The Santerno PPC is a complete control solution that provides a single access point for the plant supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) control systems, including all PV inverters, the data logger, and auxiliary services. This eliminates the need to integrate a separate management system for the solar power inverters.

The Santerno PPC also provides a single, self-tuned, modified proportional internal (PI) controller which operates at the plant level to make sure all the inverters match power grid code requirements. Unlike other systems, the Santerno PPC does not require the trial-and-error approach typically used to match standard PI regulators. The power parameters are set in advance using the plant data and the electrical characteristic data for the Point of Interconnection (POI) so it automatically matches international grid code requirements.

"As an engineering-oriented company, we are always working to develop new technology that solves our customers' needs and delivers the highest return on investment. By developing our own Power Plant Controller we are able to consolidate management of Santerno solar inverters with other plant monitoring and SCADA systems into a single interface," said Franco Valentini, Marketing Director of Santerno. "When you add in support from our online Web management portal, you have a complete controller solution, including remote monitoring."

The Santerno PPC can be configured for most grid operator protocols, and is compliant with European and worldwide standards, field programmable according to local regulations. It also can be optionally configured to control static VAR compensator (SVC) or static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) at the Point of Interconnections (POI). This enables the PV plant for Extended Power Capability or Flexible AC Transmission System functions. It also has Digital Control Functions, including closed loop active power curtailment, closed look reactive power control, closed-loop POI voltage control, and P(f) curtailment control.