AMETEK Power Source Reduces Energy Consumption in Grid-Tied Inverter TestingJune 03, 2010 by Jeff Shepard
The California Instruments brand MX Series ac-dc power source from AMETEK Programmable Power is now available with a power sink option (SNK) that dramatically reduces the total energy consumed in the production testing of grid-tied inverters designed for distributed resources such as solar energy systems. By utilizing the MX Series to simulate the interconnection with the utility grid, the output power generated by the inverter is returned to the grid saving over 50% of the energy consumption.
The MX Series programmable source may be programmed to simulate utility power variability (voltage, frequency, harmonic distortion) necessary to test the inverter’s ability to source energy to the grid. In addition, the unit can dynamically test the inverter’s ability to comply with the anti-islanding tests required of grid-tied distributed resources. Islanding is the term used to describe the unsafe operation of a distributed resource in the event of a loss of utility power.
"The use of the MX Series in this application can result in significant reduction of energy usage in production testing," comments Eric Turner, AMETEK Product Manager for Solar Energy Test Systems. "Instead of using a load bank to dissipate the energy in the form of heat, over half of the energy is returned to the grid. And the added energy costs needed for cooling are also eliminated."
The California Instruments MX Series is available in power levels from 15 to 270kVA. The MX Series uses a sophisticated digital signal processor-based arbitrary waveform generator and power analyzer. This integrated, multi-instrument approach effectively eliminates the need for additional equipment to create a complete ac and dc power test system. Using a large graphical LCD display, the advanced measurement and analysis capabilities can be accessed directly from the front panel without the need for remote control. IEEE-488, RS-232C, USB and Ethernet interfaces are included and Windows™ Graphical User Interface application software comes with each MX unit.