Inverters, used for battery charging, harm the quality of the AC power supplied by the grid. Scaling up the number of inverters while maintaining grid supplies will prove a major challenge.

Rather than posing a challenge to the grid, new inverters will be able to contribute to grid stability by controlling power flow, sensing faults and disconnecting from the grid when necessary.

The standards defining the requirements for grid-connected assets are periodically revised and updated to deal with problems that may arise in the grid. The latest update of power inverter standards requires new inverters to contain grid supporting features that ensure reliability . Put simply, inverters were previously ‘dumb’, meaning that they only performed the function of converting from DC to AC without sensing what was happening in the grid.

To comply with the updated standard however, inverters will need to be able to sense and adapt to grid disturbances, helping to stabilise the grid when needed and guaranteeing future supplies.

References:

Babak Arbab-Zavar et al., “Smart Inverters for Microgrid Applications: A Review,” Energies 12, no. 5 (2019), https://doi.org/10.3390/en12050840.

Francisco Gonzalez-longatt, “IEEE 1547-2018 . Standard on Smart Inverters : Short Overview !,” no. February (2019), https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.28968.01282.

Benjamin Kroposki, “Can Smarter Solar Inverters Save the Grid? - IEEE Spectrum,” 2016, https://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/can-smarter-solar-inverters-save-the-grid.