- 1 kW to 1 MW PV Simulators
- 60/80/150/600/1000 VDC Voc Voltage range models
- Bandwidth up to 30 kHz
- High speed Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)
- Real time I-V Curve display
- Custom I-V curves possible
- Scandia database of PV panels for easy and quick selection of series/parallel configurations
- Dynamic Irradiance profile display
The ETS TerraSAS series photovoltaic (PV) simulators from Elgar are specially designed for the testing of various solar inverter testing. It simulates the dynamic electrical behaviour of the terrestrial PV solar array.
Many solar inverters generate AC ripple on their DC input, which is connected to the photovoltaic array. For single phase inverters, the frequency of this ripple is twice the line frequency. The simulator’s power supplies must not suppress this ripple as a function of their regulation loop.
An increasing number of inverters (and virtually all micro-inverters) accurately measure amplitude and phase of the ripple voltage and current to quickly track the MPP of the array. This approach allows tracking the MPP at a much higher speed when compared to conventional dithering techniques (also called perturbate-and-observe). Faster tracking of the MPP results in a much higher overall efficiency in cloudy conditions, where the irradiance is constantly changing. It is likely that all solar inverters will use this approach in the near future, since end users are very sensitive to the overall efficiency of their solar energy installations.
To satisfy this requirement, the PV simulator must be capable of reproducing the voltage / current behaviour of a solar array at the ripple frequency. Most standard switching power supplies employ very large output capacitors and inductors in their output circuits and are unable to deliver the required performance - regardless of the response speed of the I-V curve controller.
Elgar’s TerraSAS line of PV simulators are based on high speed versions of our standard products, where output capacitors and other speed-limiting components have been adjusted. This results in a speed improvement of 10 times or better.
The Elgar Real time I-V curve display is updated 20 times per second to illustrate dynamic inverter behaviour (operating point and sweep amplitude). Compared to other commercially available solar array simulators with an update rate of only 1Hz, this allows more accurate analysis of the inverter’s actual MPP tracking ability.
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When purchasing a power supply, the first choice to be made is linear supply or switching supply. Linear power supplies offer low ripple and noise specifications and have fast transient behavior. However they are inefficient and generate a lot of heat. They are also quite heavy. As a result most engineers prefer linear power supplies for low power applications. Using switching power supplies is a better choice for higher output power or multichannel applications. They provide higher power density. Switching power supplies are easier to control than linear supplies and cost about the same per channel.
DC output voltage slew rate is a rise or fall time. DC programmable power supplies have output filters that use large capacitors that store a lot of energy. It’s mainly the charge and discharge time of this filter, combined with the current demand of the DUT, which determine a supply’s voltage slew rate. The voltage slew rate is mostly independent of the connected EUT.
Stability is a measure of a supply’s long term output voltage or current drift. Stability is primarily specified in parts per million or ppm.
If more output current is required then paralleling power supply outputs is generally the solution. Ametek Programmable Power uses a dedicated control bus to connect its power supplies in parallel. The system configures itself automatically, identifying which unit is the master and which units are the slaves.
If more output voltage is required then connecting power supplies outputs in series is generally the solution. All you have to do is to connect the positive terminal of one supply to the negative of another. The limitation is that when operated in series, there are no master and slave units. Individual power supplies has to be programmed.
Upgrading to the Asterion power supply system has given us significant more testing capability and flexibility. It has been a wise investment. Thank you for your advice and support.
TEST LABORATORY SENIOR ANALYST AT UNIVERSITY OF NSW
Buying the MX45 California Instruments power source has given us enhanced testing capabilities. We have the SNK option, which is a bidirectional sink option. We are now able to simulate all grid conditions in our lab environment up to 45kVA. For me, reliability is important and I’m happy to say that we have been using this device for many years without any issues.
RESEARCH FELLOW AT UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG
We have several Sorensen power supplies in our lab and they are the lowest output noise power supply we have experienced. For any critical research project where output noise and line/load regulations are important, we use only Sorensen power supplies.
TEST LABORATORY MANAGER AT MONASH UNIVERSITY
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