Advanced “Smart” Inverters for Solar & Distributed Energy

Join us March 25th for a presentation and discussion on:

 Speaker: Frances Bell, Senior Power Systems Engineer, SolarCity

Location:  Biltmore Hotel

2151 Laurelwood Road

Santa Clara, 95054


When: Wednesday, March 25th, 2015: Dinner & Networking: 6:00 pm; Presentation, 7:00 pm

Event Details:

RSVP:  Registration required

Cost:  Registration through 03/23/2015:  $30.00 for IEEE members, $40.00 non-members.  Walk-Ins if space available:  $35/$45 non-members


About the talk:

Inverters are essential for controlling and maximizing the energy from Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as photovoltaic arrays (PV), fuel cells, energy storage and wind turbines.   The inverter converts direct current (DC) from DERs to alternating current (AC) for interface with the grid and use by AC loads.  They are a critical part of a PV energy generation system consisting of PV modules, module racking, inverters, interconnect hardware and other equipment.  “Smart” inverters refer to standard power electronic inverters with advanced features enabled.  They are critical to utilities adopting solar power.  The most market-ready list of those advanced features currently comes from California’s revamped Rule 21 Interconnection, which identifies the following autonomous functions of smart inverters:

‒          Anti-islanding protection

‒          Low and high voltage ride through

‒          Low and high frequency ride through

‒          Dynamic Volt/VAR support

‒          Configurable ramp rates

‒          Flexible power factor

‒          Soft start reconnection

Standards are currently being developed that outline how smart inverters can be coordinated by central controls on distribution, which could dynamically adjust ramp rates, power factors and volt/VAR responses. This talk will dive into the smart control capabilities of today’s smart inverters, then discuss the new research and pilot projects SolarCity is implementing to drive smart inverter capabilities further.


About the Speaker:

Frances Bell: Senior Power Systems Engineer at SolarCity

Frances Bell is a Senior Power Systems Engineer at SolarCity working to create a stable, dynamically controlled grid using Distributed Energy Resources. Specifically, she is developing inverter capabilities for resilient, real-time control of distribution resources through implementing pilot projects, collaborating on new research at NREL, and contributing to creating smart inverter standards.

Prior to joining SolarCity, Frances worked at PG&E as a transmission planning engineer contributing to the California transmission planning process as well as piloting new power electronics capabilities on the PG&E system.  Frances has a Bachelors of Science from Smith College and a Masters in Power Systems Engineering from Tufts University.


See you there!

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