Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Volt-VAr control product lets utilities integrate DERs

Steve Rogerson
November 13, 2018



Israeli firm MPrest has released a volt-VAr control product to manage solar PV farms as part of its intelligent grid system.
 
The mVVC manages solar PV farms as well as traditional volt-VAr services to improve energy efficiency and power quality. It lets utilities combine volt-VAr quality targets with conservation voltage reduction (CVR) to regulate, optimise and automate the electricity distribution system.
 
MPrest specialises in mission-critical monitoring, control and big data analytics software for the industrial IoT market.
 
As more PV farms are integrated into the utility scale grid, these and other distributed energy resources (DERs) can cause inefficient operational situations that the traditional power grid is not designed to accommodate. As utility consumers demand access to more sustainable energy, the need to integrate and manage solar PV farms and other DERs into legacy grids has become acute.
 
DERs and grid-scale assets that enable solar or other renewable energy forms, EV charging and energy storage are sweeping the electricity market, driving utilities to reimagine their operational grid model. The volt-VAr control product provides utilities with visibility into the system's operation and performance, including data to support predictive failure analytics for crucial asset health management.
 
"The rise of distributed energy resources is decentralising power generation and delivery," said Ron Halpern, chief commercial officer of MPrest. "Our volt-VAr control product enables seamless integration of solar PV farms into existing power grids, advancing the transition towards providing cleaner, more sustainable energy. At the same time, mVVC enables distribution utilities to easily provide ancillary services such as VAr trading."
 
Most VVC products are designed to solve a local problem, and thus do not provide central control over volt, VAr or loss management. MPrest's product addresses this gap and allows utilities to manage voltage and reactive power in a clean, distributed generation environment.
 
The visualisation, control and data analytics product turns DERs into fully integrated tools to support safer, more efficient and more cost-effective operation of the power distribution system. The system lets utilities implement CVR across their network, which is crucial for keeping their voltage within an optimal range. The offering can integrate into existing systems to support services on all levels and provide a broader picture of the grid with more precise results, facilitating legacy power utilities' digital transformation.