Inside a photovoltaic plant (PV), together with monitoring and remote control and measuring instruments, already described in our previous articles, there are communication and regulation devices, such as the gateway.
The gateway is a device used for data transmission, placed between a local plant grid and another electrical grid or system.
Generally, it is installed in the main communication grid of the plant, and it acts as an entry and exit point of the grid itself, in order to process and verify transiting data.
The communication between the gateway and the devices placed remotely occurs through the use of communication protocols compliant with international standards. In addition to the suite of protocols for communication to the outside, the gateway uses other protocols necessary for communication with the intelligent devices (IED) present in the local plant grid. Therefore, in the data acquisition-transmission mechanism, it also performs a protocol conversion operation.
In photovoltaic plants realized by C.R. Technology Systems, the gateway is integrated in the SCADA system.
One of the gateway functions is that of Power Plant Controller, i.e. the possibility of interfacing with one or more remote control centers, generally owned by third parties, for example the Local electricity grid Utility, in order to be able to monitor the plant variables useful for safe management of the grid.
The most important variables to monitor and transmit are: the voltage and current of the system, the value of the energy produced, irradiation values, module temperature measurements and ambient temperature.
In carrying out the functions of the Power Plant Controller, it is also possible to intervene in regulating some system variables, such as the power factor.
POWER PLANT CONTROLLER (PPC)
The Power Plant Controller functionality is applicable to photovoltaic production systems, in order to guarantee the stability and maximum performance of the system. This functionality is achieved through a series of suitably configured automatisms that interact with the regulation parameters of the inverters present in the control unit, operating adjustments to electrical variables. These changes are agreed by the owners of the system or by the network managers.