Smart Grid

Smart grid communication and solar/wind inverter design

The growing use of renewable energies means that smart-grid communication is becoming increasingly significant. This involves the energy generating device communicating with the energy consumption device in order to determine which is doing what at any given time, as well as which should be switched on or off and at what point. This requires new safe and secure protocols (e.g. HSR/PRP), which need to be additionally integrated, for example, an integrated protocol that is provided as an IP with an FPGA in order to facilitate access for the user. As the framework conditions regarding smart grids are not yet completely fixed, developers using FPGAs can also benefit from their flexibility, if necessary implementing a new protocol or new framework conditions by employing a new software variant. The IP that has already been processed will be retained and can continue to be used.

Inverter Control (e.g. Solar, Wind)

Click to enlarge FalconEye 3-level, an easy start inverter reference design

FPGAs perform very well in Solar- and Wind- inverters. For example, EBV Elektronik offers a reference design -  FalconEye 3-level -  which integrates a complete control system and demonstrates  a 3-level IGBT-control e.g. for easy integration of an inverter into the grid system. With a 3-level-topology, IGBTs are controlled so as to achieve a considerably more sinusoidal output voltage curve than that achieved by conventional solutions. This means that output filter components can be made significantly smaller and are easier to implement.