Solar Inverter Remote Disconnection Control for SA Smarter Homes

For Installers: This Application Note describes the methods of solar disconnection that Wattwatchers enables under the South Australian Smarter Homes Program.

Links to detailed instructions for each method are included. This Application Note has the following sections:

Background

Supported Remote Disconnection Methods

    1. Disconnection of AC Supply to Solar Inverter

    2. DRM Control

Supported Solar Inverters

Relevant Agent Selection

Background

From the 28th of September 2020, new embedded generation installations such as residential and commercial solar systems in South Australia were required to comply with a number of new requirements under the Smarter Homes program including the ability to perform remote disconnection of solar inverters. Under this program, new solar installations must be registered with a Relevant Agent that provides these services using approved technology.

Wattwatchers is a Technology Partner of SA Power Networks who are the Relevant Agent using Wattwatchers devices to perform the remote disconnection and reconnection functionality.

The Wattwatchers Auditor 6M+3SW or 6W+3SW provide up to 3 channels of switching control that can be implemented to either disconnect the AC Supply to any inverter or to control the Demand Response Mode (DRM) port of supported inverters to meet the SA Smarter Homes requirements. 

Communications Options

The Wattwatchers Auditor 6 range has cellular 4G/3G (6M) or WiFi (6W) communications options depending on the installation requirements.

The Wattwatchers Auditor 6M+3SW includes cellular 4G/3G communications and is recommended for most applications as the most reliable solution for long-term operation.

The Wattwatchers Auditor 6W+3SW includes WiFi communications to reduce communications costs but requires the customer WiFi network to be always available with adequate signal strength at the switchboard installation location.

Some more information on this is available in our blog post Cellular vs Wifi for solar monitoring: how do they stack up.

All remote disconnection methods are supported with either communication option.

Supported Remote Disconnection Methods

Wattwatchers devices support two methods of disconnection to meet the SA Smarter Homes remote disconnection requirements.

Up to 3 independent switching channels are supported by the Wattwatchers Auditor 6M+3SW to also support complex disconnection of multiple inverters at a single site.

1. Disconnection of AC Supply to Solar Inverter

The Wattwatchers Auditor 6M+3SW is used with a Contactor to disconnect the AC Supply to the inverter.

The advantage of this method is that no specific hardware or software configuration is required for the solar inverter.

Any solar inverter is supported with this capability provided it is matched with an appropriately rated and supported Contactor.

This method may also be beneficial for sites where the electrical switchboard is a long distance from the solar inverter equipment or large sites with grid protection requirements where installing or integrating the DRM signals at the inverter locations may not be feasible.

Please refer to our A6M+3SW Application Note for Solar Inverter AC Disconnection for additional information.

2. DRM Control

The Wattwatchers Auditor 6M+3SW is used with a Contactor to signal the Demand Response Mode (DRM) port of supported inverters.

Depending on the configuration of the inverter, this can be implemented using either of:

  • The DRM0 command to disconnect the inverter
  • The DRM5 command to stop generation

When the DRM option is available, it is the preferred method for Solar Remote Disconnection Control to utilise the internal disconnection capabilities of the inverter. 

Please refer to our A6M+3SW Application Note for Solar Inverter DRM Control for additional information.

Supported Solar Inverters

The following is a broad range of currently supported inverters based on information available regarding the DRM capability. This information is not exhaustive and is provided for reference only. It is recommended to contact the Solar Inverter Manufacturer and Wattwatchers to confirm any specific ordering and configuration requirements.

Some specific equipment listed below have links to application notes that provide additional information required for those devices.

This list is subject to change without notice.

Inverter Family AC Disconnect Control   DRM Control
Alpha ESS Yes   Yes
Enphase Envoy Yes   Yes
Delta Home Series Yes   Yes
FIMER UNO-DM-PLUS-Q, REACT2, PVS-50/60, PVS-100/120 Yes  

Yes

Single Phase Note

Three Phase Note

FoxESS EF Series Yes   Yes
Fronius Primo and Symo Series Yes   Yes
Growatt TL X XH Series Yes   Yes
Goodwe DNS Series Yes   Yes
Huawei SUN2000 Series (with SmartLogger1000A) Yes   Yes
SMA Sunny Boy Series Yes   No
SENEC Yes   Yes
SolarEdge SE Series Yes   Yes
Solax X1 Series Yes   Yes
Solis Single Phase and Three Phase Series Yes   Yes
Soltaro Yes   Yes
Sungrow SG SH Series Yes   Yes

Relevant Agent Selection

The solar installer must select the Relevant Agent and Wattwatchers as the relevant technology when the equipment is registered with SA Power Networks as part of the network application process.

These steps include:

  • Small Embedded Generation (SEG) approval using Wattwatchers as the relevant technology.
  • Install and commission the solar disconnection equipment as per the relevant application notes.
  • Submit the Electrical Certificate of Compliance (eCoC) and select wattwatchers as the relevant technology

More information on this can be found on the SA Power Networks Relevant Agent website.