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Solar Saturdays: QLDr? GSDs Ahhhh!

By 13/05/2023No Comments

So you’ve got plenty of roof space? great! and it’s facing north? even better! for the lucky few faced with this scenario, the question we see again and again is:

What’s the most solar I can fit on my roof? and usually the answer is, if you’re lucky enough to have both ample roof space AND facing North, you’d be silly not to make the most of the situation. But with more and more houses making the most of their roofs providing affordable, clean energy the QLD Government faced a problem…

Just how can aging power infrastructure cope with an influx of energy from multiple sources? after industry consolation in late 2022, the QLD Government reviewed feedback and responses from industry before ultimately deciding Generation Signalling Devices (GSDs) would be used state wide from 6 February 2023 this mandatory requirement for all systems over 10kW is now implemented on every iDeal Solar install rated over 10kW and helps support network integrity.

It works a little like this…

Power Stations are complicated beasts, taking hours to ramp up or ramp down in response to consumer demand. Normally this process is fairly straightforward with customers using power in peak times and reducing usage during off-peak times such as overnight. Power Stations have been working around this scenario for decades successfully but solar has thrown a spanner in the works. Solar systems will produce optimum power during peak sunlight hours, all feeding energy back into the grid at the same time. With Power Stations taking hours to ramp down to counter-act this, it may be too late and cause a grid-overload.

With a GSD fitted, your solar system can effectively sense when the grid is likely to struggle with peak system load by using Energy Queensland’s Audio Frequency Load Control (AFLC) network. Sent like a signal over powerlines, the AFLC network has been in operation for over 50 years and supports options such as economy tariffs and the PeakSmart program which reduces air conditioner draw in peak events.

It’s important to note that your system will continue to operate normally and feed into the grid for a vast majority of the year and GSDs will only operate in an emergency situation as advised by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). If an emergency situation does occur though, a signal will be sent to GSDs which will effectively turn off your solar system. This could last a couple of minutes or a couple of hours as the system adjusts back to normal levels.

We’re yet to see any AEMO “Emergency Events” and even PeakSmart events which ramp down air conditioning compressors are rare (we’ve seen two so far in 2023 which lasted two hours each) but this initiative will help plan in advance so more and more Queensland homes can enjoy the benefits of solar.

Book an appointment today with one of our Solar Stars who know the ins-and-outs of GSDs and can walk you through whether your iDeal Solar System needs a GSD, just how they work and ways to maximise your benefits.

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