Solving the zero export issue


A Brisbane company is boosting the business case for solar with new export technology

Australia is launching into a renewable energy future, and Brisbane is leading the way. The rate of residential rooftop solar in Brisbane is the highest globally thanks to our sun-drenched year.

However, when it comes to commercial and industrial sectors, the proportion of rooftop solar installed is very low despite the potential.

How will Queensland achieve its clean energy future goals by 2030 without contributions from these sectors? What is stopping their uptake of solar?

Brisbane start-up Planet Ark Power understand why commercial rooftop solar is lagging and has developed game-changing technology to resolve the challenge.

Solving the zero export issue

Traditionally, energy has been generated at large power plants and flowed in one direction to homes and businesses connected to the grid.

Today, however, rooftop solar is creating a challenge for our distribution networks by exporting surplus clean energy back into the grid – asking the one-way grid to work as a two-way grid. This can lead to voltage fluctuations affecting the network’s ability to provide safe and reliable electricity for all.

In response, network operators have imposed zero export restrictions, limiting the amount of solar exported back into the grid. For commercial and industrial energy users, these restrictions significantly impact the economic viability of a solar system (and therefore the system size) because excess solar energy cannot be exported and is wasted.

Planet Ark Power’s solution

Planet Ark Power is a technology and engineering company that has solved this problem by creating the Dynamic Distributed Voltage Management System® (Dynamic DVMS®), which manages voltage to create the world’s first two-way clean energy grid.

With support from the Queensland Government and partnerships with leading universities, Planet Ark Power has designed innovative clean energy solutions which use artificial intelligence to radically improve returns on investment for rooftop solar in commercial and industrial applications.

But the benefits aren’t just being realised in Australia. The technology is solving a global electricity grid challenge. 

Planet Ark Power’s Dynamic DVMS® technology has received international recognition by the World Energy Council and was nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Start-Up Energy Transition (SET) Awards hosted in Germany.

The technology allows for the installation of larger solar systems, further reducing customers’ electricity bills and allowing the export of residual clean energy into the grid. “This creates a faster payback by turning customer’s roofs into income-generating assets while also drastically reducing carbon emissions,” says Paul Klymenko, CEO of leading environmental organisation Planet Ark, a proud partner of Planet Ark Power.

This article was originally published on 29 August 2019.

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