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BATTERY STORAGE: What do you need to know?

Electricians should note that battery storage is the latest attraction taking control of rising costs of energy and the instability of supply. As this rapidly grows across the country, will you as an electrician be involved and how will this affect the increase in electrician jobs across Melbourne?

KEY TERMINAOLOGY RELATING THE AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS

Below are terms, definitions and acronyms commonly used throughout the Australian standards, including the new draft standard for battery storage – AS/NZS 5139. The following information will become the standard industry terminology.

Battery Energy Storage System – BESS: A battery system consisting of power conversion equipment (PCE), electrical switchgear and other interconnecting equipment. A BESS may be manufactured as a complete package where all above components are integrated into a single assembly with pre-engineered connections.

Power Conversion Equipment – PCE: An Electronic device that converts one form of electrical power from a voltage or current source into another form of electrical power with respect to voltage, current and frequency. Types of PCE devices include DC/AC inverters and solar charge controllers.

Battery Management System – BMS: Is an electronic system comprising of an electric regulator for the control of charge and discharge of rechargeable batteries and internal software logic. Its function is to monitor key elements including voltage, temperature, state of charge (SOC), depth of discharge (DOD), State of health (SOH), current and environmental factors. Another key function is to protect the batteries from operating outside its safe operating temperature.

Hybrid Inverter: Is an inverter with the capability to connect loads by utilising solar power, utility power and battery power. The internal logic is designed to power loads from its renewable source, as well as charge interconnected batteries and export excessive energy to the grid. It’s also designed to power loads via batteries when there is no renewable source available. This type of inverter is also known as an Intelligent Inverter or Smart-Grid inverter.

ELECTRICAL STANDARDS & BATTERY STORAGE

There are many existing Australia Standards that could be applicable for the safe use & installation of batteries and battery storage systems in grid-connect and stand-alone energy systems. Whilst these standards have some common content, it has become relatively clear that the current standards do not cover the entire scope. In response, standards Australia are in the process of drafting a new standard AS/NZS 5139. This standard will set out general installation and safety requirements, including outlining the hazards that are associated with battery energy systems and defines installation methods that eliminate or minimise these risks. Following this, product standards, grid connect standards and other applicable standards will be updated over the coming years. While new standards are being developed, the following standards are applicable for current battery storage systems.

Knowledge of the standards will increase your chances of securing a job as an A Grade electrician so note these well.

AS/NZS 4777.1: 2016 GRID CONNECTION OF ENERGY SYSTEMS VIA INVERTERS – INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS

This standard specifies the electrical and general safety installation requirements for inverter energy systems (IES) up to or equal to 200 kVA for the injection of electric power to an electrical installation connected to the grid at low voltage

The objective of this standard is to specify safety and installation requirements for inverter energy systems (IES) intended for the injection of electric power through an electrical installation to the grid. IES are distributed energy resources when connecting to the grid and need to ensure overall safe operation of the installation and interaction with the broader grid.

AS/NZS 4509.1:2009 STAND-ALONE POWER SYSTEMS – SAFETY AND INSTALLATION

This standard sets out safety and installation requirements for stand-alone power systems used for the supply of extra-low voltage (ELV) and / or low voltage (LV) electric power to a single load, or an electrical installation in a single residence or building, or a group of residences or building and are associated items with switchboards to AS/NZ 3000 requirements.

This standard covers the output of the system, over-current protection requirements for consumer mains and earthing arrangements and direct connections to single loads, single installations & groups of independent installations.

NOTE: The connection from the output of the stand-alone power system to the electrical installation is regarded as consumer mains as referenced in AS/NZS 3000. This standard with additional safety requirements shall be applied to systems with energy storage at low voltage, for system design considerations reference AS 4509.2 and Appendix A for system maintenance.

AS/NZS 5033:2014 INSTALLATION AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV)

This standard sets out general installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays, including DC array wiring, electrical protection devices, witching and earthing up to but not including energy storage devices and loads. Provisions relating to power conversion equipment are covered only where DC safety issues are involved small DC conditioning units intended for connection one or two PV modules are included.

The objective of this standard is to maintain and improve safety of PV arrays. The safety requirement of this standard are critically dependant on the inverters associated with PV arrays complying with the requirements of IEC 62109-1and IEC 62109-2 and all power conversion equipment complying with IEC 62109 series standards. PV arrays in portable equipment of less than 240W and then 50V open circuit voltage at standard test condition (STC) are not covered by this standard. PV arrays of greater than 240kW at STC are not covered by this standard.

DR AS/NZS 5139:2017 (DRAFT) ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS – SAFETY OF BATTERY SYSTEMS FOR USE WITH POWER CONVERSION EQUIPMENT

This standard will set out the general installation and safety requirements of battery energy systems, where the battery is installed on-site in an enclosure of battery room, and is connected with a PCE to supply electrical power to other parts of an electrical installation.

It will apply to battery energy systems that are constructed on site and battery energy systems that are integrated with inverter energy systems, the constructions of these integrated systems is generally outside the scope of this document. The physical installation of the complete integrated systems outline this standard shall be applicable for these systems.

Please note there are other standards not mentioned above, however shall be applicable depending on the of battery application. These include lead acid and alkaline (i.e. nickel-cadmium) batteries for the use secondary batteries application in buildings.

Source: NECA Melbourne.

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