Export Limited Sites Adjustment Now Enabled

Solar Analytics are excited to announce an update to our capabilities on export limited sites.


From 29 November 2021, users will have the ability to nominate an export limit on a site so that its performance can be more accurately monitored and evaluated, even when it is export limited.


Our data scientists used the incredible power of Machine Learning to analyse and develop this hidden but powerful new feature.


What is Export Limiting?

In Australia, Network operators in some jurisdictions apply limits to how much solar energy can be exported from a solar site. Solar Retailers are formally notified of what, if any, limits apply and are required to apply these limits as a condition of connection.


Your solar inverter will then automatically ensure you never export more than the maximum allowable level of energy.


The location, export limits and methods of achieving them vary significantly and change from time to time. To date, the majority of these limits are specified as “ongoing hard limits”, ie “maximum export limit is 5kW peak”.


Whilst this may sound super boring, export limits are increasingly common as the amount of solar being installed continues to increase. In principle, it helps ensure that networks are not overloaded which is good because we need a reliable network and if things are managed well, more people can add solar. 


Dynamic Export Limits are also expected to soon apply in several states which will allow centralised calls of dynamic limits to exports rather than simpler hard limits. Solar Analytics has partnered with several inverter manufacturers to be able to deliver dynamic export control services when requested by the Australian Electricity Market Operator. 


Although having a limit applied to your solar exports might seem unfair, the good news is networks are getting smarter and we expect to see limits reduced through smarter and more dynamic control in the future. 



How much energy is lost to export limiting?

During testing, we were able to analyse tens of thousands of residential solar sites and using machine learning, detect a sample of sites around Australia that were export limited. We then ran highly advanced simulations to develop and test our new code.


During these tests we found three fascinating gems of information:


  1. The lowest amount of energy lost to export limiting was zero! This showed us that some users are really tuned into their solar and make sure they self-consume as much solar energy as possible, successfully ensuring that they exported less than they were limited to. 
  2. The mean amount of energy lost to export limited sites was 9%, which is roughly equivalent to 693kWh over a year for a 6.6kW solar system.
  3. Whilst this might sound like a big number, at $0.05c kWh (a typical feed in tariff rate), it amounts to a very small $34 per annum of lost revenue.


So, on average export limiting does not impact much on your savings. 


However, our analysis did highlight that for some users the financial losses could be higher - so take advantage of a great monitoring system to help you self-consume more!



How does Solar Analytics Export Limit Adjustment work?

Solar Retailers and owners can now quickly and easily nominate their export limits as part of the commissioning process or on the Solar Analytics Dashboard itself. It's that simple!

May be an image of text that says "Site Export Limit Is there an export limit on your solar system? Yes No Export imit 20 SAVE /kw Export Limit Details Export limit (kW): information modified owners and etailers the the owner dashboard."


By inputting a hard export limit, our True Performance forecasts will be adjusted to reduce system expectations for predicted energy loss as a consequence of export limiting.


Our True Performance service will continue to operate and detect any abnormal performance as normal, after adjusting for expected export limits.

 

Our update is designed to work on sites with single or multiple inverters and will immediately adjust the True Performance forecasts when the limit is entered and saved. It can be applied to existing or new sites.


Notably, for existing export limited sites we will not retrospectively adjust True Performance. This allows users to easily visualise the difference - which equates to energy lost to export limiting.


We have further enhancements planned to enable even more visibility and flexibility in the future, so stay tuned if you have an export limited solar system!



Solar Analytics
We are Australian Photovoltaic Engineers, Software Developers, Scientists, Solar Technicians and Designers, all passionate about sustainable energy and the power of solar.
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