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eleXsys could increase distributed energy in low voltage networks


An invention by Brisbane company, eleXsys Energy, could reduce the need for costly distribution grid infrastructure by helping home solar and batteries better penetrate low voltage areas. 

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will supply $451,167 in funding to eleXsys Energy, allowing them to demonstrate the technology’s potential to increase distributed energy resources (DER) hosting capacity on low voltage power lines. 

Named eleXsys, the device works by regulating voltage on low voltage power lines through dynamically providing or absorbing reactive power, for the benefit of new and existing DER customers where the device is installed. By maintaining voltage within normal operating bands, eleXsys can better utilise DER, such as locally produced solar and battery storage, without expensive grid upgrades. 

The $1.92 million trial will be undertaken in conjunction with local distribution network service provider (DNSP), Energy Queensland, who will test eleXsys at its Real Time Digital Simulator facility in Cairns, showing how the device performs across a wider range of network types. The project will also benefit from several other DNSPs’ insights, as they participate in a dedicated stakeholder reference group. 

eleXsys Energy will manufacture and install five eleXsys devices, with three being directly connected to Energy Queensland’s network – one being trialled behind the meter on a customer’s premises, and the other being used for testing at the Real Time Digital Simulator facility. The final findings of the project will be made public through a comprehensive knowledge sharing report. 

Technology will play an increasingly important role in adding more renewables to our energy makeup, ARENA CEO Darren Miller said. 

“To help increase the amount of distributed energy we can have on Australia’s energy network, it’s vital that ARENA supports these new technologies such as the eleXsys which not only help to connect more home solar and batteries, but also helps to avoid expensive network augmentation works to support increased demand,” Miller said. 

“ARENA is excited to be supporting eleXsys Energy’s trial of the eleXsys device. After a successful trial in southeast Queensland, we could see the technology installed across the grid to save costs for users while also enabling more distributed renewals to be connected to the grid.” 

According to eleXsys Energy CEO, Dr Bevan Holcombe, ARENA’s and Energy Queensland’s support are critical to demonstrating applications for eleXsys in the residential DER market. 

“Existing distribution grids can be (more) supported to host much more exported solar energy than is typically the case in Australia today,” he said. 

ARENA has previously supported over $100 million of DER projects and established the Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP), a collaboration of government agencies, market authorities, industry and consumer associations aimed at maximising the value of customers’ DER for all energy users. 

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