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Toshiba has a new grid stabilizer

Its new GFM inverter is designed to prevent power outages

At the upcoming Annual Conference of the Power and Energy Society of the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan, execs at Toshiba plan to present research documenting the effectiveness of their new grid-forming (GFM) inverter. The technology is said to prevent power outages due to fluctuations in renewable energy output and sudden changes in demand. It is applied to solar photovoltaic energy systems to ensure stable microgrid operation.

In essence, according to Toshiba, "Grid-forming inverters applied to solar photovoltaic energy systems mitigate grid frequency drops by about 30%, promote the use of microgrids, and realization of a carbon-neutral society."

The prototype, developed in March, suppresses grid frequency fluctuations and maintains a stable power supply even when power supply or power demand fluctuations occur. The company says the inverter has been implemented in battery energy storage systems with demonstrated effectiveness.

"When there are rapid fluctuations in renewable energy output or power demands, the inverter outputs power and generates a synthetic inertia to maintain the grid frequency. This instantly suppresses sudden drops in frequency, realizing a stable power supply....

Solar and wind power are assumed to be the main power sources in microgrids, which are small-scale energy systems as compared to bulk power system. The amount of power generated fluctuates depending on the weather, and there is no connection to thermal power plants that use large turbines. As a result, power supply instability due to a lack of inertia will be even more pronounced. To ensure microgrid stability, it will therefore be essential to develop technologies to compensate for lack of inertia and stabilize power supplies, and to demonstrate these technologies and put them into practical use as soon as possible."

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