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bipedalprimate asked

Multiplus II 48/3000/35-32 and CEC Approval (Australia) - ESS Not Allowed

Multiplus II 48/3000/35-32 Inverter is CEC listed as approved as Stand Alone Inverter With Generator Input Battery Only. This means my local electricity distributor will not allow it to be grid connected in an ESS configuration.

The approval certificate is Certificate SAA181339.pdf.

That certificate shows compliance with:

IEC 62109-1 Ed 1.0,
IEC 62109-2 Ed 1.0,
AS 62477.1:2016 and
AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 Inc A1

The CEC document CEC-inverter_listing_categories_2021.pdf (p2) indicates the Multiplus II 48/3000/35-32 Inverter meets the requirements as a Multiple Mode Inverter and hence approved as a Grid Interactive inverter.

As I have just acquired 2 Multiplus II 48/3000/35-32 in Jan 2022 for use in a parallel ESS system with Fronius inverter on AC1 Out, this has become an issue.

Is there any reason the Multiplus II 48/3000/35-32 Inverter is not listed as a Multiple Mode Inverter?

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4 Answers
johnone avatar image
johnone answered ·

Have you seen the ongoing saga over UK grid compliance? - there's multiple threads on here. I say saga but it's actually a very frustrating, time-consuming, money-draining farce which is irritating a lot of people. It would seem that what is called LFSM-O compliance is one problem and it could relate to the type of technology the Victron devices are based on. In short, there are new regs, which Victron tech has difficulty with, which require all generating units, including household systems, to contribute to stabilising the grid when it's in a near-fail state (not sure about the exact detail).

I guess the compliance issues are a feature of the rapidly evolving home ESS market and so it's interesting to see your CEC 'inverter categories' doc. It must be difficult for manufacturers trying to gain compliance across multiple markets. But it's also difficult for users and so it's not helpful and is harming Victron when they adopt 'radio silence' - maybe they think they are being clever in not disclosing commercial info but, for me, we're beyond that now and we need a more open approach from Victron.

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bipedalprimate avatar image bipedalprimate commented ·
Thanks for that.

I have been vaguely following the UK grid compliance issue. Not sure if it is the same compliance issue here in Australia.

I have the asked the same question of the Victron distributor I bought the devices from but silence has been the deafening response so far.

I used to be excited about installing quality Victron gear but the documentation leaves a lot to be desired (errors, out of date, missing crucial information, etc) and the 'radio silence' you mention is starting to have me think about going down a different supplier route - at least some of Chinese manufacturers are fully certified in Australia but I probably wont have the same functionality.

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bipedalprimate answered ·

Please see response back from the CEC to Victron in relation to their application for grid connect :

AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 was written/developed with a new clause/Appendix for stand-alone inverters that can connect to the grid and draw power from the grid and but not export.

The CEC listing offers 2 options for:

  • Stand-alone inverter with grid input
  • Stand-alone inverter with generator input

To qualify for the Stand-alone inverter with grid input – the inverter needs to be certified to AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 Appendix M which was specifically written for stand alone inverter with ac grid input. Otherwise if the inverter has not been certified to AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 Appendix M, then the inverter is approved as stand-alone inverter with generator input, in which the AC input port should only be connected to a generator and not the grid.

Manufacturers are allowed to choose which of the 2 categories they would like the inverter to be approved as long as the correct certification documents are submitted during the application process.

If Victron does not wish to have the stand-alone inverters certified to AS/NZS 4777.2:2020, Victron can select the Stand-alone inverter with generator input - this will require an appropriate statement advising that for AU market for fixed household energy storage installations, the AC input port cannot be connected to the grid and only to an generator.

Please note that in Australia, the compliance of inverters to AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 is monitored by the CEC with our product compliance and testing program, Grid Operators that the inverters connect to, AEMO - the Australia Energy Market Operator, and Electrical Safety Regulators (who have inspectors to carry out site inspections).

Kind Regards,

An additional comment from my local Victron distributor is: "Victron is not tested to AS4777.2.2020 Appendix M and it is highly unlikely that they will be."

Conclusion is that Victron have made a marketing decision to not compete in the Australian Grid Tied ESS market.

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bipedalprimate avatar image
bipedalprimate answered ·

Possible workaround.

@Rob Duthie on this blog based in NZ has installed numerous Victron systems & is mostly subject to the same standards as Australia, has been using a Grid Protection Relay to 'protect' the grid and overcome the regulatory issues with Victron.

So I asked my DNSP (Distribution Network Service Provider - the company that actually delivers electricity to your meter) for a list of approved Grid Protection Monitoring Relays that will safely protect the grid when my solar installation is operating in intentional islanding mode.

Reply as follows:

"Ausnet does not have an approved list of Grid Protection Relays, however the following relays are suitable and the most used within the industry for the purpose:

1679014459080.png Regards,"

Now these are not cheap - the ABB is over AUD$4000 and the Tele Haase is about AUD$1000. They appear to be mostly designed for 3 phase supplies but the Tele Haase can be used on single phase - there could be others.

Ausgrid and other DNSP's have a larger list of which this a subset - Google "Grid Protection Relay Australia".

It seems that a Grid Protection Relay will disconnect the grid using the protection relay settings above - those settings have a wider tolerance than the Australia A Grid Code settings in VE Config. This suggests that a Victron will probably disconnect from the grid before an approved Grid Protection Relay will.

However, the Victron Australia A Grid Code settings do not show ROCOF Up or Down, Vector Shift positive or negative nor sustained 10 Min Over Voltage, suggesting some additional parameters are required which Victron cannot handle.

1679014459080.png (34.9 KiB)
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johnone avatar image
johnone answered ·

Worth bearing in mind that grid protection is only half of the new requirements in the UK. I don't know about the requirements in Aus and NZ (but assume they will be similar to UK), but the new requirement in the UK, as of September last year, is that small-scale generation systems have to contribute to grid stability. This was agreed in the industry in 2018, that as the number of small-scale systems increases there comes a time when they too have to contribute to stability.

I don't fully understand the precise technical details but here's an attempted explanation ... When the grid has to cope with an imbalance of load and supply it experiences variation in both voltage and frequency. Generators look for these variations and adjust voltage and frequency to attempt to maintain stability. When there were not many small-scale installations it wasn't deemed necessary for them to be part of grid stability. That's no longer the case. As I understand it, this is why LFSM-O compliance is the main problem for Multiplus-II in the UK. Here's a 2018 proposal for the new requirements:

As such, it's highly unlikely that installing a Grid Protection Relay would be enough to satisfy the new compliance regulations in the UK. Maybe it's different in Aus and NZ?

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