macevedo avatar image
macevedo asked

Can my ESS produce reactive power to the grid?

I have a ESS with two Quattro and solar power. I have feed in excess power enabled.

This has been operating for two full months and the house meter has

  1. 941 kWh Total Active energy consumed (from grid)
  2. 600 kWh Total Actve enery fed (to the grid)
  3. 40 kVARh Total reactive energy consumed
  4. 330 kVARh Total reactive energy fed

I can understand some consumption of reactive power due to some pump motors we have, but not the export of reactive power.

Any help on this is much appreciated.

ESSgridpower meter
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Rob Duthie avatar image Rob Duthie commented ·


Not sure if the invertor can export reactive power, its charger has a power factor of 1, is all it says in the technical specs.

Depending on the grid code setting requirements. Need to ask victron technical engineers

as it is not mention any where in there manuals at all?

Normally they are set to a range of .8 to 1 unity PF, most modern grid tied inverters do.

Not sure on these Victron units.

If you want to lower your kVAr demand fit power factor correction capacitors across your motors, this will make your system much more efficient and save your power consumption.\ even more.

So you must have a smart meter depending on your power company, they will bill you extra kVAr demand charge as well as kW charge, depending on the country your are in and the power companies policy.

If you want to know what size capactors to fit across your motors, i will need the voltage

and current rating, HP, Kw or the name plate ratings from the motor, so i can calculate it for you if required.

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Keith Arnold avatar image Keith Arnold commented ·

Unless you are billed on a kVA demand one would not want to generate kVAr’s. All the active energy is in the kW’s. So with unity power factor all the amps is going toward kW.

kVAr is called apparent energy, it creates higher amps without doing any work.

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fatbloke avatar image fatbloke commented ·
Did you every get to the bottom of this, Macevedo?

I seem to be "exporting" 4.5-5A of Reactive Power and cannot find out why/where it comes from. I suspect my Quattro (I have little else in terms of motors) and that's set to the standard UK code.

I'd like to use an iBoost which has a clamp on the grid cable and switches on the immersion heater. But it detects the Reactive Power being exported so never turns on the immersion. Annoying.

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apple047 avatar image apple047 fatbloke commented ·

you can play with power factor correction, this can be done as a function of % of power generated, a set value of Q and other. Unfortunately, it won't be G99 compliant if you change PF other than 1.00 consent from DNO is needed.


in your scenario the heating element can't use the exported reactive power anyway as its a resistive load so you're not at a loss.

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fatbloke avatar image fatbloke apple047 commented ·

Thank you (belatedly).

its a domestic environment although I probably have more fridges/freezers than most, plus larger central heating pumps. These are obviously intermittent loads but the 4.5A seems to be quite stable; any ideas what might be causing it?

I also didn’t understand your comment of “no loss”.

other than the clamp which reads my export to turn on my immersion heater not working, should I not worry about it as it’s not using/wasting any real power or impacting on my batteries?

i appreciate your help; ‘Thanks!”.

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1 Answer
Johannes Boonstra (Victron Energy Staff) avatar image
Johannes Boonstra (Victron Energy Staff) answered ·

Correct, an inverter cannot send reactive power to the grid and will try to be powerfactor 1 at all times.

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macevedo avatar image macevedo commented ·

Thanks Johannes. Is there a setting that allows a power factor range or Victron Quattro Inverter/chargers are always working as you mention?

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