THE NEW ITALIAN RULES FOR REACTIVE ENERGY FED INTO THE GRID
ARERA Resolution 720/2022/R/eel, in addition to the fees increasing for Reactive Energy taken from the grid published in January 2023 (of the average order of +60-70%), introduced a penalty for Reactive Energy fed into the F3 band, starting from April 2023. This is an absolute novelty for the Italian energy market, whereas in other countries the feed-in of reactive energy is already regulated at a regulatory level.
The loads that can generate reactive energy feed-in in the F3 range are few, but users couldn’t recognize them. Typically, these are fixed LV and MV power factor correction devices, which are not disconnected from the grid at night or on weekends, or MV cables that remain active even at zero load. Another insidious and little considered load is LED lighting, which in some cases has a capacitive cosphi.
In order to limit the input of reactive energy into the grid in the F3 range, it is necessary to have suitable compensation systems that are able to meet the specific needs of each installation.
Since failure to comply with the rules of absorption and input of reactive energy may lead, in addition to the payment of penalties, to the suspension of the energy supply service, it is essential to have a system in perfect efficiency.
A REAL CASE
In a production unit of a large international group located in northern Italy, steel beams are produced. The plant is equipped with a fixed MV power factor correction switchboard, which fed reactive energy into the grid when production stopped in the F3 band. With the introduction of the new ARERA penalties, the company was faced with significant additional costs.
A first trivial solution could have been to exclude the fixed MV power factor correction system during plant downtimes, but this was a delicate operation due to the possible overvoltages generated by the disconnection of the capacitors.
Another solution was to replace the fixed MV power factor correction equipment with an automatic one, but the purchase and installation costs of the latter are too high to justify the investment.
Ortea was one of the companies that were asked for a solution to this problem.
After analysing the customer’s request and needs, Ortea’s team of engineers and designers came up with an alternative solution to the two mentioned above that meet the requirements considering also the economic point of view.
This solution involved fitting the company’s system with an ICAR by Ortea Next automatic power factor correction system in LV with the voltage and current signals necessary to correctly calculate the cosphi of the loads installed on the MV side.
All this is possible thanks to the fact that the reactive energy fed into the LV system is propagated unaltered towards the MV and thanks to the firmware of our power reactive regulator which, in addition to calculating how much reactive power to put into the LV in order to have the expected result in the MV, is able to protect itself from any problems that may occur in the LV.
This solution has brought numerous advantages to our customer:
- avoidance of the dangerous manoeuvre of excluding fixed equipment on MV
- a competitive and sustainable economic cost
- a technological solution with better performance for the same function
Ortea has a network of technicians on site and throughout the countries ready to analyse any case relating to LV or MV system penalties. Do not hesitate to contact us to find the right solution for your needs: https://www.orteanext.com/sales-and-product-information-request/