SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Today, Rhombus Energy Solutions and Synvertec (Herzliya, Israel) are announcing that their proposed Synchroverter concept has been selected for a funding grant by Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation. The Synchroverter combines Rhombus Energy Solutions’ smart inverter technology with Synvertec’s patented control algorithm to produce a highly-intelligent inverter that mimics the operation of a traditional synchronous generator (also referred to as a Virtual Synchronous Generator). It reacts to changes in grid frequency and voltage by providing fully dynamic in-cycle autonomous frequency and voltage response, along with synthetic inertial response.
“The strength, stability, and resilience of the power grid has changed dramatically over the last few decades,” said Matty Katz, CEO of Synvertec. “Across the globe, Electricity System Operators have accepted the reality that traditional electric grid management regimes must evolve in order to properly maintain grid-stability, while accommodating the increased flow of energy from Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs), such as solar, wind, and battery storage, and that they have a responsibility to their customers and stakeholders to do so. The Synchroverter is one example of how to successfully implement such a next-generation solution that addresses the challenges associated with the integration of IBRs and how they interface with the utility grid.”
Inertia has historically been an important source of stability for the electric grid. In the classical energy grid, large traditional energy generation plants (fossil, nuclear, and hydroelectric) supply inertia, stored in their rotating electrical generators, which acts as a natural shock-absorber to any change in the state of the grid, such as sudden power plant failures. However, as inverter-based renewables, which do not inherently provide inertia, take on an increasing percentage of energy generation worldwide, the resulting drop in system inertia is becoming a significant issue. While the high Rate of Change of Frequency (RoCoF) is a primary issue resulting from a lack of system inertia, it can also take the form of voltage and reactive power variations. This translates to compromised system stability and reliability, and if severe enough, can cause damage to equipment and generator trips, resulting in significant power outages. In addition to these operational challenges, there are economic and environmental ramifications, including limiting renewables global deployment rate, significant loss of economic value, and slower execution of decarbonization commitments.
“Utilizing Synvertec’s sophisticated control-algorithm, the Synchroverter provides means to counteract the reduction in system inertia, enabling an increased deployment rate of inverter-based renewables and improving their ability to be relied upon as our main source of energy. The solution holds the potential to induce a major shift in existing grid-management practices and facilitate innovative business models capitalizing on the advanced algorithm functionalities and capabilities,” said Omer Zehavi, Head of Strategy and Business Development of Synvertec.
“Rhombus Energy Solutions thanks the BIRD Foundation for providing funding to us and our partner Synvertec to make the Synchroverter a reality,” said Rick Sander, CEO of Rhombus Energy Solutions. “The Synchroverter represents the natural combination of advanced power electronics design and breakthrough power management algorithms to create a solution that is relevant to today’s grid challenges. Synchronverter will allow communities and utility grids to increase grid resilience, while at the same time increasing the percentage of renewables in their generation portfolio.”
The Rhombus/Synvertec Synchroverter combines a Rhombus smart inverter with Synvertec’s “Synchroverter Control Algorithm” into a solution that is easily deployable, and provides remote control and data telematics via a number of network interfaces. Synvertec’s algorithms run on top of the Rhombus VectorStat management processor and software. The combination can be used as a photovoltaic (PV) controller, a battery-electric storage system (BESS) controller, or in V2G mode as an EV charger power control system (PCS). In all cases, the Synchroverter provides response times to changes in grid parameters in under 10 milliseconds – faster than synchronous generators.
The Synchroverter project is funded by the BIRD Foundation. The mission of the BIRD Foundation is to stimulate, promote and support industrial research and development of mutual benefit to the U.S. and Israel, and has approved over 1,000 projects since its inception in 1977. “BIRD Energy” is the implementation of a cooperation agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the Israel Ministry of Energy jointly with the Israel Innovation Authority, and the BIRD Foundation. This cooperation is based on the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which includes cooperation between the U.S. and Israel on renewable energy/energy efficiency research and development.
About Rhombus Energy Solutions:
Rhombus develops and manufactures next-generation bi-directional electric vehicle charging infrastructure, high-efficiency power conversion systems and energy management system (EMS) software for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable electric vehicle fleet charging, energy storage and microgrid applications. The high reliability of our solutions is the result of decades of experience developing high-power systems for a variety of applications and deployment scenarios, including UL-1741-SA system-to-grid solutions. For more information, please visit www.RhombusEnergy.com.
Synvertec is an Israeli start-up company on a mission to enable 100% renewable generation around the globe, by developing performance and grid-stability enhancement algorithm-based software solutions for inverter-based applications, such as Solar PV, Battery Storage, Electric Vehicles and Wind. The company’s flagship product, the SynchronverterTM, transforms renewable energy inverters into cutting-edge grid stabilizing devices, capable of providing all the renewable asset owner and grid stability needs, in real-time, where and when they’re mostly needed, while creating significant economic value. For more information, please visit www.synvertec.com.