Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre)

New Zealand's Centre of Excellence for Power Engineering. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

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To learn more about DGHostTM Service, check our DGHostTM Brochure.

Distributed Generation connected on Low Voltage Networks

The connection of Distributed Generation (DG) units, such as solar PV systems, to an electricity distribution network can cause parts of the network to become congested. This congestion is typically the result of voltage rise along feeders or the overloading of equipment in the network. Consequently, when considering DG applications, Electricity Distribution Businesses (EDBs) must be able to determine the maximum amount of DG that can be installed at each ICP in a network, without adversely affecting its operation or breaching network requirements. This amount is defined as the hosting capacity of the network. 

DG hosting capacity can be determined by full power-flow simulations of a network, or by approximate methods, such as those used in the DGHostTM Service.  The EEA Guideline for the Connection of Small-Scale Inverter Based Distributed Generation (draft) specifies appropriate connection requirements for DG applications according to network-specific hosting capacity thresholds. This categorises DG applications into a three-tier traffic light system based on the hosting capacity, as shown in the picture below. Each category reflects the likely impact of the DG exporting into the LV network, and thus if it can be approved for connection.

Three tier traffic light system for assessing DG applications using hosting capacity.

What is DGHostTM?

The DGHostTM service, developed from GREEN Grid research by the EPECentre, is a commercial service designed to allow third parties the opportunity to determine approximate hosting capacities for their low voltage networks. It requires a minimal number of input parameters, thereby making the determination of hosting capacity straightforward.

If you are interested in DGHostTM for your company, please check our DGHostTM Brochure, e-mail dghost at epecentre.ac.nz and we will get back to you as soon as possible.