Passive Anti-Islanding Protection

In 2007, a provincial initiative to develop farm biogas in Ontario faced failure due to a requirement for expensive transfer-trip anti-islanding protection. ANF Energy and Natural Resources Canada pioneered the use of passive anti-islanding protection for small synchronous generation in Ontario starting with the Terryland Farms 180kW biogas facility. Since then, ANF Energy has installed passive anti-islanding protection on 27 biogas facilities.

Embedded Plant Simulators

In 2013, ANF Energy was asked to develop a new automation system for run-of-the-river hydro-electric generation and was provided with access to a 250kW induction generator. The controller software was programmed in a PLC and included an embedded simulator of the generation facility. This enabled a high degree of pre-site testing, resulting in rapid on-site commissioning. Embedded plant simulators are now standard in ANF Energy’s range of PLC controllers including Weir Gate Automation, Transition Controllers and Power Factor Controllers. 

Neutral Grounding Reactors

A problem facing synchronous generation connecting to distribution networks using wye-wye transformation was how to provide Effective Grounding required for limiting Transient Over-voltage, without excessive neutral current passing through the alternator. In 2014, for the Eiler’s Farm 500kW biogas generator, ANF Energy proposed to the utility using a low impedance neutral grounding reactor. This was agreed, and since then ANF has installed such reactors at 19 facilities.

Busbar Overload Protection

An issue facing Net Metering generation was a Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) requirement for switchboards to meet the combined load currents of the new generation and the existing grid supply. In 2019, on a 192kW solar ground mount facility with Wikwemikong First Nation, switchboard upgrading was not feasible and ANF Energy proposed a Busbar Overload protection scheme to meet the CEC requirement. Since then ANF Energy has installed the Busbar Overload protection on five projects including the Dymon 1MW rooftop solar facility in Mississauga.

Transition Controllers

In 2019, ANF Energy was contacted by a company putting in standby power at retail facilities capable of operating in multiple modes including Standby, Parallel, Open-Transition (Break-before-Make) and Closed-Transition (Make-before-Break). A previous attempt using off-the-shelf generator controllers and communication processors had failed. ANF Energy proposed a solution using a PLC and Protection Relay. Within 60 days of receipt of order  delivered control cabinets, designed, programmed and built by ANF Energy, and commissioned successfully. Central to the development was an embedded simulator for software testing. The MTC1 Microgrid Transition Controller has now been installed at four large retail facilities in Ontario.