Altair – Controllers for Distributed Generation Management.

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Altair is a Family of High Reliability Robust Controllers for Managing Distributed Generation and Optimising Generation Capacity

The Altair family of Generation Management Controllers have been developed in response to industry demand for intelligent management & control of Distributed Generation.

The exponential increase in the adoption of Distributed Energy Generation such as Photovoltaic (PV) and Wind has introduced significant challenges for DNOs when it comes to the control of network voltages and power flows at all voltage levels on their network. When pre-defined conditions occur, generation is constrained. This results in inefficiencies in operation as well as lost generation.

Altair Controllers provide localised independent control of Distributed Generators in response to real time changes both at a local site and on the network. The Controller provides a greater degree of control over both the constraint level and constraint type applied to each generator. It operates in a number of modes, assisting the DNO to optimise the management of their network (ANM).

• Power Demand
• Voltage Control
• P-Q Envelope Control
• Active/Reactive Power Control

Altair Generation Management Controllers allow the DNO to optimise their network usage whilst assisting Distributed Generators to maximise their capacity. Controllers can be totally standalone or integrated into an Active Network Management System. The Altair controllers are modular and compact, providing a cost effective solution for localised control of Distributed Generators. The product architecture allows considerable flexibility in incorporating specific Algorithms tailored to the needs of both the DNO and the Generator. The Altair Controllers support the latest technologies with downloadable firmware for future requirements.

Altair can be readily integrated into an existing or new DMS or SCADA system via a range of flexible communications options including Ethernet, RS232 and RS485 and can operate over a wide range of fixed and wireless communications media. Altair supports industry standard SCADA and IED protocols, including IEC 61850. Comprehensive Cyber security measures are incorporated.

Intelligent Automation of the Future

Generation Management schemes

Altair Controllers support a range of interfaces for controlling generation, including:

• Analogue Output Setpoints
• Volt Free Digital Output Stage Control
• Serial / Protocol Interface

The Controllers support a variety of operating modes

  • Voltage Mode: The Altair Controller monitors the grid voltage against a desired or target level. Should the voltage exceed this level then the controller constrains the Generator until the network voltage reaches acceptable levels.
  • P-Q Mode: The Altair Controllers can be used to regulate Active or Reactive power generation to either maximise generation or to provide VAR support to the grid.
  • Power Management Mode: The Altair Controller monitors the net power flow into the connection substation from the Grid. The controller seeks to maintain the net inward power flow above a minimum level. This is done by dynamically adjusting the generator setpoint controlling the level of renewable generation.
  • P-Q Envelope Monitoring: ZIV Automation`s Altair Controllers monitor the power flowing at the generation point and checks it against the P-Q Grid Code Envelope. If the power falls outside the envelope for a pre-defined time then the generation is curtailed and an alarm generated for SCADA.


Key features

  • Standalone Controller installed at Grid Connection Point
  • Maximises Generation Capacity
  • Active/Reactive Power Management
  • Voltage Management
  • PQ Grid-code monitoring
  • Integrates in wider ANM scheme
  • Intelligent Programmable Constraint Management
  • High Accuracy AC Measurement
  • Digital / Analogue Generation Setpoint
  • Fail-safe and Reliable Operation
  • SCADA Protocol Support
  • Fast /Low Cost Installation


Technical Characteristics

Controllable Modes  
Operational Modes

Failsafe Operation

Voltage, VAR, Power Management, P-Q Envelope

Failsafe limits and associated failsafe actions

Monitoring Unit  
RTU Type USP-020 with plug-in I/O modules
Available I/O Modules Status Inputs, Control Outputs, DC Analogue Inputs (0.1% accuracy),
AC Analogue Inputs with metering and FPI functionality (+/- 0.5% Accuracy (0.1% on request))
Communication Ports 3 RS232/485 + 1 Ethernet (+ 1 RS232/485 + 1 Ethernet Optional)
Generator & Switch Control Unit  
Generator Control modes

Serial Control

Analogue setpoints, digital level control or serial control

Modbus, IEC 103, IEC 61850, others on request

Switch Control Form A (Normally Open, Double Pole)

10A @ 60VDC; 2.5A @ 100VDC contacts wired in series

Optional Operator Display Panel  
Mode Selection & Stage Curtailment Buttons Pushbutton selection tailored to Utility Requirements
Security Optional lockable covers + optional confirmation button
Battery Test Pushbutton operation and LED indication for “Test In-progress“
Other Indications LV Fail; No Battery; Battery Low; Battery Fail; Load Test; Charging
Input LV Supply 85-265 Vac 50/60Hz – (Isolation: 5kV RMS for 1 minute)
Power Management Unit Rating 50W or 150W Options
Control Actuator Voltage 24V DC (follows battery voltage i.e. 20.4V…28.8V)
Auxiliary Voltage for Communications Device 12V DC +/-10% (10.8V…to 13.2V);
Battery Voltage 24V DC nominal
Charging Type Temperature Compensated Intelligent Charging
Boost Charging  At low battery voltage + configurable limits for low temperature
Protection  2-stage Deep Discharge Protection (configurable)
Protection Reverse Polarity Protection
Plant Connections Either enclosure glands or Bulkhead Plug/Socket Connectors
Enclosure Type Standard / Slimline and Standard / Vandal-proof
Dimensions 1000(h) x 375 (w) 125(d) mm (alternative sizes available)
Weight Approx. 32kg + Batteries
Electromagnetic Immunity  
High Frequency Disturbance IEC 60255-22-1 Class 3 and C37.90.1
Fast Transient Disturbance IEC 61000-4-4 Class 4 and C37.90.1
Electrostatic Discharge IEC 61000-4-2
Radiated Immunity IEC 61000-4-3 & IEC 60255-22-3
Emissions IEC 61000-6-4
Environmental Conditions

·         Continuous Operation

·         Transportation and Storage

IEC 60068-2-1 &  IEC 60068-2-2

·         -20 to +60 °C

·         -40 to +85°°C

Relative Humidity IEC 60068-2-3 & IEC 60068-2-30 (0 to 95% non-condensing)
Vibration IEC 60068-2-6 & 60255-21-1 Class 2



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