What are Voltage Rise Calculations (VRCs)?


Voltage Rise Calculations (VRCs) are essential for determining the potential increase in voltage within an electrical system resulting from the addition of new equipment or loads. Voltage rise, in this context, refers to the elevation in voltage along a conductor or electrical circuit due to current flow. These calculations are crucial for ensuring that the electrical system maintains voltage levels within acceptable thresholds.

Solar contractors in Australia frequently employ Voltage Rise Calculations (VRC) to assess whether a specified home’s solar PV system complies with voltage rise requirements. Additionally, voltage rise calculations are applied within solar PV systems on the AC side, specifically between power inverters and the network connection, when power is fed back into the grid.

What are the Voltage Rise Requirements?

Voltage rise requirements in Australia are specified by both the Australian Standard and various state regulations, which outline the acceptable limits for voltage rise.

The primary and widely recognized limit in Australia is established by AS/NZS 4777.1. This standard dictates that the overall voltage rise, measured from the point of supply to the inverter AC terminals (grid-interactive port), must not exceed 2% of the nominal voltage at the point of supply. Some Australian states, notably New South Wales (NSW), also introduce specific voltage rise requirements in their Service & Installation Rules (SIR).

Also Read: Solar Panel No Voltage: Reasons and Solutions

How to Calculate Voltage Rise

To determine voltage rise, various methods and formulas can be employed, depending on the specific electrical system and its components. Here are some common approaches for Voltage Rise Calculations (VRC):

1. Basic Formula

The fundamental equation for voltage rise calculation is V = IZ, with V representing voltage, I representing current, and Z representing impedance. This formula is applicable for determining voltage rise in straightforward circuits where the impedance is known.

2. Cable Length Method

When assessing voltage rise in a cable or wire, the cable length method comes into play. This method involves multiplying the cable length by the current and then further multiplying the result by the voltage drop per ampere meter. The formula for this method is Vr = L ×— I ×— Vd/ 1000, where Vr stands for voltage rise, L represents cable length, I denotes current, and Vd signifies voltage drop per ampere meter.

3. Simplified Voltage Rise Calculation Method

The formula for this Voltage Rise Calculations (VRCs) is Vd = L ×— I ×— Vc/1000

Here, Vd represents the actual voltage drop in the circuit (in volts), L stands for the circuit’s length (in meters), I denotes the circuit current (in amperes), and Vc indicates the cable’s voltage drop per unit length of the circuit (in millivolts per ampere-meter).

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