Connecting Micro-Generators in Parallel to the Low Voltage Distribution Network Utilising Standard EN50438 in the Republic of Ireland

Liam Murphy, DIT

Submitted as part of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science (MSc)


The green agenda has been much to the fore internationally and has particularly had an influence in Republic of Ireland (ROI) where there are ‘green’ ministers in Government. Mr. Eamon Ryan who is the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has particularly championed the idea of self generation. The author’s interest in the subject matter is to investigate the up-take of micro-generation and determine the likely short term future along with the grid tie standard i.e. EN50438.

Issues surrounding micro-generation are considered from the international and national perspective and from a customer and generation utility point of view. The market for micro-generation in the ROI is examined and particularly the tariffs offered for export.

Two case studies are investigated; a micro-Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit operational since early 2008 and a micro-wind unit which has become operational since February 2010. Type certification issues with Chinese manufactured wind turbines are discussed backed up with case studies from Northern Ireland (NI).

The principal methods of investigation were by researching, particularly by discussion (qualitative means) with key stakeholders in the ROI and United Kingdom (UK) and by research of the relevant literature. In addition, an analysis of the performance of a photovoltaic (PV) inverter located at DIT was carried out (quantitative analysis).

Micro-generation has important role to play from a national and international perspective in reducing dependence on central generation and in Green House Gases (GHG) reduction strategies. EN50438 has a role in ensuring the safe connection of grid tied micro-generation and has been adopted by Electricity Supply Board Networks (ESBN).