The problem of voltage instability in renewable energy

Renewable energy, for example from wind turbines and solar panels, is the solution to reducing dependence on fossil fuels. But there is a problem with excess renewable energy: voltage instability.

Much of the existing grid is legacy infrastructure. It was originally designed for a one-way flow of electricity to homes from the grid, and not the other way around. It cannot handle voltage instability. 

Voltage instability is an increase or decrease in electricity flow (peaks and troughs). A sudden increase or decrease can cause the system to ‘trip’ or switch off to prevent it overheating.

An Australian company called eleXsys has developed a solution. They use a combination of electronic hardware and AI software to manage the voltage and keep it stable. 

eleXsys hardware

The new technology was devised by Dr Bevan Holcombe, an Australian utility engineer and planner. He was working for a utility company at the time and identified the problem caused by the emerging renewables industry. 

Stephen Robertson, a former government energy minister and Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Marketing and Strategy gave eleXsys its name. It is short for electrical export system.

eleXsys ecosystem
elexsys ecosystem

Where can eleXsys be used?

  • eleXsys can be used for residential homes and local communities to stabilise voltage so that they can sell energy back to the grid
  • eleXsys have also developed a smart charging solution for electric vehicles that can generate income
  • eleXsys has the potential for larger applications on commercial and industrial sites. In combination with battery storage, it could increase clean energy microgrids by 10x. This would make installing renewables more commercially viable

Essentially, eleXsys can turn a one-way grid into a two-way smart grid. It is a commercial solution for voltage instability. Without the need to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure upgrades. 

It removes the barriers to renewable energy uptake. That’s a huge advantage at a time when non-renewable energy prices are as high as they currently are.

“Certainly, the more reliant on renewables we become, the less will be the overall demand for energy generated by fossil fuels. For example, in the Australian state of South Australia, there are now occasions when 100% of daytime energy needs are generated by exported solar from residential and commercial systems and large solar and wind farms, excluding fossil fuel generators from contributing carbon intensive energy into the grid. In other words, it is increasingly common for South Australia to run on 100% clean renewable energy.”

eleXsys Energy Co-Founder and Executive Director Richard Romanowski

What are the benefits of using eleXsys?

The main advantage to eleXsys is that it breaks down the barriers to global adoption of renewable energy. It thus accelerates decarbonisation which combats climate change.

The technology could be used anywhere in the world seeking to fast-track the switch to renewable energy. It is particularly useful where grids are being destabilised by the increasing two-way flow of energy. 

This technology would be invaluable for the UK where we urgently need to increase clean energy production and reduce our dependence on burning fossil fuels.  

Thank you eleXsys for taking the time to answer our questions for this guest post. For more information visit

Annette Clubley

Annette is a keen wildlife conservationist, mindful of sustainability and our impact on the environment. Outside of work, family is her focus and she loves teaching the next generation to enjoy the outdoors.