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Title: Evaluation of Multiple Inverter Volt-VAR Control Interactions with Realistic Grid Impedances

Integration of large numbers of distributed photovoltaic (PV) systems in electric distribution circuits often requires advanced functions (e.g. volt-VAR, frequency-Watt etc.). However, significant concerns have been raised about potential for PV inverters with such controls to interact with one another in a way that could cause grid instability. The lack of standardized inverter models makes it hard to simulate such transient interactions in software. Similarly it is very hard to test these dynamic inverter interactions in the laboratory. In this paper, unique Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (PHIL) techniques are presented to experimentally test for interactions of multiple PV inverters connected to multiple points-of-common-coupling (PCCs) with grid impedances between them. Sample test results are provided from simulation-only scenarios and PHIL testing. Though simulation results indicated possible harmful interactions between inverters' volt-VAR controllers; no such interactions were found in the limited hardware testing.
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Conference: Presented at the 2015 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 26-30 July 2015, Denver, Colorado; Related Information: Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 26-30 July 2015, Denver, Colorado
Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; photovoltaic; inverters; power hardware-in-the-loop; volt-VAR control; interactions