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Title: Feeder Voltage Regulation with High-Penetration PV Using Advanced Inverters and a Distribution Management System: A Duke Energy Case Study

Duke Energy, Alstom Grid, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory teamed up to better understand the impacts of solar photovoltaics (PV) on distribution system operations. The core goal of the project is to compare the operational - specifically, voltage regulation - impacts of three classes of PV inverter operations: 1.) Active power only (Baseline); 2.) Local inverter control (e.g., PF...not equal...1, Q(V), etc.); and 3.) Integrated volt-VAR control (centralized through the distribution management system). These comparisons were made using multiple approaches, each of which represents an important research-and-development effort on its own: a) Quasi-steady-state time-series modeling for approximately 1 year of operations using the Alstom eTerra (DOTS) system as a simulation engine, augmented by Python scripting for scenario and time-series control and using external models for an advanced inverter; b) Power-hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) testing of a 500-kVA-class advanced inverter and traditional voltage regulating equipment. This PHIL testing used cosimulation to link full-scale feeder simulation using DOTS in real time to hardware testing; c) Advanced visualization to provide improved insights into time-series results and other PV operational impacts; and d) Cost-benefit analysis to compare the financial and business-model impacts of each integration approach.
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. GE Grid Solutions, Fairfield, CT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
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); Duke Energy
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; solar; photovoltaic; distribution; voltage regulation; inverter; operations