Assessing distribution network sensitivity to voltage rise and flicker under high penetration of behind-the-meter solar
Behind-the-meter solar photovoltaics (PV) have the ability to impact the distribution system due to the significant fluctuations in energy production and potential reverse power flow. While these phenomena are well understood, this research will investigate the level of solar penetration at which voltage rise and flicker are observed on a real-world distribution network. Using solar power data measured at four second intervals from the Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Laboratory at Louisiana State University alongside detailed feeder data provided by a local utility, we investigate the impact of increasing levels of solar PV penetration on voltage rise and long-term flicker. Results suggest that feeders can handle up to 10% of customers installing 7-kW behind-the-meter solar systems before voltage rise and flicker are observed. For levels above 30% penetration, feeders experience significant power quality issues. We find that the safe penetration level of a specific feeder depends on the system's topology.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Ferdowsi, F., Mehraeen, S., & Upton, G. (2020). Assessing distribution network sensitivity to voltage rise and flicker under high penetration of behind-the-meter solar. Renewable Energy, 152, 1227-1240. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2019.12.124