Evaluation of the effectiveness of smart inverters in mitigating voltage variations and fluctuations

Ganta, Naveen
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With the increasing integration level of photovoltaics (PV) generation into the distribution grid, there would be detrimental impacts on residential customers in the form of rapid voltage variations and overvoltages. These voltage disturbances are caused by intermittent and varying power injections of PV generation. They can be reduced with the installation of smart inverters alongside PV with appropriate control settings. The smart inverters monitor and manage the reactive power exchange between the distribution circuit and the PV system so as to mitigate the adversity of voltage impacts. This thesis analyzes the effects of PV generation in regards to range and variation of voltage in a real-world distribution system. It also evaluates the effectiveness of PV generation equipped with smart inverters in mitigating these issues. A detailed study is conducted on few control strategies that would mitigate increasing range and variability of voltages. This study helps determine suitable control settings that increase the effectiveness of the discussed control functions and improve the overall performance of the distribution system