Available at: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/965
Date of Award
MS in Electrical Engineering
The growing popularity of photovoltaic (PV) generation systems leads to an increase in the number of residential and commercial grid-tied PV systems that interconnect to the distribution circuit. This affects the characteristics of the distribution circuit; for example, the assumption that the voltage profile of a radial line decreases down-stream becomes invalid because of the addition of the PV system on the line. This poses new challenges when setting the parameters of voltage regulating devices. Add to that the fact that PV systems are intermittent, especially on cloudy days, which make the line even more difficult to regulate, and the number of switching occurrences of the regulating devices increases, thus accelerating wear-and-tear to the utility’s equipment.
The objective of this thesis is to develop an index which qualitatively indicates the impact of PV system(s) on operation, efficiency, reliability, and lifetime of voltage regulation equipment. Tests on the proposed index will be performed on several cases including circuits containing state-of-the art methods that integrate PV systems with minimum impact to utility equipment. Investigation of methods to further mitigate equipment wear by selecting the best interconnect point on the circuit will also be conducted to test the proposed index. The development and validation of the proposed index will entail power system modeling and simulation of distributed generation using PSCAD. The proposed index resulted from this study will provide a useful tool to allow utility companies pick the optimum locations for distributed generation to minimize their negative impact on the distribution lines as well as to determine the need for extra mitigation equipment.