Effect of distributed photovoltaic embedded generation on the electricity distribution network

Hourigan, Karen (2016) Effect of distributed photovoltaic embedded generation on the electricity distribution network. [USQ Project]

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Local consumer conscience and rising electricity costs are not the only incentives driving the increases in penetration of distributed or rooftop photovoltaic (PV) embedded generation (EG).
Worldwide environmental conscience in the form of government incentives have had significant effects on past and present levels and will continue to affect future increases in rooftop PV EG.

To this effect, the purpose of this project was twofold - to investigate both the effects of current levels of rooftop PV EG on the electricity distribution network and to investigate the effects of future predicted levels of PV EG.
The results of before and after studies at both a local LV level where the PV EG systems were installed, and on HV feeders that demonstrated a high penetration of PV EG confirmed that the current levels of rooftop PV EG have had significant effects on the electricity distribution network, especially with respect to decreases in feeder loadings during the middle of the day.
Power flow modelling of the existing network yielded results that demonstrated increased effects on the electricity distribution network. It also identified possible future effects with respect to voltage rise as well as reverse power flow.

Several options were discussed to alleviate or lessen the effects of increased levels of PV EG, the main existing method being export limitations being imposed by the electricity distributor. Another method that was investigated was introducing a reactive power component to PV EG, though this proved to cause more problems than possible solutions with respect to the feeder that was modelled, though it cannot be ruled out with regards to larger more centralised PV EG systems or longer radial feeders.

Another possible solution that was suggested was intentional islanding or establishing a micro grid under certain conditions. This was a theoretical study only and was not modelled within the bounds of the current project.

Current regulatory standards were investigated as part of the literature review, with several suggestions made on possible improvements for the future, including making allowances for islanding.

It was found, that while current and predicted future levels of rooftop PV EG, have and will continue to cause problems on the electricity distribution network, not all effects of PV EG on the network are negative with some, such as being able to defer network augmentation and equalising voltage on a feeder, found to be quite advantageous.
It will be necessary to further investigate regulatory changes, both nationally and locally, to better allow for the integration of the increased levels of PV EG that are forecast.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Electrical & Electronic Engineering project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Ahfock, Tony; Bowtell, Les
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 04:34
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 04:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: distributed photovoltaic; electricity distribution network; regulatory standards
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090607 Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl. Renewable Power)
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4008 Electrical engineering > 400805 Electrical energy transmission, networks and systems
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/31418

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