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An investigation into voltage control approaches on an example distribution feeder to increase PV penetration

Lu, Pengcheng (2015) An investigation into voltage control approaches on an example distribution feeder to increase PV penetration. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Solar power has become an increasing electricity resource in Australia’s electrical energy in recent years. The increase is due to the decrease in the cost of solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems and incentives provided by the Federal Government’s “Renewable Energy Target” scheme to offset carbon emissions. The existing electrical grid infrastructure was not originally designed to face high penetration levels of PV systems, so the growing embedded PV penetration levels has aroused various technical challenges and one of the key challenges is voltage rise. In order to provide methods to reduce technical barriers for achieving high penetration levels in Australian electricity networks, several approaches are studied in this report. The methods are studied with respect to prosumer (the combination of producer and consumer) aspect, utility aspect and a combination of these two aspects. The simulations were carried out using DIgSILENT PowerFactory software. Where possible, all designs and specifications are undertaken in accordance and in compliance with relevant standards and Western Power requirements and guidelines.

Three prosumers’ methods which can be implemented in individual inverters are studied in chapter 6. They can be used to keep the voltage within the defined limits when the PV generation is 5kW/house, which is its assumed maximum value. But these technologies need to be upgraded to be more effective since the PV generation keeps climbing in Australian distribution networks. The utilities’ methods with additional devices implemented in the network are discussed in chapter 7. These control methods can effectively and efficiently control the voltage rise problem but one disadvantage is that they are all expensive and are not economically viable options. The combination of utilities’ method and prosumers’ method are introduced in this report as well.

A recommendation for future studies that could be a continuation of this topic is provided at the end of the thesis report.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Calais, Martina and Carter, Craig
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