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Investigation of Western Power’s low voltage operation limits with the integration of Photovoltaic systems

Poyan, Kaveh (2010) Investigation of Western Power’s low voltage operation limits with the integration of Photovoltaic systems. Other thesis, Murdoch University.


Distributed generation (DG), in the form of grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems, is expected to grow substantially throughout the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). The growth of these systems is anticipated to meet a portion of the local energy requirements and offset carbon emissions. The intermittency of the solar resource and its relationship with conventional load and voltage management, presents challenges for Western Power (the utility responsible for the SWIS). Therefore, investigating the effects and management of grid connected PV systems in the SWIS, with respect to its voltage operation limits, formed the primary objective of this project. The project studies were performed on a typical Western Power (WP) low voltage (LV) network model, in DIgSILENT Power Factory software, using WP residential network loadings data along with solar radiation and temperature data. The power flow simulation results concluded that PV penetration levels of up to 25% can be feasible in specific overhead (OH) networks. Similarly, PV penetration levels of up to 49% can be sustained in particular underground (UG) networks. Furthermore, these penetration levels were heavily dependant on existing LV network balance and voltage profiles. The findings of the project also demonstrated that grid connected PV systems are not offsetting the peaky SWIS residential network load profile. Therefore, high grid connected PV system penetration, with no electrical storage and demand management, provides substantially lower grid support value when compared to dispatchable DG technologies.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Crebbin, Gregory
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