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Report offers new approach for assessing integration of PVs and local distribution systems

From the June 25, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 25, 2013

Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems often must undergo an interconnection study process before they can be connected to the power grid. These system-impact studies can be both costly and time-consuming, and they often fall short when it comes to accurately assessing the potential grid impacts of differences in PV system size and location, as well as the inherent variability of PV plant output.

A report recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Georgia Institute of Technology offers a new methodology to help utilities better evaluate how photovoltaics affect distribution system operations. "Time Series Power Flow Analysis for Distribution Connected PV Generation" demonstrates how quasi-static time series (QSTS) simulation and high time-resolution data can be used to capture and assess the time-dependent aspects of power flow on a distribution circuit—which include the interaction between the daily changes in load and PV output and the effect on distribution control systems—while accounting for PV variability and differences in plant size and location.

An article in the Spring 2013 issue of the DEED Digest has more information about the report. DEED Digest is available to all personnel of utilities that belong to APPA’s research program, DEED (Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments). 


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