Performance of PV Generation Feedback Controllers: Power Factor versus Volt-VAR Control Strategies

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Virginia Tech


The variable nature of photovoltaic (PV) generation can cause voltage fluctuations in power distribution systems. Feedback control can be used to minimize the voltage fluctuations. This thesis presents the results obtained from comparing the control performance of two types of PV generation feedback control, namely Volt-VAR control and constant power factor control. A three minute PV generation transient is used to evaluate controller performance, where the transient data used originated from one second measurements taken on an actual PV generator. Using the three minute transient, a set of parametric studies are performed on both feedback control strategies. The performance of the control strategies are compared as to voltage control on the distribution feeder and also to the effect that the control may have on transmission system voltage. In considering transmission system voltage, the reactive power drawn from the substation during the transient is evaluated. Simulation results suggest that the choice of control to be implemented should be based on both transmission and distribution system operational concerns.



Constant Power Factor Controllers, Feedback Controllers, PV Generation, Voltage Control, Volt-VAR Controllers