Mitigation of overvoltage due to high penetration of solar photovoltaics using smart inverters volt/var control

Dilini Almeida, Jagadeesh Pasupuleti, Janaka Ekanayake, Eshan Karunarathne


The modern photovoltaic (PV) inverters are embedded with smart control capabilities such as Volt/Var and Volt/Watt functions to mitigate overvoltage issues. The Volt/Var control has gained a significant attention in regulating grid voltage through reactive power compensation. However, the reactive power capability of a PV inverter is limited during peak irradiance and could be improved by curtailing the active power generation and by oversizing the PV inverter. This paper analyzes the performance of Volt/Var function of smart PV inverters in mitigating overvoltage issues due to high PV integration and thus increasing the hosting capacity of low voltage distribution networks (LVDNs). The study is conducted on a real Malaysian LVDN considering two different Volt/Var set points under different PV penetration levels. Results demonstrate that the oversized smart PV inverter could enhance the Volt/Var functionality by increasing its reactive power capability than a typical smart PV inverter. Further it reveals that adaptation of sensitive Volt/Var set points with shorter deadbands increase the PV hosting capacity of LVDNs.


Smart PV inverter; LV distribution network; Volt/Var control; Reactive power capability; High PV penetration.

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