PV in Urban Policies- Strategic and Comprehensive Approach for Long-term Expansion EIE/05/171/SI2.

420208

WP4 – Deliverable 4.3 IMPACT OF PHOTOVOLTAIC GENERATION ON POWER QUALITY IN URBAN AREAS WITH HIGH PV POPULATION Results from Monitoring Campaigns

Authors:

Sjef Cobben (Continuon), Bruno Gaiddon (Hespul), Hermann Laukamp (Fraunhofer ISE)

Version: 1 Version date: 2008-07-14 Reviewer(s): Estefanía Caamaño (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid – Instituto de Energía Solar, Spain), Donna Munro (Halcrow, United Kingdom), Tomoki Ehara (Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Japan), Jim Thornycroft (Halcrow, United Kingdom) Esther Allen, Fraunhofer ISE (Germany) Revision date: 2008-07-08 Status: approved

DISCLAIMER The information published in this report was carefully compiled and reviewed. The members of the PV – UPSCALE consortium do not make any claim or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of its content and do not assume any liability arising there from.

Executive Summary
With fast growing penetration of PV and other distributed power generation capacity, the impact of PV on the grid and vice versa is under discussion. Main concerns are the maximum tolerable level and the quality of the supply voltage. These concerns as well as the acceptable penetration limits have been verified by measurements in PV developments in several countries. Several case studies of urban real estate developments with a high share of distributed PV generation were investigated and the situation in the respective low voltage grid segment is analysed. Issues investigated include: • network design • maximum permissible capacity of PV • power quality related to standard EN 50 160 • voltage rise effects • harmonic current injection from PV • power flow across transformer The sites analysed for this study are: • Solarsiedlung “Am Schlierberg”, Freiburg, Germany • Holidaypark Bronsbergen, The Netherlands • Heerhugowaard, sun city “Mayersloot”, The Netherlands • “Soleil-Marguerite“, Lyon, France Site details “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg” is a recently constructed real estate development in the city of Freiburg, Germany. It comprises about 440 kWp PV arrays on some 70 residences, as well as on a large office and business block. PV systems are connected to the grid through in total 160 inverters. PV systems are distributed fairly evenly along the feeders. Layout of the distribution system is standard; the area is supplied through a 400 kVA transformer. The holiday park “Bronsbergen”, is situated in Zutphen, Netherlands. It comprises a total of 210 cottages with PV panels mounted on the roof of 108 cottages. The total PV power installed is around 315 kWp. The nominal power of the transformer feeding all the cottages is 400 kVA. The ratio of nominal PV Power to transformer rated power is 80 %. The average PV power per house with PV is 2.9 kWp; including non-PV houses it is 1.5 kWp. The “Mayersloot” site is located at Langedijk, Heerhugowaard. In this area many houses employing PV systems have been built in recent years. The site comprises a total of 70 houses, 21 houses employing a PV generator. The PV houses are all connected to the ends of two feeders. This leads to the greatest possible rise in voltage level. Total PV capacity installed is 130 kWp. The ratio of nominal PV Power to transformer rated power is 33 %. The average PV power per house with PV is 6.2 kWp; including non-PV houses it is 1.9 kWp. The “Soleil-Marguerite” PV system is located on a building in a high density urban area with a mix of offices and dwellings. The PV system comprises about 13 kWp and 6 inverters. It is included in this report to emphasise the negligible impact of a comparatively small PV system on the voltage quality of the low voltage network.

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Following table summarizes key features of the real estates involved Site rated transformer power [kVA] rated PV power PV power/ transformer power [%] PV power per apartment 1) [kWp]

[kWp] Solarsiedlung “Am 400 440 110 6.3 / 3.2 Schlierberg”, Freiburg, Germany Holidaypark Bronsbergen, 400 315 80 2.9 / 1.5 The Netherlands Heerhugowaard, sun city 400 130 33 6.2 / 1.9 “Mayersloot”, The Netherlands “Soleil-Marguerite“, Lyon, unknown 13 France 1) PV residences only / total number of apartments connected to transformer Results Measurement campaigns in four urban PV real estate areas and systems have demonstrated that PV generation is compatible with LV distribution networks even at high PV density. Distributed generation from PV systems with a high ratio of generation capacity to transformer rating, i.e. a ratio of 80 % and higher, in general does not deteriorate the quality of the grid. Power quality was found to be affected only with regard to increased voltage levels at the end of LV feeders. Generally, all power quality requirements as described by the European standard EN 50 160 were satisfied. Acceptable PV capacity The ratio of nominal PV capacity to rated transformer power for the systems monitored includes the values 33 %, 80 % and 110 %. For the whole area supplied by the transformer, including buildings without PV, the average installed PV capacity reaches values of 1.5 KWp, 1.9 kWp and 3.2 kWp per apartment. The maximum tolerable capacity of PV to a single LV feeder was found to be about 7 kWp per apartment. Obviously, evenly distributing PV systems over a feeder allows more capacity than concentrating PV systems at the end of a feeder. As a rule of thumb PV systems in a typical urban European LV grid segment should not cause any trouble, if power is limited to 70 % of the rated power of the feeding transformer. In some cases higher amounts of PV power are possible. The simultaneous production of PV power is the bottleneck for implementing higher amounts of PV power, since it does not follow the “after diversity maximum demand” (ADMD) rules for customer loads. In new networks, the grid design can be adapted for the PV systems that might be connected in future by properly sizing the transformer and cables. There is no theoretical technical limit, if the design can be “made on purpose”. By reducing the set voltage of the transformer from 235 V, a level often found in LV distribution networks, to the nominal level of 230 V, a higher PV capacity could easily be accommodated. Loading of equipment During the time of highest PV generation a power export to the MV grid was noticed. The peak exported power in any of the projects did not exceed 160 kW. This is less than half the transformers rated power.

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Power quality In general, no detrimental effects on power quality was noticed. Flicker problems were not observed. However, in one case voltage harmonics were found to exceed permitted values. They were traced back to resonance effects between network harmonics, cable impedance and a high inverter input capacitance. Selecting inverters with a low input capacitance would avoid this effect. In another system current harmonics from inverters were found to exceed nationally permitted limits under high power. Possible improvements Power unbalance between the phases was found to be increased, if there was an uneven distribution of inverters over the three phases. This could be avoided by integral planning of inverter distribution. For new developments, setting the transformer ratio to a secondary voltage level between Vn and 98 %*Vn could avoid any practical capacity limit from voltage rise.

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To reach the urban decision makers workshops have been organised and a quality handbook has been written using experience gained with PV Urban projects in the Netherlands. It takes information from Task 7 (building integrated PV). which ended in 2001 and Task 5 (grid issues). Germany. The structure of the project is summarised in the following figure. France.The PV-Upscale project PV-UP-SCALE (PV in Urban Policies – Strategic and Comprehensive Approach for Long-term Expansion) is a European funded project under the Intelligent Energy for Europe programme related to the large-scale implementation of Photovoltaics (PV) in European cities. ended in 2003. Its’ objective is to bring to the attention of the stakeholders in the urban planning process the economic drivers. Spain and the United Kingdom. Structure of PV-UP-SCALE project Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements vi . The project complements the activities that are being executed in the International Energy Agency – Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) Implementing Agreement. in particular IEA PVPS Task 10. bottlenecks like grid issues and the do’s and don’ts within the PV process.

France Halcrow.org Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements vii . Spain Consultancy HORISUN.Consulting.Netbeheer NV. WP4 draws upon on this work to contribute to identify remaining barriers and solutions for a successful dissemination of PV systems in electricity networks of urban areas. For more information. The Netherlands HESPUL. please visit the project web-site: www.Energy research Center of the Netherlands.Ecofys Energieberatung und Handelsgesellschaft GmbH. Work Package 4 (WP4) is the one dealing with technical issues of grid interconnection such as mutual impacts of PV systems and Distribution networks. Architecture and Utility sectors: Sectors Educational. Energy Economics Group. Research Institute. Research Institute. Germany Electricity Continuon. and national and international Standardization bodies (IEC-TC82. interconnection guidelines. The Netherlands (Project Coordinator) Vienna University of Technology . Research ECN. The Netherlands MVV. Consulting. CENELEC-SC82). United Kingdom Ecofys. Utility.Halcrow Group Ltd. Germany Universidad Politecnica de Madrid – Instituto de Energía Solar.pvupscale.EEG. Fortunately.MVV Energie AG. and required inputs to network planning. Germany Of the project Work Packages. R&D projects previously supported by the European Commission. some thorough collaborative work on PV grid issues has been done under the framework of IEA PVPS-Task 5. network risks.Consulting. Utility. Austria Fraunhofer Institute für Solare Energiesysteme. Research and Development.PV-UP-SCALE consortium brings together complementary expertise from Educational. Consulting. Engineering.

2 Voltage quality at transformer (EN 50 160)...... 12 2..............................................3........1......Table of Content Executive Summary ...1 Real estate development .....................3.............................2................................. 22 2.......1 Real estate development .................... 23 Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements viii ..........1 Voltage distribution at transformer ....................................................................................................2...............3.................. 21 2...................1 Site description “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg“.1 Site description Heerhugowaard................................. 19 2.1..............................................................................2.. 16 2.1 Site description Holidaypark Bronsbergen...1.........................................1...............3.............................3......3 Power flow at transformer ........................................................1 2 Presentation of Sites .. current....4 Summary “Schlierberg” ...................1 Voltage level at transformer .................................2 2................................ sun city “Mayersloot”..........................2.........5 Voltage rise from PV power at end of feeder ..3 PV systems ................................................................... sun city “Mayersloot” ........2..........................................................................9 Flicker........ 17 2.................................................1..........3.................. current.........8 Inverter tripping ..........................................................1................................3....................................3..........3....1 Real estate development ................................2............8 2.......6 Harmonic distortion............1......................................7 Voltage unbalance......................... 15 2..........5 2..........................................3................2.....................1...2 Measurements.................................... 21 2.......................................................... 22 2..................................................................................5 2...................1..............................................................4 Summary “Bronsbergen“... 13 2...........1..................4 Voltage quality (EN 50 160) at end of feeder 1.................1.......1..............................................................................................8 2.................6 2................. 15 2........ 16 2...........................3 Real power flow at transformer ..1.............................. harmonic spectra – voltage..3 Results .........1...........................................................................5 2.1..................................................10 Ripple control signals ...................................................................................................... 10 2..................... Germany...................................................2.....................1..... 12 2..........2 Measurements.........................................................3........2........................................4 Voltage quality at end of feeder ................. 21 2.............4 2.3 Heerhugowaard.............................................2 2..................... 15 2..........................................................1 Freiburg....3........................1.iii The PV-Upscale project .........2...................................... 19 2...2...5 Voltage rise from PV power at end of the feeder ....................................................3.............6 Harmonic distortion...2............ harmonics spectra – voltage......... 2 2..................................3 2................2....................3......... “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg”.......................2 Holidaypark Bronsbergen............ 18 2............................................................................1..................4 2....................1.............1......2 Electrical network ................................................................................. 22 2....................2............3....................... 17 2...................... 21 2......................................................................................................3......3...........3 Results ......................................................................................... 13 2.....2 Electrical network ............................1....................................................................................3.........................7 Voltage unbalance (at end of feeder)..............3 PV Systems............................. 21 2............................................................vi 1 Introduction.....2.......................................2.......................................................................................3...........1..................................................................... 13 2.................3.................................2 Voltage quality at transformer (EN 50 160).......................2.................................2 Electrical network ....................2 2..

. 33 2....4.............3..........................................................................................4..............................3......................................................................................................................................................................3...... 28 2....2 Voltage rise from PV power at end of feeder ................................................ 25 2...................... 43 Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements ix .......... 30 2..............................3... harmonics spectra – voltage............1............... 26 2...................... 24 2. 24 2......................3 PV Systems...........4 “Soleil-Marguerite“ photovoltaic system ...............................2....4.................................................7 Other issues ........42 Annex...........................................4...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3..3................4 Summary “Mayersloot“...................4.............................. 32 2...4 Summary “Soleil-Marguerite“ ...........................1 Voltage level at transformer .................. 37 2............................3........................ 29 2...........................................3.............. 39 2....................3.......3.........................3...............3......... 37 2...................4...................................... 29 2........1 Voltage quality at end of feeder (EN 50 160)....................1 Real estate development .................................8 Ripple control signals .............4..................................................................................................... 24 2............. 32 2.............................................4.......6 Voltage unbalance..................................................2 Measurements...........................................3 Voltage quality at end of feeder ........................1 Site description..........4 Voltage unbalance at end of feeder ...............4...................4 Voltage rise from PV power at end of the feeder ...........................5 Flicker............1.............3.................................3............................... harmonic spectra – voltage..........3................ 24 2....................................................4............ 27 2..3........................3... 39 2....................2 Voltage quality (EN 50 160) at transformer....................4.. 30 2....................................3........3.............................................................................3.......................3..............1.................................3..43 5............41 References ........... 33 2.....................4.............................................................3.......3 PV systems ....... current................................................3.......3........................................................................................................................................2 Electrical network ..............3................... current.............................................................3 Results ................6 Ripple control signals ............................... 26 2...5 Harmonic distortion.......2 Measurements................ 30 2.................3 Harmonic distortion...... 30 2................................................... 40 3 4 5 Conclusions ....................................................................................................................4.........................................3...........................................................................3 Results ................. 30 2.............................................. 28 2....................................1 EN 50 160 requirements for LV grid......................4.. 31 2.......1......................7 Flicker.

Lyon. The Netherlands Heerhugowaard.9 “Mayersloot”. unknown 13 France 2) PV residences only / total number of apartments connected to transformer Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 1 . Issues investigated include: • • • • • maximum permissible capacity of PV power quality related to standard EN 50 160 voltage rise effects harmonic current injection from PV power flow across transformer The sites analysed for this study are: • • • • Solarsiedlung “Am Schlierberg”. sun city 400 130 33 6. These concerns as well as the acceptable penetration limits have been checked by measurements in PV developments in several countries.3 / 3.2 Freiburg. In this report several case studies of real estate developments with a high population of distributed PV generation are described.5 kWp per household.2 / 1. Germany Holidaypark Bronsbergen. Table I: key features of the real estates investigated Site rated transformer power [kVA] rated PV power PV power/ transformer power [%] PV power per apartment 1) [kWp] [kWp] Solarsiedlung “Am Schlierberg”.1 Introduction With fast growing penetration of PV and other distributed power generation capacity. France Following table summarizes key features of the real estates involved. The main concerns are the maximum tolerable capacity and the quality of the supply voltage. sun city “Mayersloot”. The 400 315 80 2. An extensive theoretical study [1] had shown that in German urban areas the increase of voltage due to reverse power flow is the limiting factor for penetration of PV on the LV grid. and the situation in the respective low voltage grid segment is analysed. 400 440 110 6. The Netherlands “Soleil-Marguerite“.9 / 1. The Netherlands “Soleil-Marguerite“. Lyon.5 Netherlands Heerhugowaard. This effect limits PV capacity in typical residential settlements to about 3. Freiburg. the impact of PV on the grid and vice versa is under discussion. Germany Holidaypark Bronsbergen.

This campaign complemented earlier measurements.1. The last PV systems were connected to the grid in the fall of 2006. To the South. To the east and the north there are older residential areas situated. some 20 apartments. About 440 kWp capacity was installed and distributed over some 60 PV systems comprising some 160 inverters.1 Presentation of Sites Freiburg. Germany. 2.1 Site description “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg“ In the city of Freiburg a real estate development called “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg” was completed in 2006. It features a PV system on every single house [2]. western rows and the business block “Sonnenschiff” from 2004 to 2006. The whole development was privately funded. Details of the history and architecture of this real estate project are discussed in PV UPSCALE´s work package 3. case studies [3]. newly constructed apartment blocks fed by the same transformer as the PV development are located. In the following sections some information can be found on real estate development.1. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 2 . Since the time when the first measurements had been conducted. It was built “from scratch” on the area of a former garrison. A measurement campaign was conducted after the PV installations had been commissioned. Figure 1: Aerial view of “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg” (photo: Solarsiedlung Freiburg GmbH) The development features highly energy efficient buildings with an annual heating demand below 20 kWh/m² (passive house standard). which were performed during the construction of the settlement when about 50 % of final PV and loads were installed [4]. It was initiated and inspired by the architect Rolf Disch. Easterly rows were built in the years 2000 to 2004.2 2. “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg” 2.1.1 Real estate development “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg” is located in the southern outskirts of the city of Freiburg. electrical network and the used PV systems.

2. 2.1. Along the roads distribution cabinets are located. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 3 .4700 m² office/shopping area.2 KWp. Locations marked by “MP X” refer to measurement points and are explained in section 2. To the south more apartment blocks are wired to the same transformer and add to the transformer load. A transformer with a nominal power of Sn = 400 kVA feeds several feeders of 150 mm² Al cables.1. where all flats are individually connected by 35 mm² Al cables to the main feeders. but all supplied through the same transformer. Table II: PV capacity (module ratings) per feeder in kWp and year of completion feeder Pnom [kWp] completion 1 176 2 153 3+4 112 2006 total 441 2005 2002 40 kWp 26 kWp MP 1 39 kWp MP 2 18 kWp 22 kWp 47 kWp 18 kWp 27 kWp 41 kWp 18 kWp 29 kWp 40 kWp 33 kWp 18 kWp MP 3 25 kWp Feeder 1 Feeder 2 MP 4 Feeder 3+4 Figure 2: Structure of the LV network and size of PV arrays. Row houses are connected through four feeders. Short circuit power at the transformer – a measure for the network impedance . PV capacity of main feeders is listed in table II.1. including all non-PV apartments it is 3. the layout of the electrical network is shown in figure 2.2 Electrical network The electrical network had been designed as it would have been without any PV system..is 11 MVA. some 200 kWp PV arrays and some 70 apartments outside the solar development have been added.3 kWp. The average power per apartment in the settlement without “Sonnenschiff” is 6. Ratio of nominal PV Power to transformer rated power is 110 %.

The main cabling is thus loaded with the balance of residential generation and consumption. Thus. a single house system comprises 2 to 4 one-phase systems. with measurements on MP4 dating from 2002/2003.1. 2. The issues investigated were: • power quality related to standard EN 50 160 • voltage level at the remotest network nodes • power flow across transformer • harmonic current injection by inverters 1 buried underground.The basic guideline for connecting distributed generators to the grid was issued by the German association of Electricity Companies VDEW [5]. i. 2. All measurement campaigns include at least one week of data. Recent measurements were taken in the summer of 2006 and summer 2007. The PV system and the loads are connected in parallel at the distribution cabinet of each apartment. this corresponds to about 220 kVA inverter power. To represent the worst-case in terms of voltage rise. PV systems are constructed using 1-phase systems as a building block. Measurements were taken at four network nodes (see fig. For the transformer at “Solarsiedlung Schlierberg”.a capacity of 6 kWp per apartment is installed. i. from local generators. width of an apartment. 4. This guideline allows a voltage rise of 2 % of nominal voltage. Later systems in the westerly rows and “Sonnenschiff” mainly employ SMA SB 5000 as well as some SB 3300 and SWR 3100.3 PV Systems In total the installations comprise about 440 kWp of PV modules and some 160 inverters. considering its short circuit power of 11 MVA. All inverters use the German “ENS” (grid impedance measurement method) for islanding detection.e. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 4 . an overloading of cables due to PV power is not possible.e. measurement periods include a part of the holiday season when many families are assumed to be on vacation. In the residential area – excluding the business block “Sonnenschiff” . The cable used (NAYY 4x150) can carry a current of 275 A according to manufacturers data sheet1 [12]. Earlier systems employ inverters of type SMA SB 2000 and SB 2500.2 Measurements The PV installations had been completed in September 2006 and thus for 2007 regular operation of the whole development could be expected. 2): • • • • at the end of feeder 1 (MP1) at the end of feeder 2 (MP2) at transformer LV terminals (MP3) at transformer connection of feeder 2 (MP4) 10 min average values were recorded according to EN 50 160. ground temperature 20 °C.1.6 V. Potential maximum current from PV is about 230 A in feeder 1.1. Depending on the available roof area.

The main provisions of EN 50 160 are listed in Appendix 1. For this evaluation the conservative voltage limit of 106 %. taken as 10 min averages.1 Voltage distribution at transformer The voltage distribution at the transformer covering the period June and July. since the transformer gives the reference voltage for the remainder of the electrical system.05 0 2 40 24 2 2 26 23 0 2 36 24 8 24 4 24 6 23 8 22 8 23 4 23 2 25 0 25 2 L1 L2 L3 Voltage [V] Figure 3: Distribution of voltage at transformer secondary side for June + July of 2008.35 0.3. Due to the transition of the nominal voltage level from 220 V to a common 230 V (in mainland Europe) the upper limit for voltage was set to 106 % until the end of 2007. Typically.1. 2008.2 Voltage quality at transformer (EN 50 160) Voltage quality at the customers´ premises is described by the European standard EN 50 160 [6]. It shows a nearly Gaussian distribution around 235 V. Mean voltage is 235. where PV capacity had been added most recently. This standard defines several quality criteria and corresponding limits.5 V. Then results of “end of feeder 1” are presented. do not exceed the respective limit.2 0. 2.3. corresponding to 243. analysis of the transformer operation is given. 5 % of data may exceed the limit. It requires that 95 % of data points. In 2008 the upper limit is 110 %. utilities adjust transformer voltage slightly above nominal voltage to ensure a sufficient voltage level at the end of the feeder in the presence of voltage drops along the feeder. “End of feeder 2” shows nearly identical effects as “end of feeder 1” and is therefore not presented as well.3 0. had been Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 5 . is shown in Figure 3. 2.25 probability 0.15 0.1.3 Results First. 0. “Feeder 1” represents the effect of some 60 inverters on one feeder.1.8 V.2. This is 5 V above the nominal grid voltage.1 0.

For each parameter the analysis for each phase is given. the network operator had considered the ratio of generation and loading on the transformer and added loads proportionally to the progress of PV generation. Figure 4: Voltage quality at transformer secondary side according to EN 50 160. year till 2007 relative voltage [%] absolute voltage [V] 106 243. During construction of the whole development.3. This is far below the rated transformer power of 400 kVA. Table III: Voltage tolerance level of EN 50 160 for 95 % of data. the week of highest power export was selected (ffigure 5). Some few data points indicate harmonics and flicker levels above the threshold.8 2008 110 253 Figure 4 gives an overview on the EN 50 160 criteria and results over four weeks of measurement in summer 2007. Limits as indicated by the horizontal red line are not violated by 95 % of data points. 2.3 Real power flow at transformer To show the reverse power flow. Relevant voltage limits are shown in table III for comparison.1.used. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 6 . Red bars indicate critical 95 % percentage of data points. Blue bars account for remaining 5 % of data points. The highest power delivery to the MV grid observed was 150 kW.

200 150 100 50 delivery P [kW] 0 -50 -100 -150 -200 -250 -300 -350 consumption day Figure 5: Load over transformer during week of highest power delivery (2006-07-23 – 2006-07-30). Phase 1 delivers most power. Load unbalance increases during daytime. For 2003 we had noted some 15 kW power unbalance between phases L1 and L3 during power export. Peak delivery at a level of some 150 kW occurred on a Sunday. 6. Positive values indicate reverse power flow. It is assumed that inverters are not distributed evenly on the three phases. but concentrated on phase L1. This corresponds to a slightly higher voltage of L1 as can be seen in figure 6. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 7 . Positive values indicate power export. In 2006 the unbalance was found to be about 30 kW as can be seen in fig. 80 60 40 20 P [kW] L1 P [kW] L2 P [kW] L3 P [kW] 0 -20 -40 -60 -80 -100 day Figure 6: Real power load over transformer per phase during the first two days of the week 200607-23 – 2006-07-30.

Figure 7: Overview diagram for EN 50 160. Some few data points indicate voltage levels above the threshold. Red bars indicate critical 95 % percentage of data points. Figure 9 displays the correlation of PV generation and voltage rise for this network node. Fig. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 8 . “Events” indicate a large number of very short voltage excursions with 10 ms .3.3. There is no violation of the standard. This effect is more clearly visible in figures 8 and 9. 2. In the standard. 2007).5 Voltage rise from PV power at end of feeder Evaluation according to EN 50 160 indicated some voltage swells. Limits as indicated by the horizontal red line are not violated.5 % of voltage data points for L2 and harmonic data points for L1 exceeded the voltage limit. 8 depicts the voltage distribution at MP1 (data recorded during last week of July. It can be seen to be a linear relation. however some 0.4 Voltage quality (EN 50 160) at end of feeder 1 Figure 7 gives an overview of the EN 50 160 criteria and results of measurements at the end of feeder 1 in summer 2006.1.100 ms duration. there is no limit given for these short time events.1.2.

05 0 22 7 22 9 23 1 23 9 24 5 24 7 2 49 2 51 225 233 235 237 241 243 253 246 2007 tolerance level of EN 50 160 Voltage [V] Figure 8: Distribution of voltage at MP1. 244 242 voltage [V] 240 238 236 Urms L1 Urms L2 Urms L3 234 232 230 2500- 2000- 1500- 1000- 500- 0 power [W] Figure 9: Voltage at MP1 increases as function of delivered inverter power.20 probability 0. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 9 .10 0.0. It should be noted that the observed voltage rise is due to the superposition of the voltage rise effects of all PV systems on that feeder. not only from the power of the last system. Deviations from a Gaussian shape are due to PV generation.25 L1 L2 L3 0.15 0.

Figure 11 depicts the lower harmonics part of the current spectrum in feeder 2 at MP 4 measured during May/June 2003 as an example. According to the “VDEW connection requirements” [5]. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements . harmonics spectra – voltage. It shows no dependency on PV power. i. current To assess harmonics generation from inverters the Total Harmonic Distortion of the voltage (THD_U) at MP1 was observed. individual inverters for PV systems have to meet the standard EN 61000-3-2 with regard to their harmonic current generation. All harmonic current levels stay well below the permissible limits (figure 12). Figure 10 shows the result: THD_U level falls well below the standard’s limit of 8 %. In fact.3. in the evening and at night.e.2. This suggests that distortion is mainly caused by conventional appliances. The harmonic currents represent the net balance of the total current of some 60 operational inverters and the connected domestic loads from 25 homes.1.6 Harmonic distortion. tolerance level of EN 50 160 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 THD_V [%] 10 THD U L1 % -2500 -2000 THD U L2 % -1500 THD U L3 % -1000 -500 0 1 0 power [W] Figure 10: Harmonic distortion (THD) voltage at MP1 as function of delivered inverter power. THD_U is higher when no PV power is available.

5 2 1.current in A 9 harmonic n3 n5 n7 n9 n11 n13 n15 n19 n33 03:30 04:40 05:50 07:00 08:10 09:20 10:30 11:40 12:50 14:00 15:10 16:20 17:30 19:50 21:00 22:10 23:20 irradiance [W/m²] 00:00 01:10 02:20 hour Figure 11: Graph of selected harmonic currents in phase 2 at MP 4 over a sunny day. typically the time period with the highest irradiation in the year. The first graph depicts irradiance. 3.5 1 0.5 current [ A ] 3 2. 18:40 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 11 .5 0 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 L1 L2 L3 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 harmonic order n Figure 12: Low order harmonic currents measured at MP 4 in May/June 2003.

6 1. so the ratio of PV capacity to transformer power is 110 %.6 0. again for the last week in July. an average PV power of about 4 kWp per apartment is installed. The maximum tolerable capacity of PV on a single LV feeder was found to be about 7 kWp per apartment. This value was never reached during the monitoring period. All power quality requirements as described by the European standard EN 50 160 were satisfied. 2 1. During the time of highest PV generation a power export to the MV grid was noticed.2 1 0. This should be avoided by integrated planning of inverter distribution. Figure 13 shows the time sequence of the “unbalance index”. Also. voltage imbalance [%] Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 12 . The area is supplied through a 400 kVA transformer. 2008.2 0 0 500 time 1000 1500 Figure 13: Time series diagram of voltage unbalance at MP 1. A measurement campaign in the development showed that power quality is only slightly affected by the PV systems. probably due to an uneven distribution of inverters over the three phases. By reducing the slightly higher set voltage of the transformer to the nominal level. For the whole area supplied by the transformer.2.4 0.has shown some unbalance between the phases.3. which is well below the permitted limit of 2 %. However. The peak delivered power was found to be 170 kW. Figure 8 – voltage distribution . PV systems are connected in parallel to the premises´ loads. 2. increased voltage levels had been measured. an even higher PV capacity could be accommodated.4 Summary “Schlierberg” “Solarsiedlung Am Schlierberg” is a recently constructed real estate development comprising about 440 kWp PV arrays on some 70 residences as well as on a large office and building block. They are distributed roughly evenly along the feeders.8 0. which includes buildings without PV.1. the ratio of inverse sequence/normal sequence. Unbalance typically stays below 1 %.4 1. Figure 7 has already shown that the EN 50 160 standard is not violated.7 Voltage unbalance (at end of feeder) In this section the aspect of voltage unbalance is analysed in more detail.8 1.1. EN 50 160 permits up to 2 % unbalance. which are furthest away from the transformer station. measured voltage levels fall very well into the tolerance bands. Time is one week in arbitrary units. unbalance between phases was found at increased levels during PV generation. At the network nodes.

The nominal power of the transformer. PV panels are mounted on the roof of 108 cottages out of a total of 210 cottages. The total solar power installed is around 315 kW peak. Energy from the PV systems is measured separately from the load of the cottages themselves. is situated in Zutphen. The roofs of the 108 cottages with PV systems are owned by the utility Nuon.2 Holidaypark Bronsbergen The holiday park `Bronsbergen`. feeding all the cottages is 400 kVA. The average power per house with PV is 2. The ratio of nominal PV Power to transformer rated power is 80 %. In the following sections information can be found on real estate development. 2.2. 2.2. therefore the load is small compared to regular domestic residences. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 13 . see figure 14. Figure 14: Holiday park.1. Most of these cottages are used for holidays only.1 Real estate development The holiday park was built eight years ago in 2000. Ownership will be transferred to the owner of the building after ten years of use. electrical network and the PV systems used. roofs with solar panels.2.9 kWp.5 KWp.1 Site description Holidaypark Bronsbergen The total solar power installed is around 315 kW peak. Netherlands. including non-PV houses it is 1.

Figure 16: Overview of the holiday park “Bronsbergen” Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 14 .Figure 15: Example of cottage with PV panels on the roof An overview of the holiday park is given in figure 16 which is a picture from “google earth”.

The average transformer secondary voltage is set to 230 V. 2.2 Electrical network Figure 17 shows the total concept of the low voltage grid on the holiday park.3 PV systems The PV systems in each cottage are connected to the grid with (in most cases) two inverters with a nominal power of 2. Figure 17: Concept of the low voltage grid `Bronsbergen` 2. measurements were taken in some cottages over several weeks. The type of inverters is Mastervolt Sunmaster 2500. to measure the PV production into the grid independent from the load of the cottage itself. each. The systems are connected through a separate energy meter.2 Measurements A monitoring program was started in June 2005 for monitoring all power quality aspects in the low voltage grid. The inverters of each cottage are both connected to one phase and the PV systems are equally distributed over the phases. The nominal power of the transformer is 400 kVA. Due to the fact that most of these cottages are used for holidays the load is small compared with normal domestic houses. lower than normal due to the PV systems connected.5 kVA.1. To complete the picture of actual power quality levels in the grid. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 15 . Four outgoing feeders are used for connecting all the cottages to the public grid. During this period the active and reactive power across the feeding transformer was measured.2.2. In the four outgoing feeders and at the low voltage side of the transformer power quality (PQ) measurement devices were placed as shown in figure 18. mainly using 150 mm² Al lowvoltage cable.2.2. The measured data also gives the information about all power quality phenomena at the low-voltage side of the transformer.1.

The voltage variations are limited to approximately 8 V. In each section the most important findings are described.2.1 Voltage level at transformer Figure 19 shows the voltage level at the low voltage side of the transformer. The voltage variations are due to variations in the loads. Figure 19: Voltage variation at the low voltage side of transformer Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 16 .3 Results In the next sections the results of all measurements are given.3.Figure 18: PQ-measurement devices installed in the substation 2. 2. generated PV power and voltage variations in the MV-grid. There are no unexpected voltage variations.2.

An example of the measured voltage quality is shown in figure 20. then the active power is flowing back into the MV grid.2 Voltage quality at transformer (EN 50 160) Voltage quality at the transformer is in general within the limits of EN 50 160.3. due to the capacitors in the PV inverters which are switched on in the morning and switched off in the evening.6.2.3. Due to a resonance effect the harmonic voltage of the 11th or 15th harmonic order is above the standards´ limit. The difference between sunny and cloudy days shows very clearly. However. but due to the resonance the acceptable limit has been exceeded several times. 2. above the label “voltage harmonics”. If the reactive power is negative.2. Figure 20: Voltage quality at the low voltage side of transformer In this figure harmonic distortion is shown as the second group of bars from the left.3. then the reactive power is capacitive. In this example the average falls within the limits. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 17 . When the active power is negative.2.2. Further details are given in section 2.3 Power flow at transformer Figure 21 shows the power flow across the transformer. in cases of high production of PV power there is a harmonic oscillation problem.

3. An example of a measurement is shown in figure 22.3. Figure 22: Voltage quality at the end of a feeder. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 18 . Voltage harmonics exceed the level set by EN 50 160 in several cases.6.2. Again in several cases a harmonic distortion exceeding these limits was measured. kVA) 2.Figure 21: Power flow across the transformer (in kW. Mostly there is an increased level of the 11th and 15th harmonic voltage as is described in section 2.2.4 Voltage quality at end of feeder Voltage quality at the end of the feeder is in general within the limits of EN 50 160.

6 Harmonic distortion. The 11th harmonic voltage is increased mainly in phase 1 of the system and the 15th harmonic voltage is increased in phase 3.5 Voltage rise from PV power at end of the feeder The voltage rise at the end of the feeder is within the acceptable limit. Figure 25 shows the current of the PV system at the same cottage. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 19 . The cottage is not located at the end of the feeder. which leads to an increase in the 11th and 15th harmonic voltage.3. Current is shown indicatively only to show correlation of voltage with current pattern The voltage varies between 233 V and 216 V. The PV systems are connected to phase 1 in this cottage. current As mentioned before there is a resonance phenomenon. Figure 23 shows this voltage level together with the PV current generated in one of the cottages.3.2.2. The voltage drop from peak load in the evenings is shown as high as the voltage rise from peak PV power. Measured harmonic voltages in the cottage are shown in figure 24.2. Figure 23: Voltage (upper signal) and generated PV current in one of the cottages. but the measured voltage variations can be used to calculate the voltage at the end of the feeder. 2. harmonic spectra – voltage.

A deeper analysis of this problem can be found in [8] and [7]. the harmonic currents and the harmonic behaviour of the inverters also play an important role.Figure 24: Harmonic voltages. The strong correlation of PV generation and increased harmonic voltages is clear. The harmonic background distortion. blue: h11. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 20 . This harmonic distortion occurs due to the resonances which occur due to the capacitance of the inverters and the inductance of the grid. red: h15 Figure 25: Current of the PV system for the same time period.

However.3.4 Summary “Bronsbergen“ The holiday park `Bronsbergen` comprises a total of 210 cottages. there was no significant increase in the flicker level. during times with regular levels of harmonic distortion. but will occur when there is a significant voltage dip. if a voltage dip occurs. 2.3.7 Voltage unbalance If the PV systems are equally distributed over the phases of the system. The nominal power of the transformer. Inverter tripping. In general there is no reason for voltage unbalances due to the use of PV systems. Also in other places. feeding all the cottages is 400 kVA.9 Flicker An increase in the flicker level was observed in the moments when there was an increased level of harmonic distortion. On the roof of 108 cottages. Nevertheless the voltage unbalance was limited. In general. In general. there is no increase in the flicker level. 2. Due to a resonance effect the harmonic voltage of the 11th or 15th harmonic order exceeded the standards´ limit This phenomenon could be traced to high input capacities of the employed inverters. 2. In general.8 Inverter tripping Inverter tripping was not measured as such.5 kWp.2. where many PV systems are connected to the grid. because they have to fulfil the requirements on anti-islanding. though it was not measured here. The area exported power on sunny days. In this particular case there were some current unbalances due to the unequal distribution of the PV systems. generally the quiescent voltage of the transformer was below 230 V. Voltage quality at the transformer is in general within the limits of EN 50 160.2.2. Increased voltage levels were not noticed.3.2. Most of these cottages are used as holiday homes. had been observed in other projects due to harmonic distortion. in cases of high production of PV some voltage harmonics were found. average PV capacity per apartment is 1. It is recommended that there should be a change in these requirements to delay the disconnection time which gives the inverters additional time to stay connected to the grid. 2. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 21 .2. The ratio of total PV power to transformer power is about 80 %.2. The protection devices in the inverter are sensitive to voltage dips. also with other PV projects. PV with a total nominal power 315 kWp is mounted. then there will be no unbalance. it can be concluded that the impact on flicker is low or does not exist at all. therefore the loads are small compared to regular residences.3. a peak of 150 kW was noted repeatedly. problems with ripple control signals did not occur.10 Ripple control signals In this project no interference with ripple control signals was detected.

2. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 22 .3 Heerhugowaard. where the “city of the sun” is located. and the houses which were installed with PV systems. The site comprises a total of 70 houses on two feeders of the transformer.1 Site description Heerhugowaard.1. 21 houses employ a PV generator. The average power per house with PV is 6. sun city “Mayersloot” The site is in Langedijk. including non-PV houses it is 1. Figure 26: view on Mayersloot 2. The ratio of nominal PV Power to transformer rated power is 33 %.9 KWp.3. Some houses on this site have PV systems and some do not. 2. many houses and buildings were built employing PV systems.1 Real estate development A lot of PV projects are located in this residential area. A photograph of the site is given in figure 26. is shown in figure 27.3. The houses were built around the year 2000 and to date no problems with the PV systems were reported. sun city “Mayersloot” Mayersloot comprises a mix of domestic houses with and without PV systems.2 kWp. Heerhugowaard. An overview of the houses connected to the network. In recent years.

2 Usually cable cross section is reduced towards feeder end to 95 mm² or 50 mm² as shown for the non PV houses in figure 28. there are houses with PV systems connected. 2. There are four outgoing feeders. Houses with PV. 28. The houses with PV systems are concentrated at the end of the respective feeder. The transformer size is 400 kVA.Figure 27: Layout of the electrical network. cable routing and cable sizes are given. For this reason problems with voltage level or other power quality phenomena are not expected. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 23 . The length and crosssection of the cables provide a low impedance path for connection of all houses. In general.1. The total length of the cables and the type of cables are given in fig. On two of the feeders. The layout of the electrical network is shown in figure 28. where less reduction of cross section area of the cables is applied than normal2. knowing that many PV systems would be connected.2 Electrical network The grid had been designed. together with houses without PV.3. this has led to a reinforced grid design.

Figure 28: Overview of the electrical network 2. no further measurements were taken. 2. which gives the greatest rise in voltage level.3 PV systems The PV systems range in size from around 5 to 8. Also the grid was simulated in “Power Factory”. The houses with PV are connected at the end of the two feeders.3. when a PV system is installed.3. In each section the most important conclusions are described.1.3 Results In the next sections the results of all measurements are given. No differences between simulation and measurements were found and.3. therefore.2 Measurements Power quality was measured in one house at the end of the feeder and in the substation during a summer week. a software tool for network calculations by the company “digsilent”.1 Voltage level at transformer Over a short time the voltage level at the low voltage side of the transformer was measured. 2. The results are shown in figure 29 Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 24 . The results of the measurements are described in the coming paragraphs. The total PV capacity installed is 130 kWp. 2. Installed inverters are Mastervolt Sunmaster 2500.3.5 kWp per house.3.

2. So. the PV systems have not influenced power quality either positively or negatively.Figure 29: Voltage level at low voltage side of the transformer. Due to the relatively high short circuit power at the transformer station the voltage variations are limited. blue: voltage.2 Voltage quality (EN 50 160) at transformer The voltage quality at the low voltage side of the transformer is within all limits.3. upper curve. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 25 .3. There is no significant change compared with the average voltage quality. red: current The voltage level stays between 235 V and 242 V and is within acceptable limits.

due to the relatively stiff grid the influence on the voltage quality is minimal.3 Voltage quality at end of feeder Voltage quality at the end of the feeder is within acceptable levels as is shown in figure 30.3.3. but the events which occurred did not have any relation with the PV systems installed. Again. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 26 .3. 2. Figure 30: Voltage quality measured in a house at the end of the feeder For events (voltage dips) there are no clear limits given by the standard.2.4 Voltage rise from PV power at end of the feeder During PV generation the voltage at the end of the feeder is higher than the voltage at the beginning of the feeder due to the reverse power flow. The relation between the generated PV power and the voltage level can be clearly seen in figure 31.3.

This can occur when a lot of inverters are installed with a high input capacitance.3. lower curve red: current The current in this figure is the current of one of the two PV inverters installed in this house. From this and also from other PV projects it can be concluded that harmonic problems only occur when there is a resonance problem. Also for this power quality phenomenon there is no significant relation between the generated PV power and the harmonic voltage distortion. harmonic spectra – voltage. upper curve.Figure 31: Voltage level at the end of the feeder. blue: voltage. The maximum permissible voltage according to EN 50 160 is 253 V and the minimum permissible voltage 207 V.3.5 Harmonic distortion. current Figure 32 shows the relation between the harmonic voltage distortion (THD-V) and the current of one inverter installed in the house at the end of the feeder. 2. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 27 . With its range form 227 V to 245 V the recorded voltage falls well between these limits.

L1. In general there is no reason for voltage unbalances due to the use of PV systems. From this figure and from experience from other PV projects it can be concluded that there is no significant relation between PV power generation and flicker. The peak flicker levels occur when no significant PV output current is observed. lower curve red: current L1 2. 2.6 Voltage unbalance If the PV systems are equally distributed over the phases of the system.3.Figure 32: Voltage distortion and PV current. blue: THD_V. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 28 .3.7 Flicker Figure 33 shows the flicker parameters Pst and Plt over the same time period as the measured PV current in figure 32.3.3. upper curve. then there will be no unbalance. In this case there was no unbalance measured.

3.Figure 33: Measured flicker parameters Pst and Plt. Total PV capacity installed is 130 kWp.5 kWp per house. L1. some with and some without PV systems. During the seven years of operation no problems with the PV systems were reported. Referred to the two feeders. all built in the year 2000.9 kWp per house. to which PV is connected. red: Plt. which gives the greatest rise in voltage level. problems with ripple control signals did not occur. between 235 V and 242 V and was within acceptable limits.4 Summary “Mayersloot“ “Mayersloot” is a site with domestic customers. L1t 2. The PV houses are all connected to the ends of two feeders.3. Peak power of the PV systems installed is around 5 to 8. also with other PV projects. Voltage quality at the end of the feeder was also within acceptable levels. In general. the average nominal PV power is 1. when a PV system is installed. Transformer voltage level was generally rather high.3. 2. blue: Pst. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 29 .8 Ripple control signals In this project no interference with ripple control signals is detected.

3 PV Systems For Hespul. a French non-profit organisation for the promotion of renewable energies. is located in a high density urban area with a mix of offices and dwellings.1 Real estate development The site is located next to the Technical University of Lyon in France. In order to invest in the PV system.4 2. it is included in this report since a technical study was undertaken by EDF R&D project in order to assess the impact of this photovoltaic system on the voltage quality of the low voltage network [11].1. but the building on which the PV system is installed.4. installation and management of renewable energy systems called Soleil-Marguerite [9]. France Although the Soleil-Marguerite photovoltaic system is not part of a PV real estate development.2. La Nef.1 “Soleil-Marguerite“ photovoltaic system Site description 2. 2.4.2 Electrical network Detailed characteristics of the electrical network are not known. Hespul then launched the idea of installing a PV system on the roof of this building. 2.4. Hespul decided to have at least one sub-system from each main Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 30 . the local electrical network can be considered as a stiff grid. United-Kingdom. This association was a contractor of the European Commission funded UNIVERSOL Project which supported the installation of PV systems on buildings in Spain.4. this project was the opportunity to become owner of its own PV system in order to go on promoting PV by organising technical visits and training sessions and allowing hands-on experience. For that reason. moved into an office building owned by a co-operative and ethical financial services bank.1. The Netherlands and France comprising a total power of 827 kWp [10]. Hespul and La Nef created an association dedicated to the promotion.1. Figure 34: bird’s eye view of the Soleil-marguerite PV system installed on the roof of an office building in Lyon-Villeurbanne. In 2000 Hespul. Therefore.

Figure 35: The PV generator is mounted on a flat roof Figure 36: inverters are mounted outdoor at a protected. Therefore this PV system is composed of 3 subsystems (table IV): Table IV: technical data of PV system Power module type [kWp] Sub-system 1 Sub-system 2 Sub-system 3 total 6.1 2.2 Measurements As part of the project UNIVERSOL [10].French PV system supplier. EDF R&D carried out a study in order to assess the Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 31 .Isofoton Figures 35 and 36 give an impression of the installation. northern wall 2.6 13 BP-Solar 585 Total-Energy TE1700 Isofoton I-110 BP Solar CGI 2400 / 3 SMA SWR 1700E / SMA SB 2100 TL / 1 2 6 Inverter type/ number system supplier BP-Solar Tenesol Sunwatt .1 4.4.

except the harmonic currents H6 and H8 which exceed 0. the impact of this PV system on the low voltage distribution grid is low: • • • • • • • Power : the photovoltaic system consumes reactive power during the generation period. EDF R&D undertook two types of measurements on this PV system: • During three weeks (from 07/09/2004 to 28/09/2004): Measurements were taken at the connection point to the distribution network. The EN 50 160 standard requires that the range of variation of magnitude of the supply voltage should fall • • either between Vn +10 % and Vn -15 % or into Vn ± 10 % for 95 % of a week. the values stay in the regulation range Voltage spikes: no voltage spikes during operations current harmonics (0 to 9 kHz) : the levels stay low. harmonics and flicker during regular operation in order to produce a quality check-up of the installation (10 min average values) During one day (28/09/2004) : Measurements were taken at the connection point to the distribution network. the values stay in the regulation range Slow variations of the voltage : very low.4.5 % when the installation supplied a power higher than a certain threshold (about 4 kW) Inter-harmonic voltage at the frequency 175 Hz: low value.3. the voltage supply stayed between Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 32 . during a week of measurements. this study focused on specific voltage quality characteristics such as: • slow variations of voltage • • quick variations of voltage harmonics in the range 0 – 9 kHz. it had no influence on the plants using the 175 Hz remote-control system.4. except the consumption of reactive power and slightly increased level of H6 and H8 harmonic currents.impact of a photovoltaic system on the voltage quality of the low voltage network [11]. 2. • 2. the values stay in the regulation range Flicker : very low. which was not expected and not in accordance with the national legal framework Frequency : very low variations. the values stay in the regulation range Voltage unbalance : very low. load changes cause variations of the average supply voltage on a time scale of a few tens of seconds.3 Results The overall result of this study was that. voltages. of transients in order to assess the impact of the PV system on the distribution network during specific events such as the connection or the disconnection to the distribution network (20 ms sampling rate) • In particular.1 Voltage quality at end of feeder (EN 50 160) Under regular operating conditions. of currents. This study found that. powers.

3.4. The study concluded that the grid voltage seemed to be independent of the power.3. 10000 8000 P [W] and Q [var] 6000 4000 2000 0 -2000 -4000 -6000 Q Day P V 244 240 236 232 228 224 Voltage [V] 33 Figure 37: Voltage and power measured at the connection point to the grid. The study concluded that harmonic voltage levels are low and always below limits set by the EN 50 160 and the IEC 61000-2-12 standards (see figure 38). 40). 2.229. an arrêté. mainly due to the fact that the nominal power of the PV system is low compared to the load in this urban area. Concerning harmonic currents. Other aspects of the EN 50 160 standard are described below. These limits refer to a legal text.9V (Vn -0. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements .04 %) and 241.5 % level (see figures 39.2 Voltage rise from PV power at end of feeder Although not situated at the end of a feeder. harmonics spectra – voltage. Line voltage does not show a correlation with PV power. 2. the voltage of the distribution grid was analysed in relation to the power delivered by the PV system (see figure 37). levels are also low.3 Harmonic distortion. this means between the values defined by the EN 50 160. current Harmonic Voltages in the 0-2500 Hz range and harmonic currents in the 0-2000 Hz range were measured during the long term monitoring campaign.89 V (Vn +5. that defined the harmonic emissions for producers connected to the MV grid [13]. except for H6 and H8 harmonic currents that are above the 0.4.17%). The values are given in % by harmonic order.

6 Imax and limit [%] 5 4 3 2 1 0 2 5 8 11 14 17 20 23 26 Lim its (red) Measurem ents (blue) 29 Order Figure 39: harmonic currents in the 0 to 2000 Hz range and comparison to permissible limits. 32 Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 50 34 .7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 2 5 8 11 14 17 20 23 26 29 32 Vmax and limit [%] Limits (red) Measurements (blue) 35 38 41 44 35 47 38 Order Figure 38: harmonic voltages in the 100 to 2500 Hz range and comparison to limits set by standards (EN 50-160). H6 and H8 harmonic currents are higher than limits stated in national regulation [13].

4 0.2 1 0.6 0.2 0 0 1.2 0 H6 current [%] Power [VA] Lim it H8 current [%] Lim it Day Figure 40: Power for a week and H6 and H8 harmonic currents that are above limits when power exceeds approx. THDmax measured was 5.10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 1. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 35 .8 0. Concerning harmonics voltages. This is below the maximum value of 8 % set by EN 50 160 (see figure 41). The harmonic distortion of voltage and current is characterised by a parameter called “Total Harmonic Distortion” (THD).6 0.2 1 0.4 %.8 0.4 0. 4 kVA.

1 0 2100 2700 3300 3900 4500 5100 5700 6300 Lim its (red) Measurem ents (blue) 6900 7500 8100 Frequency Figure 42: harmonic voltages in the 2 to 9 kHz range and comparison to permitted limits. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 8700 . 0.4 Vmax and limit [%] 0.3 0.6 THDUmax and THDImax [%] 10000 Power [VA] 36 5 4 3 2 1 0 THDUmax THDImax Power 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Day Figure 41: Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of voltage and current for a week. Daily peak THD values occur after PV production has stopped Higher harmonic voltages and currents up to 9 kHz were measured only during one day and are well below the standard’s [13] limits (see figure 42 and 43).2 0.

2.3. Compliance with EN 50 160 is verified when 95 % of the sequence of valid 10 minutes of Vi values are within the 0 to 2 % range of the positive sequence component.1 0 2100 2700 3300 3900 4500 5100 5700 6300 Lim its (red) Measurem ents (blue) 6900 7500 8100 Frequency Figure 43: harmonic currents in the 2 to 9 kHz range and comparison to permitted limits.77 % of the positive sequence component. 8700 37 Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements . as the maximum Plt value recorded was 0. Maximum Pst values were measured at night and not during the PV generation period or during connection or disconnection of the PV system to the grid (see figure 44). and PV production was found during the week of measurements.4. The severity of the disturbance caused by this effect disturbance is described by two parameters: the short term severity Pst and the long term severity Plt.7. First.Imax and limit [%] 0. 2. Also.3.5 Flicker Flicker is the effect produced by lamps on the visual human perception in case of voltage fluctuations.3 0.4 0. this is well below the level of 1 for 95 % of the measured values as required in EN 50 160. The study concluded that the PV system did not generate voltage unbalance as the maximum negative sequence component was 0. The study concluded that the PV system was not the cause of Flicker (see figure 45).2 0.5 0.4.4 Voltage unbalance at end of feeder The unbalance Vu of the supply voltage is defined by the negative sequence component Vi expressed in percent of the positive sequence component Vd. no relation between Pst values observed.6 0.

1.7 0.4 1.8 0.1 0 Day tolerance level of EN 50 160 Figure 45: long term severity Plt during week of measurement Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements .6 0.5 0.2 0 Day Figure 44: short term severity Pst and power Pst Power 10 9 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Power [kVA] 38 7 Plt [%] 1 0.6 1.4 0.3 0.9 0.2 0.6 0.2 Pst [%] 1 0.4 0.8 0.

2. The reason why this system consumes reactive power is not known at the time of writing. during such event. 2. reactive power (bottom curve .94 Hz and 50.6 %.3.4.00 231.06 Hz.75 231.52 Hz for 100 % of values.4. The study found that the variation of frequency was very low as the measured frequency stayed between 49. • • 2500 2000 P [W] and Q [Var] 1500 1000 500 0 -500 -1000 -1500 0 4 8 13 17 21 25 30 34 38 42 46 Time [s] 51 55 59 233. The study concluded that the PV system does not impact the ripple control signal as the maximum 175 Hz voltage harmonic level measured was 0. Effects of connection and disconnection to the distribution network: measurements of transients at fast sampling rate were undertaken during one day in order to assess the impact of the PV system on the distribution network during specific events such as the connection or the disconnection to the distribution network. Frequency: the EN 50 160 standard indicates that the ranges of frequency variations for interconnected supply systems are: 50 Hz ± 0. which was not expected and not in accordance with the national legal framework. the voltage stayed within the range set by the EN 50 160 standard (see figures 46 and 47).50 Voltage [V] 39 Figure 46: Voltage (green).5 % of values and 47 .5 % for 99. the frequency of the ripple control signal used by utilities to change the price of electricity for different periods of the day is 175 Hz.blue) and real power (centre curve magenta) during the connection of the PV system to the grid Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements .00 232.6 Ripple control signals In France.3.31 %.25 232.50 232. This study concluded that.7 Other issues • Reactive Power: as can be seen on figure 46 the photovoltaic system consumes reactive power during the generation period. In order to guarantee the proper operation of ripple control devices the 175 Hz voltage harmonic must stay below 0.75 232.

The PV system comprises about 13 kWp and 6 inverters. Detailed characteristics of the electrical network are not known.50 232. real power (upper curve – magenta) and reactive power (bottom curve – blue) during forced disconnection of the PV system from the grid 2.4. However.00 231.50 Figure 47: Voltage (green). It is included in this report to show the negligible impact of a comparatively small PV system on the voltage quality of the low voltage network.00 230. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements . is located in a high density urban area with a mix of offices and dwellings. the local electrical network can be considered as a stiff grid.4 Summary “Soleil-Marguerite“ The Soleil-Marguerite photovoltaic system is located in a high density urban area with a mix of offices and dwellings.50 229. Therefore.00 Voltage [V] 40 P [W] and Q [Var] 231.3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 -500 -1000 -1500 0 4 8 13 17 21 25 30 34 38 42 46 51 55 59 Time [s] 232. consumption of reactive power was higher than expected and required by national guidelines and at high generation power the level of H6 and H8 harmonic currents from inverters was found to exceed the limits set in a national standard [13]. The overall results of the “Soleil-Marguerite“ study was that the impact of this PV system on the low voltage distribution grid was low. but the building on which the PV system is installed.50 230. the local electrical network can be considered as a stiff grid. Therefore.00 229.

The implementation of PV systems in existing networks is limited to this 70 % because most grids are designed assuming a relatively low load for each customer (ADMD of 1 .1. if power is limited to 70 % of the rated power of the feeding transformer. In some cases even higher amounts of PV power were possible. The peak exported power in any of the projects did not exceed 160 kW. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 41 . For the whole area supplied by the transformer. the grid design can be adapted for the PV systems that may be connected to it in future by properly sizing transformer and cables.9 kWp and 3. an even higher PV capacity could be accommodated. Loading of equipment During the time of highest PV generation a power export to the MV grid was noticed. Power quality was found to be affected only with regard to increased voltage levels at the end of LV feeders. For new developments setting the transformer ratio to a secondary voltage level between Vn and 98 %*Vn could avoid any practical capacity limit from voltage rise. all power quality requirements as described by the European standard EN 50 160 were satisfied. if there was an uneven distribution of inverters over the three phases. The maximum tolerable capacity of PV to a single LV feeder was found to be about 7 kWp per apartment. This was traced back to resonance effects between network harmonics.5 KWp. however. Flicker problems were not noticed. There is no theoretical technical limit. Power quality In general. The simultaneous production of PV power is the bottleneck for implementing higher amounts of PV-power. This can be assumed because of the low simultaneous use of all loads connected to the network. As a rule of thumb PV capacity in an LV grid segment should not cause any problems. in general does not deteriorate the quality of the grid. 1. a ratio of 80 % and higher. PV power. in one case voltage harmonics were found to exceed permitted values. 80 % and 110 %.5 kVA). if the network design can be “made for purpose”. In another system current harmonics from inverters were found to exceed limits set by a national French standard under high power levels.2 kWp per apartment. is generated simultaneously by all systems. Obviously. Possible improvements Power unbalance between the phases was found to be increased. This should be avoided by integrated planning of inverter distribution.3 Conclusions Measurement campaigns in four urban PV real estate areas and systems have demonstrated that PV generation is compatible with LV distribution networks even at high PV density. the average installed PV capacity reaches values of 1. However. By reducing the set voltage of the transformer from 235 V to the nominal level of 230 V. Generally. including buildings without PV. less than half the transformers rated power. evenly distributing PV systems over a feeder allows more capacity than concentrating PV systems at the end of a feeder. Acceptable PV capacity The ratio of nominal PV capacity to rated transformer power for the systems monitored includes the values 33 %. Selecting inverters with a low input capacitance would avoid this effect. no detrimental effect on power quality was noticed. cable impedance and a high inverter input capacitance. This report confirms that distributed generation from PV systems with a high ratio of generation capacity to rated transformer power. In new networks.

Impact of a large capacity of distributed PV production on the low voltage grid. Duvallet. G. Scheffler. Power Quality. 1997 [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] Acknowledgements To home owners for access to apartments and buildings To the European Union for financial support in the frame of the CEC supported projects PVUPSCALE (EIE/05/171 and UNIVERSOL (NNE5/2001/293) Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 42 . legal document. Dissertation. Cobben..pdf H. C. & Oldenkamp.solarsiedlung. issued 2001). France. Cobben. Thaï. 2002 http://www. (2005. G. NACWY Kabel http://www. Th. Doctoral dissertation. M. Technical University Chemnitz.pdf. Kling. Proc.org www. Bestimmung der maximal zulässigen Netzanschlussleistung photovoltaischer Energiewandlunganlagen in Wohnsiedlungsgebieten (Determination of the maximum permissible power capacity of PV systems in residential areas). CIRED. Meyer. NAYY.. Eigenerzeugungsanlagen am Niederspannungsnetz – Richtlinie für Anschluss und Parallelbetrieb von Eigenerzeugungsanlagen am Niederspannungsnetz (private electricity generation systems at the low voltage grid – Guideline for connecting and operating of distributed generation systems on the low voltage grid.helukabel.Turin. Ausgabe 2001 EN 50 160: 1995.org/IMG/pdf/Schlierberg. L. Heskes. Predict the level of harmonic distortion due to dispersed generation.F. Quality impact of the photovoltaic generator "Association Soleil Marguerite" on the public distribution network. Voltage characteristics of electricity supplied by public distribution systems J. 4. Duvauchelle. Thoma. 19. European PVSEC. H.de/pdf/german/technik/T29__STROMBELASTBARKEIT_FUER_N YY_%20NAYY_NYCY_%20NYCWY_%20NACWY. report HR42/04/046/A.4 [1] References J. 2007. Moré.org C. 2004 Strombelastbarkeit für NYY. June). T.soleilmarguerite. EDF R&D / EFESE – MIRE. Implication on the point of connection. T. P. Paris 2004 VDEW.pvupscale. W. J. Italy. Paris. J. F. NYCY. C.G. University of Technology Eindhoven. www. NYCWY. Laukamp.universol-france.de/ http://www. Erge. 2008-06-19 Arrêté technique du 21 juillet 1997 relatif aux conditions techniques de raccordement au réseau public des installations de production autonome d'énergie électrique de moins de 1 MW.

occasionally higher. ±10 % for 95 % of week.5 kV rms generally < 6 kV. power frequency overvoltages Transient overvoltages Supply voltage unbalance Harmonic voltage Interharmonic voltage Mains signalling voltage ±10 % for 95 % of week.5 5.1 Annex EN 50 160 requirements for LV grid The following table gives the currently valid (year 2008) requirements of EN 50 160. ≤2% ≤ 3 % in some locations individual harmonics: see table below THD ≤ 8 % (including all harmonics up to the order 40) under consideration according to frequency dependent curve Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 43 . >10 % infrequently Plt ≤ 1 for 95 % of week Majority: duration <1s.few hundreds/year Duration 70 % of them < 1 s duration > 3 minutes: <10 . ±10 % for 95 % of week.μs. rise time: ms .5% of week -6%/+4% (47. depth < 60 %.50/year <1.5 Hz) for 99.52 Hz) for 100% of week Magnitude of the supply voltage Supply voltage variations Voltage level variations Rapid voltage changes Flicker Supply voltage dips Short interruptions of supply voltage Long interruption of supply voltage Temporary.5 .50. General requirements (except for frequency) are: • at least one week of measurement • 10 min average rms values • 95 % of data shall fall within limits • Parameter EN 50 160 requirements Power frequency mean value of fundamental measured over 10 s: ±1% (49. Locally limited dips caused by load switching: 10 – 50 % duration < = 3 minutes: few tens . level changes ≤ 5 % normal.

0 % 0.5 % 0.5 % 1.0 % 1. Impact of PV systems in high capacity PV settlements 44 .0 % 5.0 % 3. but largely unpredictable due to resonance effects.5 % Multiples of 3 Order h 3 9 15 21 Relative voltage (Un) 5.5 % 3.5 % 0.Table 1: Values of individual harmonic voltages at the supply terminals for orders up to 25 given in percent of the fundamental voltage U1 Odd harmonics Not multiples of 3 Order h 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 25 Relative voltage (Un) 6. as they are usually small.0 % 2.5 % 1.0 % 1.0 % 1.5 % 6 Order h 2 4 24 Relative voltage (Un) 2.5 % Even harmonics NOTE No values are given for harmonics of order higher than 25.

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