Study of a PV-Grid Connected System on its Complex Output Power and Impedance

Jutturit Thongpron1, Surasak Yusawat1 and Krissanapong Kirtikara2 Clean Energy Systems Group (CES) 1 Rajamankgala University of Technology Lanna, Northern Campus Chaing Mai 50300, Thailand 2 King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok 10140, Thailand Corresponding author: J. Thongpron t_jutturit@yahoo.com ;<jutturit@rmutlt.ac.th> Abstract: This paper describes the effects of solar radiation on the complex output power (the apparent, reactive and active/real power) and the output impedance of an inverter at the point of common coupling (PCC) of a PV-grid interactive system. Radiation level, PV array output, complex inverter output power and output impedance at the PCC are monitored. Analysis is made on the relationship between the ratios of PV DC output power and complex output power of an inverter at various radiation levels . The results show that reactive power dominates at low radiation. Radiation dependent output impedance is also calculated. Impedance plots in the complex plane exhibit a semicircle with inductive reactance, manifesting the inductive nature of the inverter. Similar behavior is observed with a smaller 2 kWp system. Key Words: Photovoltaic; Inverter; Power quality ; Solar radiation; Grid-interactive systems; Impedance.

1 Introduction
Thailand first introduced a national pilot project on PV roof-top grid connected systems in the late 1990s with financial support from the Energy Policy and Planning Office , and has since seen the installation of more such units [1]. Concurrently, there have been studies of issues that are of concern to electricity utilities on power quality of such small distributed generation units. Power quality parameters such as percentage of total harmonic distortion of voltage and current, and the voltage variations at the Point of Common Coupling (PCC) have been evaluated. In addition, studies were undertaken on the interplay between solar radiation levels and fluctuation, dynamic characteristics of solar cells and modules, inverter types and loads [2]. Initial instigations have also been made on islanding protection devices [3]. In this paper, we present results of a study on characteristics of output impedance of an inverter of a 4.2 kWp PV-grid interactive system, and the dependence of impedance on radiation levels and loads. With knowledge on impedance characteristics, one can better simulate behavior of PV-grid interactive systems, understand and control power quality and islanding phenomena.

of the inverter, the inverter output impedance will be determined by the inverter type and its impedance, electrical loads of the PV array impedance (in turn dependent on the dynamic impedance of the PV array), the radiation levels and fluctuations.

Fig.1 Schematic diagram of a number of PV-grid interactive systems connected to a distribution transformer For analysis, we calculate and plot the relationship between solar radiation and: (a) ratios of the output power (apparent, reactive and real power) of the inverter to the DC power of the PV array, covering the whole range of radiation encountered in the field measurement. (b) an output impedance (at 50 Hz) of an inverter. We also compare output impedances of inverters connected to two different PV arrays, 2 kWp and 4.2 kWp.

2 Experiment
We utilized the grid-interactive system at a demonstration site on renewable energy (geothermal and solar cells) of EGAT at Sankampaeng, in the province of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The system has a 4.2kWp PV array, a 3.5kVA grid- connected inverter and domestic loads. It is typical of domestic roof-top units of 3-5 kWp, limited by household roof areas. It is the same system that we have monitored and furnished an earlier report on power quality and radiation levels and fluctuation [2]. Measurements were made on solar radiation, PV power voltage and current and inverter output power from the fundamental frequency up to the 31st harmonic. Data were recorded every 12 seconds. A schematic diagram of the PV-grid interactive system connected to the low voltage end of a distribution transformer is shown in Fig.1. Looking from the PCC into the output terminals

3 Results
3.1 Relationship Between Solar Radiation and Ratios of the Output Power of The Inverter to the DC Power of the PV Array
Fig.2 shows the relationship. It is apparent that at low radiation level, for example, below 300 W/m2, the reactive power is much larger than real/active power. This is because at low radiation, hence low PV power input to the inverter, the inverter operates nonlinearly. Large harmonics are observed [2]. It must

the system is connected to fixed domestic loads.2kWp PV array. To extract maximum power from a PV array. A similar semicircle locus is observed.3 Relationship between solar radiation and real and imaginary parts of output impedance of an inverter 3.be emphasized that even though the ratio of the reactive power to the real power is large. In this situation.3 Output Impedances of Inverters Connected to Two Different PV Arrays We next plot the output impedance of the inverter in a complex plane. We see that the impedance plot traces a semicircle with a positive reactance. This is expected as the inverter is basically inductive equipment. Put another way.2 Relationship between solar radiation and ratio of complex output power of the inverter to PV DC output power 3. although larger. Grid-connected inverters include a maximum power point tracker (MPPT). The real part and the amplitude of the impedance is large. whereas the reactive parts be equal but opposite in signs. Hence. Radiation dependent output impedance were also calculated. Again we surmise that this value should be related to the resistance of the array. References (omitted) . Fig.4 Output impedances of an inverter connected to two different PV arrays (large circle is of 2 kWp array. the output impedance of the inverter of a 2 kWp system is also plotted in the same complex plane. Fig. In our experiment. and the real part of the impedance reaches a maximum value of 246 ohms. PV array impedance exhibits negative reactance. one should be able to obtain the PV array impedance by measuring the output impedance of the inverter. reactive power drops and real power increases. inverter impedance is negative indicating that output power flows out of inverter.2 kWp array) 4 Conclusions We have analysed the relationship between the ratios of PV DC output power and complex output power of an inverter of a 4. We cannot yet arrive at a conclusion behind the difference in the two loci. It is to be noted that real power can be a significant portion of the DC power. For comparison. manifesting the inductive nature of the inverter.2 Relationship Between Radiation and Output Impedance We calculated the real and imaginary parts of the output impedance (at 50 Hz) of the inverter. Harmonics are generated by fluctuating PV outputs. The inverter outputs were monitored under changing radiation levels. the real part of the Fig. the inverter operates in a linear regime. nonlinear circuits of inverters and active loads. the impedance is essentially reactive due to the nonlinear inverter circuit. small real power output is delivered. harmonics are always present at the inverter output terminals. PV arrays are capacitive and when plotted in the complex plane. small circle 4. and the impedance calculated. at low radiation. Impedance plots in the complex plane exhibit a semicircle with inductive reactance.2 kWp PVgrid interactive system at various low levels of radiation. The results show that reactive power dominates at low radiation. Based on this premise. We note from the plots that the semicircle inverter impedance locus. is shifted by a constant value of an inductive reactance of about 26 ohms. Above 300 W/m2. an inverter-MPPT unit must present itself to a PV array as a complex conjugate impedance of the array impedance. we have not directly measured the array impedance while the array is connected to the inverter. From the plots.3. In our research work previously reported. illustrated here as Fig. the real parts of the impedance of the array and the inverter-MPPT unit should be the same. This could be closely related to the capacitive reactance of the 4. the magnitude of the reactive power is small due to small input power. the magnitude of the harmonics is determined by the radiation levels and loads [2].

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