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Solar PV Inverters

Anuj Dixit
Planning Engineer
Resource Integration
RPG Meeting
August 17, 2012

Definition and Purpose

Definition: Intermittent Renewable Resource (IRR)

- A Generation Resource that can only produce energy from variable
uncontrollable resources such as wind, solar or run-of-the-river

- ERCOT is encountering some projects in which the inverter
designs limit the capability of the solar plant because all of the
protocol requirements were not considered in the design.
- So far, these limitations have been on reactive capability across
operating range.

November 14, 2011


Solar projects in ERCOT


Modeling requirements

Protocol requirements


Questions / Discussion

August 17, 2012

Example - Reactive capability

Reactive curve for a sample inverter, 0.95 pf lead/lag requirement
0.750 MW

Operating Area



August 17, 2012

Solar PV projects

506 MW solar projects in the Study Phase

Majority of the projects are solar PV

August 17, 2012

Modeling requirements FIS perspective

Steady state
Active/Reactive Power Capability
Voltage control settings
Generator step up transformer

Short circuit
Equivalenced collector system model

Compatible PSS/E standard model or a user defined model

PSCAD Model for SSCI Studies ?

August 17, 2012

ERCOT Protocols and other binding documents

Voltage ride through capability (Operating Guide 2.9.1)

August 17, 2012

ERCOT Protocols and other binding documents

Frequency Control (Protocol 8.5 Primary Frequency Response

Requirements and Monitoring)
- At all times an All-Inclusive Generation Resource is On-Line, its
Governor must remain in service and be allowed to respond to all
changes in system frequency except during startup, shutdown, or
testing. All Generation Resources that have capacity available to
either increase output or decrease output in Real-Time must provide
Primary Frequency Response, which may make use of that
available capacity. Only Generation Resources providing Regulation
Up (Reg-Up), Regulation Down (Reg-Down), Responsive Reserve
(RRS), or Non-Spinning Reserve (Non-Spin) from On-Line
Resources, as specified in Section 8.1.1, QSE Ancillary Service
Performance Standards, shall be required to reserve capacity that
may also be used to provide Primary Frequency Response.

August 17, 2012

ERCOT Protocols and other binding documents

Voltage Control : Reactive Capability 0.95 lead lag capability

over the entire range (Protocol 3.15)
-Reactive Power Requirements: an over-excited (lagging) power factor
capability of 0.95 or less and an under-excited (leading) power factor
capability of 0.95 or less, both determined at the generating unit's maximum
net power to be supplied to the ERCOT Transmission Grid and at the
transmission system Voltage Profile established by ERCOT, and both
measured at the POI.
The Reactive Power requirements shall be available at all MW output
levels and may be met through a combination of the Generation Resources
Unit Reactive Limit (URL), which is the generating units dynamic leading
and lagging operating capability, and/or dynamic VArcapable devices.
Generation Entities may submit to ERCOT specific proposals to meet the
Reactive Power requirements established in paragraph (3) above by
employing a combination of the URL and added VArcapability, provided that
the added VArcapability shall be automatically switchable static and/or
dynamic VArdevices. ERCOT may, at its sole discretion, either approve or
deny a specific proposal, provided that in either case, ERCOT shall provide
the submitter an explanation of its decision.
August 17, 2012


Inverter selection must consider how the design will meet

ERCOT protocols and other binding document (grid code)

Inverter characteristics may be improved with design

modifications (i.e. it may be possible that an inverter whos
published specifications do not meet the ERCOT requirements
can be modified to meet these requirements)

August 17, 2012


Questions ?

August 17, 2012