Student Research

Investigation of Residential Solar Pv Impact On Power Distribution System

Solar PV systems are increasingly welcome by US households, especially in California where the solar resources are abundant. Residential PV systems are known to lower the electricity bills for families. However, they can also have negative impacts on their host distribution system. Our project aims to quantify the impacts of residential solar PV systems on a power distribution system and develop a solution based on energy storage system (ESS) to rectify their possible negative impacts. In the first phase of the project, a model for solar PV systems is developed using Matlab Simulink. Then, a number of the PV models will be connected to a distribution feeder for simulating their operation. Their impacts on the distribution system will be measured in terms of power loss and the system voltage profile. The distribution system is modeled based on realistic data provided by Southern California Edison (SCE). In the second phase, an energy storage system (ESS) will be integrated into the distribution grid. The ESS will utilize an optimized charging/discharging schedule to facilitate operation of PV systems. The ESS will interact with the grid and PV systems to alleviate the power demand on the grid. The expected outcomes of the project are: 1) to provide better understanding of the residential PV systems impact on distribution system and 2) to provide an efficient method based on ESS to alleviate negative impacts of PV systems while facilitate their power injection to the grid so as to bring benefits to both the PV system owners and the power grid. The broader impact of the project is that it will help increase the use of solar power and reduce carbon emissions, hence protecting the environment.

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