Comparative Study of Active Power Curtailment Methods of PVs for Preventing Overvoltage on Distribution Feeders
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Overvoltage is one of the major issues on distribution grids with high penetration of photovoltaic (PV) generation. Overvoltage could be prevented through the control of active/reactive power of PVs. However given the high R/X ratio of low voltage feeders voltage control by using reactive power would not be as effective as using active power. Therefore active power curtailment (APC) of PVs though not desirable becomes necessary at times to prevent the overvoltage issues. Existing literature is rich in centralized and droop-based methods for APC and/or reactive power control of PVs to prevent overvoltage issues. In this context this paper revisits the most popular existing methods and evaluates the performance of droop-based and centralized methods using a typical North American 240 V low voltage feeder with 24 residential homes. In this work our key findings are: a) droop-based methods provided conservative solutions or did not eliminate the overvoltages completely b) power flow sensitivity based droop approach led to 13% more curtailment than the centralized approaches c) centralized approach had 40% less energy curtailed compared with standard droop while no overvoltages were observed and d) operating PVs at non-unity power factor in centralized approach led to 5% less energy curtailment.