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Wide-Scale Adoption of Photovoltaic Energy: Grid Code Modifications Are Explored in the Distribution Grid

Current grid standards largely require that low-power (e.g., several kilowatts) single-phase photovoltaic (PV) systems operate at unity power factor (PF) with maximum power point tracking (MPPT), and disconnect from the grid under grid faults by means of islanding detection. However, in the case of wide-scale penetration of single-phase PV systems in the distributed grid, disconnection under gridfaults can contribute to 1) voltage flickers, 2) power outages, and 3) system instability. This article explores grid code modifications for a wide-scale adoption of PV systems in the distribution grid.

In addition, based on the fact that Italy and Japan have recently undertaken a major review of standards for PV power conversion systems connected to low-voltage networks, the importance of low voltage ride-through (LVRT) for single-phase PV power systems under grid faults is considered, along with three reactive power injection strategies. Simulations are presented for a PV power system with a LVRT capability and ancillary services. An example of a full-bridge single-phase grid connected system is tested experimentally to demonstrate the potential benefits. Additionally, grid codes for advanced PV systems with the discussed features are summarized.