The increasing penetration of renewable energy resources such as solar and wind via power electronic inverters is challenging grid dynamics, as well as grid planning, operation, and protection. Recently, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has reported a series of similar events of the unintended loss of solar generation in Southern California over a large geographic area following the transmission-level disturbances. These events highlight the importance of understanding the characteristics of the transmission-side disturbances propagating into the distribution systems and their impacts on the operation of inverter-based resources. In this paper, a real-time electromagnetic simulation testbed is constructed for real-time electromagnetic simulations to generate realistic transmission-level disturbances and investigate their impacts on the solar PV operation under different fault types and locations, solar penetration levels, and loading levels. Through the simulation analysis and grid strength assessment, it is found that the grid strength at points of integration (POIs) of solar PVs significantly affects the transient stability of solar generators. Particularly, undesirable transient stability events are more likely to occur at the weak POIs following the transmission-level disturbances. Moreover, undesirable transient stability events become severer when the transmission-level disturbance is closer to the weak POIs or the disturbances become more serious. Additionally, the impact of the transmission-level disturbances on the solar PVs at the weak POIs exacerbate with the increasing solar penetration levels and loading levels. Thus, it is important to study and develop new technologies for grid planning, operation, and protection in weak grid conditions to address the emerging issues of integrating the high penetration of solar PVs and other IBRs.
Maharjan, M.; Ekic, A.; Strombeck, B.; Wu, D. An RTDS-Based Testbed for Investigating the Impacts of Transmission-Level Disturbances on Solar PV Operation. Energies 2021, 14, 3867. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14133867
KEYWORDS: solar photovoltaics; transmission-level faults; grid strength; real-time simulation