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30 May 2019

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Logging voltage in solar power generation

Windmill software verifies avoidance of voltage violations in solar power systems.

The power distribution system is undergoing changes; the need for real-time control is increasing. Researchers at Wichita State University are modelling how to avoid "voltage violations" caused by renewable energy spikes, and using Windmill data logging software to test their models.

Worldwide, solar photovoltaics is one of the fastest growing renewable energy industries. This fast pace of development poses challenges for the distribution system. Renewable energy sources are intermittant in nature, consequently, voltage regulation needs addressing.

Voltage magnitude at the consumer end is very important as significant voltage changes affects the efficiency of equipment.

There are several methods to dealing with voltage rise which is caused by the increasing number of solar farms. Many of the methods, though, are not cost-effective. A paper presented at the Clemson University Power Systems Conference by Sultan Hakmi detailed a new approach.

Together with Visvakumar Aravinthan, he had created a mathematical model to predict distributed generator outputs. To test the model the researchers used Windmill software to collect voltage readings throughout the day. Around noon, when solar power generated voltage peaks, Windmill showed that their distributed generator control system avoided the over-voltage.

Voltage generated from solar power - spike control

Further Reading

S. Hakmi and V. Aravinthan, "A Fast AC Power Flow Model Based Distribution Voltage Regulation" 2018 Clemson University Power Systems Conference (PSC), Charleston, SC, USA, 2018, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.1109/PSC.2018.8664047