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Distribution System Modeling for Assessing Impact of Smart Inverter Capabilities

Abate, Stephen (2015) Distribution System Modeling for Assessing Impact of Smart Inverter Capabilities. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Photovoltaic (PV) generation is increasingly common throughout power distribution systems. The real power injections and cloud-induced power output fluctuations of this variable resource can cause adverse impacts to the system. These adverse impacts limit PV capacity additions and introduce the need for more advanced distribution system models and mitigation efforts. The IEEE P1547a standard for interconnecting distributed generation has been amended to allow inverter-based generation to actively participate in voltage regulation.

However, there is currently no method of choosing the appropriate reactive power response for the PV inverters to prevent voltage issues and benefit distribution system performance. The performance of these smart inverter settings vary based on the objective and system conditions such as load level and solar conditions. This difficulty in choosing a single “out of the box” setting presents the need for more adaptive control functionalities.

This thesis assesses the impact of different smart inverter settings on the performance of a distribution feeder in the United States. The use of simulation software to identify relationships between the chosen objective, appropriate settings, and feeder conditions help determine an approach to choosing settings that realize the potential benefits. Due to the limitations of existing reactive power control functions, a new smart inverter capability is proposed that adjusts to changing feeder conditions and offers improved performance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Abate, Stephensra33@pitt.eduSRA33
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcDermott, Thomastem42@pitt.eduTEM42
Committee MemberReed, Gregorygfr3@pitt.eduGFR3
Committee MemberMao, Zhi-Hongzhm4@pitt.eduZHM4
Date: 8 June 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 March 2015
Approval Date: 8 June 2015
Submission Date: 27 March 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 69
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distribution System Modeling, Smart Inverter, PV Integration
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2015 17:20
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2019 22:21


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