Advanced Grid Support Functionality Testing for Florida Power and Light

Austin Nelson, Gregory Martin, James Hurtt

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report describes the results of laboratory testing of advanced photovoltaic (PV) inverter testing undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on behalf of the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL). FPL recently commissioned a 1.1 MW-AC PV installation on a solar carport at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. In addition to providing a source of clean energy production, the site serves as a live test bed with 36 different PV inverters from eight different manufacturers. Each inverter type has varied support for advanced grid support functions (GSFs) that are becoming increasingly commonplace, and are being required through revised interconnection standards such as UL1741, IEEE1547, and California (CA) Rule 21. FPL is interested in evaluating the trade-offs between different GSFs, their compliance to emerging standards, and their effects on efficiency and reliability. NREL has provided a controlled laboratory environment to undertake such a study. This work covered nine different classes of tests to compare inverter capabilities and performance for four different inverters that were selected by FPL. The test inverters were all three-phase models rated between 24-36 kW, and containing multiple PV input power point trackers. Advanced grid support functions were tested for functional behavior, and included fixed power factor operation, voltage-ride through, frequency ride-through, volt-var control, and frequency-Watt control. Response to abnormal grid conditions with GSFs enabled was studied through anti-islanding, fault, and load rejection overvoltage tests. Finally, efficiency was evaluated across a range of operating conditions that included power factor, output power, and input voltage variations. Test procedures were derived from requirements of a draft revision of UL741, CA Rule 21, and/or previous studies at NREL. This reports summarizes the results of each test case, providing a comparative performance analysis between the four test inverters. Inverters were mostly able to meet the requirements of their stated GSF capabilities, with deviations from expected results discussed throughout the report. There were mixed results across the range of abnormal tests, and results were often dependent on the capability of each test inverter to deploy the GSFs of interest. Detailed test data has been provided to FPL to support future decision making with respect to inverter selection and GSF deployment in the field.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages107
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Produced under direction of the Florida Power and Light Company by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) under Work for Others Agreement number TSA 15-758 and Task No WTPF.1000.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-67577


  • anti-islanding
  • fault current
  • frequency-watt control
  • grid-support function
  • load rejection overvoltage
  • ride-through
  • volt-var control


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