Advanced Photovoltaic Inverter Control Development and Validation in a Controller-Hardware-in-the-Loop Test Bed: Preprint

Kumaraguru Prabakar, Akanksha Singh, Sudipta Chakraborty, Mariko Shirazi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Penetration of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations into the grid has increased in recent years. In the past, photovoltaic installations have not included grid-support functionality. Grid support functions including Volt-VAR (VVAR), Frequency-Watt (FW), Volt-Watt (VW), frequency/voltage-ride through, as well as other inverter functions such as anti-islanding are recommended by standards such as IEEE 1547 to allow PV inverters to contribute to acceptable operation and stability of distribution systems with high penetrations of PV and to ensure predictable response of the PV inverters. First, low-level and high-level grid support inverter control functions were developed and tested in simulation. The developed controller is able to integrate advanced controller functions in a coordinated approach, avoiding any conflict between the different control objectives. The algorithms were then programmed on an off-the-shelf embedded controller that included a dual-core CPU and FPGA. The details of the high-level grid support function and the lower level switching control will be presented. Second, this programmed controller is tested using a controller-hardware-in-the-loop (CHIL) test bed setup using an FPGA-based real-time simulator. The CHIL setup has the capability to run at a 500 nano-second time-step to accommodate the 20 kHz switching frequency of the developed controller. The advanced control function and CHIL test bed details provided here will aide future researchers to design, implement, and test advanced inverter functions for PV inverters.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2018
EventIEEE Energy Conversion Congress & Expo (ECCE) - Cincinnati, Ohio
Duration: 1 Oct 20175 Oct 2017


ConferenceIEEE Energy Conversion Congress & Expo (ECCE)
CityCincinnati, Ohio

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-68511


  • CHIL
  • controller-hardware-in-the-loop
  • PV inverters
  • test bed setup


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