An Advanced Platform for Development and Evaluation of Photovoltaic Inverters Using Hardware-in-the-Loop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A rapid shift in the world's energy paradigm towards a higher proliferation of renewables is underway. As these new resources are interconnected with the EPS, it is essential that they not only comply with the relevant interconnection standards, but that they also are evaluated under various dynamic resource input and grid conditions to ensure that they will properly participate in the advancedEPS architecture. To this end, NREL leveraged controller hardware-in-the-loop (CHIL) and power hardware-in-the-lopp (PHIL) simulation techniques to create an advanced platform for the development and evaluation of photovoltaic (PV) inverters. This paper describes a CHIL-based methodology by which PV inverter controllers can be tested against simulated inverter hardware before prior to at powertesting, a PHIL-based PV simulator that can be used to test a PV inverter's response to the truly dynamic output of a PV array, and a grid interconnection evaluator that leverages PHIL techniques to automate the execution and analysis of key interconnection standard test procedures. A number of demonstration test results are presented. These capabilities make up a novel platform that will helpdevelop the PV inverters that will support the next generation EPS.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Distributed Energy Resources
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-55880


  • distributed energy
  • grid interconnection
  • hardware-in-the-loop
  • interconnection standards
  • photovoltaic inverter
  • PV simulator


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