Effects on Electrical Distribution Networks of Dispersed Power Generation at High Levels of Connection Penetration

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    The advent and deployment of significant levels of photovoltaic and wind energy generation in the spatially dispersed mode (i.e., residential and intermediate load centers) may have deleterious effects upon existing protective relay equipment and its time-current coordination on radial distribution circuits to which power conditioning equipment may be connected for power sell-back purposes. Theproblems that may arise involve harmonic injection from power conditioning inverters that can affect protective relays and cause excessive voltage and current from induced series and parallel resonances on feeders and connected passive equipment. Voltage regulation, var requirements, and consumer metering can also be affected by this type of dispersed generation. The creation of 'islands' ofsupply is also possible, particularly on rural supply systems. This paper deals mainly with the effects of harmonics and short-circuit currents from wind energy conversion systems (WECS) and photovoltaic (PV) systems upon the operating characteristics of distribution networks and relays and other protective equipment designed to ensure the safety and sup?ply integrity of electrical utilitynetworks. Traditionally, electrical supply networks have been designed for one-way power now-from generation to load, with a balance maintained between the two by means of automatic generation and load-frequency controls. Dispersed generation, from renewables like WECS or PV or from nonrenewable resources, can change traditional power flow. These changes must be dealt with effectively ifrenewable energy resources are to be integrated into the utility distribution system. This paper gives insight into these problems and proposes some solutions.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages14
    StatePublished - 1983

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-214-2008


    • distribution networks
    • electrical utility networks
    • harmonics
    • photovoltaic systems
    • relays
    • short circuit current (ISC)
    • WECS
    • wind energy conversion systems


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