Experimental Analysis of Distribution Network Voltage Regulation Using Smart Inverters

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Smart inverters (SIs) have demonstrated their potential to provide grid services for both transmission and distribution systems. One of these grid services, distribution network voltage regulation by SIs, has the potential to improve network voltage regulation through controlling the reactive and active power output of the SIs. Voltage regulation by SIs will be distributed and might be better suited to controlling local conditions to complement traditional voltage-regulating assets, e.g., tap-changing transformers, capacitor banks, and line voltage regulators. There is a gap in the literature on comparing the SI response characteristics when the SIs are controlled by a local controller or external control signals. This paper presents an experimental study to characterize SI reactive power regulation responses to two different control methods: autonomous control and remote dispatch. We found that SI reactive power regulation responses exhibit important differences between these methods in terms of delays and ramp rate. Finally, power-hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) tests were conducted to evaluate the performance of these two methods. The PHIL test results show that the SI response characteristics for autonomous control and remote dispatch need to be considered when planning for distribution network voltage regulation using SIs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2023
Event50th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 11 Jun 202316 Jun 2023


Conference50th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
CitySan Juan, Puerto Rico

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-85668 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-88875


  • distribution networks
  • electric potential
  • inverters
  • logic gates
  • reactive power
  • regulation
  • silicon


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