Inverter Reliability Estimation for Advanced Inverter Functionality

Jack Flicker, Jay Johnson, Matthew Reno, Joseph Azzolini, Peter Hacke, Ramanathan Thiagarajan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In the near future, grid operators are expected to regularly use advanced distributed energy resource (DER) functions, defined in IEEE 1547-2018, to perform a range of grid-support operations. Many of these functions adjust the active and reactive power of the device through commanded or autonomous modes, which will produce new stresses on the grid-interfacing power electronics components, such as DC/AC inverters. In previous work, multiple DER devices were instrumented to evaluate additional component stress under multiple reactive power setpoints. We utilize quasi-static time-series simulations to determine voltage-reactive power mode (volt-var) mission profile of inverters in an active power system. Mission profiles and loss estimates are then combined to estimate the reduction of the useful life of inverters from different reactive power profiles. It was found that the average lifetime reduction was approximately 0.15% for an inverter between standard unity power factor operation and the IEEE 1547 default volt-var curve based on thermal damage due to switching in the power transistors. For an inverter with an expected 20-year lifetime, the 1547 volt-var curve would reduce the expected life of the device by 12 days. This framework for determining an inverter's useful life from experimental and modeling data can be applied to any failure mechanism and advanced inverter operation.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2022
Event49th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference, PVSC 2022 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


Conference49th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference, PVSC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-85052


  • component degradation
  • grid-support functions
  • inverter reliability
  • lifetime
  • stress


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