Laboratory Testing of a Utility-Scale PV Inverter's Operational Response to Grid Disturbances

Barry Mather, Richard Bravo, David Piper, Oluwafemi Aworo

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

13 Scopus Citations


This paper provides experimental results of a utility-scale (500 kW) solar PV inverter during simulated grid disturbances. This device was tested using simulations of system voltage during three different disturbances; simulated distribution and transmission faults, and voltage records that were collected during the Blue Cut Fire Event. The methods used for testing the three different scenarios of grid disturbances are detailed and the test setup is described. Additionally, the test results for each of the grid events are provided and an analysis of the test results is given. The test results show that the tested PV inverter's response to grid disturbances depends in part on the fault-induced phase shift and harmonic content of the system voltage. These factors can impact the inverters ability to accurately calculate system frequency and can cause erroneous tripping on miscalculated frequency. The information provided in this paper can inform utilities, manufacturers, developers, and system planners of the potential performance of solar PV inverters during grid events.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2018
Event2018 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM) - Portland, Oregon
Duration: 5 Aug 201810 Aug 2018


Conference2018 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM)
CityPortland, Oregon

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-70495


  • DER frequency ride-through
  • frequency ride-through test
  • utility-scale solar PV inverters


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