PV Ramping in a Distributed Generation Environment: A Study Using Solar Measurements; Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Variability in Photovoltaic (PV) generation resulting from variability in the solar radiation over the PV arrays is a topic of continuing concern for those involved with integrating renewables onto existing electrical grids. The island of Lanai, Hawaii is an extreme example of the challenges that integrators will face due to the fact that it is a small standalone grid. One way to study thisproblem is to take high-resolution solar measurements in multiple locations and model simultaneous PV production for various sizes at those locations. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) collected high-resolution solar data at four locations on the island where proposed PV plants will be deployed in the near future. This data set provides unique insight into how the solar radiationmay vary between points that are proximal in distance, but diverse in weather, due to the formation of orographic clouds in the center of the island. Using information about each proposed PV plant size, power output was created at high resolution. The team analyzed this output to understand power production ramps at individual locations and the effects of aggregating the production from all fourlocations. Hawaii is a unique environment, with extremely variable events occurring on a daily basis. This study provided an excellent opportunity for understanding potential worst-case scenarios for PV ramping. This paper provides an introduction to the datasets that NREL collected over a year and a comprehensive analysis of PV variability in a distributed generation scenario.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference - Austin, Texas
Duration: 3 Jun 20128 Jun 2012


Conference2012 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
CityAustin, Texas

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-54141


  • distributed generation
  • PV
  • ramping


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