Residential Advanced Photovoltaic Inverter Pilot Study Results for Select Distribution Secondaries in Hawai'i: Preprint

Anderson Hoke, Peter Gotseff, Nicholas Wunder, Earle Ifuku, Reid Ueda

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Penetration levels of residential rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) generation on the Hawaiian island of Oahu have increased significantly in recent years with many circuits now at the limits of their PV hosting. NREL and Hawaiian Electric have used this opportunity to deploy advanced inverters at new customer installations that would not otherwise have been approved as a pilot study to gain first-hand operational field data and experience on the impact of inverter-based grid support functions. At each customer location, the deployed advanced inverters were remotely controlled and monitored. Additionally, customer AMI (smart meter) and secondary distribution transformer data was also available for the analysis. The analysis focused on quantifying the customer behind-the-meter voltage rise due to PV production, determining the customer voltage rise with advanced inverters in unity power factor as well as advanced grid support function modes, and estimating the curtailment when inverters have Volt-VAR and Volt-Watt enabled. The results show that: 1) Behind-the-meter voltage rise is often not negligible. 2) An inverter's operating point on a Volt-VAR/Volt-Watt curve depends strongly on the design of the secondary system on which it is installed. 3) The mitigation of voltage rise on the secondary system using Volt-VAR may not be effective if only a small proportion of inverters have grid support enabled, or if the reactance/resistance (X/R) ratio of the grid is low. 4) Volt-Watt curtailment can be estimated using co-located irradiance sensors but there may be opportunities to estimate it using inverter internal electrical measurements. Estimated curtailment is very low for the locations analyzed to date.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2018
Event2018 World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WPEC-7) - Waikoloa, Hawaii
Duration: 10 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


Conference2018 World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WPEC-7)
CityWaikoloa, Hawaii

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-73699 for paper as published in IEEE proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-71587


  • inverters
  • photovoltaics
  • volt-var control
  • volt-watt control


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