The Impact of Small Scale Solar PV on Power Quality: An Empirical Study



Publication Details

S. Elphick, G. Drury & B. Fixter, "The Impact of Small Scale Solar PV on Power Quality: An Empirical Study," in Proceedings of International Conference on Harmonics and Quality of Power, ICHQP, 2020,


© 2020 IEEE. Australia has perhaps the highest penetration of small scale solar PV generation in the world. There is conjecture with regard to the impact that the inverters used to facilitate connectivity between solar PV generators and the grid will have on power quality disturbance levels. This paper has analysed power quality data collected from several thousand low voltage sites in order to facilitate an empirical investigation of the impact of small scale solar PV generation on PQ disturbance levels. The specific disturbances investigated are steady state voltage, voltage unbalance and voltage THD. The data analysed begins in 2009 when solar PV penetration was low in Australia and concludes with data from 2017. The study outcomes suggest that solar PV generation is leading to a change in the profile of voltage across the day and is increasing voltages to above light load levels at some sites. There is little evidence to support assertions that solar PV systems are increasing either voltage unbalance or voltage THD levels.

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