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Impact of widespread photovoltaics generation on distribution systems

Thomson, M. and Infield, D.G. (2007) Impact of widespread photovoltaics generation on distribution systems. IET Renewable Power Generation, 1 (1). pp. 33-40. ISSN 1752-1416

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Prompted by the need for clean energy sources, increasing numbers of photovoltaic (PV) generators are being connected to electricity distribution systems around the world. There is thus a growing imperative to understand and quantify the technical impact that high penetrations of such generators may have on the operation and performance of electricity distribution systems. Detailed simulations of a very high penetration of PV within a typical UK urban distribution network (11 kV, 400 V and 230 V) are reported. The study performed unbalanced three-phase load-flow analysis on an entire feeder within a time-domain simulation framework using load and generation data at 1 minute intervals. The results indicate that even at very high penetrations of PV, network voltage rises are small and unlikely to cause problems. Effects on network power flows and losses are also quantified and discussed.