Reversed Power Flow & PV Capacity Analysis

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)
Grid Planning

This use case simulates and quantifies the additional amount of PV generation (PV capacity) allowed on each Low Volt grid before reaching a state of reversed power flow.

The Utility Problem

Traditionally, electricity in the grid has flowed from the “top” of circuits (the high voltage substations connecting the distribution grid with the transmission grid) “down” to “consumers” such as residences, businesses or industrial facilities. With the addition of DERs such as solar (PV), batteries and electric vehicles (V2G), electricity flow can become bi-directional (temporarily reversed, aka upstream power flow). This reversed power flow happens when the sum of distributed generation is higher than the sum of consumption, all given in some specific supply area of the grid. This occurrence is increasingly common as ever larger quantities of solar microgeneration (PV) are connected to the grid. For many utilities, the reversed power flow, especially on the edge of the low voltage (LV) and medium voltage (MV) grid, is not a desirable situation. This situation puts increased constraints on MV grid voltage regulation and influences the size of fault currents in the MV, thus making grid protection device settings more challenging. 

This use case simulates and quantifies the additional amount of PV generation (PV capacity) allowed on each LV grid before reaching a state of reversed power flow (reversed power flow = power flow in the direction of LV grid to MV grid). For this analysis, the LV grid is defined as a supply area served by one MV/LV transformer. 

This analysis gives valuable insights for decision-making for new PV generation connection permits and grid upgrades or planning activities.  

 

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