Frequency support from photovoltaic power plants using offline maximum power point tracking and variable droop control

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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With higher penetration of converter-connected renewable energy sources (RES) into power systems, the successful operation of the system is challenged by significant reductions in system inertia. Presently, given the dominant share of the conventional synchronous power plant, RES power plants are not demanded to provide ancillary services. However, as RES connections increase, RES power plants will play a major role in power system operation, contributing to frequency control. This study demonstrates that photovoltaic power plants (PVPPs) can provide effectively different types of frequency support based on a power reserve and an offline maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technique. An innovative method to de-load the PVPP without significantly increasing the MPPT complexity is proposed. Results from different PVPP frequency support methods, under varying levels of photovoltaic penetration, are presented which demonstrate their capability to provide inertia support comparable to that of synchronous generators. A new variable droop control method, which releases maximum power during the inertial response and returns to fixed droop gain value after a specified time is also presented. The results from using the variable droop show that the frequency nadir and the rate-of-change-of-frequency can be significantly reduced and some power reserve still maintained after a frequency event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2278-2286
Number of pages9
JournalIET Renewable Power Generation
Issue number13
Early online date19 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019


  • renewable energy sources
  • system inertia
  • power plants
  • Photovoltaic Power Plants (PVPP)
  • Offline Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)

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