Impact of IEEE 1547 Standard on Smart Inverters and the Applications in Power Systems

This white paper presents smart inverter features along with the implementation challenges and potential solutions.

Technical Report

Impact of IEEE 1547 (Enayati et al. 2020)
The paper describes smart inverter functionality and discusses their modeling, capabilities, testing, and certification. Originally published by a "fast track" working group of industry experts in May 2018, this version provides an updated timeline on the associated standards, guidelines, and recommended practices including UL 1741 Supplement B and reflects the latest knowledge on adopting IEEE Std 1547-2018 (including the IEEE 1547a-2020 amendment).

Topics Covered

The body of the paper provides an overview of the capabilities enabled and required by IEEE Std 1547-2018. The update includes a set of appendixes that provide significantly more detail on a range of key topics. The appendixes include:

  • Smart inverter modeling
  • Fault behavior and islanding detection
  • Ride‐through capability
  • How distributed energy resource interconnection impacts distribution system planning
  • Installation, commissioning, and periodic testing

Key Takeaways

Responsibility for Power Quality at Various Shares of Distributed Energy Resources

An important determinant for the power quality role of smart inverters will be grid penetration level. At low shares, the grid determines power quality. A few inverters connected to a stiff grid source is not so relevant to power quality. But, with increasing penetrations, distributed energy resources take on more responsibility for response to changing load. With increasing penetration levels relevance increases. In case of 100% inverter power, such as a microgrid application, the smart inverter's regulating, load-following, and transient response capabilities have a larger impact on maintaining power quality.


The functions of smart inverters can impact power system steady state and transient operation. Software modeling tools are used to evaluate these impacts. Different types of software modeling tools can represent smart inverter functionality differently, typically are specific to distribution or transmission application, and each have associated advantages and disadvantages. Different software modeling tools and their applications are detailed in an appendix to this report.


In order to integrate distributed energy resources into the distribution planning process, it is necessary to have awareness over new interconnection requests and related data. Reporting and record-keeping analogous traditional systems and procedures for new load—customer connections and commercial and industrial customer inquiries—might be considered.