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NREL Releases User Guide for PV Dynamic Model Simulation

November 26, 2014

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the User Guide for PV Dynamic Model Simulation Written on PSCAD Platform, which describes a tool developed at NREL for modeling the dynamic behavior of photovoltaic (PV) inverters in the power system network environment.

Intended as a guide for users, the report discusses NREL's validated, flexible, three-phase, cycle-by-cycle model of PV inverters, PV plants, and their associated controls in the PSCAD modeling platform. This model is generic and open source, so it is easy to modify for different implementations by manufacturers, regional transmission organizations, or local utilities.

The model allows for the analysis of unbalanced faults, such as single line to ground or line to line to ground, a key characteristic distinguishing PSCAD models from other dynamic models that focus on positive sequence behavior. The dynamic model shows that PV plants implemented with a controller can act as a static damper to mitigate power system oscillations using reactive power control. The PV model is also available for single-phase systems.

For power system analysis, the average model can be used to simulate the short-term dynamics of power system events, including power system stability (voltage, power angle, and frequency stabilities), short circuits, loss of lines, etc. The detailed model is designed to include the switching of the power electronics to simulate high-speed transients such as insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) failures, loss of firing signals, or other events in the power electronics domain.

—Devonie McCamey