Evaluating distribution network optimal structure with respect to solar hosting capacity

Verner Püvi*, Matti Lehtonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Optimal design of distribution networks has become an important topic for analysis due to the growing share of photovoltaics (PV). Low and medium voltage networks should undergo structural changes to accommodate widespread PV generation and optimal operation. In this paper, the impact of the network structure on the solar hosting capacity (HC) is analyzed with respect to the role of low and medium voltage networks in power delivery. A given set of load nodes is simulated with multiple feeding substations and varying peak power and number of PV plants. The slime mold algorithm is utilized for numerous topology generations and measured load time series represent regions ranging from rural to urban. The results reveal that networks should go through significant structural changes to cope with larger PV generation and even more so to increase the HC. On the other hand, voltage control measures, such as on-load tap changers, PV reactive power control and curtailment, provide a competitive solution to varying size of distribution networks in hosting solar power. Finally, the analysis in this study provides evidence to a possible need in the change of residential PV policies in order to sustain the current pace of adopting PV plants in Finland.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109019
Number of pages10
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Volume216
Early online date1 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Hosting capacity
  • Network planning
  • Slime mold algorithm
  • Voltage control

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