Options for improving the load matching capability of distributed photovoltaics: Methodology and application to high-latitude data

Joakim Widén, Ewa Wäckelgård, Peter Lund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


At high latitudes, domestic electricity demand and insolation are negatively correlated on both an annual and a diurnal basis. With increasing integration of distributed photovoltaics (PV) in low-voltage distribution grids of residential areas, limits to the penetration level are set by voltage rise due to unmatched production and load. In this paper a methodology for determining the impacts of three options for increased load matching is presented and applied to high-latitude data. The studied options are PV array orientation, demand side management (DSM) and electricity storage. Detailed models for domestic electricity demand and PV output are used. An optimisation approach is applied to find an optimal distribution of PV systems on different array orientations and a best-case evaluation of DSM and a storage model are implemented. At high penetration levels, storage is the most efficient option for maximising the solar fraction, but at lower overproduction levels, the impact of DSM is equal or slightly better. An east-west orientation of PV arrays is suggested for high penetration levels, but the effect of the optimised orientation is small. Without an optimised storage operation, the overproduced power is more efficiently reduced by DSM than storage, although this is highly dependent on the applied DSM algorithm. Further research should be focused on the DSM potential and optimal operation of storage. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953-1966
Number of pages14
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Photovoltaics
  • Distributed generation
  • Load matching
  • Demand side management

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