This paper addresses the potential impacts of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems on electrical networks. The paper starts by emphasizing the increased importance of generating electricity from PV arrays. The growth in PV installed capacity worldwide is elaborated; futuristic expansion plans for several countries as well as existing PV projects worldwide are highlighted. The paper continues by evaluating the most important impacts of PV electricity on electrical networks. Finally, the authors summarize the literature's findings regarding the maximum allowable PV penetration that can be safely integrated into existing networks.

1.
M.
Meinshausen
,
N.
Meinshausen
,
W.
Hare
,
S. C. B.
Raper
,
K.
Frieler
,
R.
Knutti
,
D. J.
Frame
, and
M. R.
Allen
, “
Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 C
,”
Nature
458
,
1158
1162
(
2009
).
2.
A.
Zahedi
, “
Maximizing solar PV energy penetration using energy storage technology
,”
Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev.
15
,
866
870
(
2011
).
3.
J.
Cuddihy
,
C.
Kennedy
, and
P.
Byer
, “
Energy use in Canada: Environmental impacts and opportunities in relationship to infrastructure systems
,”
Can. J. Civ. Eng.
32
,
1
15
(
2005
).
4.
M.
Dunlap
,
G.
Cook
,
B.
Marion
,
C.
Riordan
, and
D.
Renne
, “
Shining on: A primer on solar radiation data
,” National Renewable Energy Lab, Golden, CO, United States,
1992
.
5.
S. M.
Chalmers
,
M. M.
Hitt
,
J. T.
Underhill
,
P. M.
Anderson
,
P. L.
Vogt
, and
R.
Ingersoll
, “
The effect of photovoltaic power generation on utility operation
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Apparatus Syst.
PAS-104
,
524
530
(
1985
).
6.
W. T.
Jewell
,
R.
Ramakumar
, and
S. R.
Hill
, “
A study of dispersed photovoltaic generation on the PSO system
,”
IEEE Trans. Energy Convers.
3
,
473
478
(
1988
).
7.
W. T.
Jewell
and
T. D.
Unruh
, “
Limits on cloud-induced fluctuation in photovoltaic generation
,”
IEEE Trans. Energy Convers.
5
,
8
14
(
1990
).
8.
A. F.
Povlsen
, “
Impacts of power penetration from photovoltaic power systems in distribution networks
,” International Energy Agency, February
2002
.
9.
G.
Masson
,
M.
Latour
, and
D.
Biancardi
, “
Global market outlook for photovoltaics until 2016
,” European Photovoltaic Industry Association,
2012
.
10.
J. W.
Brennan Louw
and
T.
Wohlgemut
, “
Economic impacts of solar energy in Ontario
,” ClearSky Advisors, November
2010
.
11.
Navigant Consulting, Inc., “
Integrating PV on distribution
,” in Carnegie Mellon Conference on the Electricity Industry, March
2011
.
12.
California ISO, “
2020 renewable transmission conceptual plan based on inputs from the RETI process
,” September 15, 2009.
13.
14.
See http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/07/28/idUSDEL104230 for India's solar capacity target by
2020
.
15.
L.
Solarbuzz
, “
German PV market 2006
,” January
2007
.
17.
See http://www.solarserver.com/uploads/media/com_infomail_12012012.pdf for Germany's PV installed capacity in
2011
.
18.
Y.
Ueda
,
T.
Oozeki
,
K.
Kurokawa
,
T.
Itou
,
K.
Kitamura
,
Y.
Miyamoto
,
M.
Yokota
,
H.
Sugihara
, and
S.
Nishikawa
, “
Detailed performance analysis results of grid-connected clustered PV systems in Japan—First 200 systems results of demonstrative research on clustered PV systems
,” in
20th European PVSEC, Barcelona
,
2005
.
19.
F.
Katiraei
,
K.
Mauch
, and
L.
Dignard-Bailey
, “
Integration of photovoltaic power systems in high-penetration clusters for distribution networks and mini-grids
,” National Resources Canada, January
2009
.
20.
H.
Laukamp
,
M.
Thoma
,
T.
Meyer
, and
T.
Erge
, “
Impact of a large capacity of distributed PV production on the low voltage grid
,” in
19th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Paris, France, June
(
2004
), pp.
7
11
.
21.
S.
Cobben
,
B.
Gaiddon
, and
H.
Laukamp
, “
Impact of photovoltaic generation on power quality in urban areas with high PV population
,” PV Upscale,
2008
.
22.
J. H. R.
Enslin
and
P. J. M.
Heskes
, “
Harmonic interaction between a large number of distributed power inverters and the distribution network
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Electron.
19
,
1586
1593
(
2004
).
23.
B.
Mather
, “
Analysis of high-penetration levels of PV into the distribution grid in California
,” in
High Penetration Solar Forum, U.S. Department of Energy
, March
2011
.
24.
P.
McNutt
,
J.
Hambrick
, and
M.
Keesee
, “
Effects of photovoltaics on distribution system voltage regulation
,” in
34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), Philadelphia, PA, June
(
IEEE
,
2009
), pp.
001914
001917
.
25.
J. H. R.
Enslin
, “
Network impacts of high penetration of photovoltaic solar power systems
,” in
2010 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting
(
2010
), pp.
1
5
.
26.
J. T.
Day
and
W. J.
Hobbs
, “
Reliability impact of solar electric generation upon electric utility systems
,”
IEEE Trans. Reliab.
R-31
,
304
307
(
1982
).
27.
R.
Yan
and
T. K.
Saha
, “
Voltage variation sensitivity analysis for unbalanced distribution networks due to photovoltaic power fluctuations
,”
IEEE Transactions on Power Systems
27
,
1078
1089
(
2012
).
29.
F. A.
Farret
and
M. G.
Simões
,
Integration of Alternative Sources of Energy
(
Wiley Online Library
,
2006
).
30.
J.
Enslin
, “
Grid impacts and solutions of renewables at high penetration levels
,” Quanta Technology,
2009
.
31.
H.
Asano
,
K.
Yajima
, and
Y.
Kaya
, “
Influence of photovoltaic power generation on required capacity for load frequency control
,”
IEEE Trans. Energy Convers.
11
,
188
193
(
1996
).
32.
S. M.
Chalmers
,
M. M.
Hitt
,
J. T.
Underhill
,
P. M.
Anderson
,
P. L.
Vogt
, and
R.
Ingersoll
, “
The effect of photovoltaic power generation on utility operation
,”
IEEE Power Eng. Rev.
PER-5
,
28
29
(
1985
).
33.
L.
Haifeng
,
J.
Licheng
,
D.
Le
, and
A. A.
Chowdhury
, “
Impact of high penetration of solar photovoltaic generation on power system small signal stability
,” in
2010 International Conference on Power System Technology (POWERCON)
(
2010
), pp.
1
7
.
34.
T.
Yun Tiam
and
D. S.
Kirschen
, “
Impact on the power system of a large penetration of photovoltaic generation
,” in
Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 2007
(
IEEE
,
2007
), pp.
1
8
.
35.
R.
Shah
,
N.
Mithulananathan
,
R.
Bansal
,
K. Y.
Lee
, and
A.
Lomi
, “
Influence of large-scale PV on voltage stability of sub-transmission system
,”
Int. J. Electr. Eng. Inf.
4
,
148
161
(
2012
).
36.
M.
Thomson
and
D. G.
Infield
, “
Impact of widespread photovoltaics generation on distribution systems
,”
IET Renewable Power Gener.
1
,
33
40
(
2007
).
37.
M.
Thomson
, “
Automatic voltage control relays and embedded generation. I
,”
Power Eng. J.
14
,
71
76
(
2000
).
38.
V.
Levi
,
M.
Kay
, and
I.
Povey
, “
Reverse power flow capability of tap-changers
,” in
18th International Conference and Exhibition on Electricity Distribution, 2005, CIRED 2005
, pp.
1
5
.
39.
C.
Whitaker
,
J.
Newmiller
,
M.
Ropp
, and
B.
Norris
, “
Distributed photovoltaic systems design and technology requirements
,” Sandia Laboratories,
2008
.
40.
N.
Miller
and
Z.
Ye
, “
Distributed generation penetration study
,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
2003
.
41.
V. H. M.
Quezada
,
J. R.
Abbad
, and
T. G. S.
Roman
, “
Assessment of energy distribution losses for increasing penetration of distributed generation
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Systems
21
,
533
540
(
2006
).
42.
W. L.
Kling
,
A.
Orths
,
V.
Cuk
,
J. F. G.
Cobben
,
R. B.
Timens
,
B.
Verhelst
,
C.
Debruyne
,
J.
Desmet
,
L.
Vandevelde
,
P. F.
Ribeiro
,
J. J. A. L.
Leitao
,
M. M.
da Silva Lira
,
J. R.
Macedo
,
A. L. Z.
Grandi
,
A.
Testa
,
R.
Langella
,
N.
Browne
,
S.
Konig
,
J.
Jager
,
D.
Preis
,
M.
Bohm
,
J. M.
Romero Gordon
,
J.
Meyer
,
P.
Schegner
,
P. J. M.
Heskes
, and
J. M. A.
Myrzik
, “
Power quality issues related to new means of distributed generation and loads
,” in
Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011
(
IEEE
,
2011
), pp.
1
7
.
43.
D. G.
Infield
,
P.
Onions
,
A. D.
Simmons
, and
G. A.
Smith
, “
Power quality from multiple grid-connected single-phase inverters
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
19
,
1983
1989
(
2004
).
44.
M.
Aiello
,
A.
Cataliotti
,
S.
Favuzza
, and
G.
Graditi
, “
Theoretical and experimental comparison of total harmonic distortion factors for the evaluation of harmonic and interharmonic pollution of grid-connected photovoltaic systems
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
21
,
1390
1397
(
2006
).
45.
W.
Freitas
,
X.
Wilsun
,
C. M.
Affonso
, and
H.
Zhenyu
, “
Comparative analysis between ROCOF and vector surge relays for distributed generation applications
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
20
,
1315
1324
(
2005
).
46.
N.
Jenkins
 et al, “
Embedded generation
,” Institution of Engineering and Technology,
2000
.
47.
W.
Freitas
,
H.
Zhenyu
, and
X.
Wilsun
, “
A practical method for assessing the effectiveness of vector surge relays for distributed generation applications
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
20
,
57
63
(
2005
).
48.
M. A.
Redfern
,
O.
Usta
, and
G.
Fielding
, “
Protection against loss of utility grid supply for a dispersed storage and generation unit
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
8
,
948
954
(
1993
).
49.
H.
Kobayashi
,
K.
Takigawa
,
E.
Hashimoto
,
A.
Kitamura
, and
H.
Matsuda
, “
Method for preventing islanding phenomenon on utility grid with a number of small scale PV systems
,” in
Conference Record of the Twenty Second IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
(
1991
), Vol.
691
, pp.
695
700
.
50.
J.
Sung-Il
and
K.
Kwang-Ho
, “
An islanding detection method for distributed generations using voltage unbalance and total harmonic distortion of current
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
19
,
745
752
(
2004
).
51.
S. K.
Salman
,
D. J.
King
, and
G.
Weller
, “
New loss of mains detection algorithm for embedded generation using rate of change of voltage and changes in power factors
,” in
Seventh International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection, 2001
(
IEE
,
2001
), pp.
82
85
.
52.
P.
Fu-Sheng
and
H.
Shyh-Jier
, “
A detection algorithm for islanding-prevention of dispersed consumer-owned storage and generating units
,”
IEEE Trans. Energy Convers.
16
,
346
351
(
2001
).
53.
P.
O'Kane
and
B.
Fox
, “
Loss of mains detection for embedded generation by system impedance monitoring
,” in
Sixth International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection
(
1997
), Conf. Publ. No. 434, pp.
95
98
.
54.
G. A.
Smith
,
P. A.
Onions
, and
D. G.
Infield
, “
Predicting islanding operation of grid connected PV inverters
,”
IEE Proc.: Electr. Power Appl.
147
,
1
6
(
2000
).
55.
H.
Guo-Kiang
,
C.
Chih-Chang
, and
C.
Chern-Lin
, “
Automatic phase-shift method for islanding detection of grid-connected photovoltaic inverters
,”
IEEE Trans. Energy Convers.
18
,
169
173
(
2003
).
56.
Y.
Jun
,
C.
Liuchen
, and
C.
Diduch
, “
A new adaptive logic phase-shift algorithm for anti-islanding protections in inverter-based DG systems
,” in
IEEE 36th Power Electronics Specialists Conference, 2005, PESC '05
(
2005
), pp.
2482
2486
.
57.
S.
Yuyama
,
T.
Ichinose
,
K.
Kimoto
,
T.
Itami
,
T.
Ambo
,
C.
Okado
,
K.
Nakajima
,
S.
Hojo
,
H.
Shinohara
,
S.
Ioka
, and
M.
Kuniyoshi
, “
A high speed frequency shift method as a protection for islanding phenomena of utility interactive PV systems
,”
Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells
35
,
477
486
(
1994
).
58.
M. E.
Ropp
,
M.
Begovic
, and
A.
Rohatgi
, “
Analysis and performance assessment of the active frequency drift method of islanding prevention
,”
IEEE Trans. Energy Convers.
14
,
810
816
(
1999
).
59.
J.
Stevens
,
R.
Bonn
,
J.
Ginn
,
S.
Gonzalez
, and
G.
Kern
, “
Development and testing of an approach to anti-islanding in utility-interconnected photovoltaic systems
,” Sandia National Laboratories,
2000
.
60.
G.
Hernandez-Gonzalez
and
R.
Iravani
, “
Current injection for active islanding detection of electronically-interfaced distributed resources
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
21
,
1698
1705
(
2006
).
61.
H.
Karimi
,
A.
Yazdani
, and
R.
Iravani
, “
Negative-sequence current injection for fast islanding detection of a distributed resource unit
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Electron.
23
,
298
307
(
2008
).
62.
A.
Woyte
,
R.
Belmans
, and
J.
Nijs
, “
Testing the islanding protection function of photovoltaic inverters
,”
IEEE Trans. Energy Convers.
18
,
157
162
(
2003
).
63.
V.
Menon
and
M. H.
Nehrir
, “
A hybrid islanding detection technique using voltage unbalance and frequency set point
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Syst.
22
,
442
448
(
2007
).
64.
P.
Mahat
,
C.
Zhe
, and
B.
Bak-Jensen
, “
A hybrid islanding detection technique using average rate of voltage change and real power shift
,” in
Power & Energy Society General Meeting, 2009. PES '09
(
IEEE
,
2009
), p.
1
.
65.
Y.
Jun
,
C. P.
Diduch
, and
C.
Liucheng
, “
Islanding detection using proportional power spectral density
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
23
,
776
784
(
2008
).
66.
A.
Ishibashi
,
M.
Imai
,
K.
Omata
,
S.
Sato
,
T.
Takagi
,
Y.
Nakachi
, and
S.
Ogawa
, “
New type of islanding detection system for distributed generation based on voltage angle difference between utility network and distributed generation site
,” in
Eighth IEE International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection
(
2004
), Vol.
542
, pp.
542
545
.
67.
C. G.
Bright
, “
COROCOF: Comparison of rate of change of frequency protection. A solution to the detection of loss of mains
,” in
Seventh International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection
(
IEE
,
2001
), pp.
70
73
.
68.
X.
Wilsun
,
Z.
Guibin
,
L.
Chun
,
W.
Wencong
,
W.
Guangzhu
, and
J.
Kliber
, “
A power line signaling based technique for anti-islanding protection of distributed generators: Part I: Scheme and analysis
,” in
Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 2007
(
IEEE
,
2007
), p.
1
.
69.
W.
Wencong
,
J.
Kliber
,
Z.
Guibin
,
X.
Wilsun
,
B.
Howell
, and
T.
Palladino
, “
A power line signaling based scheme for anti-islanding protection of distributed generators: Part II: Field test results
,” in
Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 2007
(
IEEE
,
2007
), p.
1
.
70.
H. H.
Zeineldin
and
J. L.
Kirtley
, “
A simple technique for islanding detection with negligible nondetection zone
,”
IEEE Trans. Power Deliv.
24
,
779
786
(
2009
).
71.
B.
Kroposki
and
A.
Vaughn
, “
DG power quality, protection, and reliability case studies report
,” Report No. NREL/SR-560-34635, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO,
2003
.
72.
Technical Interconnection Requirements for Distributed Generation: Micro Generation & Small Generation, 3-phase, less than 30 kW, Hydro One Networks Inc.,
2010
.
You do not currently have access to this content.