Keywords: distributed generation, solar energy, solar power, photovoltaics, renewable energy, grid integration, technical losses, low voltage distribution networks, life–time cost, financial savings
Integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) to LV distribution network: a case study
The development of renewable energy sources will increase the amount of generation connected to distribution networks. The main advantages are that optimally located distributed generation resources can reduce or postpone the need for investment in the transmission and distribution infrastructure; transmission and distribution losses are reduced as well as improvement in power quality and system reliability achieved. The integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) to a low voltage (LV) distribution network is discussed in this paper. Based on an actual practical case study, the paper addresses the following research questions: 1) Is it technically feasible to connect a 30 kW PV solar source to the 400 volts/230 volts low voltage distribution network? 2) If the answer to the first question is affirmative, what is the life–time cost of the project taking into account the financial savings achieved following the reduction in technical losses? The paper concludes by identifying further areas of research.