Active and Reactive Power Control in GridConnected Solar Photovoltaic Systems

The controlling the active and reactive power in grid-connected PV systems will include carrying out a literature review as well as conducting a series of simulations using MATLAB program and Pulse Width Bandwidth to investigate the feasibility of active and reactive power control in grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems. Grid-connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems are electricity systems powered by photovoltaic panels which are integrated into the mains electricity grid. The integration of renewable sources of energy such as solar photovoltaic systems into mains power grids is increasingly gaining popularity as one of the best alternatives and supplements to the traditional fossil fuel generation. According to Darul and Marko (2007, p.58), this is particularly attributed to the rapidly increasing worldwide electricity demand and the rising fuel costs coupled with growing environmental concerns. Within the last decade, the integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy into utility grids has significantly gained popularity due to its immense potential advantages including its noiseless operation, relatively small size, feed-in tariff as well as the absence of battery cost. For example, unlike the conventional stand-alone solar photovoltaic power systems, grid-connected solar photovoltaic systems seldom require batteries and often supply their surplus power beyond what is required for consumption to the utility grid. In this regard, apart from the no battery cost, -connected solar photovoltaic systems also allow consumers to sell their surplus electricity to local utility companies thereby avoiding the potential storage losses of power. Additionally, solar photovoltaic systems are largely carbon negative over their lifespan and their connection to the grid provides a reasonable reduction in carbon emission (World Energy Council, 2004, p.48). However, despite their numerous potential benefits, the integration of solar photovoltaic systems to the public utility grids is currently faced with a wide range of challenges some of which include voltage instability due to the intermittency of the sunlight intensity as well as the dynamics of interfacing inverters and photovoltaic cells. This project seeks to control the active and reactive power in grid-connected PV systems as a solution to the problem of their voltage instability caused by fluctuations in solar radiation.