Solar PV integration challenges and opportunities

24 November 2020 | 12:00 – 2:00pm

Professor Tapan Saha, Dr Richard Yan (Senior Lecturer and DECRA Fellow) and Dr Feifei Bai (Advance Queensland Fellow)


Recently, utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants in remote areas are drastically increasing due to abundant and low-priced land. These remote areas are usually connected to zone substations through long weak feeders with open-delta step voltage regulators (SVRs) to regulate downstream voltages. However, distribution grids in such areas traditionally have feeders with low X/R ratios, which makes the independent reactive power compensation method less effective on voltage regulation. Consequently, upstream SVR may suffer from excessive tap operations with PV-induced fast voltage fluctuations. Although a battery energy storage system (BESS) can successfully smooth PV generation, frequent charge/discharge will substantially affect its cost effectiveness. In this tutorial, these solar PV integration challenges will be addressed and corresponding solutions will be discussed. This tutorial will provide valuable insights and applicable strategies to both utilities and PV owners for large-scale solar PV integration into distribution networks.

Ruifeng (Richard) Yan

Dr Ruifeng Yan was awarded with Ph.D in Electrical Engineering at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2012, and at the same time his Ph.D research has won UQ Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence. He has worked as a Research Fellow in School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and Global Change Institute for 5 years. In 2018, Dr Yan has been awarded with ARC DECRA (Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award), which is the most prestigious award in Australia for young researchers. His main research interest is integration of high penetration of wind and solar PV into power networks. He has published 34 top-tier journal articles, which are published by IEEE Transactions, Elsevier and IET. Also, he is actively engaging with Australian power industries over several projects, such as AEMO, Energy Queensland, Noja Power, Hydro-Tasmania and EPEC Group.

Feifei Bai

Feifei Bai received her PhD degree from Southwest Jiaotong University, China in 2016. During her PhD study, she did PhD research in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, USA from Sep. 2012 to Dec. 2014. She joined the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2016. Currently, she is an Advance Queensland Research Fellow with the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the UQ, Australia. Her research interests include renewable energy integration, PMU applications in distribution networks, data-driven small signal stability analysis and control, and renewable energy hardware-testbed development.

Tapan Saha

Professor Tapan Saha received his PhD from the University of Queensland in 1994. He has been with the University of Queensland since 1996, where he has been a Professor of Electrical Engineering since 2005. Professor Tapan Saha is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Institution of Engineers Australia. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) of Engineers Australia and a Registered Professional Engineer of the State of Queensland (RPEQ). His main research interest is in integration of high penetration of wind and solar PV into power networks and condition monitoring electrical assets. He has published more than 600 articles in peer reviewed transactions and conferences. He is the founding Director of Australasian Transformer Innovation Centre, Leader of UQ Solar and Leader of Industry 4.0 UQ Energy TestLab.

About the Association

AUPEC is the premier conference in power engineering in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. This conference provides a forum for both university and industry researchers and experts in power engineering to discuss and share ideas, present results, reflect on past experiences and discuss future projects.

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