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Energies 2018, 11(6), 1567;

Evaluation of the Reactive Power Support Capability and Associated Technical Costs of Photovoltaic Farms’ Operation

Laboratory of Advanced Electric Grids (LGRID), Escola Politécnica, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-010, Brazil
Group of Electrical Engineering—Paris (GeePs), UMR CNRS 8507, Centrale Supélec, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Sorbonne Université, 3 & 11 rue Joliot-Curie, 91192 Plateau de Moulon Gif-sur-Yvette CEDEX, France
Current address: Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 158-Butantã, São Paulo 05508-900, Brazil.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PV System Design and Performance)
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The share of photovoltaic (PV) farms is increasing in the energy mix as power systems move away from conventional carbon-emitting sources. PV farms are equipped with an expensive power converter, which is, most of the time, used well bellow its rated capacity. This has led to proposals to use it to provide reactive power support to the grid. In this framework, this work presents a step-by-step methodology to obtain the reactive power support capability map and the associated technical costs of single- and two-stage PV farms during daytime operation. Results show that the use of two-stage PV farms can expand the reactive power support capability for low irradiance values in comparison to single-stage ones. Besides, despite losses being higher for two-stage PV farms, the technical cost in providing reactive power support is similar for both systems. Based on the obtained maps, it is demonstrated how the profits of a PV farm can be evaluated for the current ancillary services policy in Brazil. The proposed method is of interest to PV farm owners and grid operators to estimate the cost of providing reactive power support and to evaluate the economic feasibility in offering this ancillary service. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar farm; photovoltaics; reactive power support; STATCOM; technical costs solar farm; photovoltaics; reactive power support; STATCOM; technical costs

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Lourenço, L.F.N.; Monaro, R.M.; Salles, M.B.C.; Cardoso, J.R.; Quéval, L. Evaluation of the Reactive Power Support Capability and Associated Technical Costs of Photovoltaic Farms’ Operation. Energies 2018, 11, 1567.

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