Photovoltaics (PVs) have been widely reported as causing power quality problems for electricity distribution networks. Much of this literature gives the impression that networks, particularly low voltage networks, were effectively and proficiently managed and operated before the rise of PVs and that this new technology is causing problems that did not previously exist and would not currently exist if there were no rooftop PV systems. The purpose of this paper is to examine measured data of power quality at the customer service point of four random households in four different distribution networks in Australia. This is the first report of power quality examination from the perspective of the end-user (solar households). The results show that the low voltage distribution networks reported in this study do not have networks that meet required power quality standards—and this cannot be attributed to the rooftop PV systems reported here. The paper proposes that power quality failures in these low voltage networks could be attributed to poor historical management, missed opportunities to embrace PVs as a means of better network management, lack of acknowledgement of the emergence of the prosumer and lack of total quality management and systems thinking.
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