Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Rajiv K. Varma


This thesis presents a novel application of Photovoltaic (PV) solar system inverter, both during night and day, as a dynamic reactive power compensator STATCOM. This technology, termed PV-STATCOM, is designed and developed for power factor correction in the networks of two utilities: Bluewater Power, Sarnia, and London Hydro. This thesis further describes for the first time, the harmonic impact studies on a utility distribution network in presence of the largest PV solar farm in Canada.

This novel utilization of a PV-STATCOM for power factor correction of induction motor loads is demonstrated with (i) electromagnetic transient simulation in EMTDC/PSCAD software, (ii) real-time simulation studies in a Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS), and (iii) Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation studies of the PV-STATCOM controller implemented in a Digital Signal Processor based dSPACE system. Two different inverter control methods are employed - Hysteresis control and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) control. The effectiveness of the PV-STATCOM controller is verified with different PV power outputs and at different loading conditions of the induction motor. The PV-STATCOM is able to improve the motor power factor to unity both during night and in the day even while generating real power.

The harmonic impact studies of the 20 MW large scale PV solar farm and a 10 kW PV solar system are performed with the EMTDC/PSCAD model of two distribution feeders connecting to the solar farm in Bluewater Power, Sarnia. The models are validated with load flow results obtained from the CYME load flow software and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) data available from the utility. The network resonance behaviors of the two feeders are analyzed using frequency scanning method in EMTDC/PSCAD. The measured harmonics data provided by Hydro One for three different power levels from the solar farm are utilized for harmonic impact studies. It is shown that even with worst case harmonics injection from both the large scale PV solar farm and a small PV solar system, the voltage harmonic distortion is within the limits specified by IEEE Standard 519.