Power ramp-rates of utility-scale PV systems under passing clouds: module-level emulation with cloud shadow modeling

Chen, Xiaoyang, Du, Yang, Lim, Enggee, Wen, Huiqing, Yan, Ke, and Kirtley, James (2020) Power ramp-rates of utility-scale PV systems under passing clouds: module-level emulation with cloud shadow modeling. Applied Energy, 268. 114980.

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The short-term power output variability of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems caused by passing clouds is becoming a major concern for grid operators. As the penetration of utility-scale PV systems boosts, the rapid power fluctuations greatly challenge the grid transient stability. In this regard, the concept of power ramp-rate (RR) has been recently imposed to quantify the PV fluctuations, and a series of ramp regulations are implemented by utilities. However, due to the limitations in terms of high-resolution simulation of utility-scale PV systems and reproducing cloud shadow natures, current studies still show deficiencies in comprehensively investigating the RRs rising from both endogenous and exogenous factors during cloud shadow transitions.

With the objective of producing high-resolution and high-accuracy emulations of utility-scale PV systems under passing clouds, thus providing a clearer understanding on the cloud-induced RRs, this paper first sets forth a partial shading emulator that is capable of efficiently mimicking the behaviors of an arbitrary partially shaded PV system, in accuracy of the PV module level. Then a fully customizable shadow model that can reproduce the natures of a real cloud shadow is introduced. Based on the developed emulation tools, the effects of two endogenous factors i.e., PV array arrangement and system orientation, and three exogenous factors i.e., shadow intensity, shadow velocity, and shadow size on RRs are explored for a range of utility-scale PV systems from 1 MW to 60 MW. Furthermore, in order to assess the RRs in reality, a total of 3747 cloud shadow transitions exploited from real measurements have been applied for emulations. The results reveal that the RRs caused by passing clouds are critical problems for system operations, and a larger system can suffer more from ramp violations, indicating that the advanced ramp control strategies should be essential for contemporary utility-scale PV systems.

Item ID: 63567
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9118
Keywords: Photovoltaic, Solar variability, Ramp-rate, Partial shading, Cloud shadow modeling
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), Jiangsu Science and Technology Program (JSTP), AI University Research Centre (AI-URC)
Projects and Grants: NNSFC No. 61803315, JSTP (BK20180243), XJTLU (KSF-P-02 and KSF-A-11), XJTLU Key Programme Special Fund, XJTLU - Research Development Fund of XJTLU (RDF-17-01-28)
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2020 07:50
FoR Codes: 40 ENGINEERING > 4008 Electrical engineering > 400803 Electrical energy generation (incl. renewables, excl. photovoltaics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 85 ENERGY > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850504 Solar-Photovoltaic Energy @ 80%
85 ENERGY > 8507 Energy Conservation and Efficiency > 850703 Industrial Energy Conservation and Efficiency @ 20%
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