Dr. Wesam Rohouma, Professor Robert S. Balog, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Peerzada and Professor Miroslav Begovic presented their paper entitled “Voltage Profile Enhancement Using Capacitor-less D-STATCOM to Increase PV Penetration in Distribution Network Under Transient Cloud Conditions” at the 2nd International Conference on Photovoltaic Science and Technology. The workshop, which was held virtually 30 November through 2 December 2020, was originally scheduled to be in-person in Ankara, TURKEY.

While the grid-connected PV systems deliver electric energy closer to the consumer, thus aiding the paradigm shift from a centralized to distributed generation, the stochastic nature of PV output has created new challenges in the operation and maintenance of electric distribution systems. Reactive power compensation can be used to keep the voltage profile on the network within the allowable limits set by the relevant standards. A capacitor-less approach is used in this paper instead of the traditional techniques that are based on electrolytic capacitor banks with well-known failure rates.

In this paper, a capacitor-less distribution static synchronous compensator (D-STATCOM) based matrix converter (MC) is proposed for use in low voltage distribution network. This technology is controlled using finite-set model predictive control, the compensator device can operate in a variety of modes and can be deployed and dispatched as needed in the distribution system. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed technology in improving voltage profile in the low voltage distribution networks during cloud cover. 

This publication was made possible by NPRP grant # 9-204-2-103 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of the Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors. The authors acknowledge and thank Prof. Pat Wheeler and Prof. Lee Empringham from the power electronics and machine control group at the University of Nottingham, UK, for their collaboration on the matrix converter prototype design and fabrication.