Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Dragan Maksimovic

Second Advisor

Robert Erickson

Third Advisor

Pankaj K. Sen

Fourth Advisor

David Meyer

Fifth Advisor

Lucy Pao


The percentage of electricity supplied by photovoltaic (PV) generators is steadily rising in power systems worldwide. This rise in PV penetration may lead to larger fluctuations in power system frequency due to variability in PV generator output at time scales that fall between the inertial damping and automatic generation control (AGC) responses of power systems. To reduce PV generator variability, active power controls can be implemented in the power electronic inverters that interface PV generators to the power system. Although various types of active power controls have been developed, no standard methodology exists for evaluating the effectiveness of these controls at improving power system frequency regulation. This dissertation presents a method for predicting the effects of short-term PV variability on power system frequency for a PV generator with active power control provided by integrated energy storage. A custom model of a PV generator with integrated energy storage is implemented in a power system dynamic simulator and validated through experiments with a grid emulator. The model is used to predict the effects of short-term PV variability on the frequency of the IEEE 9-bus test power system modified to include a PV generator with integrated energy storage. In addition, this dissertation utilizes linear analysis of power system frequency control to predict worst-case frequency deviations as a function of the amount of energy storage integrated into PV generators. Through simulation and emulation on a scaled experimental prototype, the maximum frequency deviation caused by the PV generator with a small amount of integrated energy storage is found to be approximately 33% lower than the maximum frequency deviation caused by the PV generator alone. Through linear analysis it is shown that by adding only 36.7 kWh of integrated energy storage to a 1.2 MW PV system, the worst-case frequency deviation on the IEEE 9-bus test system can be reduced 65% from 0.45 Hz to 0.16 Hz. The techniques presented enable estimation of the maximum PV penetration or minimum integrated energy storage requirement to meet a frequency regulation target for a particular power system. Integrated energy storage can then be compared to other active power controls in order to choose a method that meets frequency control requirements at minimum cost.