The low-voltage distribution grid in Dettighofen, Germany was analysed regarding load flows and the voltage behaviour because of decentralised photovoltaic (PV) power generation. High load flow fluctuations of 400 kW within 25 min were observed in the more critical western part of the grid. During the night, the average base and the peak load obtained from the medium voltage grid was 55.8 and 150 kW, respectively. On certain days, the transformer (400 kVA) fed with rated power into the medium-voltage grid. The relative voltage rise on the transformer was between 2% and 3%. A critical situation was found at a distribution box with two long stubs and a total PV installation power of 99.3 kWp. The load flows caused a relative voltage rise of 4.5% on a day with clear sky, and there was a voltage peak slightly above 110% on a day with high fluctuating irradiance. In a second step, load flow simulations with NEPLAN were performed to analyse three different voltage reducing measures. The relative voltage rise could be reduced by 3% with an active power curtailment ratio of 70% together with reactive power control (cosφ of 0.95 and cosφ of 0.9 at p > 13.8kW). Peak shifting with battery storage leads to the same reduction if the power that exceeds 40% of the rated PV power is shifted. The average costs of limiting the active power to 70% are 1.45 ct/kWh compared with €3.11/kWh for peak shifting with commercial available lead-acid batteries. This is due to the low number of storage cycles resulting in high costs. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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