SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Analyzing Hosting Capacity Protection Constraints Under Time-Varying PV Inverter Fault Response
Joseph A. Azzolini, Nicholas S. Gurule, Rachid Darbali-Zamora, Matthew J. Reno
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, United States

The proper coordination of power system protective devices is essential for maintaining grid safety and reliability but requires precise knowledge of fault current contributions from generators like solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. PV inverter fault response is known to change with atmospheric conditions, grid conditions, and inverter control settings, but this time-varying behavior may not be fully captured by conventional static fault studies that are used to evaluate protection constraints in PV hosting capacity analyses. To address this knowledge gap, hosting capacity protection constraints were evaluated on a simplified test circuit using both a time-series fault analysis and a conventional static fault study approach. A PV fault contribution model was developed and utilized in the test circuit after being validated by hardware experiments under various irradiances, fault voltages, and advanced inverter control settings. While the results were comparable for certain protection constraints, the time-series fault study identified additional impacts that would not have been captured with the conventional static approach. Overall, while conducting full time-series fault studies may become prohibitively burdensome, these findings indicate that existing fault study practices may be improved by including additional test scenarios to better capture the time-varying impacts of PV on hosting capacity protection constraints.