Evaluation of the Effect of Net Metered Commercial PV systems on Customer Power Factor

July 28, 2015
Session T4A : Grid Effects: Energy Economics and Resilience — Room 104
2:45 pm  -  3:45 pm

In this work we analyzed the changes in customer Power Factor (PF) when interconnecting Net metered behind the meter solar Photovoltaic (PV) system to the utility grid. Normally for residential customers, PV production does not create any power factor penalty problems since they have a limited usage of reactive power. However, in commercial scale projects, based on the specific tariff applied this is an ongoing issue. In the study, we start with the basic concepts of electrical power factor (PF), explains the PF measurement and PF penalty calculation methods by utility. Then shows how the real power offset by PV system inversely affect the customer power factor even though there is no increase in reactive power usage. With examples, shows how different tariffs affect the penalty calculations and presenting the possible PF mitigation methods including scheduled, fixed or dynamic VAR generation using Inverters and Capacitor banks.