The impact of PV generation and load types on the impedance relays during symmetrical and unsymmetrical faults
Photovoltaic (PV) power generation and the types of connected loads both have an effect on protective impedance relays’ readings. This paper investigates this effect in a real distribution system installed in the State of Kuwait. It is found that, both the dynamic loads and the PV plants have considerable effects in the relay impedance value which vary according to the load type, PV connection and fault place. If the fault occurs at the location of the PV system’s bus when no PV power is generated, the dynamic load causes the relay impedance to increase, while connecting the PV decreases the relay impedance. The relay’s resistance and reactance increase from 0.3153Ω and 1.4950Ω, to 0.3456Ω and 1.6617Ω respectively when the dynamic load increases from 25% to 90% of the total load at constant high fault resistance. The relay resistance and reactance decrease from 0.2849Ω and 0.3443Ω (without PV plant), to 0.2195Ω and 0.3137Ω (with PV), respectively. When the dynamic load percentage increases from 25% to 90%, the resistance and reactance of the relay decrease from 1.0488Ω and 0.0051Ω, to 0.9526Ω and 0.0008Ω, respectively. This phenomenon is valid for all expected fault resistances. When considering constant dynamic load percentage and constant fault resistance, the relay resistance and reactance increase from 1.375Ω and 0.0022Ω (without PV) to 1.5745Ω and 0.0726 Ω (with PV), respectively. Based on those results, the impedance relay setting must be adjusted according to the percentage of the dynamic loads percentage, the PV penetration level, and the fault location.