Impact of rapid PV fluctuations on power quality in the low-voltage grid and mitigation strategies using electric vehicles

N.B.G. Brinkel*, M.K. Gerritsma, T.A. AlSkaif, I. Lampropoulos, A.M. van Voorden, H.A. Fidder, W.G.J.H.M. van Sark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Cloud transients cause rapid fluctuations in the output of photovoltaic (PV) systems, which can significantly affect the voltage levels in a low-voltage (LV) grid with high penetration of PV systems. These voltage fluctuations may lead to violation of the existing power quality standards. This study estimates the impact of rapid PV output fluctuations on the power quality in an existing LV grid by performing load flow analyses for scenarios in the years 2017, 2030 and 2050 using PV data with 20-second resolution. In this study, we propose a system for the mitigation of PV output fluctuations by altering the charging processes of electric vehicles (EVs) and we assess the effectiveness of the proposed system. Results indicate that PV output fluctuations have minor impact on the voltage levels in the year 2030, but PV output fluctuations induce considerable voltage fluctuations in the year 2050. The magnitude of the voltage fluctuations is dependent on the location in the grid, the installed PV capacity and the grid configuration. These voltage fluctuations can induce visible and annoying light flicker for a significant part of the day in the year 2050. Implementing the proposed system shows that EV technology can contribute in reducing the amount of visible and annoying light flicker considerably, however at the expense of increased charging costs for EV owners.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105741
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Electric vehicles
  • Light flicker
  • Low-voltage grid
  • Power quality
  • PV fluctuations


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