Coordination of PV Smart Inverters Using Deep Reinforcement Learning for Grid Voltage Regulation

by   Changfu Li, et al.

Increasing adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) presents new challenges to modern power grid due to its variable and intermittent nature. Fluctuating outputs from PV generation can cause the grid violating voltage operation limits. PV smart inverters (SIs) provide a fast-response method to regulate voltage by modulating real and/or reactive power at the connection point. Yet existing local autonomous control scheme of SIs is based on local information without coordination, which can lead to suboptimal performance. In this paper, a deep reinforcement learning (DRL) based algorithm is developed and implemented for coordinating multiple SIs. The reward scheme of the DRL is carefully designed to ensure voltage operation limits of the grid are met with more effective utilization of SI reactive power. The proposed DRL agent for voltage control can learn its policy through interaction with massive offline simulations, and adapts to load and solar variations. The performance of the DRL agent is compared against the local autonomous control on the IEEE 37 node system with thousands of scenarios. The results show a properly trained DRL agent can intelligently coordinate different SIs for maintaining grid voltage within allowable ranges, achieving reduction of PV production curtailment, and decreasing system losses.


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