Optimal dispatch of residential photovoltaic inverters under forecasting uncertainties

Emiliano Dallranese, Sairaj V. Dhople, Brian B. Johnson, Georgios B. Giannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Efforts to ensure reliable operation of existing low-voltage distribution systems with high photovoltaic (PV) generation have focused on the possibility of inverters providing ancillary services such as active power curtailment and reactive power compensation. Major benefits include the possibility of averting overvoltages, which may otherwise be experienced when PV generation exceeds the demand. This paper deals with ancillary service procurement in the face of solar irradiance forecasting errors. In particular, assuming that forecasted PV irradiance can be described by a random variable with known (empirical) distribution, the proposed uncertainty-aware optimal inverter dispatch (OID) framework indicates which inverters should provide ancillary services with a guaranteed a priori risk level of PV generation surplus. To capture forecasting errors and strike a balance between risk of overvoltages and (re)active power reserves, the concept of conditional value-at-risk is advocated. Due to AC power balance equations and binary inverter selection variables, the formulated OID involves the solution of a nonconvex mixed-integer nonlinear program. However, a computationally affordable convex relaxation is derived by leveraging sparsity-promoting regularization approaches and semidefinite relaxation techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6960084
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Conditional value-at-risk (CVaR)
  • distribution networks
  • forecasting errors
  • inverter control
  • microgrids
  • optimal power flow (OPF)
  • photovoltaic (PV) systems
  • voltage regulation


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