DC Interference Modeling for Assessing the Impact of Sustained DC Ground Faults of Photovoltaic Systems on Third-Party Infrastructure
Charalambous, Charalambos A.
SourceIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
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In grounded photovoltaic (PV) systems, dc leakage to earth is formed by the contribution of the PV modules, inverters, and dc circuitry. Ground faults in such systems occur when there is an unintentional connection between any dc-carrying conductor with a grounded surface or earth. On the occurrence of ground faults, dc leakage will be intensified and will flow through the earth or other conductive paths, before returning back to the source. Thus, it is highly probable that some portion of the dc leakage will attempt to return to the source through any low-resistance paths that exist in the nearby vicinity, for example, through nearby buried pipelines. Therefore, unattended dc leakage may induce stray current corrosion concerns on these pipelines. To this extent, this paper presents a detailed dc interference modeling for assessing the dc leakage activity in PV systems-particularly under undetected fault conditions. First, the modeling carried out embraces the topologically accurate consideration of all sources of dc leakage that are associated with the grounded PV systems. A second feature presented in the paper is the modeling of blind-spot dc faults and their impact on third-party infrastructure.