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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2016, Article ID 2863479, 11 pages
Research Article

Energy Storage Requirements for PV Power Ramp Rate Control in Northern Europe

Department of Electrical Engineering, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 692, 33101 Tampere, Finland

Received 1 April 2016; Revised 24 May 2016; Accepted 2 June 2016

Academic Editor: Prakash Basnyat

Copyright © 2016 Julius Schnabel and Seppo Valkealahti. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Photovoltaic (PV) generators suffer from fluctuating output power due to the highly fluctuating primary energy source. With significant PV penetration, these fluctuations can lead to power system instability and power quality problems. The use of energy storage systems as fluctuation compensators has been proposed as means to mitigate these problems. In this paper, the behavior of PV power fluctuations in Northern European climatic conditions and requirements for sizing the energy storage systems to compensate them have been investigated and compared to similar studies done in Southern European climate. These investigations have been performed through simulations that utilize measurements from the Tampere University of Technology solar PV power station research plant in Finland. An enhanced energy storage charging control strategy has been developed and tested. Energy storage capacity, power, and cycling requirements have been derived for different PV generator sizes and power ramp rate requirements. The developed control strategy leads to lesser performance requirements for the energy storage systems compared to the methods presented earlier. Further, some differences on the operation of PV generators in Northern and Southern European climates have been detected.