Aging Effect Analysis of PV Inverter Semiconductors for Ancillary Services Support

Yunting Liu, Leon M. Tolbert, Paychuda Kritprajun, Jiaojiao Dong, Lin Zhu, Joshua Hambrick, Kevin P. Schneider, Kumaraguru Prabakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


PV inverters can provide reactive power while generating active power. An ongoing microgrid implementation at Duke Energy actively engages non-utility PVs to generate/absorb reactive power in support of ancillary services to increase microgrid resiliency during extreme events. PV systems are requested to provide reactive power support: 1) in response to grid voltage variation to better regulate the local voltage; or 2) in response to utility incentives, such as following Transactive Energy System (TES) incentives. However, providing ancillary services might shorten the lifetime expectation of PV inverter semiconductors. This paper summarizes the potential impacts on a PV inverter semiconductor's lifetime when providing ancillary services. The analysis presented in this research work shows that providing reactive power support will increase the mean junction temperature and the junction temperature variation of the inverter diodes. This increased junction temperature will eventually lead to shorter diode lifetime. The lifetime estimation of semiconductors is briefly reviewed. The power losses of PV inverter semiconductors are derived as a support analysis to the junction temperature calculation. In addition, the impact of the filtering inductor on the semiconductor current distribution is discussed. The theoretical analysis presented in this research work is supported by simulation results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9216069
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Open Journal of Industry Applications
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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