Control of Virtual Synchronous Photovoltaic Power Plants with Energy Storage
ref. ENE2014-60228-R
National public
Initial date: 2015-01-01
Final date: 2017-12-31


The development of virtually synchronous PV power plants will permit to solve the problems that currently a high penetration of conventional PV power plants will generate in the electrical network, mainly from the point of view of the network stability, by means of providing new functionalities and services. This is a priority objective for achieving the goals outlined in the H2020, especially those related to reach the 20% of installed capacity from renewables, as PV is the technology with the highest potential after wind power.

The virtually synchronous PV power plants studied in the framework of this project will have the capability of fulfilling all the requirementsthat arise in the current grid codes, or even in the existing drafts which are under development. Moreover, they will be able to offer all the features of a synchronous generation based power plant in terms of network support services, providing even an improved response that conventional synchronous generators cannot supply, thanks to the advanced power processing capabilities that the Synchronous Power Controller (SPC), are able to provide. In a nutshell, the project has the following objectives:

  • To scale up the synchronous controller to the plant level, enabling a PV plant to offer a virtually synchronous performance.
  • To analyze and develop a distributed control system for the virtually synchronous power plant able to handle all the processes in thepower conversion chain, taking case of the automatic operation of the plant, the grid interaction and even its relationship with the energy markets.
  • To extend the concept of transactive power and develop new optimization algorithms based on sharing, in a competitive way, all the functionalites among all the elements that integrate the plant, boosting thus the overall efficiency of the system.
  • To analyze and build a secondary control layer for the plant that takes into account the synchronous performance and shares the duties accordingly among the different units following also a competitive criteria.
  • To analyze and design control algorithms at the cluster level in order to make and optimal sharing of the control duties associated to the secondary control response.
  • To develop intelligent algorithms for processing the information gathered from the power plant and use it for performing predictive operation and maintenance.
  • To analize the sizing criteria and control requirement associated to the integration and management of the energy storage system that should be part of the virtually synchronous PV power plant.
  • To analyze the impact of the virtually synchronous PV power plants in the electrical network, and compare it with the effect of conventional ones.
  • To analyze the additional functionalities that this kind of plants would provide, mainly those related to frequency control and auxiliaryservices.

Local members

Alvaro Luna

PhD. Senior Researcher.

Atanasi Jornet

Senior Researcher. Project Responsible

Ramon Mujal

PhD. Senior Researcher


External members

Inmaculada Martinez Teixidor, María Rosa Argelaguet Isanta, Marc Marín Genescà



Journal paper

Conference paper


Partnership centers

Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTECH; Abengoa Research; Digsilent; Schneider