PVTOOL is a SOLAR-ERA.NET Cofund project that aims at developing and implementing tools to allow PV power plant engineers to design the controllers of large PV power plants in a systematic way.

The main innovation of the project lies on its comprehensive approach for analyzing and designing control systems for PV power plants connected or islanded from the main grid. In this kind of applications, systems with different dynamics interact with each other, which originates and propagates perturbations that threaten the overall stability and reliability of the system. This problem has been evidenced in several commercial projects, which have required the urgent attention of researchers and engineers for finding effective solutions.

Large PV power plants are likely to experience serious stability problems which are related to the fact that they comprise a large number of power electronic converters which can trigger instability problems. PV power plant engineers need to commission such PV power plants with some important time constraints and they cannot normally conduct detailed studies before the commissioning. When problems occur, they normally need to find fast solutions which can allow to start up the power plant. In this context, the project aims at developing tools which can be used to analyze this previously and make sure that instabilities will not occur.