Smart Energy Buildings: PV Integration and Grid Sensitivity for the
Case of Vietnam
Wolfram Heckmann
, Duc Nguyen Huu
, Dayana del Carmen Granford Ruiz
Siddhi Shrikant Kulkarni
and Van Nguyen Ngoc
Electric Power University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Fraunhofer IEE, Kassel, Germany
Keywords: Self-consumption, PV Facade Systems, Reactive Power, Feed-in Tariff, Battery Storage System, Electric
Vehicle, Cooling System, Distribution Grid, Energy Management System, Rooftop PV.
Abstract: The Vietnamese government is pushing for higher implementation of distributed photovoltaic (PV) generation
through various policies. Due to the decreasing trend in feed-in tariff (FIT) prices, self- consumption of energy
is an increasingly viable option. The increased PV penetration in the distribution grid also leads to changes in
the voltage profile on the distribution line, which needs to be regulated. The paper discusses a study where an
energy management system (EMS) is implemented for a commercial building in Hanoi after modelling the
respective generating units. As a next step in the study, the self-consumption behaviour of the building is
analyzed and the voltage regulation for a sample distribution grid in Vietnam is implemented.
1.1 Status and Objectives of Renewable
Energy Integration in Vietnam and
In Vietnam, solar power is an increasingly attractive
electricity generating option for the country. Recent
reduction in investing cost, quick construction and
incentive policies from the government are
accelerating the development of PV power in total
capacity, number of projects and penetration rate.
Regarding solar power development in the urban
areas of Vietnam, rooftop PV systems have been
booming recently, especially at locations with high
solar irradiation. Compared to rooftop systems, PV
facade systems, although they have great potential, do
not get enough attention.
In Hanoi, by October 2020, 1,138 rooftop solar
power projects were installed, interconnected and
brought into operation with total capacity reaching 12
MWp, Vietnam Electricity Group Hanoi [EVN
Hanoi] (2021). By comparison, 1,672 customers
installed rooftop PV systems in Da Nang city,
comprising a total capacity of 20 MWp (by the end of
August 2020) as mentioned by Lam, Ky, Hieu and
Hieu (2021). However, the highest total installed
capacity was seen in Ho Chi Minh City with 365
MWp by the end of August 2021 (Vietnam
Electricity, 2021).
Noteworthy, most of the rooftop PV projects in
cities of Vietnam have less than 15 kWp in capacity.
In Hanoi, among 1,138 projects, only 79 projects have
the capacity of over 20 kWp. The number of projects
which have capacity higher than 100 kWp is 12, most
of which are concentrated in Thanh Tri and Dong Anh
districts and are mainly located on the roofs of large
factories (EVN Hanoi, 2021).
Additionally, in Vietnam, although the integration
of the distributed PV rooftop systems might promise
many technical and economic benefits, these systems
are mainly invested, installed, operated with the
purpose of self-consumption and selling surplus
electricity to the grid. Self-consumption is the share
of locally generated electricity that is consumed in
house as defined by Luthander, Widén, Nilsson and
Palm (2015). Most of these systems do not adopt
energy storage devices or only integrate small
capacity lead-acid batteries providing a small amount
of energy for power outages. This means that, surplus
PV electricity, which has uncertain and intermittent
characteristics, is injected into grid without caring for
its impacts on power quality as well as the distribution
system operation. The impacts might be more serious
Heckmann, W., Duc, N., Granford Ruiz, D., Kulkarni, S. and Van, N.
Smart Energy Buildings: PV Integration and Grid Sensitivity for the Case of Vietnam.
DOI: 10.5220/0011068900003203
In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems (SMARTGREENS 2022), pages 117-124
ISBN: 978-989-758-572-2; ISSN: 2184-4968
2022 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
when a higher share of distributed PV generation
participates in the existing low voltage (LV) grid.
Germany aims at a climate-neutral system in
2050. For the electrical energy consumption, the
share of renewable generation in 2019 was about 42%
and the milestone for 2030 is set to 65% according to
the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and
Energy [BMWi] (2019), the objectives are currently
updated. According to a scenario developed by
Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence ‘Integrated Energy
Systems’ [CINES] (2020), the installed PV capacity
has to increase by a factor of 4 from today to 200-300
GW in 2050 to achieve the political objectives. The
power demand will increase due to sector coupling
technologies, amongst others with electric vehicles
and decentralized heat pumps for residential purposes
(Fraunhofer CINES, 2020, p. 12). A high share of the
overall PV in Germany is residential and commercial
PV rooftop systems with a strong tendency in a
combination with battery systems to foster PV self-
consumption. In 2020, 184,000 PV systems with a
capacity of 4.8 GWp were registered according to the
Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft e.V. [BSW Solar]
(2021). Moreover, the number of installed home
storage systems increased by 88,000 to overall
272,000 as a result leading to 50% of the new
installed PV (capacity up to 10 kWp) combined with
a battery storage (capacity 7 kWh on average) (BSW
Solar, 2021 (2)). These trends mark potential
challenges for the distribution grid and, at the same
time, opportunities for energy management to
mitigate them.
1.2 Load Development in Urban Areas
Related to Space Cooling or
Apart from PV rooftop together with battery systems
and electric vehicles, the increased use of cooling
systems in southern countries and electrical heating
systems (e.g. heat pumps) in northern countries will
define the future power demand. The International
Energy Agency [IEA] (2018, p. 36) expects the
cooling degree days, a measure of potential space
cooling demand, to increase worldwide by roughly
25% from 2016 to 2050. Furthermore, (IEA, 2018, p.
37) describes cooling mainly as challenge in urban
areas, partially because temperatures are generally
higher in urban areas than in the surrounding
countryside (so-called heat island effect), and cooling
demand often coincides with the peak load of urban
grids. In (IEA, 2018, p. 33) as well as Ershad,
Pietzcker, Ueckerdt and Luderer (2020) and in Sultan
and Glusenkamp (2021); cooling systems as well as
heat pumps together with thermal storage are seen
also as technologies that can effectively be used in
demand side management concepts thus potentially
mitigating load peaks in urban distribution grids.
1.3 Challenges for the Distribution
As in Paatero and Lund (2007) and in Lavalliere,
Abdelsalam and Makram (2015), in some cases PV
can help with load shaving. However, peak loads of
residential customers usually do not happen at peak
hours of PV output. With the Vietnamese government
not renewing the support mechanisms for grid-tied
PV, the development of grid-tied solar power has
been stalled. The use of a battery system provides a
key solution in this regard by storing the excess
energy generated by the PV system during the day for
use at night and continuing the use of installed rooftop
PV which cannot be fed into the grid due to the rules.
In contrast to the booming growth of rooftop PV,
facade PV integrated into buildings is still limited in
Vietnam. Until now, there is no literature focusing on
the generation profile and energy yield from facade
integrated PV systems in the urban areas of Vietnam.
The participation of PV systems in the distribution
grids can affect the voltage profile along the power
line. Additionally, according to Walling, Saint,
Dugan, Burke and Kojovic (2008) and Matkar,
Dheer, Vijay, Doolla (2017), since integration of PV
systems can contribute to the change in the voltage
profile, they can affect the operation of voltage
regulators such as voltage regulator (VR), static
compensator (SC) and on-load tap changer (OLTC).
At high PV penetration, the voltage at the point of
common coupling (PCC) can increase, resulting in
the OLTC control to reduce voltage across the line. If
a group of PV systems is disconnected or suffers a
sudden reduction in the power output, a voltage drop
may occur, which would trigger the protective relays.
In summary, Vietnam is pursuing the sustainable
development policy by adopting PV systems in urban
areas. The study mentioned in this paper therefore
addresses and aims to solve the above-mentioned
challenges by: a) investigating the benefits of facade
integrated PV in addition to rooftop solar in Vietnam
for a commercial building, followed by implementing
an energy management system and evaluating the
self-consumption behaviour of this building and b)
controlling the negative effects of increasing PV
penetration on the distribution grid voltage profile
through reactive power control.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows:
Section 2 describes the state of the art and on-going
SMARTGREENS 2022 - 11th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems
related research on facade PV integration towards the
context of Vietnam. Objectives and first results of the
study are presented in Section 3. Our conclusions and
further research steps in this study are summarized in
Section 4.
2.1 Facade Integrated PV
This section shows some works in the area of PV-
building integrated systems.
As indicated in Bot, Aelenei, Gomes and Santos
Silva (2021), a Building Integrated Photovoltaic
Thermal (BIPV) system developed for electrical
generation and for heating recovery purposes as well
showed that the needs for separate cooling and
heating are reduced compared to the configuration
without a BIPV thermal system. Another interesting
investigation is managed by Brito, Freitas,
Guimarães, Catita and Redweik (2017). Outcomes in
this study revealed that, even though, the facade
systems received less solar radiation in comparison to
rooftop type systems they have the potential to
increase the power generation for the load and are
able to spread the peak PV production throughout the
day, especially for the early and late hours.
PV-HoWoSan (Niedermeyer and Funtan (2019)),
is a project whose objective is the evaluation of PV
facade and rooftop systems in multi-storey residential
buildings. The goal of the project is to develop a
standardized procedure for design of PV facade
systems, which works in terms of building physics
and is safe in several respects.
In the project, a Python software tool was
developed for calculating the PV generation from
rooftop and facade systems and calculating the degree
of self-consumption of a residential multi-storey
building. For calculating the PV generation
consideration to the building characteristics (number
of floors, apartments, facade orientation) and the
irradiation data for the specific city the building is
located in is given (Axaopoulos, 2011). The tool can
therefore be used for PV related studies for a building
in any city for which the irradiation data is available.
The exemplary building configuration (results in
Figure 1 and Figure 2) in the city of Frankfurt consists
of 25 floors and 7 apartments per floor. The building
has an installed rooftop power of 75 kWp and facade
integrated PV systems ( maximum 31 kWp per floor).
The PV facade system is analyzed for four different
shares of facade covering: 7% density (installed
power of 2.2 kWp), 25% density (7.8 kWp), 50%
density (15.5 kWp) and 75% density (23.3 kWp) per
floor. The PV facade is implemented on the south,
west and east side of the building. Additionally, a
second implementation of the same configuration
with a 20 kWh battery storage system was considered.
For the city of Frankfurt, for the exemplary
building, the Python tool can also calculate the total
load per apartment according to the Verein Deutscher
Ingenieure [VDI] 4655 (2019) in Germany. The VDI
4655 provides a guideline on calculating the typical
load for a building in Germany based on the season,
weather conditions and day of the week data.
Figure 1: Percentage of self-consumption for the system
when there is no storage system depending on the facade
share covered with PV modules (Density).
Figure 2: Percentage of self-consumption with a 20 kWh
battery system for the entire building depending on the
facade share covered with PV modules (Density).
Figure 1 and Figure 2 present that the self-con-
sumption has a saturation tendency because there is
more surplus generated with increasing PV covered
facade. Comparing these two figures shows that the
Smart Energy Buildings: PV Integration and Grid Sensitivity for the Case of Vietnam
Table 1: Retail electricity price for households and commercial customers (MOIT, 2019(2)) and new proposed FIT price.
Customers Classification
Electricity Price
(exclusive of 10% VAT)
Rooftop PV
FIT price
VND/kWh € ct/kWh VND/kWh € ct/kWh
Level 1: 0-50
1,678 6.40
Less than 20
kWp (most
PV systems
have the
capacity of
less than 20
1,582.16 6.03
Level 2: 51-100
1,734 6.61
Level 3: 101-
200 kWh/month
2,014 7.68
Level 4: 201-
300 kWh/month
2,536 9.67
Level 5: 301-
400 kWh/month
2,834 10.81
Level 6: 401
kWh/month or
2,927 11.16
customers (from
6 kV to 22 kV)
Peak hours 4,400 16.78
20-100 kWp 1468.82 5.60
ormal hours 2,629 10.02
eak hours 1,547 5.90
customers (< 6
Peak hours 4,587 17.49
From 100
kWp to 1250
1362.41 5.19
ormal hours 2,666 10.16
eak hours 1,622 6.18
Note: EURO/VND exchange rate on Nov. 25, 2021 = 26,227.96 (State Bank of Vietnam)
presence of one battery for the building already
increases the self-consumption to approximately 90%
up to the 15-floor. For the first floor (marked in both
graphs), the self-consumption increases to 25% in
comparison with the case without battery.
2.2 Status of Electricity Pricing in the
Country of Vietnam
In Vietnam, the electricity price is different among
residential, commercial and industrial customers
Regarding electricity price for households, there are
six level of prices applying to different amount of
electricity consumption. The retail electricity price
for commercial customers depends on voltage level
and time of consumption with peak hours (9:30-
11:30am and 5:00-8:00pm, not including Sunday),
off-peak hours (10:00pm-4:00am) and other periods
for normal hours (Table 1).
Regarding rooftop PV feed-in tariff in Vietnam,
the price of 2,086 VND/kWh (7.95 € ct /kWh) (FIT1)
has been expired since 2019-06-30 (Prime Minister
[PM] (2019)) and Ministry of Industry and Trade
[MOIT] (2019)). After that, a new policy (FIT2) was
issued on 2020-04-06 (PM, 2020). The FIT price for
rooftop solar systems was reduced to 1,943 VND/
kWh (7.41 ct/kWh). However, the FIT2 price has
officially expired on 2020-12-31 and currently a new
draft FIT price has been submitted to the Prime
Minister. The draft still proposes a fixed price, but it
is expected to decrease by 18-27% depending on the
project capacity and project type (Table 1).
While the average price of retail electricity in
Vietnam has recently increased, the FIT price tends to
reduce and is lower than the lowest retail price. This
builds a barrier for using the FIT mechanism.
However, it could encourage households having PV
systems to increase self-consumption.
2.3 Hybrid Storage Systems:
Stationary and Mobile Batteries,
Thermal Storage (Cooling)
In Huang, Hsu, Wang, Tang, Wang, Dong, Lee, Yeh,
Dong, Wu, Sia, Li and Lee (2019), deployment of PV
systems increased the necessity of creating new
storage technologies for either self-consumption or
control strategies. A PV system for self-consumption,
comprising the PV modules, inverter and loads, a
stationary battery and a thermal storage is proposed.
In case of PV surplus, first, the battery is charged and
then the thermal hot water storage system. This
hybrid storage system is found to be more
SMARTGREENS 2022 - 11th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems
economically viable compared to exporting
electricity to the grid.
In Niedermeyer, Dreher, Degner and Heckmann
(2020)pooled electrical vehicles are used as frequen-
cy control reserves, and the relation between power
variation and voltage change in LV grids are ana-
lyzed. From a pool of electric vehicle (EV), control
reserves are provided in accordance with the
regulations of the Frequency Restoration Reserves
(FRR) without violation of the voltage bands in the
LV feeder.
2.4 Voltage Management
Several papers demonstrate strategies for controlling
the voltage in the power system. As mentioned by Li,
Disfani, Pecenak, Mohajeryami and Kleissl (2018),
traditionally, the OLTCs and voltage regulators are
employed to address voltage issues in the distribution
system. OLTCs always consider a voltage drop along
feeder lines and rule-based control techniques have
proven to lack scalability and cannot be applied to
feeders with multiple OLTCs. Mainly due to the
increase in PV penetration in the medium or low
voltage grid, there is a rise in voltage at the PCC.
According to Phochai, Ongsakul and Mitra (2014)
strategies such as limitation of active power feed-in
and fixed power factor method are first suggested
where remote control utility is not possible. Dynamic
control techniques are preferred because they do not
curtail the active power from PV generation unless
voltage control needs to be implemented.
In Geibel, Degner, Seibel, Bülo, Tschendel,
Pfalzgraf, Boldt, Müller, Sutter and Hug (2013)
voltage control strategies in low voltage grids with
high PV penetration are explored. New voltage
control strategies were developed and applied in
active, intelligent LV networks utilizing reactive
power control capabilities of PV inverters and OLTC
functionalities of secondary substations. The grid
voltages are dynamically regulated to ensure that the
voltage limits are adhered to. The developed compo-
nents were field tested in a German LV grid near
Kassel. As part of the implementation, the smart
secondary substation with an OLTC transformer
(630kVA, 20/0,4kV, ± 3x 2%) controlled the reactive
power provision of three independent PV systems
(Geibel et al., 2013).
Driven by political incentives, such as the
Vietnamese government’s commitment to energy
availability there is already an increased operation of
grid connected PV systems in the distribution grid in
Vietnam as presented by Do, Burke, Nguyen,
Overland, Suryadi, Swandaru and Yurnaidi (2021).
The study presented in this paper contributes a system
study considering rooftop and facade integrated PV to
observe the potential for self-consumption for a
commercial building in Hanoi, Vietnam. The usage of
mobile (electric vehicles) and stationary batteries and
thermal storage (cooling) to avoid peak load
situations is implemented. The consideration of peak/
off-peak tariffs can provide insights into the econo-
mic viability of such systems and the potential of
grid-interactive buildings for load and voltage
management in distribution grids.
A first step in this work is the calculation of the
PV-energy yields for an identical building at the city
of Hanoi and Frankfurt for rooftop and south, east and
west oriented facade PV systems. A building area of
625 m
with 10 floors was chosen and the Python tool
developed in the PV HoWoSan project (Niedermeyer
and Funtan (2019)) was adapted for both cities. For
the city of Hanoi an optimal tilt angle of 10° and for
Frankfurt an optimal tilt angle of 30° were considered
for the rooftop PV systems. Table 2 presents the
energy yields of the rooftop and facade PV systems
(in kWh/kWp) and the percentage generation of the
facades as a share of the rooftop generation for each
of the two respective cities:
Table 2: Energy yields in the city of Hanoi and Frankfurt
for rooftop and south, east and west facade and ratio of
energy yield of facades with respect to the rooftop PV
Hanoi Frankfurt
1317 kWh/kWp,
949 kWh/kWp,
722 kWh/kWp,
640 kWh/kWp,
685 kWh/kWp,
517 kWh/kWp,
811 kWh/kWp,
541 kWh/kWp,
Smart Energy Buildings: PV Integration and Grid Sensitivity for the Case of Vietnam
The same building for the cities of Hanoi and
Frankfurt is considered and shadowing effects are
ignored. The energy yield contributions are higher for
the city of Hanoi. However, the percentage of energy
yield for the facades with respect to the rooftop
generation is higher for the city of Frankfurt. This is
due to the differences between the optimal tilt angles
of the rooftop in the respective city and the vertical
facade systems.
This next step in the study includes the assessment
of the PV generation profile in Hanoi (World Bank
Group (2018)) and the typical load profile of a
commercial building (10 floors and 625 m
area) and the simulation of a simple EMS involving
stationary batteries, EV and thermal storage (cooling
systems). The load data is obtained from Electrical
Power University [EPU] (2016). The EMS functions
based on a peak-shaving process.
The EMS comprises the peak shaving
functionality. For reducing total costs, the charging
and discharging of the storage systems will be done
according to the peak/off-peak time. As an example,
Figure 3 and Figure 4 indicate flowchart diagrams of
the cold water storage/ cooling system charge and
discharge procedures.
Figure 3: Flowchart diagram for the cooling system
operation in the off-peak time.
Figure 3 indicates the flowchart diagram of the
cooling system at the off-peak time. The objective of
this approach is to charge the water storage to the
maximum capacity to prepare for the peak-times and
therefore to unload the grid. In this example, the
charging power is chosen as 25% of the discharge
power (d_power). This discharge power corresponds
to the supply power that the cooling system needs for
operating. In off-peak time, the grid can supply power
to the cooling system and is able as well to charge the
water storage. At the peak-times, as in Figure 4, the
goal is to discharge the water storage first to provide
the power supply to the cooling system thereby
avoiding the import of power from the grid. Thus, the
EMS can help to mitigate peak load in the grid, if
Figure 4: Flowchart diagram for the cooling system
operation in the peak time.
This study is in the field of integration of distributed
PV generation in urban areas in Vietnam. Because of
the ambitious political objectives of the Vietnamese
government, this topic is very important for the
sustainable development strategy of Vietnam.
This study presented in this paper is a first
investigation into the potential use of PV facade
systems for energy yield in Vietnam. A case for
increased PV facade implementation and self-
consumption is made through the calculation of the
irradiation data, modelling of generating units and
initial implementation of energy management.
Investigations on self-consumption are motivated by
the proposed decreasing FIT prices while retail
electricity prices are increasing.
SMARTGREENS 2022 - 11th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems
This project has considered irradiation data for
Hanoi and calculated the PV generation for rooftop
and facade installations for an exemplary commercial
building. An energy management concept is
developed after modelling of the generating units
such as a stationary battery, EV battery and the
cooling system as thermal storage. Actual load values
are considered for the calculations of the EMS.
Further steps in the project are: a) further
development of the EMS for the assessment of the
self- consumption behaviour, b) analysis of the
resulting electricity costs after implementing such an
EMS using time-of-use pricing mechanism and c)
development of voltage control strategies for the
Vietnamese distribution grid with high PV
penetration through modelling of the grid and
implementation of control.
We acknowledge the support by the project “Reactive
Power Control 2 (FKZ 0350003A) funded by the
German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy
(BMWi) and the projectPV Vietnam (FKZ
01DP19002) funded by the German Ministry of
Education and Research (BMBF). Only the authors
are responsible for the content of the publication.
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SMARTGREENS 2022 - 11th International Conference on Smart Cities and Green ICT Systems