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Voltage impact studies investigating reactive power control modes of inverter-coupled wind generation connected to a weak rural feeder

Taylor, Simon (2014) Voltage impact studies investigating reactive power control modes of inverter-coupled wind generation connected to a weak rural feeder. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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Weak rural feeders experience large line power losses due to additional current flow (needed to transfer reactive power to all loads along the line and to compensate for the subsequent reactive power losses), and the source impedance of the line. This can result in lower variable voltages, sometimes resulting in line outages and/or interruptions.

These conditions introduce significant integration challenges for embedded generation sources, such as a wind turbine generator (WTG). As such, care must be taken to select the most suitable wind generation technology and configuration and reactive power control mode, to best integrate with a weak rural feeder.

Fortunately, variable speed wind turbines are acknowledged to improve support to an electrical grid, since they offer reliable contribution to power stability within a system [1].

One such type of variable speed wind turbine incorporates an inverter-coupled generator (ICG). In this configuration, the ICG decouples the wind turbine from the electrical grid, allowing independent wind turbine operation, without direct disturbance to the electrical grid [2]. The wind turbine is free to adapt to the conditions in order to optimise energy harvest of the wind resource. wide) - including some small wind farms connected to weak rural feeders (e.g. Kalbarri Wind Farm and Denmark Community Windfarm).

The ICG offers several reactive power control strategies (e.g. power factor (PF) control at the source, voltage control at the point of connection, etc.), which allow for relatively flexible and efficient operation [4].

Using the DIgSILENT PowerFactory software package, a weak rural feeder model with embedded inverter-coupled WTG, has been developed for simulation and analysis. Particular focus has been given to establish what reactive power control mode would integrate best with the developed weak rural feeder model.

The study identified that PF control mode produces the most favourable results - specifically when the WTG is absorbing reactive power from the network (minimal variations in the voltage profile). The results for voltage control mode were not as favourable, as reactive power saturation at low load, prevented tighter control at high load, resulting in sizeable voltage changes in the profile, and the full reactive power capability of the generator not being exploited.

Publication Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Calais, Martina and Carter, Craig
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