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A power engineering and renewable energy engineering training facility utilising SMA’s Sunny Island Inverter

Castelli, Luca (2010) A power engineering and renewable energy engineering training facility utilising SMA’s Sunny Island Inverter. Other thesis, Murdoch University.


Murdoch University’s engineering department has conceptualised the development of a training system for renewable energy and power engineering students based upon SMA’s Sunny Island inverter. The inverter operates using the droop control algorithm in which the control of real power flows alters network frequency and the control of reactive power flows alters the network voltage. By controlling the network frequency, the Sunny Island inverter is able to control the real power flows of other AC coupled inverters on the network. The system provides a simple, safe and localised learning tool whereby students are able to understand and interact with the system to understand the similarities in operation between the Sunny Island network and a large electricity network. The conversion of the existing system to a Sunny Island system involved the redesign and reconfiguration of a number of existing components in order to ensure compatibility with the new Sunny Island network. A number of compatibility issues were addressed and solutions presented to maximise the use of existing components and implement changes which allow a fully functional system in the future. A monitoring system was required to maximise the educational value of the system and enhance the visualisation of the Sunny Island’s operational characteristics. It was determined that SMA’s monitoring equipment was not capable of the sample rates required to detect transients in the AC network. A second monitoring system has been proposed utilising high-speed data acquisition equipment that is able to monitor at approximately 100 samples per cycle. This report sets a precedent for future work related to the training system’s physical development and allows for the continued development of the system into a fully-equipped Sunny Island system which is equipped with photovoltaic, wind and diesel generators; and whose operation can be visualised through the associated monitoring system.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Calais, Martina
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