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Integrating photovoltaic systems into remote diesel generator powered networks

Thipthorp, Jeremy (2016) Integrating photovoltaic systems into remote diesel generator powered networks. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis aims to research the effects of multiple ascending levels of photovoltaic (PV) power penetration on a prototype diesel generator powered network that has a PV power system integrated into it. First the effects of this additional photovoltaic penetration were documented then some ways to mitigate the effects of solar intermittency were investigated. This project relates to the Power and Water Corporation’s (PWC) proposed roll out of 10 megawatt of solar throughout more than 30 of the remote communities they service in the Northern Territory. This thesis is concerned with instantaneous PV power penetration and studying the effects levels of instantaneous penetration higher than 30 per cent may have on an individual network.

To conduct this study, literature about solar irradiance data and previous trials in the Northern Territory was studied to make sensible simulation event estimates for a mock network. A network model was created and used in simulations to approximate the network’s response to cloud shading during various levels of penetration. The simulations confirmed that photovoltaic penetration of 30 per cent and even 45 per cent could easily be implemented without the need for upgrading the existing infrastructure. Both 60 and 70 per cent penetration level simulations suggested that there would likely be a need to raise the nominal generated voltage and or apply shunt capacitor banks to the load buses. The significance of these results is that they confirm the Power and Water Corporations premise that 30 per cent penetration is a safe starting point and also suggest that higher levels of photovoltaic penetration can be achieved with little to no costly infrastructure upgrades, depending on the level of penetration implemented.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Shafiullah, GM
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