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Comparing Centralised and Distributed Energy Storage Options on the Yalgoo (WA) Off-grid Electricity Network to Support High Solar PV Penetration

Liang, K. (2017) Comparing Centralised and Distributed Energy Storage Options on the Yalgoo (WA) Off-grid Electricity Network to Support High Solar PV Penetration. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The advancement of the battery energy storage systems (BESS) will maximise the potential of the renewable hybrid system in the electricity network, and hence create savings for both the electricity providers and the consumers. The comparison of a centralised BESS and a distributed BESS with the provision of high solar penetration remains unknown, and the impacts of these hybrid systems cause on an off-grid diesel network are still uncertain.

The thesis aims to produce three sets of energy flow models with the integration of the rooftop solar system into Yalgoo, Western Australia, electricity network to identify the reduction of fuel consumption and the influence on the diesel generators. The energy flow models are Model A – Diesel only, Model B – Centralised BESS and Model C – Distributed BESS. In addition to that, the battery system will maintain a 50% state of charge for spinning reserve purposes.

Model A represents the base useage of the existing diesel network in Yalgoo for comparison purposes, where the required diesel generation equals the load. As for Model B, it uses the rooftop solar generation for load coverage, and the centralised BESS to accumulate the electrical energy from either excess solar output or additional generation from diesel to prevent under loading. The stored energy is then used to reduce diesel loading but not to the extent of under loading. Lastly, for Model C, the load draws its primary power from the solar system, backup secondarily by the existing diesel, while the distributed batteries will only be charged with the excess solar generation. Unlike Model B, distributed batteries only discharge during peak electricity hours when it is the most expensive.

The final results show that both BESS models reduced the fuel consumptions by roughly 20% with Model B using slightly more fuel than Model C. However, Model B took the lead for having the ability to allow diesel off-mode by using the centralised battery as a virtual diesel. The advantage leads to no diesel under loading as compared to 561 hours in Model A and 2731 hours in Model C. Furthermore, the multi-functional centralised BESS offers more benefits than the other systems, such as black start and voltage control. In summary, Model B – Centralised BESS is the optimal system for Yalgoo power network.

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