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Analysing the electrical network at Murdoch University in the presence

Zhang, Haotian (2018) Analysing the electrical network at Murdoch University in the presence. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Currently, fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are mainly responsible for the devastating effects of environmental air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels to produce electricity. The future demands for energy and power consumption is on the rise and enabling renewable technologies such as solar power through Photovoltaic systems (PV) will be able to harness the ever-increasing demands for energy. PV power generation systems are exponentially growing in use and are currently the most common and reliable renewable energy source available on the market. With increased penetration of rooftop PV, there are still many significant challenges to overcome to optimize the distribution systems. Further studies on PV have shown that the impacts of PV systems on the power grid are a significant concern facing the development of renewable energies. The aims of this project is to investigate the penetration of a large scale PV system into Murdoch University’s electrical network and to discuss the potential impacts on power quality, voltage profiles and power losses.

Studies have indicated that Murdoch University has 43 buildings that are suitable for PV installations, up to a total rated power of 2 MW. The area of each building has been taken into account to effectively install suitable PV arrays. Due to the limitation of data, 15 substations in the network have been analysed for before and after the PV installation where the total power for the grid is 832.9 KW. Three different modelling scenarios have been finalised based on alternative loads on particular days with a maximum PV generation. In scenario 1 the total load power is 554 KW, and this was the lowest load that was measured on the 25/12/2016. The results of the second scenario indicated a load of 841.71 KW which occurred on the 21/03/2017, which is close to the output of the PV generation system. Scenario 3 had the highest load of 1.0094 MW that occurred on the 06/09/2017. To assess the impacts of the PV system, power software such as PowerFactory-DigSILENT has been used to collect the voltage profiles of the feeders, and to obtain the power losses for each scenario.

Some of the key findings in this report were characterized by the simulation results in conjunction with the electrical switchboard data, which was supplied by Murdoch University. One of the key results of this research found that, when the power from PV generation system is greater than the load, the excess power is reversed back to the grid and results in power losses. Another key finding in this project was that the smallest voltage drop occurred when the photovoltaic production was very similar to the load requirements. Lastly, one other key finding of this project was that the minimum power losses occurred when the load was greater than the power produced by the PV system.

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