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A reliability study for the proposed Substation 13 microgrid at Murdoch University

Woodford, James (2019) A reliability study for the proposed Substation 13 microgrid at Murdoch University. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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As technology continues to develop and improve, the modern world is experiencing a significant transition from the traditional concept of large-scale, centralised power generation to a future incorporating distributed energy resources (DER) closer to local loads. Microgrids provide a sustainable solution for growing energy demands by integrating renewable energy (RE) generation with energy storage (ES) technologies, backed up with traditional generation methods, placing a higher reliance on the abundance of renewable resources such as solar or wind energy and a decreased reliance upon diminishing fossil fuels.

With careful planning and design regarding placement and sizing of DER and ES, as well as a robust control and energy management strategy, the implementation of the embedded microgrid concept at a large commercial entity such as Murdoch University (MU) can have significant benefits including enhanced system reliability and reduced operational expenditure.

The significant objective of this project was to analyse the reliability of the current electrical network that exists within the Substation 13 precinct at MU and compare the results with a reliability analysis of the proposed upgraded Substation 13 electrical network. The aim of such a comparison was to determine whether the electrical performance and reliability had improved following the implementation of the proposed upgraded network and that electrical supply can be maintained to critical loads during a grid outage scenario. The analysis and simulations of either network models was to be carried out using the PowerFactory software package, with a number of critical reliability indices identified within literature to provide the basis of comparison.

The output results from the model simulations and reliability analysis demonstrated a notable and favourable increase in system reliability following the network upgrades under grid outage scenarios. This demonstrated that under the new proposed network configurations and an outage event, the critical connected loads could still be reliably supplied via the implementation of an embedded microgrid, which utilises distributed renewable generation and energy storage, backed up by traditional generation sources. The substantial benefit highlighted by these simulation results is that the requirement of risk mitigation, by providing uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for the critical loads, is in fact fulfilled under the new network upgrade proposal.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Arefi, Ali
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