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An innovative planning approach to improve PV integration into remote electricity networks

Jamal, Taskin (2019) An innovative planning approach to improve PV integration into remote electricity networks. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The deployment and integration of PV systems into conventional type standalone off-grid power supply (SOPS) systems in remote communities have a significant impact on the technical and non-technical aspects of their operations. This poses new challenges for system operators. Deployment of PV and battery systems into SOPS systems thus needs addressing both the technical and non-technical issues of economic, social and environmental factors.

This research proposed an innovative planning approach to improve PV integration into diesel-PV-battery based SOPS systems. The study has identified the key technical and non-technical challenges to facilitate the integration of high levels of PV penetration into these systems. A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) approach is used to obtain the views from worldwide experts regarding the planning of diesel-PV-battery based SOPS systems. The results show that the economic criterion is the most important factor followed by technical, environmental and social factors. The outcomes are then applied to a remote Australian SOPS system which establishes a unique research methodology.

It is also observed from the analysis that the integration of battery storage technology provides a better techno-economical solution to address the challenges. To eliminate the uncertainties of PV output variability, a short-term PV forecasting mechanism using sky imagery technology has been studied and applied. In doing so, a minute-based energy flow modelling tool is developed and applied to evaluate a SOPS system’s performance. The results show that PV forecasting application allows the system to integrate high levels of PV penetration.

Overall, this research provides an insight into the off-grid remote community electrification planning issues. This systematic approach can help the system planners to determine more accurately how much extra PV capacity can be penetrated into remote electricity networks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
United Nations SDGs: Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Supervisor(s): Urmee, Tania, Calais, Martina, Shafiullah, GM and Carter, Craig
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