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Stability of microgrids and weak grids with high penetration of variable renewable energy

Susanto, Julius (2020) Stability of microgrids and weak grids with high penetration of variable renewable energy. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Autonomous microgrids and weak grids with high penetrations of variable renewable energy (VRE) generation tend to share several common characteristics: i) low synchronous inertia, ii) sensitivity to active power imbalances, and iii) low system strength (as defined by the nodal short circuit ratio). As a result of these characteristics, there is a greater risk of system instability relative to larger grids, especially as the share of VRE is increased.

This thesis focuses on the development of techniques and strategies to assess and improve the stability of microgrids and weak grids. In the first part of this thesis, the small-signal stability of inertia-less converter dominated microgrids is analysed, wherein a load flow based method for small-signal model initialisation is proposed and used to examine the effects of topology and network parameters on the stability of the microgrid. The use of a back-to-back dc link to interconnect neighbouring microgrids and provide dynamic frequency support is then proposed to improve frequency stability by helping to alleviate active power imbalances. In the third part of this thesis, a new technique to determine the optimal sizing of smoothing batteries in microgrids is proposed. The technique is based on the temporal variability of the solar irradiance at the specific site location in order to maximise PV penetration without causing grid instability.

A technical framework for integrating solar PV plants into weak grids is then proposed, addressing the weaknesses in conventional Grid Codes that fail to consider the unique characteristics of weak grids. Finally, a new technique is proposed for estimating system load relief factors that are used in aggregate single frequency stability models.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
United Nations SDGs: Goal 13: Climate Action
Supervisor(s): Shahnia, Farhad
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