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Various approaches for power balancing in Grid-connected and islanded microgrids

Astriani, Yuli (2020) Various approaches for power balancing in Grid-connected and islanded microgrids. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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PDF - Whole Thesis
Embargoed until March 2021.

Abstract

One of the promising solutions to reduce power imbalance, an undesired impact of intermittent renewable energy sources, is to supply the loads by means of local distributed energy resources in the form of a microgrid. Microgrids offer several benefits such as reduction of line losses, increased system reliability, and maximum utilisation of local energy resources. A microgrid, during its islanded operation, is more susceptible to the frequency and voltage fluctuation caused by a sudden dispatch either from the generation or load. Therefore, additional control is required to manage either the output power from the generation side or the demand from the end-user side. Thus, appropriate and efficient control and monitoring systems need to be installed. However, the cost of such a system will reduce the rate of investment return on microgrid projects. This research has focused on developing various techniques to maintain the voltage and frequency within acceptable limits in microgrids, taking into account various influencing factors.

This study proposes an additional active power management technique through the use of inverters, that can maintain the microgrid’s frequency when the generated power in the microgrid is much higher than its demand. Also, to facilitate the microgrid’s transition from grid-connected to islanded mode, the inverters can be controlled with a soft starting ramp. Moreover, a control function employing a droop control method is proposed in order to reduce the output power of the renewable sources when the microgrid frequency is much higher than the nominal frequency.

On the other hand, when the demand is higher than the generated power, managing the demand under a demand response program is proposed as a means of maintaining the microgrid stability. This is an inexpensive solution which will not reduce the rate of investment return on the microgrid project. However, this requires the installation of appropriate enabling technologies at the utility and end-user sides. Moreover, the participation from demand response participants is influenced by the profit earned from engaging in the program. Therefore, in this research, the technical and economic benefits of demand response deployment are analysed in detail.

The execution of the demand response program through load-shifting, reducing the appliances’ consumed power, and load-shedding causes customer discomfort. To minimise this discomfort, in this thesis, suitable strategies are suggested for various groups of loads. Furthermore, each load profile contains information on its capacity, flexibility, and operating time. The proposed approach ensures that the loads with a larger capacity and flexibility are the most preferred ones to be controlled during demand response events so that customer discomfort and the number of affected loads can be minimised. Also, this study examines the load’s economic value, power losses, emission factor, and cost of energy production to maximise the microgrid operator’s profit as a result of deploying the demand response program.

Meanwhile, to encourage end-users’ engagement in demand response programs, the microgrid operator should offer incentives to the customer as compensation for any incurred costs and discomfort felt. The given incentives should be such that both the microgrid operator and the end-user gain the maximum profit. Therefore, this study proposes an approach for calculating the level of incentives that should be given to the participants by comparing the differences between ongoing revenue and the cost of energy with and without demand response.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
United Nations SDGs: Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Supervisor(s): Shafiullah, GM and Anda, Martin
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/55046
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