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Advantages and barriers of applying solar nowcasting in controlling microgrids: Findings from a survey in 2020

Samu, R., Calais, M., Shafiullah, GM.ORCID: 0000-0002-2211-184X, Moghbel, M., Shoeb, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-6653-107X and Carter, C. (2020) Advantages and barriers of applying solar nowcasting in controlling microgrids: Findings from a survey in 2020. In: 2020 International Conference on Smart Grids and Energy Systems (SGES), 23 - 26 Nov. 2020, Perth, WA

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Variable distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar and wind are rapidly becoming common in low-inertia microgrids (MGs) worldwide as the world explores cost-efficient and sustainable energy solutions. Additionally, the urgent need for greenhouse gas emission reductions and the availability of vast renewable energy resources serve as motivations to harvest these renewabies. Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is one of the most utilised due to the significant drop in prices for solar PV systems. However, the variable nature of solar PV generation due to cloud movements introduces rapid ramp events thus affecting power system management. Nowcasting, which is defined as very short-term solar irradiance forecasting, together with controllable DERs, can be integrated into MGs to possibly address these ramp events and enable an increase in PV penetration levels in MGs. This study outlines the benefits and limitations of nowcasting and its applications in the control of MGs obtained from a survey. From the survey, it was evident that sky camera-based nowcasting technology is still new but has potential in MG applications. Applications of nowcasting in MGs included ramp rates control and scheduling of spinning reserves. Additionally, PV penetration levels may be increased if nowcasting tools are incorporated into the control of MGs. However, the main barrier impeding the utilisation of sky camera-based nowcasting technology is the lack of experience and lack of demonstrated reliability.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
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