Enhancing transient performance of microgeneration-dense low voltage distribution networks

Emhemed, Abdullah (2010) Enhancing transient performance of microgeneration-dense low voltage distribution networks. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

In addition to other measures such as energy saving, the adoption of microgeneration driven by renewable and low carbon energy resources is expected to have the potential to reduce losses associated with producing and delivering electricity, combat climate change and fuel poverty, and improve the overall system performance. However, incorporating a substantial volume of microgeneration within a system that is not designed for such a paradigm could lead to conflicts in the operating strategies of the new and existing centralised generation technologies. So it becomes vital for such substantial amount of microgeneration among other decentralised resources to be controlled in the way that local constraints are mitigated and their aggregated response supports the wider system. In addition, the characteristic behaviour of connected microgeneration requires to be understood under different system conditions to ascertain measures of risk and resilience, and to ensure the benefits of microgeneration to be delivered. Therefore, this thesis provides three main valuable contributions of future attainment of sustainable power systems. Firstly, a new conceptual control structure for a system incorporating a high penetration of microgeneration and dynamic load is developed. Secondly, the resilience level of the host distribution network as well as the resilience levels of microgeneration during large transient disturbances is evaluated and quantified. Thirdly, a technical solution that can support enhanced transient stability of a large penetration of LV connected microgeneration is introduced and demonstrated. A control system structure concept based on “a cell concept” is introduced to manage the spread of heavy volumes of distributed energy resources (DERs) including microgeneration such that the useful features of DER units in support of the wider system can be exploited, and the threats to system performance presented by significant connection of passive and unpredictable DERs can be mitigated. The structure also provides simpler and better coordinated communication with DERs by allowing the inputs from DERs and groups of cells to be transferred as collective actions when it moves from a local to a wider system level. The anticipated transient performance problems surrounding the integration of microgeneration on a large basis within a typical urban distribution network are addressed. Three areas of studies are tackled; the increased fault level due to the present of microgeneration, the collective impact of LV connected microgeneration on traditional LV protection performance, and the system fault ride through capabilities of LV connected microgeneration interfaced by different technologies. The possible local impacts of unnecessary disconnection of large amount of microgeneration on the performance of the host distribution network are also quantified. The thesis proposes a network solution based on using resistive-type superconducting fault current limiters (RSFCLs) to prevent the impact of local transient disturbances from expanding and enhance the fault ride through capabilities of a high penetration of microgeneration connected to low voltage distribution networks. A new mathematical approach is developed within the thesis to identify at which condition RSFCL can be used as a significant device to maintain the transient stability of large numbers of LV connected microgeneration. The approach is based on equation solution to determine the minimum required value of the resistive element of RSFCL to maintain microgeneration transient stability, and at the same time additional headroom against switchgear short-circuit ratings is provided. Remote disturbances or a failure to clear remote faults quickly are shown to no longer result in complete unnecessary disconnection of substantial amount of microgeneration.