Unscheduled load flow effect due to large variation in the distributed generation in a subtransmission network
MetadataShow full item record
A sustainable energy delivery infrastructure implies the safe and reliable accommodation of large scale penetration of renewable sources in the power grid. In this dissertation it is assumed there will be no significant change in the power transmission and distribution structure currently in place; except in the operating strategy and regulatory policy. That is to say, with the same old structure, the path towards unveiling a high penetration of switching power converters in the power system will be challenging. Some of the dimensions of this challenge are power quality degradation, frequent false trips due to power system imbalance, and losses due to a large neutral current. The ultimate result is the reduced life of many power distribution components - transformers, switches and sophisticated loads. Numerous ancillary services are being developed and offered by the utility operators to mitigate these problems. These services will likely raise the system's operational cost, not only from the utility operators' end, but also reflected on the Independent System Operators and by the Regional Transmission Operators (RTO) due to an unforeseen backlash of frequent variation in the load-side generation or distributed generation. The North American transmission grid is an interconnected system similar to a large electrical circuit. This circuit was not planned but designed over 100 years. The natural laws of physics govern the power flow among loads and generators except where control mechanisms are installed. The control mechanism has not matured enough to withstand the high penetration of variable generators at uncontrolled distribution ends. Unlike a radial distribution system, mesh or loop networks can alleviate complex channels for real and reactive power flow. Significant variation in real power injection and absorption on the distribution side can emerge as a bias signal on the routing reactive power in some physical links or channels that are not distinguishable from the vast network. A path tracing methodology is developed to identify the power lines that are vulnerable to an unscheduled flow effect in the sub-transmission network. It is much harder to aggregate power system network sensitivity information or data from measuring load flow physically than to simulate in software. System dynamics is one of the key factors to determine an appropriate dynamic control mechanism at an optimum network location. Once a model of deterministic but variable power generator is used, the simulation can be meaningful in justifying this claim. The method used to model the variable generator is named the two-components phase distortion model. The model was validated from the high resolution data collected from three pilot photovoltaic sites in Florida - two in the city of St. Petersburg and one in the city of Tampa. The high resolution data was correlated with weather radar closest to the sites during the design stage of the model. Technically the deterministic model cannot replicate a stochastic model which is more realistically applicable for solar isolation and involves a Markov chain. The author justified the proposition based on the fact that for analysis of the response functions of different systems, the excitation function should be common for comparison. Moreover, there could be many possible simulation scenarios but fewer worst cases. Almost all commercial systems are protected against potential faults and contingencies to a certain extent. Hence, the proposed model for worst case studies was designed within a reasonable limit. The simulation includes steady state and transient mode using multiple software modules including Matlab®, PSCAD® and Paladin Design Base®. It is shown that by identifying vulnerable or sensitive branches in the network, the control mechanisms can be coordinated reliably. In the long run this can save money by preventing unscheduled power flow in the network and eventually stabilizing the energy market.