Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan Balda
Important changes are taking place in distribution systems in several areas of the country as the costs of distributed three- and single-phase solar energy (PV) systems have reached grid parity. These distributed energy resources (DERs) are now generating higher percentages of power resulting in several issues that must be analyzed; in particular: (a) increased complexity for operating distribution systems including islanded operation, and (b) bi-directional power flows resulting under certain daily varying-load conditions.
Advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) software packages have customizable essential functions for fault location, isolation and service restoration (FLISR) requiring automated feeder protection devices, communication network and grid control functions. However, new features must be added for maintaining system integrity under all operating conditions in the presence of distributed DERs. To this end, this proposal addresses the theoretical framework for adding to an ADMS package control functions for single-phase smart PV inverters in unbalanced residential distribution systems under grid-connected and islanded operating modes.
Therefore, the main objectives of the proposed research work are the following:
- Develop control algorithms to control several single-phase smart PV inverters in unbalanced residential distribution systems. The ultimate goal is that these algorithms could be implemented in an ADMS package.
- Analyze the operation of a subset of an unbalanced residential distribution system as an islanded microgrid by considering conservation voltage reduction (CVR) and integrated volt/VAr control (IVVC) as well as the need for energy storage.
- Analyze the role of the single-phase PV inverters to support system restoration practices.
This proposal falls under two research thrusts: M1.1 and DSM1.3.