A Testbed for Distributed Autonomous Control Concepts for High-Power Microgrids (GR-17-10)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan Balda, Dr. Adel Nasiri

Both the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and the University of Arkansas (UA) have worked on several microgrid controls projects including high-power microgrids, hierarchical control, virtual droop control, and central control.  There are several research tasks within Project GR-17-10 to be performed jointly by UWM and UA, (i) to develop the concept for distributed microgrid controls, (ii) to evaluate the reliability improvement using distributed controls, (iii) to build an HIL setup to test and implement microgrid control, (iv) to implement a high-power microgrid  testbed (MGTB) at the UA National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission (NCREPT), and (v) to develop autonomous and predictive concept in a microgrid with higher penetration of renewables.

Tasks i, ii, and v will be performed at UWM, led by Prof. Adel Nasiri.  The concept of the distributed control system is based on installing fast and low cost controllers at each distributed source or smart load.  The reliability assessment will be conducted using Markov Chain theory.  Both UWM and UA will perform task iii on different platforms, with UWM on NI CompactRIO-based system and UA on Typhoon-based system.  UA will perform task iv using the existing three back-to-back voltage-source converters, the so-called regen benches that will be connected in parallel to the point of common coupling in order to emulate different type of generators and loads.

These regen benches would emulate wind power, photovoltaics arrays and other generators to determine their interaction and stability problems in high-power microgrids.  The regen benches would work in two modes: the grid-connected and island modes.  The UWM controller will be implemented on a system with real renewable sources and loads.  The controller will take into account the forecast for renewable energy generation and load to minimize the stress on energy storage and improve power quality in the microgrid.  The ultimate goal of this project is to compare the performances and differences between the UA high power testbed and the UWM testbed with high renewable penetration so a set of guidelines could be produced.


Posted on

January 1, 2017

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