|The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).|
Modeling and control of a dual-mode grid-integrated renewable energy system
From the electric power generation perspective, the last three decades have been characterized by sustained growth in the amount of Distributed Power Generation (DPG) systems integrated into the electric grid. This trend is anticipated to continue, especially in light of the widespread acceptance of the many benefits envisaged in the increase of renewable-based power generation. The potential for grid-integrated DPG systems to significantly contribute to electric power supply reliability has consistently attracted extensive research in recent times, although concerns continue to be raised over their adverse impact on the normal grid operation at high penetration levels. These concerns largely stem from the limited controllability of most DPG systems, which tend to exhibit large output impedance variation, and non-deterministic power output characteristics. There has therefore also been a growing need to develop effective control strategies that can enhance the overall impact of the DPG systems on the grid operation, thus improving their synergistic properties, and probably also enabling an even higher penetration level into the utility grid. In line with this identified need, this thesis discusses the modeling and controller design for an inverter-based DPG system with the capability to effectively operate both in grid-connected and autonomous (i.e. independent of the utility grid) operational modes. The dual-mode operation of the DPG is made possible by incorporating into the inverter interface control scheme the means to ensure seamless transition of the DPG between the grid-connected and autonomous modes of operation. The intention is to have a grid-integrated inverter-based DPG system whose operation approximates that of an online Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system, in that it is able to sustain power supply to the local load in the absence of the grid supply, which would be desirable for critical loads, for which the level of power supply reliability guaranteed by the grid often falls short of the requirements. The work developed in this thesis considers three of the aspects associated with grid-integrated DPG systems that are equipped with autonomous-mode operation capability.