Comparative strategies for efficient control and storage of renewable energy in a microgrid
Power fluctuations in a microgrid are caused by disturbances due to the connection and disconnection of Distributed Generators (DG’s), as well as the irregular input of the sun and wind renewable energy. Renewable penetration such as the sun, wind and tidal energy causes intermittency which directly affects the input and resultant output power of a microgrid. Control systems have to be implemented on three different levels to ensure the stability and reliability of the power supplied to the load. This can be achieved by implementing the following: 1) Primary control with mechanical valves and actuators to translate feedback signals through droop control. 2) Secondary control with power electronics to facilitate maximum power point tracking, phase lock loops and switch mode inverters to manipulate the electrical signals to a desired set points including PID control. 3) Tertiary control with software program management to monitor the power flow as well as to evaluate congregated logic and implement decision making. Energy storage systems like super capacitors can compensate for power imbalance by providing excess stored energy to the microgrid for short periods of time. The added advantage of capacitor banks is that it can facilitate power factor correction where inductive loads like rotating motors form large part of the total load. Battery banks can compensate for energy shortage for longer periods of time. The duration of the compensation can be determined by the size, topology and the type of batteries used. The objectives of this study is to improve the unstable power output responses of a renewable energy microgrid by designing and analysing control strategies intended at power wavering compensation which also includes energy storage. Sub control systems is created and simulated in Matlab/Simulink for analytical comparative observations. Results of the simulated model are discussed and recommendations are given for future works.