UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Microgrid control and stability improvement using phasor measurement units (PMUs) Reis Rodrigues, Yuri


The increasing penetration of renewable energy sources, in association with the higher severity and regularity of disruptive events due to natural disasters e.g. wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, and man-made threats such as cyber-physical attacks, are demanding innovative solutions to guarantee power systems operation within satisfactory levels of performance and resilience. Among the candidate solutions, the microgrid concept has gained significant attention by industry initiatives and the recent literature. This strategy provides significant opportunities for enhancing the power grid reliability to disruptive events, while simplifying the integration and management of renewable energy sources. However, the adaptation of status quo solutions representative of the transmission level problem to the microgrid perspective may not be suitable due to microgrids particular needs imposed by limited availability of energy resources, low inertia and significant penetration of uncontralable generation. In this perspective, this thesis is focused on capitalizing the new opportunities enabled by microgrids concept and the significant advancements in situation awareness provided by distribution-level phasor measurement units (D-PMUs) to develop novel control solutions that can overcome current issues that limit the realization of microgrids full potential. For this, first, a new controller focused on harnessing islanded microgrids independent frequency regulation to enhance energy-constratined microgrids autonomy is developed. This controller seeks to regulate the microgrid operating frequency in a way that reduces its demand while still sustaining satisfactory power quality levels. Next, taking advantage of the significant improvement in situation awareness provided D-PMUs advanced monitoring, new controllers focused on enhancing microgrids dynamic and steady-state regulation performance are developed. These controllers consider centralized and distributed architectures, providing meaningful improvements through multiple frequency regulating stages, including: arrest, rebound, recovery and steady-state realization. Following, taking advantage of the significant expansion in power systems flexibility and the sufficiently fast control actions enabled by D-PMU based controllers, a new resilience-oriented controller is developed. The developed controller is capable of effectively harnessing flexible resources to support the processes of frequency rebound and recovery of low inertia microgrid environments, meaningfully improving microgrids resilience to large scale and cascade disruptive events. The efficiency and advantages of the proposed controllers are verified through extensive simulation case studies.

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