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  • Monday, July 29, 2019
  • ACEP Collaborates Through EPSCoR Award to Design Microgrids of the Future

The grid of the future will have dynamics heavily influenced by power electronic interfaces; however, current approaches to modeling these interfaces in typical power system simulations may lack key attributes required to determine system performance, including stability, fault response and black-start capability. This uncertainty may contribute to the adoption of conservative operational strategies that limit the full potential of these grids.

Researchers at UAF’s Alaska Center for Energy and Power will help develop and validate models to assess the dynamic response of converter-dominated power systems across multiple spatiotemporal scales. The work will build capability in states that already have or are expected to have high penetrations of converter-coupled generation, including solar, wind and energy storage, within isolated, regional and continental grid scales.

ACEP researchers will collaborate with colleagues at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez and South Dakota State University to leverage power electronics and power systems expertise at each institution. The work is funded by a grant recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

A critical component of this research will be validation of the models using laboratory capabilities. At UAF, ACEP will leverage the Power Systems Integration Lab. The 500-kilowatt scale microgrid test facility includes major components of renewable-based microgrids, including diesel generators, wind turbine and PV simulators, a battery energy storage system, programmable load banks, and line length emulation capabilities. In addition, the lab includes a fault emulator, which allows generation of physical faults on the at-scale power system and will be critical to validate models that accurately predict converter fault response.

 

ACEP's Power Systems Integration Lab is a 500 kW test facility that includes major components of microgrids. UAF photo by Todd Paris.