Date of Award

8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering (Holcomb Dept. of)

Committee Member

Dr. E. R. "Randy" Collins, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Johan H. Enslin

Committee Member

Dr. Daniel L. Noneaker

Committee Member

Dr. John R. Wagner

Abstract

The research work explores the design of Smart PV inverters in terms of modelling and investigates the efficacy of a Smart PV inverter as a strategic mitigator of network harmonic resonance phenomenon and a suppressor of Temporary Overvoltage (TOV) in distribution systems. The new application and the control strategy of Smart PV inverters can also be extended to SmartPark-Plug in Electric Vehicles as the grid becomes smarter.

As the grid is becoming smarter, more challenges are encountered with the integration of PV plants in distribution systems. Smart PV inverters nowadays are equipped with specialized controllers for exchanging reactive power with the grid based on the available capacity of the inverter, after the real power generation. Although present investigators are researching on several applications of Smart PV inverters, none of the research-work in real time and in documentation have addressed the benefits of employing Smart PV inverters to mitigate network resonances. U.S based standard IEEE 519 for power quality describes the network resonance as a major contributor that has an impact on the harmonic levels. This dissertation proposes a new application for the first time in utilizing a Smart PV inverter to act as a virtual detuner in mitigating network resonance. As a part of the Smart PV inverter design, the LCL filter plays a vital role on network harmonic resonance and further has a direct impact on the stability of the controller and rest of the distribution system.

Temporary Overvoltage (TOV) phenomenon is more pronounced especially during unbalanced faults like single line to ground faults (SLGF) in the presence of PV. Such an abnormal incident can damage the customer loads. IEEE 142-“Effective grounding” technique is employed to design the grounding scheme for synchronous based generators. The utilities have been trying to make a PV system comply with IEEE 142 standard as well. Several utilities are still employing the same grounding schemes even now. The attempt has resulted in diminishing the efficacy of protection schemes. Further, millions of dollars and power has been wasted by the utilities. As a result, the concept of effective grounding for PV system has become a challenge when utilities try to mitigate TOV. With an intention of economical aspects in distribution systems planning, this dissertation also proposes a new application and a novel control scheme for utilizing Smart PV/Smart Park inverters to mitigate TOV in distribution systems for the first time. In other words, this novel application can serve as an effective and supporting schema towards ineffective grounding systems. PSCAD/EMTDC has been used throughout the course of research.

The idea of Smart inverters serving as a virtual detuner in mitigating network harmonic resonance and as a TOV suppressor in distribution systems has been devised based on the basic principle of VAR injection and absorption with a new control strategy respectively. This research would further serve as a pioneering approach for researchers and planning engineers working in distribution systems.

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