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Sarath Perera Associate Professor Sarath Perera Technical Director Australian Power Quality & Reliability Centre

From the Technical Director’s Desk

APQRC staff continue to make contributions to power quality monitoring activities now at an international level

Nearly 10 years of both pro-active and reactive power quality monitoring, data summarisation and reporting activities have allowed APQRC to establish itself as a national centre of excellence in the area. APQRC’s specialist staff have been working tirelessly over the many years with many distribution utilities across Australia in reaching this high level of recognition.

In addition to a range of national and international publications related to power quality monitoring emanating from APQRC, further contributions to the international scene on power quality monitoring are now possible arising from the membership of the CIGRÉ/CIRED C4.112 working group (operating under CIGRÉ Study Committee C4 – System Technical Performance). Sean Elphick of APQRC joined as a working group member of C4.112 in 2012 and has been very active contributing to its meetings held at various venues around the world including the development of the CIGRÉ report/guideline on power quality monitoring. The invitation extended to Sean to join this working group of international standing is a true recognition of the power quality activities of APQRC.

The CIGRÉ document that is being prepared by C4.112 will cover guidelines on locations for placement of power quality monitors, trade-off between cost and amount of data, incorporation of power quality monitoring functions to metering devices and protection relays, parameters to be logged, sampling rates, transmission of data to central locations for processing, data summarisation covering large parts of networks including presenting of historical data. APQRC’s contributions to this report are quite unique and are in the areas of data summarisation and presentation where APQRC is seen to have the international edge in its knowhow.

Members of the APQRC are proud to be associated with the above task and wish to thank Sean for his continued contributions to this significant international activity.

APQRC Initiates Two Research Projects Focusing on 100% Renewable Energy Strategy for Australia

Preliminary studies carried out by the Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) related to a possible 100% renewable generation based power system in Australia by 2050 has prompted APQRC research into operation and control issues related to power system stability under such a generation scenario. As a pioneering power engineering research group in Australia, the APQRC has taken initiatives to investigate two key stability issues (1. Frequency Stability and Inertial Response, 2. Voltage stability and reactive power control) while focusing on 100% renewable generation based electricity networks.

Wind generators are grid interfaced through power electronic converter systems, hence electromechanical dynamics are decoupled from electrical dynamics of the system. Therefore, these generation systems are incapable of providing inertial response during frequency excursions in the network while creating frequency stability issues in the network.

The issue of frequency stability is expected to become a major concern when the power system is operating with 100% renewables as majority of the renewable energy generators are grid interfaced through power electronic converter systems.    Continued over

APQRC Services

Consulting

  • Investigation and resolution of power quality (PQ) problems
  • PQ monitoring for compliance with standards and regulations including harmonic and flicker studies
  • Connection agreements
  • Harmonic and flicker allocation studies
  • Voltage sag studies
  • Interpretation of power quality standards
  • Routine PQ monitoring
  • PQ data analysis and reporting
  • General power monitoring
  • Distribution system reliability
  • Transient and small-signal stability studies
    • Wind integration studies
    • Dynamic modeling and validation of power plants

Continuing Education

  • Power quality short courses
  • Renewable energy & distributed generation
  • Solar PV generation
  • Electrical drive systems

Testing

  • World class laboratory facilities
  • Equipment power quality immunity testing to national and international standards
  • Equipment performance testing
  • Voltage transformer frequency response testing

Featured Student

Joel Kennedy
Joel Kennedy
PhD Candidate

Project

Distribution System Protection Schemes in a Modern Grid Embedded with Renewable Energy Resources

Project Summary

Technological improvements in distributed generation (DG) units, increasing electricity prices and political measures to reduce carbon emissions, have resulted in a growth in popularity of distributed renewable energy resources. Grid-connected DG units were not considered when traditional distribution network design philosophy was formed. A traditional distribution network is radial in nature; as such, the connection of decentralised energy resources is a subversion of traditional design philosophy.

The proliferation of DG in Australian networks has been curtailed by instances of over-voltage especially under low-load conditions. The threshold of DG penetration where protection failure may commence has, in practice, been higher than the DG penetration threshold where overvoltage becomes a problem. A significant portion of this project is predicting the DG penetration threshold where protection problems would arise given that the over-voltage problem could be resolved.

A major incentive for DG use in distribution networks is the increase in reliability, especially in the form of a Microgrid. However, the increased use of inverter-interfaced DG units renders traditional over-current technologies useless when discriminating between healthy and faulty conditions, due to the current limiting behaviour of power electronic interfaces. The main thrust of this project is to identify the properties of Microgrids from the protection perspective in order to define protection system requirements and to design a dynamic protection scheme capable of adapting to a modular grid. This project will give further insight into the plausibility of the Microgrid concept from the protection perspective and explore the boundaries of DG connection where traditional protection philosophy of distribution networks will require readdressing.

The first project mentioned above aims to develop state-of-the-art emulated inertial response strategies for wind generation systems while quantifying the available inertial response capability from wind farms to facilitate the development of an electricity market framework for system inertia. The second project (voltage stability and reactive power control) investigates the voltage stability and control performance of transmission and distribution networks with large-scale renewable power generation. When renewable power generators are integrated to the grid they displace conventional synchronous generators while creating a deficit in available reactive power reserve, as renewable power generators are incapable of delivering reactive power at the same level as conventional synchronous generators. Therefore, voltage stability issues are likely to emerge in transmission and distribution networks and will be investigated while considering spatial diversity of renewable energy resources.

AUPEC 2013 Wrap

The Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference (AUPEC) for 2013 was held in Hobart, Tasmania. The conference was hosted by the Centre for Renewable Energy and Power Systems, School of Engineering, University of Tasmania. The University of Wollongong was well represented with three members of academic staff, one post-doc researcher and two postgraduate students attending the 5-day conference. In total, UOW delivered 7 research papers and participated in an Australian Power Institute sponsored poster-session entitled "API Funded University Projects to Improve Undergraduate Power Engineering Teaching and Learning". The papers presented included:

  1. POWER QUALITY EMISSION ASSESSMENT OF PHOTOVOLTAIC INVERTERS BASED ON IEC TECHNICAL REPORT 61000-3-15:2011, D. Perera, P. Ciufo, L. Meegahapola and S. Perera.
  2. POWER SHARING AMONG MULTIPLE SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SYSTEMS IN A RADIAL DISTRIBUTION FEEDER, B. K. Perera, P. Ciufo and S. Perera.
  3. VOLTAGE UNBALANCE EMISSION ASSESSMENT: SOURCES OF CONTRIBUTION AND THEIR RANKING, U. Jayatunga, S. Perera, P. Ciufo, and A. Agalgaonkar.
  4. IMPACT OF RENEWABLE POWER INTEGRATION ON VQ STABILITY MARGIN, H. W.K. M. Amarasekara, L. Meegahapola, A. P. Agalgaonkar and S. Perera.
  5. A DROOP CONTROL BASED LOAD SHARING APPROACH FOR MANAGEMENT OF RENEWABLE AND NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES IN A REMOTE POWER SYSTEM, Yingjie Tan, K. M. Muttaqi and L. Meegahapola.
  6. IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE DEMAND THROUGH LOAD MODELING, M. A. Haidar, K. M. Muttaqi.
  7. CONTINGENCY CONSTRAINED UNIT COMMITMENT WITH DEMAND RESPONSE PROGRAMS, J. Aghaei, K. M. Muttaqi and Mohammad-Iman Alizadeh (Shiraz University of Technology, Iran)

UOW presented a case for hosting AUPEC in 2015. The ACPE (Australasian Committee for Power Engineering) approved UOW’s bid and the detailed preparation for the conference will begin soon.

Upcoming Events

25 - 28 May 2014: ICHQP 2014, Bucharest, Romania.

Contact Us

Australian Power Quality & Reliability Centre

University of Wollongong

Phone: +61 (0)2 4221 4737

Fax +61 (0)2 4221 3236

Web eisweb.adeis.uow.edu.au/apqrc

E-mail pqrc@uow.edu.au