Monday, May 26, 2014 — 2:00 PM EDT

Speaker

Miguel Torres

Topic

Integration to the Grid of a Modular Photovoltaic Plant using a Virtual Synchronous Generator Control Strategy

Abstract

The integration to the electricity grid of large-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants might be an attractive alternative to replace conventional diesel-based generators in places where the conditions of the renewable resource are favorable. However, there are issues associated to the use of non-rotating generators that can compromise the stability of the grid, especially when they are integrated in large-scale.

A technique that has been proposed to cope with stability issues in power systems with large fraction of distributed non-rotating generators is the virtual synchronous generator (VSG). This technique entails controlling the power injected by the grid side converter of a distributed generator (PV plant) in order to emulate a desired characteristic of a synchronous generator.

This talk will explore some aspects of the application of a VSG strategy to a modular PV plant that uses a multi-cell power converter topology to interface PV arrays to the grid. The design of the PV arrays as well as the design of the required control loops will be presented. Also, results from simulations that evaluate the performance of the VSG under non-uniform solar radiation will be shown.

Speaker's biography

Miguel Torres graduated in Electrical Engineering and received the M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Universidad de Concepción, Chile, in 2002 and 2007, respectively. During his masters he worked in the modeling and control of high-voltage dc transmission systems based on voltage-source converters.

In 2003, he participated in a scientific cooperation program between the Chilean and French governments, doing a research internship at the Signal and Systems Laboratory, Ecole Supérieur d'Electricité (SUPELEC), Paris, France, where he worked in the application of passivity-based control techniques to voltage source converters.

From 2005 to 2008 he worked as automation engineer in a forest products company, participating in the design, commissioning and startup of industrial plants in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. In 2013, he received the Ph.D. degree from Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada. His thesis was on the application of virtual synchronous machines to support grid frequency control.

Since July 2013 he is a postdoctoral fellow at the Chilean Solar Energy Research Center (SERC-Chile), where he works in the research line on “power systems with high penetration of solar energy”. He is currently working on the control of modular converter topologies for the integration of large-scale PV plants to the electricity grid. He also has research interests on the digital control of static power converters, control and stability of HVDC systems and integration of renewable energies into conventional grids.


Invited by Professor Ehab El-Saadany

Location 
E5 building
Room 4106/4128

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