Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Supervisor

Prof. Rajiv K. Varma

Abstract

PV solar systems employ inverters to transform dc power from solar panels into ac power for injecting into the power grids. Inverters that perform multiple functions in addition to real power production are known as “smart inverters”.

This thesis presents a novel control of PV inverter as a dynamic reactive power compensator – STATCOM. This “smart PV inverter” control enables a PV solar inverter to operate in three modes – i) Full PV, ii) Partial STATCOM, and iii) Full STATCOM, depending upon system needs. The novel control is developed and demonstrated for the objectives of a) symmetrical voltage regulation, b) temporary overvoltage reduction, c) power factor correction, and d) reactive power control.

In Full PV mode, the inverter performs only real power production based on solar radiation. In Partial STATCOM mode, the controller uses the remaining capacity of the inverter for voltage control, power factor correction and reactive power control. The Full STATCOM mode is invoked in emergency scenarios, such as faults, or severe voltage fluctuations. In this mode, the real power production is shut down temporarily and the entire inverter capacity is utilized for voltage regulation or TOV curtailment for providing critical support to the power system.

This thesis presents a comprehensive design of the proposed smart inverter controller with all its associated system components. The performance of the smart inverter is simulated using the electromagnetic transients software PSCAD/EMTDC. It is further validated through Real Time Digital Simulation and Control Hardware in the Loop (CHIL) simulation. Finally the successful performance of the smart inverter controller is demonstrated on a 10 kW inverter in the laboratory on a simulated feeder of Bluewater Power, Sarnia, where this smart inverter is proposed to be installed.

The smart PV inverter control is further shown to enhance the connectivity of PV solar farms in a realistic 44 kV Hydro One distribution feeder. It is demonstrated that if such a novel control is implemented on a 10 MW solar farm, the need for the actually installed STATCOM for voltage regulation and TOV control can be either minimized or altogether eliminated, bringing a significant savings for the utility

PV solar systems employ inverters to transform dc power from solar panels into ac power for injecting into the power grids. Inverters that perform multiple functions in addition to real power production are known as “smart inverters”. This thesis presents a novel control of PV inverter as a dynamic reactive power compensator – STATCOM. This “smart PV inverter” control enables a PV solar inverter to operate in three modes – i) Full PV, ii) Partial STATCOM, and iii) Full STATCOM, depending upon system needs. The novel control is developed and demonstrated for the objectives of a) symmetrical voltage regulation, b) temporary overvoltage reduction, c) power factor correction, and d) reactive power control. In Full PV mode, the inverter performs only real power production based on solar radiation. In Partial STATCOM mode, the controller uses the remaining capacity of the inverter for voltage control, power factor correction and reactive power control. The Full STATCOM mode is invoked in emergency scenarios, such as faults, or severe voltage fluctuations. In this mode, the real power production is shut down temporarily and the entire inverter capacity is utilized for voltage regulation or TOV curtailment for providing critical support to the power system. This thesis presents a comprehensive design of the proposed smart inverter controller with all its associated system components. The performance of the smart inverter is simulated using the electromagnetic transients software PSCAD/EMTDC. It is further validated through Real Time Digital Simulation and Control Hardware in the Loop (CHIL) simulation. Finally the successful performance of the smart inverter controller is demonstrated on a 10 kW inverter in the laboratory on a simulated feeder of Bluewater Power, Sarnia, where this smart inverter is proposed to be installed. The smart PV inverter control is further shown to enhance the connectivity of PV solar farms in a realistic 44 kV Hydro One distribution feeder. It is demonstrated that if such a novel control is implemented on a 10 MW solar farm, the need for the actually installed STATCOM for voltage regulation and TOV control can be either minimized or altogether eliminated, bringing a significant savings for the utility


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