CASE STUDY

AC and DC voltage source for University of Nottingham

Tags: PHIL, Rapid Control Prototyping, DC Microgrid, AC Microgrid, HVDC Contact us Print

About the project

For its research on micro-grids and grid stability, the University of Nottingham required a high-performance, bidirectional 3 phase, 4-wire, 0-100Hz AC voltage source with excellent transient response. Moreover, the system should be able to generate harmonics with frequencies well beyond 1 kHz.

Highlights

  • Bidirectional 90 kW, 3-phase, 4-wire AC voltage source
  • 0-100 Hz output frequency
  • Harmonic content up to the 50th harmonic
  • Reconfigurable as 90 kW, 3-phase, 3-wire active load
  • Additional DC channel to interface with DC source for additional power supply or storage.

The setup

The figure below outlines the setup installed at the laboratories of Nottingham University, UK. The setup is capable to source power from both an AC and DC power supply to generate a 3-phase, 4-wire micro-grid. All channels work bidirectional.  The main grid serves as AC supply. The DC supply can be a battery, supercapacitor or a PV panel. The micro-grid is capable of generating a voltage in the 0-100 Hz range with a harmonic content up to 2 kHz. The micro-grid interface can be reconfigured to serve as an active load as well.

This multi-node power router allows researchers to explore micro-grid generation and support strategies. This includes research on micro-grid stability as well as power management strategies. The voltage source can be programmed to inject grid distortions and faults, thereby allowing researchers to study the impact on the behavior of the devices connected to the micro-grid. 

The setup also allows researchers to compare different storage technologies and their fitness for micro-grid applications. This involves battery or supercapacitor life time as a function of power profiles. This kind of research facilitates cost-effective technology selection.  

Triphase delivered its PMx setup with all current and voltage controls necessary for the experiments at hand. However, PMx systems are fully open. Researchers have access to all measurement data and can change all software down to the lowest level. Some researchers make use of it to extend the capabilities of the PMx system to also deliver ancillary services to the main grid as well. The grid frontend is programmed for power factor correction or for the compensation of grid harmonics. As such, the openness of the Triphase PMx systems renders it future proof as it can readily be adapted to new research challenges.

The setup consists of:

  • A 90 kW active front-end for bidirectional energy transfer
  • A bidirectional 90 kW, 3-phase, 4-wire voltage source
  • A bidirectional 80 A DC channel to integrate batteries or supercapacitors (not included)

Scope of delivery and customer developments

Triphase Products

Triphase Services

  • Custom GUI for lab operator
  • Start-up/shut-down
  • Energy Management

 

Customer Implementations

  • Power flow management: Managing the power flows between the main grid, the micro-grid and the DC storage or source.
  • Energy buffering: Strategies to decide when to source energy from the main grid and when to tap the DC source. This includes grid-capacity and cost-of-energy optimizations.
  • Grid fault injection: Study the impact of grid distortion and faults on the behavior of the devices connected to the micro-grid.
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