Control of Small, Distributed Energy Resources
Inventors: Robert Lasseter, Paolo Piagi
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a microsource controller that ensures stable operation of a large number of distributed energy resource generators.
Distributed energy resources (DER) are small power generators that are typically located at customer sites where the energy they generate is used. Small DER produce low emissions, can be manufactured at low cost and can be placed near the customer’s load. They offer a promising option to meet the rapidly growing demand for more reliable power across the United States.
UW-Madison researchers have developed a microsource controller that ensures stable operation of a large number of distributed energy resource generators. This cluster of microsources and loads allows for efficient connection to a power system of small, low cost and reliable distributed generators such as microturbines, fuel cells and photovoltaic cells. The system can include a microsource composed of a prime mover, a DC interface and a voltage source inverter; a means for controlling real and reactive power coupled to the microsource; and a means for regulating voltage through droop control to the microsource. Power electronics provide the control and flexibility to ensure stable operation for large numbers of distributed generators.
- Stable operation of DER generators
- New generators can be added to the system without modification of existing equipment.
- A collection of sources and loads can connect to or isolate from the utility grid in a rapid and seamless fashion.
- Each inverter can respond effectively to load changes without requiring data from other sources.
- Voltage sag and system imbalances can be corrected.
- Capable of separating from the power grid while continuing to operate independently when power grid problems occur, and reconnecting to the grid once problems are solved
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