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Multi-Tier Microgrid Demonstrator and Workshop

StatusFinished
Period4/09/1731/12/18

Description

The electrical grid is changing; households and businesses are generating and consuming power, and smaller-scale distributed generation and storage is spreading across the network. Using controllable microgrids - interlinked sources, storage and loads interfaced with power electronic converters - the power flow from this distributed generation can be managed intelligently, e.g. neighbours could sell power to each other through peer-to-peer mechanisms, or choose to charge storage elements during times of excess generation or low unit price. Microgrids can operate in several different tiers, with individual houses, communities, villages or suburbs and cities connected at different voltage levels, with further connections on to the National Grid. Electrical power can then be exchanged between tiers as required, with additional generation, storage and load elements in the different tiers. A fundamental building block to achieve this is the power electronic converter controller, which enables the power flow to be managed either through basic algorithms or through intelligent management.

The proposed project will construct a DC (direct current) microgrid demonstrator to enable development and validation of microgrid control schemes. This will include: designing, building and testing of the microgrid power electronic converters; implementing the control algorithms on off the shelf controllers to control power flow between the power electronic converters; and simulating renewable sources and loads on the grid. Once operational, a workshop will be held with potential stakeholders, both internal and external to the university, to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology, and to discuss technical, policy, social and economic issues arising from this work.

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