Protection of distributed generation interfaced networks

Dewadasa, Jalthotage Manjula Dinesh (2010) Protection of distributed generation interfaced networks. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


With the rapid increase in electrical energy demand, power generation in the form of distributed generation is becoming more important. However, the connections of distributed generators (DGs) to a distribution network or a microgrid can create several protection issues. The protection of these networks using protective devices based only on current is a challenging task due to the change in fault current levels and fault current direction. The isolation of a faulted segment from such networks will be difficult if converter interfaced DGs are connected as these DGs limit their output currents during the fault. Furthermore, if DG sources are intermittent, the current sensing protective relays are difficult to set since fault current changes with time depending on the availability of DG sources. The system restoration after a fault occurs is also a challenging protection issue in a converter interfaced DG connected distribution network or a microgrid. Usually, all the DGs will be disconnected immediately after a fault in the network. The safety of personnel and equipment of the distribution network, reclosing with DGs and arc extinction are the major reasons for these DG disconnections. In this thesis, an inverse time admittance (ITA) relay is proposed to protect a distribution network or a microgrid which has several converter interfaced DG connections. The ITA relay is capable of detecting faults and isolating a faulted segment from the network, allowing unfaulted segments to operate either in grid connected or islanded mode operations. The relay does not make the tripping decision based on only the fault current. It also uses the voltage at the relay location. Therefore, the ITA relay can be used effectively in a DG connected network in which fault current level is low or fault current level changes with time. Different case studies are considered to evaluate the performance of the ITA relays in comparison to some of the existing protection schemes. The relay performance is evaluated in different types of distribution networks: radial, the IEEE 34 node test feeder and a mesh network. The results are validated through PSCAD simulations and MATLAB calculations. Several experimental tests are carried out to validate the numerical results in a laboratory test feeder by implementing the ITA relay in LabVIEW. Furthermore, a novel control strategy based on fold back current control is proposed for a converter interfaced DG to overcome the problems associated with the system restoration. The control strategy enables the self extinction of arc if the fault is a temporary arc fault. This also helps in self system restoration if DG capacity is sufficient to supply the load. The coordination with reclosers without disconnecting the DGs from the network is discussed. This results in increased reliability in the network by reduction of customer outages.

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ID Code: 43681
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Ledwich, Gerard & Ghosh, Arindam
Keywords: distributed generation, microgrids, distributed generator protection, converter interfaced distributed generators, protective relays, inverse time admittance relay, relay coordination, relay grading, islanded operation, re-synchronisation, reclosing, fold back current control, fault detection, fault isolation, arc extinction, system restoration
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2011 02:00
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2011 02:00

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