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Study of Local Voltage Regulation Strategies Based on the Power Control of Smart Inverters in Low-Voltage Grids

Grant number: 23/13845-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Electrical Engineering - Industrial Electronics, Electronic Systems and Controls
Principal Investigator:Augusto Matheus dos Santos Alonso
Grantee:Bruno Paiva Sant'Anna
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Smart inverters are power electronic devices connected to the electric grid, being capable of providing power conversion from distributed energy resources (DERs), as well as adjustment of their operational settings to offer ancillary services. For instance, recent generations of inverters can locally act on voltage and frequency regulation by means of control approaches that allow to adjust the inverters' output power. Such an operational feature is particularly attractive to low-voltage electric grids, mostly because high penetration of DERs usually leads to overvoltage issues. Thus, this project aims at studying voltage regulation strategies, focusing on the Volt/VAR and Volt/Watt approaches, which can be locally provided by smart inverters in low-voltage distribution grids. The main goal of the project is to analyze the operational particularities of such approaches, targeting the identification of efficient ways to act on the regulation of voltage profiles. This project starts with the modeling of the electronic components composing a three-phase inverter, being proceeded by the design of the inverters' current/voltage/power controllers. Then, several configurations of voltage regulation curves based on the Volt/VAR and Volt/Watt methods should be assessed to indicate their suitability against different grid configurations, also considering variabilities in the power capabilities of the inverter. Computational simulations are expected to be carried out throughout the study, and the impact of voltage non-idealities should also be taken into account on the assessment of the targeted methods within the scenario of a low-voltage grid.

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