Low-inertia Grids

Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash

Summary

With increasing penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), power system operators face new challenges to ensure grid stability, resilience and reliability. In traditional power systems, synchronous generators (e.g., hydro or steam turbines) provided rotational inertia through stored kinetic energy in their rotating mass (turbine system and rotor). This energy is important to stabilize the system as it ensures slower and more controlled frequency dynamics in case of a generation-demand imbalance. In the future, with more generation coming from wind and solar power, the ability of the system to maintain frequency within the acceptable range is diminished. Photovoltaic generation systems are connected to the grid through inverters, which do not exhibit rotational inertia; and, even in the case of inverter-interfaced wind generators, the inverter electrically decouples the rotor’s rotational inertia from the system.

In this research theme, you will find work undertaken by our lab in collaboration with many other institutes to understand the impact and develop control, operation, and planning methods for the secure, economic, and resilient operation of low-inertia grids.

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