Study of Impact of Increasing Power Electronics Penetration on Power Networks

Project: Research

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This proposal is a resubmission addressing the key criticisms of the referees on last year's proposal. The proposed project aims to study the penetration of power electronics into power generation and distribution systems, as prompted by the increasing use of renewable sources, quest for higher performance in the control of power conversion, as well as the increasing influence of economical plans that necessitate power trading among different regions or clusters of power distribution. As a result of the increased use of power electronics for controlling power flows in power systems, interactions of power electronics systems and conventional synchronous machines' dynamics would inevitably cause stability and robustness concerns. In this resubmission, we focus on specific types of analysis, as requested by the referees, while retaining the three-step investigation into the impact of power electronics penetration on the stability androbustness of power networks. First, the lack of an adequate model that can conveniently describe a mixed conventional-machine-driven and power-electronics-driven system has obstructed any in-depth analysis of the impact of power electronics penetration in power networks. Thus, a model that includes the salient system components, consisting of conventional machines, grid-following and grid-forming converters and their associated control systems will be developed. When the networked system is considered, the connection architecture will realistically contain a number of clustered subnetworks and the intersubnetwork links which mostly deploy DC transmission (e.g., in China). Second, we will develop new assessment parameters and performance indicators based on existing observable variables including the grid frequency, grid voltage and rotor angle, plus other emerging stability parameters such as the magnitude of sub-synchronous oscillation. The key type of analysis focuses on the effects of power electronics penetration in terms of the new assessment parameters under varying percentage of power-electronics-driven power components. Extensive simulations will be conducted to produce a comprehensive set of data covering different combinations of relative percentages of power electronics installations, and different power flow trading demands among various power clusters which are inevitably power electronics driven. Third, the models and analysis procedures developed will be applied to real systems such as China's power networks. The aim is to uncover possible scenarios that may pose serious stability threats to the vital power generation and distribution infrastructure. The proposed study deals with vital infrastructure in all developed and developing economies, and is expected to produce impactful results that will shed light on the ongoing development of power distribution networks. 


Project number9043144
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …