Smart Grid testbed includes a unique facility for emulating real-time AC power grid capable of providing scenarios with actual power generation, transmission and distribution.
This lab mainly concentrates on implementation of test bed power system as a micro-scaled smart grid. In order to implement the idea of smart grid, the main focus is the communications and control issues. The term Smart Grid consists of three individual sections:
- Smart generation,
- Smart control,
- and Smart consumption.
All these topics require a communication infrastructure that allows connection of all these components to be connected to a centralized point, i.e. a master computer/network.
Currently, we are using induction motors to simulate the behavior of turbines to prepare power for the generators. The Lenze drives are used to control the induction motors of the generator. Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) controls the excitation of the generator to control the reactive power. Control commands are coming from the master computer and is also retrieves the information from each generation station. All of the above procedures are done through wireless communication.
Renewable energy is one of the main sources which are implemented on the test bed research. Electronic converters are essential elements which must be installed on the power grid; however, connecting this element creates a challenge due to the EMC/EMI effects on its surroundings. These effects can lead to the failure of the communication and Data Acquisition (DAQ) systems.
The base step for controlling the grid is to retrieve information from all points of the grid. This is done through the National Instruments Data Acquisition (DAQ). National Instruments LabVIEW is the software is the junction for acquire and interpret the data from the test bed, as well as the junction to send control commands to the test bed itself.
In order to simulate a real power system, we have to be able to control the dynamic loads and that should be able to use the communication platform as the generation control. In the test bed we have the ability to go up to 125 KW of generation, considering all five generation stations, batteries, fuel cells, wind simulator, and PV simulators are connected.