VAR controller for STATCOM solar inverter

Sahay, Akshay Jaishil ORCID: (2014) VAR controller for STATCOM solar inverter. [USQ Project]


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In the past five years over 1.2 million PV installations were made in Australia which has had a detrimental effect on the overall power quality of the system. Utilities now provide a higher level of system harmonicas as well as having to cope with unintentional DC current injection into the grid. At the same time, these PV installations have not helped the utilities at peak periods, or for localized loads such as starting of induction machines. Thus there is clearly a need for a more dynamic inverter system which can help improve system efficiency and maintain power quality standards.

In order to help improve the power quality of the grid, the existing STATCOM inverter would be adapted to monitor grid conditions with a smart energy meter and interfaced to a PLC to either bring voltage within limits or improve power factor to a desired level. The PLC will utilize both power factor information and voltage and current information from the smart energy meter to allocated an active power and a reactive power of either a capacitive or inductive reactive power in order to maintain power factor levels. Weak networks suffer from a range of problems depending on conditions. Typically when they are heavily loaded, they require additional capacitive reactive power to be injected into the grid. On SWER networks, due to the high X on R ration they also require at peak times the injection of active power. When lightly loaded by comparison, they require the injection of reactive power in order to bring the voltage within limits due to the Ferranti Effect. In order to accommodate all of these functions, the power factor and the voltage conditions from the smart energy meter were read into the PLC where the decision was made as to what level of active, capacitive reactive or inductive reactive power was required to be injected into the grid. A set of SIMULINK models were developed to analyse a range of switching strategies in order to minimize injected harmonics and maximize STATCOM efficiency. The key outcome of this project was that the implementation of a PLC based system which provided active and reactive power support and was able to react to localized load changes rapidly. The broad application of this technology to existing PV systems will ultimately allow in system power quality and efficiency improvements throughout the state.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering project.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Bowtell, Leslie
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 05:26
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2016 02:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: inverter, solar inverter, STATCOM, power factor correction, smart meter, unipolar operations, bipolar operations

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