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Article

A Communication-Supported Comprehensive Protection Strategy for Converter-Interfaced Islanded Microgrids

1
Goldwind Science and Etechwin Electric Co., Ltd., BDA, Beijing 100176, China
2
North China Electric Power University, Changping District, Beijing 102206, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051335
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
The deployment of distributed generators (DGs) gives rise to several challenges for a microgrid or conventional distribution feeder, regarding control and protection issues. The major ones are: bi-directional flow of power, changes in fault current magnitude, and continuous changes in operational configuration due to both the plug-and-play of DGs and loads, and the intermittency of the renewable DGs. This issue is exacerbated when the microgrid contains several converter-interfaced DGs and operates in the islanded mode of operation. Hence, conventional protection strategies and relaying techniques will no longer be sufficient to protect islanded microgrids against network faults and disturbance conditions. This paper proposes a fast and reliable communication-supported protection strategy for ensuring the safe operation of converter-interfaced islanded microgrids. The strategy is implementable using commercially accessible microprocessor based digital relays, and is applicable for the protection of low voltage islanded microgrids. It provides backup protection to handle communication failures and malfunctions of protective devices. The paper also presents the detailed structural layout of the digital relay, which executes the proposed protection strategy. A number of improvements are proposed to find an alternative method for conventional overcurrent relays to reliably detect small-magnitude fault currents and high impedance faults, commonly encountered in converter-interfaced islanded microgrids. A simple and economical bus protection method is also proposed. Several simulations are conducted on a comprehensive model of a realistic operational industrial microgrid (Goldwind Smart Microgrid System) using PSCAD/EMTDC software environment—for different case studies and fault scenarios—to verify the effectiveness of the present strategy and its digital relay. View Full-Text
Keywords: communication-supported protection strategy; converter-interfaced distributed generators; digital relay; distributed generation; microgrid; power system protection communication-supported protection strategy; converter-interfaced distributed generators; digital relay; distributed generation; microgrid; power system protection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zheng, D.; Eseye, A.T.; Zhang, J. A Communication-Supported Comprehensive Protection Strategy for Converter-Interfaced Islanded Microgrids. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051335

AMA Style

Zheng D, Eseye AT, Zhang J. A Communication-Supported Comprehensive Protection Strategy for Converter-Interfaced Islanded Microgrids. Sustainability. 2018; 10(5):1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051335

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zheng, Dehua, Abinet Tesfaye Eseye, and Jianhua Zhang. 2018. "A Communication-Supported Comprehensive Protection Strategy for Converter-Interfaced Islanded Microgrids" Sustainability 10, no. 5: 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051335

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