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3. Introduction to DG & Intentional Islanding*

 

This chapter is an introduction to intentional islanding and its compatibility with distributed generation energies from an electrical engineering perspective. First, the concept of intentional islanding is explained. Then types of DG and power conversion systems are discussed with a focus on the common elements between the various types. The final section of this chapter discusses the design basics of power conversion systems and the challenges faced in designing a standardizable component of the system.

3.1 DG & Intentional Islanding

As the demand for more reliable and secure power systems with greater power quality increases, the concepts of distributed generation (DG) have become more popular [1-4]. This popularity of DG concepts has developed simultaneoulsy with the decrease in manufacturing costs associated with clean and alternative technologies, like fuel cells, biomass, micro-turbine, and solar cell systems. Although the costs associated with these technologies have continued to decrease more work is needed to make these technologies readily available. To make these distributed energy resource (DER) technologies more economically viable and energy efficient, power-electronics based conversion systems need to be developed for the proper conditioning of the energy to be delivered to the current three-phase power system. These power conversion systems (PCS) allow for increased reliability, security, and fewer downtimes by incorporating intentional islands into the utility grid without having to add or replace the existing transmission system.

3.1.2 What is Intentional Islanding?

Intentional islanding is the purposeful sectionalization of the utility system during widespread disturbances to create power "islands" [4]. These islands can be designed to maintain a continuous supply of power during disturbances of the main distribution system. As in the following figure when disturbances are present on a distributed utility system, the grid sectionalizes itself. The distributed energy resources can then supply the load power demand of the islands created until reconnection with the main utility system occurs.

Figure 1. Islanding Diagram.

In the following section, several types of distributed generation and power conversion systems will be reviewed. The concluding section describes the basics of design for power conversion systems. These sections are aimed at providing an introduction to the electrical engineering aspects of distributed energy. If you would like a general introduction to electrical engineering concepts, there are links available for this in the "Useful Links" section.

 

*This web module was developed with the Timothy Thacker's Master's research work. Full citation.

 

 

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