468930 An Opportunistic Hybrid Communications System for Distributed PV Coordination and Control

Thursday, November 17, 2016: 9:27 AM
Monterey II (Hotel Nikko San Francisco)
S. M. Shafiul Alam, Tarek Elgindy, Anthony Florita and Bri-Mathias S. Hodge, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Widespread distributed solar power penetration requires the ability to monitor and communicate with distributed photovoltaic (PV) systems on residential and commercial buildings. However, the sheer number of possible devices presents challenges for effective communications and state estimation. An opportunistic hybrid communications system has been designed that combines both dedicated and non-dedicated communications infrastructure with robust algorithms for state estimation to help ensure reliable and cost effective power system operations with millions of distributed energy resources. This work investigates the joint design of monitoring and communication protocols, with the objective of enabling the fast, ubiquitous, and reliable collection of precise and accurate PV-state-related measurements for use at the distribution system operator (DSO) and transmission system operator (TSO) levels. It results in a comprehensive view of the present state of transmission and distribution systems with high distributed PV penetrations at any given moment. A new type of communications system architecture is needed, where information from local distributed PV systems is shared through WiFi and ZigBee type wireless access networks, information is fed up to hybrid distribution networks which leverage the dedicated power system communication channels, such as LTE networks. Furthermore, the information exchange for the nationwide power delivery is realized through a hybrid core network that utilizes fiber-optic and satellite communications. To accomplish this, a robust middleware system that can overcome availability and performance issues associated with any single PV system has been designed. To allow for this information to be best utilized without sampling from millions of generators, state estimation techniques are applied to both distributed PV output, and the power system implications. The communications system described will enable the cost effective and reliable integration of millions of distributed energy resources. The overall system design, and the implications of the middleware performance, will be presented. Future work includes rigorous validation of the design through both hardware-in-the-loop testing and integrated transmission-distribution-communications system simulation.

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See more of this Session: Design, Operations, and Analysis of Power Systems
See more of this Group/Topical: Computing and Systems Technology Division