Intelligent Microgrid Demonstrator
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The Center for Electromechanics at the University of Texas at Austin has a microgrid demonstrator capable of operating at power levels up to 2 MW. The microgrid is designed to interface with the commercial power system and other distributed sources of electric power, both ac and dc. It incorporates local prime movers that drive generators, both conventional 60 Hz and high frequency ac (800 Hz), as well as energy storage units. The microgrid is designed as a flexible system, easily expandable in power and re-definable in terms of voltage levels and system configuration. Several grid architectures have been studied and simulated, including a variety of pulsed and intermittent duty loads, as they can be found on US Navy ships. One problem under investigation is that of dc bus stability under the influence of constant power loads: these loads are known to induce instability at kW power levels but experimental data is very limited at MW power levels which are more representative of the situation on a ship. This paper describes the microgrid architecture, simulation results and data collected to date, as well as plans to demonstrate critical issues like stability, reconfigurability, fault management, integration of renewables, and model validation.