Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minimizing power grid disruptions from wind power

Date:
January 2, 2014
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have found that an increase in the use of wind power generation can make the power grid more fragile and susceptible to disruptions. But the researchers didn't just identify the problem -- they have also devised a technique for coordinating wind power generation and energy storage in order to minimize the potential for such power disruptions.

Wind farms produce power erratically; the amount of power being produced by wind farms depends on how hard the wind is blowing. To counteract the problem of irregular power generation, researchers have designed a technique that coordinates the activity of controllers inside the wind turbines and battery management systems to even out the flow of power from wind farms into the grid.
Credit: gui yong nian / Fotolia

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Johns Hopkins University have found that an increase in the use of wind power generation can make the power grid more fragile and susceptible to disruptions. But the researchers didn't just identify the problem -- they have also devised a technique for coordinating wind power generation and energy storage in order to minimize the potential for such power disruptions.

Typically, the power flowing through the transmission lines of a power grid suffers from small "oscillations," or deviations from the norm, after a disturbance. Generally, these oscillations are mitigated by means of controllers inside the power generators. However, if the controls are not strong enough, the oscillations may be "sustained," reducing the efficiency of power transfer and posing a threat to the stability of the grid. If not controlled properly, these oscillations can even lead to widespread power outages -- such as the 1996 blackout that hit the West Coast of the U.S.

The researchers found that, under certain circumstances, wind power generators can make these oscillations worse. This is because wind farms produce power erratically. After all, the amount of power being produced by wind farms depends on how hard the wind is blowing. Furthermore, the nature of these oscillations strongly depends on where the wind farms are located in the grid.

"To counteract this problem, we have designed a technique that coordinates the activity of controllers inside the wind turbines and battery management systems to even out the flow of power from wind farms into the grid," says Dr. Aranya Chakrabortty, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work.

Specifically, the research team developed several algorithms that match control efforts between wind farms and energy storage facilities. If the power output for the wind farm increases, the surplus can be siphoned off to charge batteries at the storage facility, instead of being dumped directly onto the power grid. Similarly, if the power output at a wind farm declines, the batteries can compensate for the loss and provide power to the grid.

"By matching the behavior of the two controllers, we can produce the desired damping effect on the power flow and restore stable grid behavior," Chakrabortty says.

This issue is particularly important because wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy. In the U.S., the rapid increase in wind farm installations is being accelerated by government mandates and the goal of providing 20 percent of the nation's power needs through wind power by 2020.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Souvik Chandra, Aranya Chakrabortty, Dennice F. Gayme. Coordinating Wind Farms and Battery Management Systems for Inter-Area Oscillation Damping: A Frequency-Domain Approach. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, October 2013

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Minimizing power grid disruptions from wind power." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102113124.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2014, January 2). Minimizing power grid disruptions from wind power. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102113124.htm
North Carolina State University. "Minimizing power grid disruptions from wind power." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102113124.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins