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Title: Experimental comparison of PV-smoothing controllers using distributed generators

The power output variability of photovoltaic systems can affect local electrical grids in locations with high renewable energy penetrations or weak distribution or transmission systems. In those rare cases, quick controllable generators (e.g., energy storage systems) or loads can counteract the destabilizing effects by compensating for the power fluctuations. Previously, control algorithms for coordinated and uncoordinated operation of a small natural gas engine-generator (genset) and a battery for smoothing PV plant output were optimized using MATLAB/Simulink simulations. The simulations demonstrated that a traditional generation resource such as a natural gas genset in combination with a battery would smooth the photovoltaic output while using a smaller battery state of charge (SOC) range and extending the life of the battery. This paper reports on the experimental implementation of the coordinated and uncoordinated controllers to verify the simulations and determine the differences in the controllers. The experiments were performed with the PNM PV and energy storage Prosperity site and a gas engine-generator located at the Aperture Center at Mesa Del Sol in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two field demonstrations were performed to compare the different PV smoothing control algorithms: (1) implementing the coordinated and uncoordinated controls while switching off a subsection of the PVmore » array at precise times on successive clear days, and (2) comparing the results of the battery and genset outputs for the coordinated control on a high variability day with simulations of the coordinated and uncoordinated controls. It was found that for certain PV power profiles the SOC range of the battery may be larger with the coordinated control, but the total amp-hours through the battery-which approximates battery wear-will always be smaller with the coordinated control.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Shimizu Corp., Tokyo (Japan)
  3. Public Service Company of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  4. Tokyo Gas Co., New York, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States