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Title: Sizing SiC Storage Inverters for Fast Grid Frequency Support

As wind and solar displace synchronous generators whose inertia stabilizes the AC grid frequency on fast time scales, it has been proposed to use energy storage systems (ESSs) to mitigate frequency transient events. Such events require a rapid surge of power from the ESS, but they occur only rarely. The high temperature tolerance of SiC MOSFETs and diodes presents an opportunity for innovative ESS inverter designs. Herein we investigate a SiC ESS inverter design such that the SiC device ratings are obeyed during mild frequency events but are exceeded during rare, major events, for a potentially more economical inverter design. In support of this proposal we present: 1. An analysis of four years of grid frequency events in the U.S. Western Interconnection. 2. A switch-level ESS inverter simulation using SiC devices with detailed loss estimates. 3. Thermal analysis of the SiC power modules during a worst-case frequency event, showing that the modules can likely withstand the brief overcurrent. This analysis supports the conclusion that it may be advantageous for economical designs (acknowledging the increased risks) to undersize the SiC switches when designing inverters to perform active power control for grid frequency support. Such a strategy may result in SiC-based designsmore » being more competitive with less costly silicon IGBT-based designs.« less
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Conference: Presented at the 2015 IEEE 3rd Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA), 2-4 November 2015, Blacksburg, Virginia; Related Information: Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE 3rd Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA), 2-4 November 2015, Blacksburg, Virginia
Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
NREL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD)
Country of Publication:
United States
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; silicon carbide; inverters; energy storage; frequency support; thermal modeling