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Title: Protection of Renewable-dominated Microgrids: Challenges and Potential Solutions

In this report we address the challenge of designing efficient protection system for inverter- dominated microgrids. These microgrids are characterised with limited fault current capacity as a result of current-limiting protection functions of inverters. Typically, inverters limit their fault contribution in sub-cycle time frame to as low as 1.1 per unit. As a result, overcurrent protection could fail completely to detect faults in inverter-dominated microgrids. As part of this project a detailed literature survey of existing and proposed microgrid protection schemes were conducted. The survey concluded that there is a gap in the available microgrid protection methods. The only credible protection solution available in literature for low- fault inverter-dominated microgrids is the differential protection scheme which represents a robust transmission-grade protection solution but at a very high cost. Two non-overcurrent protection schemes were investigated as part of this project; impedance-based protection and transient-based protection. Impedance-based protection depends on monitoring impedance trajectories at feeder relays to detect faults. Two communication-based impedance-based protection schemes were developed. the first scheme utilizes directional elements and pilot signals to locate the fault. The second scheme depends on a Central Protection Unit that communicates with all feeder relays to locate the fault based on directional flagsmore » received from feeder relays. The later approach could potentially be adapted to protect networked microgrids and dynamic topology microgrids. Transient-based protection relies on analyzing high frequency transients to detect and locate faults. This approach is very promising but its implementation in the filed faces several challenges. For example, high frequency transients due to faults can be confused with transients due to other events such as capacitor switching. Additionally, while detecting faults by analyzing transients could be doable, locating faults based on analyzing transients is still an open question.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM (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 Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE)
Country of Publication:
United States
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; Microgrid Protection; Impedance Relay; Signal Processing-based Fault Detection; Networked Microgrids; Communication-Assisted Protection