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Smart Grid Protection Challenges

In recent days we hear about smart grids a lot. So as an electrical engineer we need to be prepared to adopt new technologies. But it is also true that with new technologies come new challenges. Here we we are going to discuss about such challenges. We will look into some of the research papers on this topic. What they think the challenge might be and how to mitigate those issues.

Paper

Study of Smart Grid Protection Challenges with High Photovoltaic Penetration

Mohamadsaleh Jafari, Temitayo O. Olowu, Arif I. Sarwat, Mohammad Ashiqur Rahman
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Florida International University
Miami, USA

Abstract:

We have two issue right now

  1. Electricity demand
  2. Environmental concern

So to resolve this we are shifting our energy sources from traditional fossil fuel to renewable energy resources esp. PV systems.

PV systems has environmental benefits without a doubt. But it poses some technical challenges as well.

These challenges now at lower stages, it would become more prominent in the later stages when more and more PV systems will be installed.

Thus this paper look into 3 key aspects

  1. Various protection issues as an aftermath of high PV penetration
  2. Presents some real world case studies
  3. Some solutions to reduce the to alleviate such challenges in the future smart grids

Observation:

This paper presented various challenges that comes with high PV penetration such as

  1. reverse power flow
  2. over-voltage
  3. over-current
  4. and mal-operation of protective devices

This paper also proposed a multilayer framework for high penetration of PV system with the use of Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL)

Findings:

Author claimed some of the issues can be solved with the use of smart inverter’s ability to disconnect the PVs from the grid when the voltage reduced at the coupling point.

Limitation:

Didn’t provide any means to cope up with the increasing penetration of the PV