Usage of grid support inverter on long distribution grid lines
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The paper focuses on the evaluation of new possibilities to improve voltage quality in remote branches of 230 V grid. Decrease of power electronic costs may potentially make batterybacked inverters a viable alternative to the costly reconstruction of 230 V distribution grid connections, which are of poor quality or cannot match changing load requirements, extending power transmission lines or adding boost transformers. The object of the current study is a household-type consumer with 20 A single-phase connection to distribution line with a distance of 2 km to a 20 kV transformer station. The calculated resistance of the power line is 2.8 ohms. The load profile was captured during 5 days in summer and 10 days in winter and was used to calculate the capacity of the grid support equipment. Measurements indicated, that in the worst case 2% of time the voltage was below 10% of nominal and 8% of time – below 5% of it. This is outside of the regulatory limits of EU and national regulations. The experimental setup for a voltage quality improvement system was based on an OutBack Power Radian series grid inverter with 7 kW output power. Battery consisting of 12 V 120 Ah VRLA accumulators wired in 48 V system was used. The inverter was configured to work in grid support mode using battery power when the consumer’s active load increased above 1.2 kW. Results showed improvement in voltage quality over the full consumer load range. The total efficiency of the grid support system was 89%. The use of DC bus and batteries allows easy incorporation of renewable energy sources, thus giving the opportunity to scale power and battery capacity of the system. An Additional benefit of using a battery-backed inverter in grid support mode is that consumer can temporarily use more power that is allowed by grid due to its capacity constraints.