Project

Operation and control of micro-grids in the Colombian power system and the non-interconnected zones

Goal: The electric power system plays an important role in the economic development of any country. Colombia has an interconnected power system with a liberalized market, but there are challenges which require research under the new paradigm of the Micro-grids.
The country relies on the hydroelectricity complemented by a minor percentage of thermoelectricity which is required in order to deal with the phenomena of El Niño. This is a complex whether pattern that result when temperatures in the Pacific Ocean increases form the norm. Although, it is a natural phenomenon that typically occurs every two to seven years, the 2015-2016 El Niño was particularly intense as consequence of the global warming. The level of the reservoirs decreases to less than 20 %. This event demonstrated the requirement for a diversified energy mix.
There is a high potential of wind and solar energy in the Country; moreover, this potentials increase when El Niño occurs. Hence, wind and solar are complementary to hydroelectricity.
These new renewable resources should be integrated under the paradigm of Micro-Grids since large photovoltaic power stations could create additional environmental impacts and compromise the use of land in agriculture.
On the other hand, there are some zones in the country which lack of a reliable power service. These non-interconeted zones include more than 1500 small towns totaling more than 1 million inhabitants. Micro-grids are also a promising alternative for the integration of renewable sources and energy storage in these zones. Therefore, a research at local level is required to deal with the particular characteristics of the Colombian system. This research can impact both, the power system and the non-interconected zones.
It is also required people with high academic training at postgraduate level (PhD, MSc) in areas of renewable energy, energy storage and micro-grids. In this aspect, the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira has created recently a PhD in engineering which is expected to make competitive research at international level but focused in solving the particular challenges of the country.

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Project log

Marta Molinas
added a research item
Rural electrification schemes are necessary for social and economic development. In several countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America this issue is fundamental and some governments have adopted new policies to increase service coverage, a case that has been studied with interest is Colombia. In 2014, the Government presented the Law 1715 for Regulating the Integration of Non Conventional Renewable Energies into the National Energy System. This Law aims to increase penetration of renewable energy in the country; and in 2016 the Peace Treaty between the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC-EP) was signed. These two events have paved the way towards a new country in which rural development based on technological advances and renewable energy becomes trend. This paper presents a case study that illustrates how technology has transformed the life of one community in the rural area in Colombia by triggering economic development. The technological proposal is the design of a monitoring system for a refrigeration center. The processes of design, implementation and validation with the rural community are presented.
Marta Molinas
added a research item
Rural electrification schemes are necessary for social and economic development. In several countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America this issue is fundamental and some governments have adopted new policies to increase service coverage, a case that has been studied with interest is Colombia. In 2014, the Government presented the Law 1715 for Regulating the Integration of Non Conventional Renewable Energies into the National Energy System. This Law aims to increase penetration of renewable energy in the country; and in 2016 the Peace Treaty between the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC-EP) was signed. These two events have paved the way towards a new country in which rural development based on technological advances and renewable energy becomes trend. This paper presents a case study that illustrates how technology has transformed the life of one community in the rural area in Colombia by triggering economic development. The technological proposal is the design of a monitoring interface for a refrigeration center. The processes of design, implementation and validation with the rural community are presented.
Alejandro Garces
added 2 research items
Low voltage direct current (LVDC) is a promising technology for future power distribution grids and smart grids applications. Power flow in these grids is a non-linear problem just as its counterpart AC. This paper demonstrates that, unlike in AC grids, convergence and uniqueness of the solution can be guaranteed in this type of grid under well defined practical considerations. The result is neither a linearization nor an approximation, but an analysis of the set of non-linear algebraic equations, which is valid for any LVDC grid regardless its size, topology or load condition. Computer simulation corroborates the theoretical analysis.
The power flow is a non-linear problem that requires a Newton's method to be solved in dc microgrids with constant power terminals. This paper presents sufficient conditions for the quadratic convergence of the Newton's method in this type of grids. The classic Newton method as well as an approximated Newton Method are analyzed in both master-slave and island operation with droop controls. Requirements for the convergence as well as for the existence and uniqueness of the solution starting from voltages close to 1pu are presented. Computational results complement this theoretical analysis.
Alejandro Garces
added 4 research items
This paper presents an algorithm for the optimal operation of distributed energy storage units from perspective of active potential lost. An exact model based on Lagrange relaxation is proposed. Simulation results on the IEEE 37-bus test feeder demonstrate that energy storage system can be used for minimizing transmission losses in a distribution system by reshaping the load curve. The main contribution of this approach is the objective function and the optimization algorithm, Lagrange multipliers are used for determining optimal placement and sizing of the energy storage units. A discussion about the impact of energy storage units on the distribution planning is also presented
This paper presents an algorithm for the optimal scheduling of distributed energy storage units from the system losses standpoint. An exact model based on Lagrange relaxation is proposed. Simulation results on the IEEE 37-bus test feeder demonstrate that an energy storage system can be used for minimizing transmission losses in a distribution system by reshaping the load curve. The main contribution of this approach is the objective function and the optimization algorithm. Lagrange multipliers are used for determining optimal placement and sizing of the energy storage units. A discussion about the impact of energy storage units on the distribution planning is also presented.
This paper presents a quadratic approximation for the optimal power flow in power distributions systems. The proposed approach is based on a linearized load flow which is valid for power distribution systems including three-phase unbalanced operation. The main feature of the methodology is its simplicity. The accuracy of the proposed approximation is compared to the non-linear/non-convex formulation of the optimal power flow using di?erent optimization solvers. The studies indicate the proposed approximation provides a very accurate solution for systems with a good voltage profile. Results over a set of 1000 randomly generated test power distribution systems demonstrate this solution can be considered for practical purposes in most of the cases. An analytical solution for the unconstrained problem is also developed. This solution can be used as an initialization point for a more precise formulation of the problem.
Alejandro Garces
added a project goal
The electric power system plays an important role in the economic development of any country. Colombia has an interconnected power system with a liberalized market, but there are challenges which require research under the new paradigm of the Micro-grids.
The country relies on the hydroelectricity complemented by a minor percentage of thermoelectricity which is required in order to deal with the phenomena of El Niño. This is a complex whether pattern that result when temperatures in the Pacific Ocean increases form the norm. Although, it is a natural phenomenon that typically occurs every two to seven years, the 2015-2016 El Niño was particularly intense as consequence of the global warming. The level of the reservoirs decreases to less than 20 %. This event demonstrated the requirement for a diversified energy mix.
There is a high potential of wind and solar energy in the Country; moreover, this potentials increase when El Niño occurs. Hence, wind and solar are complementary to hydroelectricity.
These new renewable resources should be integrated under the paradigm of Micro-Grids since large photovoltaic power stations could create additional environmental impacts and compromise the use of land in agriculture.
On the other hand, there are some zones in the country which lack of a reliable power service. These non-interconeted zones include more than 1500 small towns totaling more than 1 million inhabitants. Micro-grids are also a promising alternative for the integration of renewable sources and energy storage in these zones. Therefore, a research at local level is required to deal with the particular characteristics of the Colombian system. This research can impact both, the power system and the non-interconected zones.
It is also required people with high academic training at postgraduate level (PhD, MSc) in areas of renewable energy, energy storage and micro-grids. In this aspect, the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira has created recently a PhD in engineering which is expected to make competitive research at international level but focused in solving the particular challenges of the country.