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Design and Power Management of an Offshore Medium Voltage DC Microgrid Realized Through High Voltage Power Electronics Technologies and Control

Grainger, Brandon (2014) Design and Power Management of an Offshore Medium Voltage DC Microgrid Realized Through High Voltage Power Electronics Technologies and Control. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The growth in the electric power industry’s portfolio of Direct Current (DC) based generation and loads have captured the attention of many leading research institutions. Opportunities for using DC based systems have been explored in electric ship design and have been a proven, reliable solution for transmitting bulk power onshore and offshore. To integrate many of the renewable resources into our existing AC grid, a number of power conversions through power electronics are required to condition the equipment for direct connection. Within the power conversion stages, there is always a requirement to convert to or from DC.

The AC microgrid is a conceptual solution proposed for integrating various types of renewable generation resources. The fundamental microgrid requirements include the capability of operating in islanding mode and/or grid connected modes. The technical challenges associated with microgrids include (1) operation modes and transitions that comply with IEEE1547 without extensive custom engineering and (2) control architecture and communication. The Medium Voltage DC (MVDC) architecture, explored by the University of Pittsburgh, can be visualized as a special type of DC microgrid.

This dissertation is multi-faceted, focused on many design aspects of an offshore DC microgrid. The focal points of the discussion are focused on optimized high power, high frequency magnetic material performance in electric machines, transformers, and DC/DC power converters – all components found within offshore power system architectures. A new controller design based upon model reference control is proposed and shown to stabilize the electric motor drives (modeled as constant power loads), which serve as the largest power consuming entities in the microgrid. The design and simulation of a state-of-the-art multilevel converter for High Voltage DC (HVDC) is discussed and a component sensitivity analysis on fault current peaks is explored. A power management routine is proposed and evaluated as the DC microgrid is disturbed through various mode transitions. Finally, two communication protocols are described for the microgrid – one to minimize communication overhead inside the microgrid, and another to provide robust and scalable intra-grid communication.

The work presented is supported by Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) Corporate Research Center within the Active Grid Infrastructure program, the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) through the Solar ADEPT program, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Grainger, Brandonbmg10@pitt.eduBMG10
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairReed, Gregorygfr3@pitt.eduGFR3
Committee MemberKusic, Georgegkusic@pitt.eduGKUSIC
Committee MemberMao, Zhi-Hongzhm4@pitt.eduZHM4
Committee MemberMcDermott, Thomastem42@pitt.eduTEM42
Committee MemberStanchina, Williamwes25@pitt.eduWES25
Committee MemberClark, Williamwclark@engr.pitt.eduWCLARK
Committee MemberRosu,
Date: 19 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 July 2014
Approval Date: 19 September 2014
Submission Date: 9 July 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 211
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Average Models; ANSYS; Communication; DC Systems; High Voltage Direct Current; Induction Machines; Magnetics; Microgrids; Model Reference Control; Mode Transitions; Nanocomposite; PSCAD; Permanent Magnet Machines; Power Electronics; Power Management; Renewables; Matlab/Simulink; Variable Frequency Drives; Wind Turbine;
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2014 18:49
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:20


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