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Power electronic-based FACTS devices such as STATCOMs are sometimes essential for voltage support in transmission networks. They can also be used for continuous operation of doubly-fed induction generator-based wind turbines during faults. However, these devices are quite expensive and therefore cannot be used extensively. This paper explores the potential of a low-cost solution that utilizes the reactive power and voltage support capabilities of plug-in vehicles parked in charging stations (SmartParks) so that they can behave as virtual STATCOMs. For this solution, a 12-bus multimachine power system is considered wherein one of the conventional units is replaced by a 400 MW wind farm. Twelve SmartParks are developed and integrated into the test system. First, they are connected to a weak bus in the system and used in voltage control mode. Their performance is compared with a STATCOM of a similar rating. Next, the SmartParks are connected to the wind farm bus, and a coordinated reactive power control strategy is proposed to improve the fault-ride-through capability of the wind farm without exceeding the current limits of rotor and grid-side converters. The entire study is carried out in real time on a real-time digital simulator platform.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2011