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Smart microgrids and virtual power plants in a hierarchical control structure

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5 Author(s)
Vandoorn, T.L. ; Dept. of Electr. Energy, Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium ; Zwaenepoel, B. ; De Kooning, J.D.M. ; Meersman, B.
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In order to achieve a coordinated integration of distributed energy resources in the electrical network, an aggregation of these resources is required. Microgrids and virtual power plants (VPPs) address this issue. Opposed to VPPs, microgrids have the functionality of islanding, for which specific control strategies have been developed. These control strategies are classified under the primary control strategies. Microgrid secondary control deals with other aspects such as resource allocation, economic optimization and voltage profile improvements. When focussing on the control-aspects of DER, VPP coordination is similar with the microgrid secondary control strategy, and thus, operates at a slower time frame as compared to the primary control and can take full advantage of the available communication provided by the overlaying smart grid. Therefore, the feasibility of the microgrid secondary control for application in VPPs is discussed in this paper. A hierarchical control structure is presented in which, firstly, smart microgrids deal with local issues in a primary and secondary control. Secondly, these microgrids are aggregated in a VPP that enables the tertiary control, forming the link with the electricity markets and dealing with issues on a larger scale.

Published in:

Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT Europe), 2011 2nd IEEE PES International Conference and Exhibition on

Date of Conference:

5-7 Dec. 2011