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A cost to benefit analysis of a next generation electric power distribution system

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This thesis provides a cost to benefit analysis of the proposed next generation of distribution systems- the Future Renewable Electric Energy Distribution Management (FREEDM) system. With the increasing penetration of

This thesis provides a cost to benefit analysis of the proposed next generation of distribution systems- the Future Renewable Electric Energy Distribution Management (FREEDM) system. With the increasing penetration of renewable energy sources onto the grid, it becomes necessary to have an infrastructure that allows for easy integration of these resources coupled with features like enhanced reliability of the system and fast pro-tection from faults. The Solid State Transformer (SST) and the Fault Isolation Device (FID) make for the core of the FREEDM system and have huge investment costs.

Some key features of the FREEDM system include improved power flow control, compact design and unity power factor operation. Customers may observe a reduction in the electricity bill by a certain fraction for using renewable sources of generation. There is also a possibility of huge subsidies given to encourage use of renewable energy. This thesis is an attempt to quantify the benefits offered by the FREEDM system in monetary terms and to calculate the time in years required to gain a return on investments made. The elevated cost of FIDs needs to be justified by the advantages they offer. The result of different rates of interest and how they influence the payback period is also studied. The payback periods calculated are observed for viability. A comparison is made between the active power losses on a certain distribution feeder that makes use of distribution level magnetic transformers versus one that makes use of SSTs. The reduction in the annual active power losses in the case of the feeder using SSTs is translated onto annual savings in terms of cost when compared to the conventional case with magnetic transformers. Since the FREEDM system encourages operation at unity power factor, the need for installing capacitor banks for improving the power factor is eliminated and this re-flects in savings in terms of cost. The FREEDM system offers enhanced reliability when compared to a conventional system. The payback periods observed support the concept of introducing the FREEDM system.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Transmission expansion planning with large scale renewable resource integration

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Due to economic and environmental reasons, several states in the United States of America have a mandated renewable portfolio standard which requires that a certain percentage of the load served

Due to economic and environmental reasons, several states in the United States of America have a mandated renewable portfolio standard which requires that a certain percentage of the load served has to be met by renewable resources of energy such as solar, wind and biomass. Renewable resources provide energy at a low variable cost and produce less greenhouse gases as compared to conventional generators. However, some of the complex issues with renewable resource integration are due to their intermittent and non-dispatchable characteristics. Furthermore, most renewable resources are location constrained and are usually located in regions with insufficient transmission facilities. In order to deal with the challenges presented by renewable resources as compared to conventional resources, the transmission network expansion planning procedures need to be modified. New high voltage lines need to be constructed to connect the remote renewable resources to the existing transmission network to serve the load centers. Moreover, the existing transmission facilities may need to be reinforced to accommodate the large scale penetration of renewable resource. This thesis proposes a methodology for transmission expansion planning with large-scale integration of renewable resources, mainly solar and wind generation. An optimization model is used to determine the lines to be constructed or upgraded for several scenarios of varying levels of renewable resource penetration. The various scenarios to be considered are obtained from a production cost model that analyses the effects that renewable resources have on the transmission network over the planning horizon. A realistic test bed was created using the data for solar and wind resource penetration in the state of Arizona. The results of the production cost model and the optimization model were subjected to tests to ensure that the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) mandated N-1 contingency criterion is satisfied. Furthermore, a cost versus benefit analysis was performed to ensure that the proposed transmission plan is economically beneficial.

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Date Created
  • 2012