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How can PQ devices help renewables?

HOW POWER QUALITY TECHNIQUES HELP RENEWABLES?
Renewable energy resources are the most environment-friendly solution to solve an increase in energy demand, and their contribution has been increasing drastically. By 2050, all countries can substantially increase the proportion of renewable energy in their total energy use. IRENA

Despite their benefits to our environment and our sustainability, green solutions lead to some challenges due to their intermittent power generation with fluctuations. Besides, renewables’ grid integration is another concern because of the limited grid capacity and no one-directional power flow anymore.

Power quality issues like voltage dips/swells will increase as the penetration of renewable to the grid increases.

Power Quality Problems
Power quality is just a description of voltage and current disturbances. Voltage and frequency fluctuations and harmonics are major power quality issues in renewable energy systems.

Voltage and frequency fluctuations happen because of the unpredictable generation of renewable energy or power-grid disturbances. At the same time, harmonics are caused by power electronic devices used in renewable energy systems. 

Solutions
Weather and production forecasting techniques can be implemented to predict generation to mitigate voltage and frequency fluctuations to reduce uncertainty. However, this may not be enough as reactive and real flows need to be controlled. FACTS like STATCOM or SVC can help to control reactive flow to mitigate voltage fluctuations.

When we consider the grid-side of these problems, they may cause many integration issues and lead to run power plants under their capacity. Good network planning which involves all related parties and stick with industry standards are the must. In addition, FACTs will also be the middle ground for solving this puzzle for both network providers and power plants. This case study eulomogo-statcom-project, is a great example of how STATCOM helped the solar farm meet grid requirements. Lastly, harmonic filters can address the harmonic distortions.

To sum up, while renewable energy systems are a great opportunity for a greener future, we still need to overcome some challenges that come with integrating renewables into the grids, but solutions are available. If you would like to know more, please Contact Us.

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