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Modeling Techniques for Distributed Inverter Networks In Low-Inertia Power Systems

Friday, November 17, 2017, 11:00 AM

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Brian Johnson, Ph.D.
Electrical Engineer
National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Renewable resources and storage technologies are interfaced to the power grid through power-electronics inverters. These energy conversion interfaces are fundamentally different from synchronous generators in that they have limited to no rotational mechanical inertia. Furthermore, there is a wide disparity in ratings between conventional synchronous generators and power-electronics interfaces. For instance, fossil-fuel driven power plants are typically rated for 100's of MVA while inverters are generally no larger than 100's of KVA and can be as low as a few hundred VA in power rating. Taken together, one can hypothesize that the future power network will have: i) low(er) mechanical inertia, and ii) many (more) actuation nodes. Ensuring stable and reliable operation of such a system will be contingent on scalable models that capture the networked interactions of many inverters and few conventional generators. In this talk, we will outline techniques for obtaining reduced-order models that capture the dynamics of large numbers of inverters and describe how such models will be critical to analyze the next-generation power grid.


Brian B. Johnson received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and 2013, respectively. He is currently an electrical engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, and will be joining the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering Department as an assistant professor this spring. He currently serves as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion and has led several projects related on renewable energy systems, power electronics, and control systems.

For more information please contact Dr. Davoudi.

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