Articles

Journey to a Flexible, Reliable Laboratory Platform for Simultaneous Control of Multiple Reactive Power Producing Devices

Author
  • Jason H. Foster (University of Tennessee)

Abstract

This paper discusses the instrumentation and control requirements for operating multiple distributed energy (DE) devices in parallel to regulate lo- cal voltage. The author and colleagues established a flexible laboratory control and data acquisition system that allows for the integration of multiple DE devices in Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)’s Distributed Energy Communication and Controls Laboratory (DECC). This paper details the development of the data acquisition and control system, problems encountered and solutions found. Although this pa- per details one particular example, the lessons learned are applicable to any test or measurement platform that uses real-time measurements. The objective of the overall project is to develop controls with this flexible laboratory setup that allow DE devices to control local distribution system voltage through dynamic reactive power production. Originally efforts were made to control the reactive power output using data from com- mercially available meters designed for monitoring and analyzing electric power values. After the evaluation of various unacceptable methods of data acquisition and control, a flexible and capable real-time control system was chosen. This controller is commercially available and is easily programmable through Simulink and MATLAB’s Real Time Workshop. The dSPACE controller together with the integration and instrumentation platform provides both the flexibility and expandability needed to integrate and control the re- active-power-producing devices under consideration.

Keywords: computer programming|computer technology|electricity|electronics|energy|research

How to Cite:

Foster, J. H., (2007) “Journey to a Flexible, Reliable Laboratory Platform for Simultaneous Control of Multiple Reactive Power Producing Devices”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering 23(2).

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Published on
31 Mar 2007
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