Bakgrunn og aktiviteter

My PhD thesis: 

Grid Integration of Variable Speed Hydro Power Plant                        



As the share of wind and solar energy production increases, more flexible production and loads are required to control the balance of the grid. A potential use of Variable Speed Hydro Power (VSHP) is to provide this flexibility and compensates the production of variable renewables. The hypothesis is that VSHP can offer additional ancillary services, contributing to the frequency regulation and improving the grid stability, allowing for higher penetration of renewables in the grid.

The advantages compare to conventional pumped-storage hydro power with constant rotational speed is better utilization of the rotation energy in the turbine and generator and improved power control in pumping mode. The efficiency and operating range of variable speed hydro power will also be higher and they can contribute in frequency control both in production and pumping mode. 


The focus of the PhD work will be to investigate the interactions between the VSHP plant and the grid, and how variable speed operation can benefit the security and flexibility of the power system operation. The main research task will be to explore the control possibilities from a system perspective while considering the limitations given by the water/turbine system. This comprise development of non-linear time domain simulation models with limitations for water flows in the tunnel, turbine, governor, generator with magnetizing system, generator-side converter and grid-side converter, and a representatively test grid.

Different methods for virtual inertia control methods are investigated for increasing the total inertia in the grid and for damping of power fluctuation. New control schemes for control of VSHP utilizing model predictive control (MPC) and virtual inertia control are developed. The MPC coordinates the control of governor and grid converter considering limitations given by the water and turbine system and the control is optimized for a system perspective.

Innovation potential and possible applications

The virtual inertia control of the VSHP allows for the provision of fast frequency reserves (FFR) to the grid while the MPC controller maximizes the possible contribution of FFR. When an expected marked for FFR is introduced, the producers may increase their income from VSHP by utilizing the suggested controller. The MPC controller is also tuned to reduce the wear and tear of the power plant and thereby reducing operation cost and increasing lift time. Besides, it will also optimize the turbine rotational speed to maximize the efficiency of the power plant.

Vitenskapelig, faglig og kunstnerisk arbeid

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