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Researchers Find Ways for More Efficient Control of Wind Power

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Windmills on a wind farm.

New research has found that the strategic placement of wind power generation facilities on an electric power grid can make the grid more resilient to disruption.


Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Johns Hopkins University have written algorithms to help optimize power grids after discovering that wind power plants at strategic locations can make grids more resilient to disruptions.

As power travels through a grid, small oscillations occur after a disturbance, but are typically mitigated by controls inside the power generators. However, oscillations can be sustained if controls are inadequate, reducing power transfer efficiency, threatening grid stability, and possibly resulting in widespread power outages.

Wind farms that are poorly located in relation to the grid can intensify oscillation problems, but those at favorable locations can help reduce oscillations. However, geographical factors sometimes prevent the installation of a plant at favorable locations. Therefore, the researchers developed algorithms that match control efforts between wind farms and energy storage facilities.

"By matching the behavior of the two controllers, we can produce the desired damping effect on the power flow and restore stable grid behavior," says NCSU professor Aranya Chakrabortty.

From NCSU News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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