A Decentralized Control Architecture applied to DC Nanogrid Clusters for Rural Electrification in Developing Regions

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Abstract

DC microgrids built through a bottom-up approach are becoming popular for swarm electrification due to their scalability and resource-sharing capabilities. However, they typically require sophisticated control techniques involving communication among the distributed resources for stable and coordinated operation. In this work, we present a communication-less strategy for the decentralized control of a photovoltaic (PV)/battery-based highly distributed dc microgrid. The architecture consists of clusters of nanogrids (households), where each nanogrid can work independently along with provisions of sharing resources with the community. An adaptive I-V droop method is used, which relies on local measurements of state of charge and dc bus voltage for the coordinated power sharing among the contributing nanogrids. PV generation capability of individual nanogrids is synchronized with the grid stability conditions through a local controller, which may shift its modes of operation between maximum power point tracking mode and current control mode. The distributed architecture with the proposed decentralized control scheme enables 1) scalability and modularity in the structure, 2) higher distribution efficiency, and 3) communication-less, yet coordinated resource sharing. The efficacy of the proposed control scheme is validated for various possible power-sharing scenarios using simulations on MATLAB/Simulink and hardware-in-the-loop facilities at the Microgrid Laboratory, Aalborg University.

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DC microgrids built through a bottom-up approach are becoming popular for swarm electrification due to their scalability and resource-sharing capabilities. However, they typically require sophisticated control techniques involving communication among the distributed resources for stable and coordinated operation. In this work, we present a communication-less strategy for the decentralized control of a photovoltaic (PV)/battery-based highly distributed dc microgrid. The architecture consists of clusters of nanogrids (households), where each nanogrid can work independently along with provisions of sharing resources with the community. An adaptive I-V droop method is used, which relies on local measurements of state of charge and dc bus voltage for the coordinated power sharing among the contributing nanogrids. PV generation capability of individual nanogrids is synchronized with the grid stability conditions through a local controller, which may shift its modes of operation between maximum power point tracking mode and current control mode. The distributed architecture with the proposed decentralized control scheme enables 1) scalability and modularity in the structure, 2) higher distribution efficiency, and 3) communication-less, yet coordinated resource sharing. The efficacy of the proposed control scheme is validated for various possible power-sharing scenarios using simulations on MATLAB/Simulink and hardware-in-the-loop facilities at the Microgrid Laboratory, Aalborg University.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8341807
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Volume34
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1773-1785
Number of pages13
ISSN0885-8993
DOI
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

    Research areas

  • DC Microgrid, DC Nanogrid, Distributed Generation, Distributed Storage, Droop Control, Rural-Electrification

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