The Utilization of Power Converters in Consumer Products for Distributed Reactive Power Support
The introduction of smart meters to residential customers opens the door to feedback which can be used to improve the nation's power grid. The motivation of this research lies in the use of emerging smart grid devices to supply reactive power as a means of distributed reactive power support. Such devices can include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, solar panels, uninterruptible power supplies, computers, televisions, appliances, lighting, etc. Power factor compensation closer to the load improves transmission line loading and efficiency. In addition to inverter-based devices to supply reactive power, loads that use active power factor correction are being explored. Traditionally, the goal of power factor correction at the device level has been to achieve as close to unity as possible, which implies that the current waveform is in phase with the voltage waveform with minimal distortion. An adjustable power factor correction scheme can be used to supply reactive power to correct for surrounding devices as well. Example power systems, such as distribution feeders, are modeled to show the benefits of local injections of reactive power. Varying loading and supply voltage conditions are modeled. Algorithms are used to determine the validity of using distributed reactive power control with different assumptions of the cyber infrastructure, such as local control versus global control.
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