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Network Equivalents for the Power System Engineer

By R. Austria, M. Gutierrez, F. Luces

Very popular pre-2000, when computer processing bandwidth was at a premium and engineers had more time to put together study information on the desktop (the wooden one, not the one filled with integrated circuits), equivalencing appears to have gone the way of the calculator, the clock and the calendar. Ok, so not quite, as the smartphone does not yet have an “equivalent” function. This will have to wait until analytical programs for power system analysis are made portable. But nonetheless, today’s power engineers will more readily go for the brute force approach of “model everything” rather than take the extra time and effort of creating a simplified model.

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Technical Aspects of Battery Energy Storage Systems for Integration in Distribution Circuits in New York State

Pterra was engaged by the New York State (NYS) Department of Public Service (DPS) to provide some insight into technical issues associated with battery energy storage systems (BESS) interconnecting into distribution feeders. This work was part of ongoing support Pterra is providing to the NYSDPS on NYS Standard Interconnection Requirements (SIR) procedures.

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System Impact Study for a Proposed Transmission Interconnection Project in New York

By R. Tapia, M. Gutierrez and M. Infantado

Introduction

Independent System Operators (ISO) constantly face the challenge of assessing the impact of facility additions to the power grid. They normally require a system impact study for any proposed interconnection of a large generating plant or transmission project. The purpose of this analytical study is to determine the potential adverse impacts of the interconnection of transmission facilities to a power system and whether it would cause any of the following:

  • Post-contingency thermal overloading on transmission lines and transformers,
  • Voltage criteria violations on substations,
  • Negative impact on the dynamic response of power system facilities,
  • Degradation on the transfer limit of transmission interfaces,
  • Increase in substation short circuit current that could possibly exceed the fault duty of existing circuit breakers.

The system impact study determines the impact of the proposed project by comparing simulation results of the case with the project in service against the case without the project. If adverse impacts were to be found, appropriate solutions to mitigate the violations would be required, except for the extreme contingency assessment which is performed for information purposes on issues such as avoidance of widespread load interruptions, uncontrolled cascading, and system blackouts among others.

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A Second Retrospective

By R. Austria, R. Tapia, K. Dartawan, M. Gutierrez, M. Infantado

For a company to have made it through its 14th year is not much to crow about. After all, businesses do this all the time. For a boutique consulting company such as Pterra, we would not crow about this either, not about the fact that the company celebrated its 14th year of incorporation on June 29th, 2018.  But we would be remiss if we said we had nothing to be thankful about, for the weight of these past 14 years is carried in terms of good memories, tough challenges and the enlightening fellowship of colleagues, friends and families all of which were intrinsic to the Pterra mosaic.

We did write a review of our first 7 years (see An Anniversary) and promised to do another in 7 more years. And we are already here, almost in the blink of an eye.

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Utilizing PSCAD in Designing Detection Logic for Ground Fault Overvoltage

By Ketut Dartawan

(This topic was presented at the PSCAD Users group Meeting held in Atlanta, GA on Sept. 20-21, 2018. For the full presentation, please see this link.)

Many interconnection challenges exist when connecting photovoltaic (PV) resources to the electrical distribution grid. Various challenges on the distribution feeders are covered in some technical papers; however, one of the urgent topics – as recently mentioned by utilities and recognized by inverter manufacturers as well as the developers – is the potential for ground fault overvoltage (GFO) on sub-transmission systems feeding distribution feeders via a delta-wye transformer (see Figure 1).

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Applying IEEE Std. 519-2014 for Harmonic Distortion Analysis of a 180 MW Solar PV Installation

by  Ketut Dartawan,  Amin M. Najafabadi

Pterra is presenting a paper on the above subject at the IEEE General Meeting 2017- Chicago 16~20 July.  Abstract of the paper follows:

IEEE updated its recommended practice and requirement for harmonic control in electric power system after more than two decades. The most updated version of the standard (IEEE Std. 519-2014) revised the 1992 version and its static harmonic voltage and current limits. Unlike the 1992 and the older versions of the standard, the 2014 version introduces a newer approach which considers the stochastic nature of harmonic distortions.  Furthermore, it recommends limits based on the number of times distortions may occur. For example, for the harmonic current distortion, it recommends three limits: daily 99th percentile, weekly 99th percentile, and weekly 95th percentile values. Applying the IEEE Std. 519-2014 for planning studies and for harmonic assessment of proposed projects can be very challenging because presently there is no known commercial tool which fully considers the stochastic simulations and limits required in the standard. This paper demonstrates the approach used by the authors in applying IEEE Std. 519-2014 to a harmonic study recently performed for a 180 MW solar farm.

Index Terms- harmonic analysis, harmonic filters, solar power generation, statistical analysis, time series analysis

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Approaches to Complying with NERC Standard PRC-019-2 on the “Coordination of Generating Unit or Plant Capabilities, Voltage Regulating Controls, and Protection”

By Francis Luces, Ric Austria, Cherry Bautista, Ted Garcia

The undesired outages of generating units during the July 1996 Outages in the Western Interconnection and the August 2003 blackout in the Eastern Interconnection have resulted in updates to reliability standards which secure, improve, and optimize generator response during power system disturbances. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has recently issued Standard PRC-019-2 which specifies reporting and review standards for generator protection coordination.  Because the skill requirements to conduct the review are not normally included in plant operations, outside experts are brought in that have a knowledge of what may be available in terms of information and data at the plant, the technical knowledge to conduct the coordination assessment and the experience to identify needs and deficiencies that are critical to presenting a credible review report.

In recent work, Pterra, acting as an external resource, developed approaches to conducting the review for compliance with PRC-019-2 for several legacy power plants.  Such power plants have been in operation for many years, but may have changed ownership at least once, and where test results and data may not be readily available.  This article discusses the general review approach, and applies this to a sample a 230-MVA Steam Turbine Generator Unit in a combined-cycle power station.

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Ground Fault Overvoltage and Distributed Generation: Factors for Occurrence

In recent work performed by Pterra, the issue of ground fault overvoltage (GFOV) was raised in relation to integration of distributed generation (DG).  In particular, can inverter-based photovoltaic systems, connected in distribution feeders, induce GFOV on the high -side of the substation transformer?  And if so, under what conditions could this occur? Pterra was engaged to conduct a research study by NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) to answer these very questions.

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Interharmonics Case Study: Nuisance Tripping in a 200 MW Wind Farm

This topic was presented at the PSCAD Conference held October 6-7, 2016 in Houston, Texas.

Overview: A 200 MW DFIG wind farm is experiencing nuisance tripping.  These occur during switching of power factor correction cap banks comprising of 4×12 MVAR connected to the farm’s 34.5 KV collector buses.  Trip signals recorded by WTGs indicate power quality issues.  Harmonic distortion study of the Project did not indicate potential violations.

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Siting of Power Plants: A Thermal Capacity Assessment for Grid Interconnection

by Francis Luces

Introduction                                                               

For developers of power plants, one of the important factors to consider is where and how to interconnect a plant to an existing transmission network in order to reliably deliver its full output. For conventional power plants (i.e. coal, oil, natural gas, etc.), the availability of fuel supply and environmental permitting are the main considerations for siting. In the case of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, given the availability of land area for mounting solar panels and sufficient solar irradiance, the point of interconnection (POI) to the grid can be the determining factor for siting. An assessment of the thermal capacity at potential POIs provides an effective screen for potential sites. Using transmission capacity injection analysis, developers can swiftly determine the capability of the existing network to support additional power from a new source such as a PV project. With this type of analysis, solar power project developers can know fairly early in the development process if the selected site and POI can support the plant’s output.

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