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Joint Master Thesis ETH- NREL: Synchronization of power inverters


Irina Subotic

Marcello Colombino, Dominic Gross, Brian Johnson

This Master Thesis will be conducted 50% of the time at ETH and 50% of the time at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)in Golden, CO, USA

All around the world we are witnessing an increased penetration of renewable energy in the power grid. Traditional generators synchronize to the same frequency through the electromechanical coupling provided by the physics of the grid. Photovoltaic and wind generators are connected to the grid via power inverters that do not inherit these synchronizing properties.

Traditionally, power inverters are controlled to track the frequency of the grid and inject a predefined amount of power. This is only possible if there are enough synchronous generators that keep the grid running.

The goal of this project is to study synchronization algorithms for a grid without synchronous generators. This is an ambitious task as the inverters must synchronize without communication and they can only rely on locally available information.

Using simplified inverter models, we have developed decentralized control algorithms that provably synchronize a power grid composed of 100% inverted connected generation. We are now seeking validation of our algorithms and we are in contact with NREL where they have extensive experimental facilities for inverted connected grids.

For more information you can download the project description.

Weitere Informationen

Florian Dörfler

Art der Arbeit:
Voraussetzungen: We are looking for a highly motivated student with good knowledge of linear algebra and control theory. Excellent Matlab/Simulink skills and good knowledge of power electronics are required.
Anzahl StudentInnen:
Status: taken