Reactive power compensation using an energy management system
Prato, Michael V.
Julian, Alexander L.
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A significant contributor to higher energy costs and reduced energy efficiency is the reactive power demand on the grid. Inductive power demand reduces power factor, increases energy losses during transmission, limits real power supplied to the consumer, and results in higher costs to the consumer. Compensating for a reactive power demand on the grid by providing reactive power support to the power distribution system creates energy efficiency gains and improves cost savings. One method of compensating for reactive power is by incorporating an energy management system (EMS) into the power distribution system. An EMS can monitor reactive power requirements on the grid and provide reactive power support at the point of common coupling (PCC) in the power distribution system in order to increase energy efficiency. The use of an EMS as a current source to achieve a unity power factor at the grid is demonstrated in this thesis. The power factor angle was determined using a zero-crossing detection algorithm. The appropriate amount of compensating reactive current was then injected into the system at the PCC and controlled using closed-loop current control. The process was simulated using Simulink and then validated in the laboratory using the actual EMS hardware.
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