A modelling framework for virtual power plants under uncertainty

Naughton, James C ORCID: 0000-0002-4058-611X (2022). A modelling framework for virtual power plants under uncertainty. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The increased integration of renewable energy sources (RES) and distributed energy resources (DER) into electrical networks is causing operational challenges. The reduction in conventional generators, which would traditional provide the reliability and security services for electrical networks, means that these services must now be supplied by other resources. Simultaneously, the intermittency of RES and the lack of visibility of DER means that in some cases these services are required more frequently to maintain a reliable electrical grid. If RES and DER are aggregated and properly controlled in a virtual power plant (VPP) they have the potential to provide network services as well as increase their profitability.

The operation of a VPP is a complex problem. While this problem has been examined by numerous authors, no operating framework has been previously proposed that includes consideration of: participation in multiple markets; provision of network and contractual services; modelling of network power flows and voltages; interactions between multiple energy vectors; uncertainty in operational forecasts and; tractability for short dispatch periods. These are key properties for a comprehensive framework that fully captures and unlocks the potential of a VPP. This thesis presents the design and application of a VPP operational framework that incorporates these six key properties. This optimisation-based framework is decomposed into three optimisations to integrate these properties in a tractable manner.

This framework is applied to various realistic case studies to prove the efficacy of the proposed approach. The application of this framework demonstrates that the combination of scenario-based optimisation and receding horizon control used is effective at mitigating the effects of uncertainty. The inclusion of short dispatch periods is shown to be key for revenue generation in markets with short dispatch windows. In addition, the application of this framework demonstrates the ability of a VPP to participate in multiple markets and services, and that doing so is essential for maximising VPP revenue. Moreover, the integration of hydrogen resources into the electrical grid provides flexibility that can be assigned to various markets and services. Furthermore, operating in multiple markets fundamentally changes the operational strategy of hydrogen resources, and can increase the amount of hydrogen that can be profitably generated. Additionally, the convex relaxation used for the dispatch of resources is sufficiently accurate to allow a VPP to maintain a network within allowable limits whilst maintaining problem tractability. Lastly, the framework is versatile enough to be utilised by other entities (such as a distribution system operator), or for different purposed (such as techno-economic analysis for business case assessments).

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12676


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