This one is for the power geeks!
As the energy transition proceeds, and grids have to accommodate more and more inverter-based generators like wind and solar systems, how will grid operators maintain system inertia? For that matter…what if we start operating grids without inertia?
One way to manage it is through “grid-forming inverters,” which can generate the necessary signals for conventional grid-following inverters and thus mimic the operation of synchronous generators.
In this episode, we “turn it up to 11” and speak with a researcher who has been exploring these questions at the University of Colorado in Boulder and at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), who explains how these resources might work at high penetrations of renewables on power grids, and what kinds of additional research are still needed to transform the grid to one that is friendly to inverter-based resources (or IBRs).
And if you’re not quite ready for such a technical deep dive, try listening to Episodes #119, #126, #94, and #55 (in that order) first, then try coming back to this one.
Rick Wallace Kenyon is a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder who focuses on power system dynamics under conditions of high penetrations of renewable, inverter based resources. His primary interests are in the frequency stability of these systems and the implications of inverter control techniques at various penetrations. Throughout his studies he has maintained a strong affiliation with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, through which he has developed a highly detailed, electromagnetic transient model of the Maui power system for these near future operating conditions.
Recording date: June 13, 2021
Air date: August 18, 2021
Geek rating: 11