“Complexity of Renewables” articles

In this series of technical articles, we look at a range of topics that illustrate the complexity of renewables as a concept within the ongoing energy transition. Each article – taking a few minutes to read – considers technical complexities at the system level.

As these articles are published, links to them will be included on this page.

Part 1: Complexity of Renewables

A concise but detailed overview of a range of system performance metrics we can observe and monitor during the transition and cover what we can expect as the transition moves forward. (Published January 25, 2023.)

Part 2: Control Interaction

An examination of possible control interaction phenomena and how to study them using approaches such as simulations and dynamic modeling.

Part 3: Dynamic Equivalents

Discover how we could build dynamic equivalent models to study issues such as control interaction. We look at various software platforms and the critical parameters that must be re-created.

Part 4: Fault-Ride Through

Various connections (HVDC, WTG, BESS) need fault ride-through capabilities. What is its purpose, what challenges exist, and why is this compliance check served only by simulations, not tests?

Part 5: Frequency Response

A brief look at the difference between classical synchronous generator requirements and renewables. We also cover testing, simulation, and typical open/closed loop systems.

Part 6: Reactive Power

How do we interpret the reactive power envelopes in grid codes or other standards? What complexities exist for renewable connections? And should the same standards apply to BESS when charging/discharging?

Part 7: Transient Stability

Should renewables be seen as a special case for transient stability? We look at various studies, stability issues, and the use of power system stabilizers.

Part 8: Power Quality

This article explains the enhanced need for power quality in renewables, looking at areas such as harmonics, flicker, and voltage step. We also look at different mitigation strategies that could be deployed.

Part 9: Insulation Coordination

A quick tour of the differences in insulation coordination for classic and renewable applications and why developers should consider performing this study. We also consider GFM inverters in energization studies.

Part 10: Protection

A wide-ranging look covering topics such as the lack of short circuit in areas of low system strength, how BESS fits into the picture, and the lack of inertia in protection schemes.

Part 11: Operational Aspects

Should balancing supply and demand in a control room be as easy as in the synchronous generator era? What are other systems needed to keep the lights on as we transition to renewables?

Part 12: Market Integration and Regulatory Aspects

Do renewables distort the market through initiatives such as price caps and subsidies? How are microgrids affected? We look at the state of play today and look into the future.

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