A Novel Mechanical Hardware in the Loop Platform for Distributed Generation Systems

  • Maria Stefania Carmeli Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy
  • Francesco Castelli-Dezza Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy
  • Marco Mauri Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy
  • Gabriele Marchegiani MCM Lab Srl. via Durando, Milan
Keywords: Hardware in the loop, distributed generation, low voltage, power quality, real time test bench

Abstract

The growing number of distributed generation (DG) plants has emphasized the need to perform tests before the plants begin to operate. DG systems are complex enough that setting up of an experimental phase requires high costs and efforts. Moreover, renewable energy sources are intrinsically intermittent as they vary randomly with the time of day, the season and the weather. Consequently, the possibility of emulating the behavior of the whole renewable generation system in a real time environment, where a part of the real system, the natural energy source, is replaced by a real time computer simulation allows one to test the actual system in all the operating conditions, optimizing the control strategy before its service entrance, overcoming the randomness of renewable energy sources. This article proposes a mechanical hardware in the loop approach applied to a renewable energy generating system, where the whole drive (control, power electronics and electric machine) is tested and the mechanical part is simulated in real time environment. The problem of emulating the inertial torque, which can have a significant high value, is solved through an approach that relaxes the high dynamic requirements of the electrical drive that emulates the mechanical part. The hardware in the loop test bench emulates two energy sources (hydro and wind). In addition, a control strategy that emulates the inertial torque is implemented. An experimental phase in which different energy sources are modeled and emulated in a real time environment is presented as well. The underlying hardware-in-the-loop energy source emulation and experimentation scheme is shown to accurately represent real systems performance, under various control strategies and varying operating conditions.

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Author Biographies

Maria Stefania Carmeli, Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy

Professor Maria Stefania Carmeli is an Assistant Professor in Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy. She received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, in 1997 and 2000 respectively. Her research interests include power converter and drives including the control of converters, power quality and distributed generation. Prof. Carmeli is a member of the IEEE Industrial Electronics and Power Electronics Societies. Professor Carmeli may be contacted at stefania.carmeli@polimi.it.

Francesco Castelli-Dezza, Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy

Professor Francesco Castelli-Dezza is an Associate Professor in Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy. He received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy, in 1986 and 1990, respectively. His research interests include studies on dynamic behavior of electrical machines, electrical drives control and design, and power electronics for energy-flow management. Prof. Castelli-Dezza is a member of the IEEE Power Electronics and Power Electronics Societies. Professor Castelli-Dezza may be contacted at francesco.castellidezza@polimi.it.

Marco Mauri, Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy

Professor Marco Mauri is an Assistant Professor in Electrical machines and drives at Mechanical Engineering Dept., Politecnico di Milano, located in Milan, Italy. He received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy, in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Since 2002, he has been a Researcher in electrical machines, power electronics, and electrical drives with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano. His research interests include industrial electronics, with applications to distributed power generation systems, power converters, and control of rail vehicles, and mechatronic systems. Prof. Mauri serves on the Administration Committee of the Italian Electrical and Electronic Association (AEIT) and is a member of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society and IEEE Industrial Applications Society. Professor Mauri may be contacted at marco.mauri@polimi.it.

Gabriele Marchegiani , MCM Lab Srl. via Durando, Milan

Dr. Gabriele Marchegiani is the Operating Director of ELVI and partner of MCM Energy Lab srl, a spinoff company of Politecnico di Milano. He received the M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy in 1981 and he received a post graduate Certificate in Business Management from Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy in 1985. He has been involved in management of several projects,concerning development of special magnetics for Power Conversion, and more recently his activity has been oriented to applied research in the Distributed Power Generation (DG). He has been Project Manager of “Energia Pulita” a 2-year research program, started in 2004, in cooperation with Politecnico di Milano, about a Universal Power Conversion and Digital Control for DG. He is also responsible of GENDIS project, started in Jan. 2007, consisting in the development of a hybrid mini power central fed by solar energy and gas. He has long experience in Project Management and System Engineering, in the field of Power Electronics. He is co-inventor of a pending national patent concerning Static Power Conversion and Digital Control for Distributed Generation. Dr. Marchegiani may be contacted at gabriele.marchegiani@elvi-italia.com.

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