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Rabia Khan – Preliminary Exam

About the event

Advisor:  Dr. Noel Schulz

Degree: Ph.D. Electrical & Computer Engineering

Abstract:  Millions of people around the globe are suffering from energy poverty and approximately 85% of them live in remote rural areas of developing countries. Reliable and adequate provision of electricity is mandatory for improved standards of living including better health, education, transport, agriculture, and employment opportunities. Electrification through national grids is cost-prohibitive due to high infrastructure costs and large transmission losses. Alternatively, DC microgrids based on solar photovoltaic (PV) and batteries have been used in rural areas due to the decrease in the prices of solar panels, advancement in power electronics, the abundance of natural resources, and wide market availability of DC loads. In this work, a distributed generation and distributed storage (DGDS) microgrid architecture is designed, where each house is assumed as a prosumer (capable of both generation and consumption of electricity) nanogrid. Additionally, the detailed network loss analysis of four different microgrid architectures is performed. These architectures include, 1) Centralized generation centralized storage (CGCS), 2) Centralized generation distributed storage (CGDS), 3) Distributed generation centralized storage (DGCS), and 4) Distributed generation distributed storage (DGDS), which are implemented with both radial and ring interconnection schemes using time-varying load demand and dynamic PV generation. The microgrid system is evaluated at multiple voltage levels, conductor sizes, and interconnection schemes using modified Newton-Raphson Power Flow for DC microgrids. Additionally, the optimal power flow algorithm is proposed for neighborhood-level optimal power-sharing with the least distribution and power electronic losses. The framework and the analysis results will be useful in selecting an optimal DC microgrid architecture for future rural electrification implementations.