Control of a hybrid energy system

Snow, Michael Harold (2008) Control of a hybrid energy system. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Renewable energy systems today are becoming more popular due to the rise in fuel costs and the demand for energy both small and large scale. Many systems use one source of renewable energy such as wind or solar, and many control systems are designed to deal with only one source. Wind and solar can be combined to make a hybrid energy system. This allows for energy production almost all the time. For example, during the night solar systems have to rely on battery backup or diesel generation, but if a wind turbine is added to the system, power from the wind can be harnessed during the night and on cloudy days, and the solar can add to the wind or replace the turbine when there is no wind or a heavy load. For a hybrid (wind-solar) system to work effectively there has to be a control system. Combinations of single purpose controllers, such as a wind controller, solar controller and battery charger, are hard and complicated to integrate together. They require a lot of wire, space and increase the probability of failure of the system with one controller may work against the other. Some available controllers have solar added to a wind controller, but they can only handle a small amount of solar power with simple control and have no monitoring. -- The main aim of this research was to determine a more effective way to combine and control multiple renewable energy sources. The methodology was to study prior art to determine how the problem was to be approached and what improvements are required to achieve the research task. This thesis focuses on small wind and small solar (less than 2500 watts), and the most effective way to control and combine these energy sources in an effective and efficient way. -- This research introduces a new design to combine wind and solar together in a single controller called the Autonomous Renewable Control System - ARCS, to overcome different technical issues from industry and simplify renewable power. The controller takes a priority approach of power from wind first, then from solar. A system monitor was added to track performance of the system and to log historic data along with safety systems such as alarms and breakers. Included in this research is historical data produced from the test system such as power outputs, energy savings and environmental savings and other useful data. The data showed an increase power output from the wind turbine, combined power with the solar power and environmental savings. The ARCS showed improved control, simpler installation and operation, and effective hybrid energy management. This research provides the framework to expand on the design for larger systems and different control schemes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9621
Item ID: 9621
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 99-102.
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hybrid power systems--Automatic control; Solar energy--Hybrid systems--Automatic control; Wind power--Automatic control

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