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Designing An Innovative Laboratory To Teach Concepts In Grid Tied Renewable And Other Dispersed Resources

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.173.1 - 4.173.8

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Badrul H. Chowdhury

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session No. 3532

Designing an Innovative Laboratory to Teach Concepts in Grid-Tied Renewable and Other Dispersed Resources Badrul H. Chowdhury* Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept. University of Missouri-Rolla Rolla, MO 65409-0040 Tel: 573-341-6230; Fax: 573-341-6671 * Work performed while at the University of Wyoming

Abstract An undergraduate laboratory is designed for use as part of the energy conversion and power engineering areas of the curriculum. The proposed lab includes experimentation with dispersed resources (DR) in a utility-integrated mode. The most suitable DR types for the lab are photovoltaic and wind power sources, although other sources could also be used with some changes. Some of the issues that are becoming important in recent years, such as power quality, and renewable energy impact can be studied easily in the lab. At the same time, the lab allows conventional experimenting with machines. For situations where actual DR installations are not available, opportunities exist for simulating their characteristics.

1. Introduction Dispersed resources (DR) are considered by many experts as promising and environmentally friendly solutions in the electric energy market of the future. Photovoltaic (PV) power, wind power and fuel cells are viable dispersed resources that are already gaining momentum. This paper describes the development of a laboratory for use in a typical undergraduate Electrical Engineering curriculum. The laboratory is a part of the energy conversion and power engineering areas of the curriculum. Most conventional laboratories that serve this area consist of ac and dc motors and generators. Lab experiments are usually limited to determining motor and generator characteristics. The lab described in this paper is a departure from the typical power lab. It is a multi-function laboratory that allows: - testing of the varying nature of the intermittent generation from renewable sources - the power quality performance of power conditioning units such as inverters - the performance analysis of PV/inverter-driven dc or ac motors - the performance analysis of inverters in the presence of electronic loads, which require some form of switching devices, and loads which are sensitive to voltage waveform distortions, sags and swells. - monitoring of harmonic losses under different kinds of loads and feeder impedance (varying X/R ratios) characteristics. - determining the impact of reactive compensation on the distribution feeder. The laboratory is targeted for the areas of power systems, power electronics, electromechanics, and power quality. It is not meant to be the only lab for all these areas, but one that can prove certain concepts in all these areas with the added dimension of dispersed resources and also helps students to understand that many of the problems in power are multi-disciplinary in nature. The laboratory gives the flexibility to experiment with different feeder, load and dispersed resource

Chowdhury, B. H. (1999, June), Designing An Innovative Laboratory To Teach Concepts In Grid Tied Renewable And Other Dispersed Resources Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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