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Electricity, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The increasing penetration of non-programmable renewable DERs presents challenges for properly managing distribution networks, requiring advanced voltage regulation techniques. This work proposes an innovative decentralised voltage strategy that considers DERs as autonomous regulators in compliance with the European technical standards and grid codes. The proposed method uses an ORPF that minimises voltage deviations along all the medium voltage nodes, applied to a small-scale test network and to a real Italian distribution network. The results show that the proposed decentralised autonomous strategy effectively improves voltage profiles in both case studies, reducing voltage deviation by a few percentage points; these results are further confirmed through an analysis conducted over several days to observe how seasons affect the results. View this paper
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20 pages, 4687 KiB  
Article
Measurement and Evaluation of Voltage Unbalance in 2 × 25 kV 50 Hz High-Speed Trains Using Variable Integration Period
by Yassine Taleb, Roa Lamrani and Ahmed Abbou
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 154-173; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010009 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
This article addresses the need for a standardized method to measure power quality in railroad systems, which differ from distribution and transmission networks. It evaluates the applicability of existing standards in detecting variations and short-term disturbances in railroad networks powered by the 50/60 [...] Read more.
This article addresses the need for a standardized method to measure power quality in railroad systems, which differ from distribution and transmission networks. It evaluates the applicability of existing standards in detecting variations and short-term disturbances in railroad networks powered by the 50/60 Hz AC grid or the 2 × 25 kV AC network used for high-speed trains. The objective is to propose a standardized algorithm capable of accurately identifying disturbances to assess power quality on railway traction substations. A new method is proposed to characterize voltage imbalances more precisely. Practical demonstrations confirm that a short integration period, as used in existing standards, provides a more accurate estimation of disturbance amplitude and duration. Field experiments validate the proposed solution, embedded in equipment installed on the 225 kV line supplying the 2 × 25 kV AC substation for high-speed rail. Comparative analysis of results obtained during high-speed train journeys confirms the algorithm’s potential to aid standards committees in reviewing and updating existing standards, as well as expediting the creation, approval, and implementation of new standards for railway installations. Experimental comparisons of other power quality parameters, such as frequency and voltage harmonics, also underscore the algorithm’s utility in railway power quality assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electricity in 2024)
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20 pages, 9241 KiB  
Article
Decentralised Voltage Regulation through Optimal Reactive Power Flow in Distribution Networks with Dispersed Generation
by Edoardo Daccò, Davide Falabretti, Valentin Ilea, Marco Merlo, Riccardo Nebuloni and Matteo Spiller
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 134-153; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010008 - 12 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
The global capacity for renewable electricity generation has surged, with distributed photovoltaic generation being the primary driver. The increasing penetration of non-programmable renewable Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) presents challenges for properly managing distribution networks, requiring advanced voltage regulation techniques. This paper proposes an [...] Read more.
The global capacity for renewable electricity generation has surged, with distributed photovoltaic generation being the primary driver. The increasing penetration of non-programmable renewable Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) presents challenges for properly managing distribution networks, requiring advanced voltage regulation techniques. This paper proposes an innovative decentralised voltage strategy that considers DERs, particularly inverter-based ones, as autonomous regulators in compliance with the state-of-the-art European technical standards and grid codes. The proposed method uses an optimal reactive power flow that minimises voltage deviations along all the medium voltage nodes; to check the algorithm’s performance, it has been applied to a small-scale test network and on a real Italian medium-voltage distribution network, and compared with a fully centralised ORPF. The results show that the proposed decentralised autonomous strategy effectively improves voltage profiles in both case studies, reducing voltage deviation by a few percentage points; these results are further confirmed through an analysis conducted over several days to observe how seasons affect the results. Full article
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22 pages, 5002 KiB  
Article
A Mixed-Methods Approach for Evaluating the Influence of Residential Practices for Thermal Comfort on Electricity Consumption in Auroville, India
by Kumar Biswajit Debnath, Olufolahan Osunmuyiwa, David P. Jenkins and Andrew D. Peacock
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 112-133; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010007 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1395
Abstract
With rapid global economic growth and a rise in disposable household income, particularly within a progressively warming planet, the escalating demand for energy to achieve thermal comfort has become a salient concern in the Global South, notably in emerging economies like India. This [...] Read more.
With rapid global economic growth and a rise in disposable household income, particularly within a progressively warming planet, the escalating demand for energy to achieve thermal comfort has become a salient concern in the Global South, notably in emerging economies like India. This burgeoning need for cooling solutions has not only underscored the vital role of energy consumption but has also accentuated the imperative of comprehending the ensuing implications for electricity policy and strategic planning, particularly within the ambit of the Global South. This study explored the nuanced landscape of active cooling within an intentional community, Auroville, in southern India, aiming to discern the factors underpinning household preferences and practices in the pursuit of thermal comfort. Employing a mixed-methods approach, this study contributed empirically and methodologically to the interdisciplinary discourse by analysing residential electricity consumption patterns and cooling practices within selected households in the specified community. The study unfolded in three methodological stages: firstly, an analysis of climatic data coupled with an environmental stress index (ESI) assessment; secondly, the monitoring of end-user electricity consumption followed by rigorous data analysis; and lastly, the utilisation of qualitative in-depth interviews and observational techniques. This study’s outcome yielded empirical insights into the unprecedented shifts in the ESI for Auroville since 2014. Furthermore, the study unravelled the intricate complexities inherent in occupant behaviour within residential structures, thereby offering valuable insights into the practices that shape householders’ cooling preferences. This research enriched the understanding of the dynamics of energy consumption in the pursuit of thermal comfort and contributes to the broader discourse on sustainable development and energy policy in the context of climate change. Full article
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19 pages, 7107 KiB  
Article
Cascaded Multi-Input Single-Output Boost Inverter for Mismatch Mitigation at PV Submodule Level
by Yousef Alharbi, Ahmed Darwish and Xiandong Ma
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 93-111; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010006 - 25 Feb 2024
Viewed by 892
Abstract
Mismatched power generation is a serious issue in PV systems, resulting from unequal power generation between PV components. Solutions have been proposed to reduce or eliminate the mismatch concern. One practical strategy is individually harvesting the maximum power from each PV component; the [...] Read more.
Mismatched power generation is a serious issue in PV systems, resulting from unequal power generation between PV components. Solutions have been proposed to reduce or eliminate the mismatch concern. One practical strategy is individually harvesting the maximum power from each PV component; the more distributed MPPT is applied to a finer level, the more power can be obtained. This study proposes three-input single-output boost converters that are employed to effectively increase PV power generation and significantly reduce mismatch issues between the PV submodule (PV SM). Each boost converter will be controlled to harvest the maximum power from a group of PV cells inside a single PV module. The outputs of the three boost converters are connected in series to provide higher output voltage for grid integration. The cascaded power converters are linked with a forwarding diode to provide a protection feature for the system and prevent the reverse current from harming the PV module. On the grid side, a single-phase Voltage Source Inverter (VSI) is used to convert the DC power from the PV module to sinusoidal AC power. The performance of the suggested inverter has been confirmed through experimental tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electricity in 2024)
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18 pages, 14677 KiB  
Review
Comprehensive Bibliometric Analysis on Smart Grids: Key Concepts and Research Trends
by Kasaraneni Purna Prakash, Yellapragada Venkata Pavan Kumar, Kasaraneni Himajyothi and Gogulamudi Pradeep Reddy
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 75-92; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010005 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Over the years, a rapid evolution of smart grids has been witnessed across the world due to their intelligent operations and control, smart characteristics, and benefits, which can overcome several difficulties of traditional electric grids. However, due to multifaceted technological advancements, the development [...] Read more.
Over the years, a rapid evolution of smart grids has been witnessed across the world due to their intelligent operations and control, smart characteristics, and benefits, which can overcome several difficulties of traditional electric grids. However, due to multifaceted technological advancements, the development of smart grids is evolving day by day. Thus, smart grid researchers need to understand and adapt to new concepts and research trends. Understanding these new trends in smart grids is essential for several reasons, as the energy sector undergoes a major transformation towards becoming energy efficient and resilient. Moreover, it is imperative to realize the complete potential of modernizing the energy infrastructure. In this regard, this paper presents a comprehensive bibliometric analysis of smart grid concepts and research trends. In the initial search, the bibliometric data extracted from the Scopus and Web of Science databases totaled 11,600 and 2846 records, respectively. After thorough scrutiny, 2529 unique records were considered for the bibliometric analysis. Bibliometric analysis is a systematic method used to analyze and evaluate the scholarly literature on a particular topic and provides valuable insights to researchers. The proposed analysis provides key information on emerging research areas, high-impact sources, authors and their collaboration, affiliations, annual production of various countries and their collaboration in smart grids, and topic-wise title count. The information extracted from this bibliometric analysis will help researchers and other stakeholders to thoroughly understand the above-mentioned aspects related to smart grids. This analysis was carried out on smart grid literature by using the bibliometric package in R. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electricity in 2024)
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14 pages, 3256 KiB  
Article
Techno-Economic Assessment of Solar–Grid–Battery Hybrid Energy Systems for Grid-Connected University Campuses in Kenya
by Musong L. Katche, Augustine B. Makokha, Siagi O. Zachary and Muyiwa S. Adaramola
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 61-74; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010004 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 980
Abstract
This paper presents the techno-economic feasibility of using grid-connected PV hybrid systems to supply power in large grid-dependent academic institutions. The study was conducted using the administration building of Moi University in Kenya. The power consumption profile of the building was collected using [...] Read more.
This paper presents the techno-economic feasibility of using grid-connected PV hybrid systems to supply power in large grid-dependent academic institutions. The study was conducted using the administration building of Moi University in Kenya. The power consumption profile of the building was collected using a PCE-360 power analyzer. The peak load demand was found to be 60 kW. Using random variability constants of 4% for day-to-day and 4% time-step load variability, a peak demand of 70.58 kW was obtained, which was used in our simulation. The solar radiation and temperature data for this site were collected from the weather station of the university. The hybrid system was simulated using HOMER Pro software. It was found from the simulation results that the optimal system was the solar PV/grid without battery storage, which had a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of KSH 8.78/kWh (USD 0.072), net present cost (NPC) of KSH 27,974,492 (USD 230,813), capital expenditure (CAPEX) of KSH 26,300,000 (USD 216,997), and a simple payback period (SPBP) of 5.08 years for a 25-year life span. This system, when compared to the existing grid, showed an 83.94% reduction in the annual electricity bill of the administration building. These results demonstrate a reduction in energy cost by a renewable energy fraction of 67.1%. Full article
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25 pages, 4466 KiB  
Project Report
Extension of the HEMRM—Full Harmonization of the Electricity Supply System
by Zoran Marinšek, Sašo Brus and Gerhard Meindl
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 36-60; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010003 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 837
Abstract
The current formal common denominator of the electricity supply system in Europe has been the Harmonized Electricity Market Role Model (HEMRM) set up by ENTSO-E, ebIX, and EFET at the turn of the millennium; it introduced the concept of de-coupling and the vertical [...] Read more.
The current formal common denominator of the electricity supply system in Europe has been the Harmonized Electricity Market Role Model (HEMRM) set up by ENTSO-E, ebIX, and EFET at the turn of the millennium; it introduced the concept of de-coupling and the vertical structuring of the system into the previously vertically integrated system. Since then, within demonstration projects, the system has been undergoing further changes in a controlled environment, generating bottom-up energy, caused by new technologies, business models, and new players, and extending the concept of the system to the level of energy communities and prosumers. Therefore, this paper proposes a coherent approach to the extension of HEMRM to the lowest levels in both the grid and market segments—full harmonization. This entails further structuring of both segments downwards and applying the principles of vertically nested subsystems—a system of systems approach—to a unit functional level of the electricity system, which can be the prosumer itself. At the lowest levels, the de-coupled system becomes coupled; additionally, it cross-sects with other energy vectors. Complete harmonization reduces the number of system and market segments and represents system standardization, leading to both subsystem and system-wide optimization. Prerequisites for it include the automated trading of flexibilities by the prosumers and implicit trading of energy transfer capacities along the distribution grids. The energy reservoirs, implicit and explicit, short-term, and long-term, play a vital role in techno-economic balancing. Full article
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12 pages, 6570 KiB  
Article
Experimental Characterization of an AC–DC Boost for Energy Harvesting Device Based on Magnetostrictive Materials
by Carmine Stefano Clemente, Daniele Davino, Immacolato Iannone and Vincenzo Paolo Loschiavo
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 24-35; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010002 - 15 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Magnetostrictive alloys hold great promise for Energy Harvesting applications due to their inherent durability. However, their implementation often results in usable voltage ranges that fall significantly below common electronic standards like 1.6, 3.3, and 5 volts. Consequently, the utilization of electronic circuits becomes [...] Read more.
Magnetostrictive alloys hold great promise for Energy Harvesting applications due to their inherent durability. However, their implementation often results in usable voltage ranges that fall significantly below common electronic standards like 1.6, 3.3, and 5 volts. Consequently, the utilization of electronic circuits becomes essential to amplify the voltage and enhance energy conversion efficiency. Over the past few decades, numerous conversion techniques have been devised for other intelligent materials, such as piezoelectrics, some of which have even made their way into commercial products. Surprisingly, there is a dearth of specialized techniques, if not a complete absence, tailored to magnetostrictive devices. Among potential solutions, a suitable AC–DC Boost converter stands out as a highly promising candidate for addressing this challenge, but this solution has never been fully characterized. Then, this paper presents thorough experimental validations of such a converter, driven by a real-time Arduino board equipped to measure source time periods and operate under various conditions. We present several cases demonstrating the circuit’s substantial potential for enhancing energy harvesting from magnetostrictive materials. Full article
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23 pages, 3380 KiB  
Article
Disaggregating Longer-Term Trends from Seasonal Variations in Measured PV System Performance
by Chibuisi Chinasaokwu Okorieimoh, Brian Norton and Michael Conlon
Electricity 2024, 5(1), 1-23; https://doi.org/10.3390/electricity5010001 - 1 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1341
Abstract
Photovoltaic (PV) systems are widely adopted for renewable energy generation, but their performance is influenced by complex interactions between longer-term trends and seasonal variations. This study aims to remove these factors and provide valuable insights for optimising PV system operation. We employ comprehensive [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems are widely adopted for renewable energy generation, but their performance is influenced by complex interactions between longer-term trends and seasonal variations. This study aims to remove these factors and provide valuable insights for optimising PV system operation. We employ comprehensive datasets of measured PV system performance over five years, focusing on identifying the distinct contributions of longer-term trends and seasonal effects. To achieve this, we develop a novel analytical framework that combines time series and statistical analytical techniques. By applying this framework to the extensive performance data, we successfully break down the overall PV system output into its constituent components, allowing us to find out the impact of the system degradation, maintenance, and weather variations from the inherent seasonal patterns. Our results reveal significant trends in PV system performance, indicating the need for proactive maintenance strategies to mitigate degradation effects. Moreover, we quantify the impact of changing weather patterns and provide recommendations for optimising the system’s efficiency based on seasonally varying conditions. Hence, this study not only advances our understanding of the intricate variations within PV system performance but also provides practical guidance for enhancing the sustainability and effectiveness of solar energy utilisation in both residential and commercial settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Power Generation Systems)
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