Control and operation of SMES and SMES/PV systems

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Virginia Tech


Applications, converter topologies, and control schemes are examined for superconductive magnetic energy storage (SMES) systems. Diurnal load leveling for electric utilities and compensation for fluctuations in photovoltaic (PV) power generation are the primary applications discussed.

It is demonstrated that a SMES system implemented with standard AC/DC converters offers energy storage capacity large enough, and dynamic response fast enough, to compensate for PV fluctuations due to changes in weather conditions. The method of control is developed so that the charging and discharging of the SMES system are changed in response to PV fluctuations, and the combined SMESIPV power output is smooth and controllable.

An innovative control scheme is introduced for SMES that can simultaneously regulate real power and voltage independently without hardware modifications to the standard ACIDC bridge arrangement normally used for coordinated control of real and reactive power.

The combination of SMES and PV systems could benefit from DCIDC converters that take advantage of the DC nature of both. It is established that DClDC converters can respond with sufficient speed to handle variations in PV power. A converter topology is devised where two DC/DC converters in cascade effectively maintain a PV array at its maximum power point and simultaneously control a SMES system to compensate for PV fluctuations.

An alternative cascade configuration of an AC/DC converter with a DCIDC converter is proposed that could significantly reduce the reactive power requirements and improve the operational characteristics of a large scale SMES system connected to the utility grid.