New Differential Zone Protection Scheme Using Graph Partitioning for an Islanded Microgrid

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Virginia Tech


Microgrid deployment in electric grids improves reliability, efficiency, and quality, as well as the overall sustainability and resiliency of the grid. Specifically, microgrids alleviate the effects of power outages. However, microgrid implementations impose additional challenges on power systems. Microgrid protection is one of the technical challenges implicit in the deployment of microgrids. These challenges occur as a result of the unique properties of microgrid networks in comparison to traditional electrical networks. Differential protection is a fast, selective, and sensitive technique. Additionally, it offers a viable solution to microgrid protection concerns. The differential zone protection scheme is a cost-effective variant of differential protection. To implement a differential zone protection scheme, the network must be split into different protection zones. The reliability of this protection scheme is dependent upon the number of protective zones developed. This thesis proposes a new differential zone protection scheme using a graph partitioning algorithm. A graph partitioning algorithm is used to partition the microgrid into multiple protective zones. The IEEE 13-node microgrid is used to demonstrate the proposed protection scheme. The protection scheme is validated with MATLAB Simulink, and its impact is simulated with DIgSILENT PowerFactory software. Additionally, a comprehensive comparison was made to a comparable differential zone protection scheme.



Microgrid, Microgrid Protection, Differential Protection, Graph Theory, Graph Partitioning Algorithm