Evaluation of Control Methods to Prevent Collapse of a Mixed Source Microgrid
For a microgrid with a mix of distributed energy resources (DERs), major challenges on its survivability are found in the islanded condition. In particular, a sudden loss of generation or a large and fluctuating load could force the microgrid to operate near its capacity limits. Such a situation can cause a cascading collapse of the mixed source microgrid, even when the load demand is within the system’s power rating. This condition was observed during several tests carried out at the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) Microgrid Test Bed. This paper analyzes the root causes behind the collapse. It highlights that the capacity of a low-inertia system to support load changes is contributed by faster responding DERs initially. Therefore, the microgrid is particularly susceptible if the faster responding DERs do not have adequate reserve margin. Two control methods are evaluated for providing safeguards to these DERs and prevent the system collapse.