Renewable energy is injected at multiple points into a network to supplement or replace traditional generation. Grid compliance, high harmonic emissions and voltage regulation are some of the challenges for plant operators.
As growth in distributed embedded generation increase the risk of instability on electric utility systems, transmission and distribution utilities are tightening grid-code requirements. Each distribution area set out the minimum requirements that a licensed electricity generator must meet in carrying out its obligations to generate electricity within its service area under its license.
Some of the common problems associated with electricity issues are:
Voltage sags are the primary cause of unplanned production stoppages in industry. Causes include electrical network faults due to weather, animals across terminals, traffic accidents, load switching upstream, startup of large loads or transformer energization.
A sudden change from the nominal voltage or current may be caused by faults in the network, switching of large loads, load shedding, or switching of capacitor banks upstream in the utility network. Voltage surges also occur but may be less severe.
Momentary power loss is complete loss of voltage on one or more phase conductors between 0.5 cycles and 3 seconds. The most common forms of power failure are due to utility protection systems, e.g. recloser operations, switching, breaker tripping and equipment failures.
The use of non-linear loads is the main cause of harmonic distortion. The injection of harmonic currents results in voltage distortion which may cause electronic equipment failure, increased heat in drives and transformers, unwanted tripping, malfunction of sensitive equipment and controls and failure of imaging and scanning equipment.
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