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Ideas for Control of Low-Inertia Microgrids with Inverter-Based Resources

Ali Mehrizi-Sani


Power systems have been historically expected to operate in a plug-and-play fashion. In the conventional power system, because of its ample inertia and large generators, frequent small changes in the system may not pose any significant challenge. However, moving forward, as (i) the system is segmented into smaller portions possibly operating autonomously (islanded microgrids) or as virtual power plants (VPP), or (ii) the resources become more sensitive to changes (low- or no-inertia power electronics–based inverters), the need to ensure that the system dynamics are regulated increases to avoid apparatus malfunction, dynamic response challenges, and protection issues. Set point automatic adjustment with correction enabled (SPAACE) is an add-on strategy to improve the performance of an existing controller when the controller itself is gray boxed—a common scenario with inverters associated with utility-installed renewable systems. This talk discusses the foundational ideas behind SPAACE, its implementation challenges, and applications in several scenarios, including in an experimental test bed. This new strategy allows for simpler and faster implementation of SPAACE in practical systems.


Ali Mehrizi-Sani received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto in 2011. He is currently an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. His areas of interest include power system applications of power electronics and integration of renewable energy resources. He is an editor of IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, IEEE Power Engineering Letters, Energies, and MDPI Electronics. He was also an editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, and Wiley International Transactions on Electrical Energy Systems (ITEES). He was the Chair of IEEE Task Force on Dynamic System Equivalents and Secretary of CIGRE Working Group C4.34 on Application of PMUs for Monitoring Power System Dynamic Performance. He is the recipient of 2018 IEEE PES Outstanding Young Engineer Award, 2018 ASEE PNW Outstanding Teaching Award, 2017 IEEE Mac E. Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award, 2017 WSU EECS Early Career Excellence in Research, 2016 WSU VCEA Reid Miller Excellence in Teaching Award, 2011 NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, and 2007 Dennis Woodford prize. He was a Connaught Scholar at the University of Toronto from 2007 to 2011.

Ali Mehrizi-Sani Headshot
Ali Mehrizi-Sani
Virginia Tech
Virtual Zoom Lecture
26 Jan 2021, 10:30am until 11:30am