Researches create controller, aim for renewable energy

WSU scientists make attempt to fix problem of power-sharing, published in journal



Associate Professor Ali Mehrizi-Sani discusses different types of renewable energy and its benefits on Wednesday in the Electrical-Mechanical Engineering Building.

HANNAH WELZBACKER, Evergreen reporter

WSU researchers have designed a new type of controller to address the challenge of maintaining a stable power supply when integrating renewable energy into the power system.

Led by Ali Mehrizi-Sani, associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, recent graduate Saleh Ziaeinejad and graduate student Mohammad Mousavi designed a controller for future renewable-based power systems.

The researchers have successfully tested the controllers on a simulation platform and are planning to implement it on their testbed in Mehrizi-Sani’s lab. The results of their work have been published in IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution journal.

Mehrizi-Sani said currently just under 7 percent of power generation comes from renewable sources like wind and solar, but in a few years the goal is to be closer to 100 percent.

He said some of the methods used for control or stability of the power system are geared toward conventional generation based on synchronous generator systems.

“We need to think of new ways to make sure the lights stay on with high penetration of renewables and we don’t experience blackouts,” Mehrizi-Sani said.

The WSU researchers’ new mechanism is trying to fix the problem of power-sharing, the ability of generation resources to distribute load power among themselves according to their limits.

He said generally it is preferred to have power-sharing be autonomous and done locally by each generator.

Mehrizi-Sani said the project’s impact will be a larger integration of renewables.