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Load Sharing Techniques in Hybrid Power Systems for DC Micro-grids

Wei Jiang, Ph.D. Member IEEE

Smart Energy Laboratory School of Energy and Power Engineering Yangzhou University 196 Huayangxilu Rd, Room N521 Yangzhou, China, 225127
AbstractDC micro-grids is an advanced electric delivery infrastructure candidate for future Smart Grid. By interactively integrating a wide selection of renewable sources, energy storages as well as traditional utility grid within a local power network, DC micro-grids can achieve economical system operation, and bing local survivability to critical zones. As important supplement to conventional generation means, properly used renewable sources and energy storages can minimize the operational costs and maximize the system performance. Power converter system with multi-input and integrated structure is capable of processing and managing multiple sources and storages simultaneously, which is being considered as the prospective building blocks of future DC and AC micro-grids. This paper presents two new load sharing methods in dc-dc conversion for multiple inputs. First, a detailed survey will be conducted to show the status of load sharing methods in dc-dc power conversion; new requirements for load sharing operation in a DC micro-grid environment will be proposed; a cascade and a parallel organized load sharing control system proposed by the authors are presented and discussed for a multi-source/storage hybrid power system; both simulation and experimental results will be presented in the last section to prove the effectiveness of the new load sharing methods. Keywords- load sharing, hybrid power systems, DC micro-grids, digital control, power converter, Multi-port Power Electronic Interface (MPEI)

Yu Zhang1, Student Member IEEE

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department University of Miami Coral Gables, Fl 33146

environmental inputs will directly affect the generation outputs, which will mismatch the generation and load demand. Co-generation system is one of the solutions to those challenges; such systems, commonly made-up of low-medium power gas turbines etc, can help branch the power if load or generation is subjected to fluctuation. The co-gen system usually locates near or within the power plant, which provides the power-in-demand at a faster rate than large synchronous generators. Numerous efforts have been dedicated in building and improving current power systems, which are designed to deliver sufficient and reliable power to the customers. In addition to the advanced generation technologies, developing new architecture of advanced electricity delivery system is one of the most promising ways to balance the power generation for local survivability. DC micro-grids is one of these advanced infrastructures which seamlessly integrates different kinds of conventional & renewable energy sources, energy storages and loads within a local power network [1][2][3][4]. Comparing to conventional gas turbine based co-gen techniques, DC microgrids owns following salient advantages, Local power branching Versatile energy source and storage interface Enhanced survivability and reliability Enabled interactive customer behaviors



As the demand for electric power growing daily, current power networks are facing more stringent challenges. The first challenge is the power shortage: upon the advent of the concept ''more electric'', changes take place in a variety of sectors: from heavy-duty industrial applications to low power portable home appliances, which excessively burden the aging power system. The second challenge is random consumer behaviors and power system accident: large inertia power plant generators are inept to react to sudden changes of load pattern; and this situation can lead to a higher generation cost and abnormal fluctuation of real time electricity price in a deregulated power market. The third challenge is high penetration of renewable power: similar to the previous problem, the changing

Due to the self-evident advantages, micro-grids can be the building blocks for future Smart-Grid, harvesting, storing and dispatching high quality and reliable power to the local customers. In presence of multiple renewable energy sources, high fidelity injection of power to the DC micro-grids is required; this, in brief, translates into a stable dc bus voltage regardless of input power variation. While the environment energy supply has too much uncertainty, affordable energy storages at lowmedium power level can be used to help the power leverage. The energy storage can be integrated into the hybrid power generation unit/system in a number of ways; among the different options, parallel organization is one of the best

Yu Zhang's work was partially supported by the NSF research grant 0652300

978-1-4244-6255-1/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE

choices that can provide the best flexibility and performances [5]. In such parallel organized hybrid power systems, the load sharing among sources and storages in generation mode is a critical issue. Load sharing techniques were reported in the literature during the past decades, which, in the early days, was mainly for power enhancement, such as voltage regulators and communication power supplies [6][7]. With higher penetration of renewable power, load sharing is applied to management of multiple sources and storages. There are mainly two types of method for load sharing: network method [8][9] and local control method [10][11]. Network based control relies on communication means, which can introduce propagation delays and communication errors in a switching power environment. Local control of individual source is very effective for load sharing control; however, without a dynamic link between individual controllers, the system could have poor performance at load transients. This paper will introduce two novel load sharing methods, cascade and parallel organized, for both steady state and dynamic operation. Both methods provide a dynamic link between the control loops of the energy source and the energy storage converter, therefore, can react to load dynamic at first time. The principles and case studies are presented in the paper, simulation and experimental results are provided to prove the feasibility of the proposed design. II.

Figure 1(b) is a dual converter structure for a multi-source power processing, which is commonly used in DC micro-grids. Two converters share the load power in a controlled manner; and DC-link voltage is stabilized by either one of those converters or the main power source. Individual local controller can be designed for each one of the converters; however, a supervising power controller must be present to pass the voltage/current references for each converter. Failure of power controller for one updating cycle could endanger the system during load transients. Therefore, a dynamic link between the two individual control systems is required to ensure the system performance during load steady state as well as transients. III. CASCADED LOAD SHARING METHOD

A cascaded load sharing system is proposed in Figure 2[12]. A battery and an ultra-cap are used in this case study. These two energy storages are connected to the output terminal through two bi-directional dc-dc converters so that the power may flow through the battery as well as the ultra-cap in both directions. A main power source is connected to the DC voltage bus through appropriate power converters and the load is directly connected to the DC micro-grid main bus. The goal of the active hybrid power system is to accommodate the varying load demands through regulation of the load sharing between the battery and the ultra-cap.

Unlike conventional utility power system and AC microgrids counterpart, DC micro-grid is a heavily power electronics based system. Figure 1(a) indicates a simple structure for DC micro-grids, where multiple sources and storages are integrated into the system using switching power converters.

Figure 2. The cascaded load sharing control system


(b) Figure 1. DC micro-grids (a) system organization, (b) multi-converter system

Figure 3. Dynamic load sharing curve

As indicated in Figure 2, the battery converter is used to stabilize the main DC bus voltage while the ultra-cap output current reference is determined by the measured battery output current. As indicated in the figure, the battery current is measured, filtered and curved by a current sharing scheme; the processed battery current value is used as the current reference for the ultra-cap current loop. Since the battery output current is dependent on the load, the ultra-cap current is dependent on the load as well. Therefore, various power sharing ratios can be dynamically chosen under different load demands. The dynamic current sharing strategy is shown in Figure 3, an adaptive current reference gain scheme is used. As can be seen from the figure, the current output ratio between the battery and ultra-cap is pre-determined. IV. PARALLEL LOAD SHARING METHODS-CQCS APPROACH

scaling factor Fx. During the load transient (step or pulse load), current reference generated by voltage controller is subject to change and reflects as a dynamic reference for inner current loop; since current reference IRef* is shared by two current control loops, the dynamics is also shared between two channels. The resulted controlled channel current is named Controlled Quasi-Current Source (CQCS).

x =1

* I Re f Fx

H ( s)

= I IN


Ix =

x =1




A parallel load sharing method [5] proposed by the author is shown in Figure 4, which was successfully applied in Multiport Power Electronic Interface [13][14]. An integrated control structure is proposed as indicated, where Cv(s) is the voltage controller, Ci1/i2(s) is the current controller, Hv(s)/Hi1,2(s) is the voltage/current transducer gain, Fm is PWM modulator gain, F1,2 is the adjusting control block. Since output power of each source has to be regulated, inductor current has to be regulated directly/indirectly. Therefore, average current-mode (ACM) control is one of the best candidates for local control. The common target of two dc-dc converter channel is to keep dclink voltage at a constant value; output voltage (dc-link) voltage is measured and sent back to compare with the reference voltage, the resulted voltage error is fed into the voltage controller to generate a current controller reference. Programmed current reference signal is scaled by two controllable scaling gains F1 and F2 and fed into individual current controller respectively. Since current reference for each controller is different, current in each inductor can be controlled for load sharing purposes.

A. Simulation results for cascaded load sharing method To study the dynamic power sharing strategy and investigate the system performance, the batteries and ultra-cap hybrid power system is modeled and simulated in VTB platform. The battery is configured as 6 cells in series and 10 cells in parallel. The ultra-cap represents a 200F bank with a 32V rated voltage. The DC bus voltage is regulated at 42V. The main power source is represented by a constant current source. Figure 5 shows the output discharging and charging current of the battery and the ultra-cap. The pulse lasts 20 seconds in 100 second period. In this time duration, the ultra-cap discharges more current. The discharging current of the battery is around 8 A. The discharging current of the ultra-cap is around 11.75 A. After the 20 seconds pulse, two devices are all in the charging mode. The battery charging current is about 4 A. The ultra-cap charging current is about 1.75A. The results match their correlative functions. Figure 6 shows the waveform of the power of main power source, load, battery and ultra-cap. The peak load is around 700 W. The main power is around 200 W. When the battery is in the discharging mode, its output power is about 200W and the ultra-cap output power is around 300 W. The load is provided by the battery, the ultra-cap and the main power source. B. Experimental results for parallel load sharing method In this parallel load sharing test, a 42V PEM fuel cell and a 36V battery pack is used. And DC micro-grid bus is set to 100V. Steady state and dynamic load sharing can be implemented by adjusting the control vector F based on Equation (1) and (2). Figure 7 indicates the steady state load sharing with the same and different current programmed reference. The change of control vector is triggered on a timely basis, the control vector for battery and fuel cell current is configured as [1/3, 1], [1, 1], [1, 1/2], [1/2, 1] respectively for the segment from left to right in the figure. By modifying the control vector, the current drawn from each source can be precisely controlled for power dispatching and efficiency optimization purposes. Pulse load is also applied to the system with CQCS controlled current loop. Figure 8 presents the current in fuel

Figure 4. The parallel load sharing control system

The control vector F=[F1, F2] is used to adjust the current sharing portion between two different sources; the generic expression for source currents and F is given in Equation (1) and (2), where x=1,2, IRef* is the current reference generated from voltage controller, IIN is the summation of two channel currents. As shown in the equations, steady state current share Ix of each channel is proportional to the weight of its own

cell and battery under pulse load test. As can be seen from the waveforms, the fuel cell and the battery share the same amount of source current as the control vector F is set to [1,1].

experimental results in meaningful mode of operation are presented to prove the effectiveness of load sharing methods.

Figure 8. Pulse load sharing with CQCS - even current sharing Figure 5. Output current of the battery and ultra-cap

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[3] [4] [5]

[6] Figure 6. Behaviors of power of main power source, load, battery and ultracap [7]


[9] [10]

[11] Figure 7. Steady state load sharing with CQCS




This paper conducts a detailed survey on DC micro-grids and load sharing technique. Two novel and effective load sharing methods are proposed by the authors, which are organized in cascaded and paralleled fashion. The details of control loop structures are explained, simulation and