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Adaptive protection of distribution systems in presence of distributed energy sources

November 16, 2022

Location: HEC-356 at 11am.


The protection system is a crucial part of the electric grid to enhance the power system’s reliability and resilience and to avoid major outages with possible cascading effects. A protection system should satisfy the sensitivity and selectivity requirements. Sensitivity is the ability of the protection system to quickly detect and isolate faults before the power grid’s stability margins are violated. Selectivity is the capability of the protection system to isolate the fault such that the least number of loads are affected by a power outage. The conventional protection system lacks the intelligence required to modify its actions based on the prevailing system conditions. It uses fixed settings for protective relays that are well-tuned only for fixed and normal operating conditions. However, in a modern distribution system (DS), the operation of the conventional protection system can be highly ineffective due to the high penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs). The introduced challenges stem from the characteristics of fault currents supplied by inverter-based resources. On the other hand, a modern DS can adopt different circuit topologies to accommodate a reliable and resilient supply of power to critical regions through multiple branches. However, changes in circuit topology will highly affect the fault currents which deteriorates the performance of protection schemes. To tackle these challenges, adaptive protection is a promising solution to effectively modify protection responses in real-time based on the prevailing system conditions. In this presentation, a resilient adaptive protection architecture is proposed. This architecture utilizes both z centralized adaptive protection system that is enhanced with local adaptive modular protection (LAMP) units. LAMP units are introduced to guarantee the resilient operation of the protection system under extreme events when the operation of the centralized adaptive protection is compromised. The presentation will elaborate the design and implementation of the adaptive protection system and LAMP units.



Ali Bidram is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, in 2008 and 2010, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA, in 2014. Before joining the University of New Mexico, he worked with Quanta Technology, LLC, and was involved in a wide range of projects in the electric power industry. His area of expertise lies within the control and protection of energy assets in power electronics-intensive energy distribution grids. Such research efforts culminated in a book, several journal papers in top publication venues and articles in peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and technical reports. He has received the University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering junior faculty teaching excellence award, the IEEE Albuquerque section outstanding engineering educator award, the New Mexico EPSCoR mentorship award, the University of Texas at Arlington N. M. Stelmakh outstanding student research award, IEEE Kansas Power and Energy Conference best paper award, and cover article of December 2014 in IEEE Control Systems.