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Title: TeleLab for decentralized hybrid power system with renewables
Author: Kolhe, Pankaj Tarachand
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 101X
Awarding Body: University of Bolton
Current Institution: University of Bolton
Date of Award: 2017
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Training, education and research on renewable based power systems and automation is the topic of discourse among scientific and academic community. Renewable energy generation technologies are viewed as one of the solution that could significantly contribute to solve the problems associated with global warming and environment destruction. They are clean, available in abundance and distributed in nature. This means, on one side, there are huge solar or wind parks generating energy for large number of households connected over grid and on the other side, there are stand-alone systems capable of satisfying energy requirements of a single household. For efficient operation and control of these systems, trained and educated power system engineers are required. In order to increase acceptability of these systems among common people, awareness regarding the system and its operation is significant. Theoretical and simulation based platforms are useful but not sufficient to deliver power systems education. There is requirement of a platform which would offer opportunity of learning through interaction with real system hardware. It should be affordable, easy to access and familiar to most of the users. The concept should extend further to include a defined learning methodology which could offer the best education value from the experiment. In this thesis, methodology to use the idea of TeleLab (also known as remote lab or web lab) for Hybrid Power System (HPS) with renewables is proposed, implemented and evaluated on the basis of its purpose to offer high educational value to the users and its ability to promote knowledge and technology transfer between users and institutions all over the world. The purpose of this PhD work is to take advantage of remote communication technology like internet to access labs or research facilities/infrastructure to promote power systems education. This work is aimed at developing a TeleLab with focus on renewable based HPS. The knowledge of information technology, automation technology and power systems engineering is used to describe best practice to perform renewable energy experiments from remote location. The remote experiment platform would be cost effective and could be used for technology and knowledge transfer among users located in remotely accessible areas, those with physical disabilities, those representing educational and research institutions and including those who represent professional firms. Resources could be shared between different institutions along with promoting collaborative learning and research activities focused on power engineering education. Development of this remote platform to perform real experiments offer several economic advantages to the users like saving in travel time and costs, saving in infrastructure investments, saving in lab personnel costs, possibility to use the experiment environment with greater flexibility and for longer time. Social advantages offered by this approach to the user are in terms of possibility to establish good work-life balance. Significant benefits are offered for users from developing or poor countries where possibilities of investments in costly lab infrastructure are rare. The thesis discusses scientific contribution to knowledge like design, development and implementation of the hardware structure of HPS consisting of renewable energy technologies like solar and wind supported by battery system. Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is used to automate the HPS which functions as a “smart system” contributing to the idea of smart grid. It performs operations like reading and recording system parameters, monitoring and control of system components, management of system load and management of battery charging mechanism. This follows by design, development and implementation of TeleLab to monitor and control the system from remote location over internet. This involves the task of development and implementation of safety and security measures related to the proposed system. It was aimed to develop a remote lab which offers high educational value to the user. This was achieved by proposing innovative thinking in designing and development of learning activities on MOODLE learning management system. To facilitate efficient solving of issues related to the lab and to encourage participation of users in the experiment design and development process, a feedback mechanism was proposed. Methodology to analyze, evaluate and assess system as well as user performance assisted by possibility to provide suggestions or guidance for improvement was proposed. The thesis concludes by presenting results about the performance of the HPS using TeleLab platform and its impact over user performance with respect to knowledge and technology transfer. This analysis is performed by evaluating and assessing user performance in comparison to hands-on lab and TeleLab. Economic impact of remote experimentation for users and institutions is discussed in this thesis. At the end, possible future aspects of this concept are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Sunwater Project ; National Research Fund (NRF) South Africa and DLR Germany ; TEMPUS Project
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available