Research of Low-Voltage Direct Current Distribution
The roles of power electronic converters and information and communications systems (ICT) are constantly growing in electric power systems. Power electronics is used in electricity generation and transmission but also in the end-use of electricity. Converters are used to connect growing numbers of energy storages, especially batteries, into grids. Data processing and transfer is increasingly needed and used for controlling and managing the system and the energy resources, making power technology embedded ICT a crucial part of the system. The smart functionalities of power electronics together with embedded ICT provide means to meet the stringent demands imposed on the cost efficiency and service quality of electricity distribution.
LVDC is one of the new disturbing technologies that has the potential of revolutionising the structure and operation of electricity distribution networks, power system and energy markets. In our research the large-scale systems are focused, including utility networks, shipboard power systems and industrial applications. The adoption of LVDC systems is supported by the favourable price development of power electronics, the significant increase in the transmission capacity of low-voltage grids, and the improved grid service quality. Research activities include topics form the development of energy- and cost efficient converters, protection and monitoring solutions, management systems and optimisation methodologies for grid and system planning. The scope of the research is presented in the figure below.
An example of the recent research results is the first LVDC system built together with the distribution company Suur-Savon Sähkö Oy in summer 2012. This LVDC grid is in constant use in public electricity distribution. See more: Pilot sites and demos.