Engineering » Energy Engineering

Distributed Generation

Edited by D N Gaonkar, ISBN 978-953-307-046-9, 414 pages, Publisher: InTech, Chapters published February 01, 2010 under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license
DOI: 10.5772/55693
Edited Volume

In the recent years the electrical power utilities have undergone rapid restructuring process worldwide. Indeed, with deregulation, advancement in technologies and concern about the environmental impacts, competition is particularly fostered in the generation side, thus allowing increased interconnection of generating units to the utility networks. These generating sources are called distributed generators (DG) and defined as the plant which is directly connected to distribution network and is not centrally planned and dispatched. These are also called embedded or dispersed generation units. The rating of the DG systems can vary between few kW to as high as 100 MW. Various new types of distributed generator systems, such as microturbines and fuel cells in addition to the more traditional solar and wind power are creating significant new opportunities for the integration of diverse DG systems to the utility. Interconnection of these generators will offer a number of benefits such as improved reliability, power quality, efficiency, alleviation of system constraints along with the environmental benefits. Unlike centralized power plants, the DG units are directly connected to the distribution system; most often at the customer end. The existing distribution networks are designed and operated in radial configuration with unidirectional power flow from centralized generating station to customers. The increase in interconnection of DG to utility networks can lead to reverse power flow violating fundamental assumption in their design. This creates complexity in operation and control of existing distribution networks and offers many technical challenges for successful introduction of DG systems. Some of the technical issues are islanding of DG, voltage regulation, protection and stability of the network. Some of the solutions to these problems include designing standard interface control for individual DG systems by taking care of their diverse characteristics, finding new ways to/or install and control these DG systems and finding new design for distribution system. DG has much potential to improve distribution system performance. The use of DG strongly contributes to a clean, reliable and cost effective energy for future. This book deals with several aspects of the DG systems such as benefits, issues, technology interconnected operation, performance studies, planning and design. Several authors have contributed to this book aiming to benefit students, researchers, academics, policy makers and professionals. We are indebted to all the people who either directly or indirectly contributed towards the publication of this book.