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Advanced control advice for power systems with large scale integration of renewable energy source

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Making renewable energy more feasible

The earth's non-renewable energy sources, such as fossil fuels, are quickly being depleted. This reality, along with the fact that these traditional sources pollute the environment, makes it imperative that new sources of energy are found and that ways of utilising environmentally friendly renewable energy in an efficient and cost-effective manner are designed. Fortunately, a consortium of Greek, French, Portuguese, and British professionals developed innovative software that helps to optimise the utilisation of renewable energy in power systems.

Energy

Renewable energy occurs in different forms. Hydropower captures the kinetic energy of water, while solar energy converts energy from the sun into electricity. In addition, wind power is created using propeller-like windmills that could generate electricity. All these alternatives to traditional forms of fossil fuel energy are environmentally friendly as well as renewable, meaning that they cannot be depleted through centuries of use. With these alternatives in mind, and with the fact that cost-effective and efficient means of harnessing renewable energy sources are difficult to establish, these researchers created CARE. This adaptable and advanced control software advises operators of medium and large-scale isolated power systems (such as islands) on how to maximise the use of renewable energy resources. CARE integrates renewable energy availabilities and prioritises system security and reliability. This innovative software is also cost-effective as it ensures maximum fuel savings, and in this way stresses the feasibility of using renewable energy resources for power systems. Furthermore, CARE software comprises a variety of modules while using standard hardware, which enhances this product's flexibility, versatility, and utilisation in many power systems throughout Europe and beyond. The first CARE software module is for forecasting wind energy load and renewability for short and longer time scales. Also, there is an operational planning module that serves to advise operators about switching thermal units on or off. This module is especially useful in minimising operating costs and meeting operational constraints. In addition, the security assessment module ensures security in functions and rules by warning operators of insecure dispatching. It also monitors any disturbances and thus attains online security. Finally, all these modules provide data with a user-friendly Man-Machine interface. In fact, CARE software has been successfully used in a Control Centre on the island of Crete, Greece. This pilot installation exhibited satisfactory forecasting results, economic gains, and accuracy in security. In essence, this pilot project demonstrated the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of utilising renewable energy resources with the CARE software, and its designers hope to enhance European competitiveness by urging utilities companies to take advantage of renewable energy resources while saving the environment.

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