20 September 2018 2018 10:18 AM GMT

Distributed Generation: A Lynchpin For The Small And Medium Scale Renewables

Event Spotlight: IET Distributed Generation 2018 (6 – 8 November 2018 | University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

So, what is Distributed Generation and why is it important to renewables?

In the past electricity was typically supplied by big centralised plants that transmitted the power over long distances before being distributed locally to the intended users.

Distributed Generation, on the other hand, is a much more decentralised method of power generation, where either a local site will distribute its power to local users or small networks can feed into and operate as small contributors to the larger power grid. This can be used to provide an alternative to or an enhancement for the traditional electric power system.

The individual devices that supply power to these distributed networks are called Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and are made up of a variety of decentralised, modular and flexible technologies that are either renewables, small-scale fossil-fuel based or power storage devices that can reintroduce previously stored excess power to the distribution network.

In recent years there’s been a massive increase in distributed generators seeking to connect to the distribution network making adequate training in this critical step in the process essential.

Often the power supplies of DER’s is intermittent and there are technical challenges to ensure DER supplied power can be safely integrated into pre-existing distribution networks, so the field is rapidly developing.  Testing and applying new solutions is crucial to ensure that grid-requirements are met in this fast-growing and increasingly vital field.


The significance of the IET Distributed Generation course and how it can benefit you.

This November the IET is running its 4th annual course on Distributed Generation in Glasgow covering the principles, practices and fundamentals that will enable practitioners to really hit the ground running with what they’ve learnt when they get back to work.

The course will run over 3 days and include two tailored off-site technical visits – one to the Power Network Demonstration Centre (PNDC) and the other to Whitelee Windfarm.

PNDC was the first of its kind in Europe.  The centre’s vision is to undertake a range of innovative projects that will accelerate the adoption of new smart technologies, including advanced power grids incorporating renewable generation and will give course delegates the chance to see how their new knowledge is applied to real systems. It’s 11 kV and LV network environment are representative of UK networks and secure test bays allow the pre-commercial testing of primary (HV and LV) equipment and secondary (control, protection and measurement) equipment prior to being implemented in public networks.

Whitelee Windfarm is the largest on-shore wind farm in the UK, 215 turbines that generate enough to power almost 300,000 homes and couldn’t be a better example of how committed the UK is to employing renewable energy sources. It is owned by ScottishPower Renewables, which is a subsidiary of Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest developers of renewable energy, and each of its turbines generate up to 2.3MW.

Each of the three days of the course have been themed differently – the fundamentals, the connection to the network and the associated challenges of distributed generation.  All sessions delivered by some of the leading industrial and academic groups and experts in the field, including National Grid, Siemens and the University of Strathclyde

It’s been designed to be a combination of technical information and real-world case studies and you will study a large range of topics, from induction generators to power electronics, protection and standards. Standards covered include; The GB Distribution Code, G59, G83, G74, P28 and the European Standards and Network Codes – and if any of those sound foreign to you they’ll be second hand by the end!

You will receive a course folder with all of the presentations and course notes in it, so you can keep everything you learned on hand, to keep it fresh in mind for future use. There will also be a complementary drinks reception to ensure the best opportunity to network with fellow delegates and expert speakers, you’ll be sure to establish professional contacts you can make use of for years to come.

To find out more about the IET Distributed Generation Course for 2018 and how it can enhance your experience and use of renewables, please visit here.

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