UQ electrical engineers have produced a suite of research papers using data from the Gatton Solar Research Facility, while numerous other research outputs are either in press or under way.

Published Research

  1. L. Wang, R. Yan and T. K. Saha, “Voltage Management for Large Scale PV Integration into Weak Distribution Systems”, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, paper accepted on 6th January, 2017. DOI: 10.1109/TSG.2017.2651030 (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7812779/ )
  2. R. Yan, Y. Li, T. K. Saha, L. Wang and M. I. Hossain, “Modelling and Analysis of Open-Delta Step Voltage Regulators for Unbalanced Distribution Network with Photovoltaic Power Generation”, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, paper accepted on 13th September, 2016. DOI: 10.1109/TSG.2016.2609440 (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7567525/ )
  3. R. Yan, T. K. Saha, P. Meredith, A. Ananth and M. I. Hossain, “Megawatt-Scale Solar Variability Study: An Experience from a 1.2MWp Photovoltaic System in Australia over Three Years”, IET Renewable Power Generation, Vol. 10, No. 8, pp. 1229-1236, September, 2016. (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7564577/ )
  4. M. I. Hossain, R. Yan and T. K. Saha, “Investigation of the Interaction between Step Voltage Regulators and Large-scale Photovoltaic Systems Regarding Voltage Regulation and Unbalance”, IET Renewable Power Generation, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 299-309, March, 2016. (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7419357/ )
  5. R. Yan, T. K. Saha, P. Meredith and S. Goodwin “Analysis of Yearlong Performance of Differently Tilted Photovoltaic Systems in Brisbane, Australia”, Elsevier: Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 74, pp. 102-108, October 2013. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890413002549 )

Conference Papers (related to UQ St. Lucia and Gatton PV systems)

  1. M. J. E. Alam, R. Yan, T. K. Saha, A. Chidurala and D. Eghbal, “Learning from a 3.275 MW Utility Scale PV Plant Project”, Proceedings of the CIGRE Paris Conference 2016, Paris, France, 21st – 26th August, 2016.
  2. M. J. E. Alam, R. Yan, and T. K. Saha, “Desirable Control Features of Battery Energy Storage Systems for Commercial Scale Solar PV Plants”, Proceedings of the IEEE PES Asia-Pacific Power and Energy Engineering Conference 2015 (APPEEC), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 15-18 November, 2015. (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7380933/ )
  3. J. Krata, R. Yan, and T. K. Saha, “Medium Voltage Grid Conventional Control in the Presence of a Large Scale Photovoltaic System”, Proceedings of the IEEE PES Asia-Pacific Power and Energy Engineering Conference 2015 (APPEEC), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 15-18 November, 2015. (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7380992/ )
  4. J. Krata, T. K. Saha and R. Yan, “Large Scale Photovoltaic System and Its Impact on Distribution Network in Transient Cloud Conditions”, Proceedings of the IEEE PES General Meeting 2015, Denver, Colorado, USA, 26-30 July, 2015. (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7286591/ )
  5. Learning from a 3.275 MW Utility Scale PV Plant Project M J E ALAM1 , R YAN1 , T K SAHA1*, A CHIDURALA1 , D EGHBAL2.  Cigre 2016 Conference

Projects under way

Dr Ali Pourmousavi Kani
Temperature-Aware Battery Operation

Batteries are delicate and expensive assets where the charge/discharge regime and idle conditions determine the battery lifetime. In particular, Li-Ion battery technologies are sensitive to the operating temperature. Any charge/discharge activities can raise the cell temperature, which further degrades battery at a higher rate. In this project, the ultimate goal is to design an optimal operation strategy which accounts for battery temperature variation and resultant degradation. To do so, we will create a thermal model of battery in a container considering the ambient effect and forced ventilation. Then, we quantify the rate of degradation versus the internal battery temperature. Finally, every charge/discharge current will be examined against the proposed model in an optimisation problem to justify its economic value for the overall plant operation.  Objectives and alignment with strategic priorities: To improve the economic benefit of battery operation in PV plants which further facilitates larger integration of PV generation to the major grid

Dr Hina Khan    
Data management, exploration and visualization for smart energy grid.  

Dr Wayes Tushar    
Peer-to-Peer energy trading schemes for sustainable cities.

Dr Wen Hua
Machine learning, data analytics, and knowledge management for microgrid data.


Clean Energy Discussion Papers

GCI Discussion Paper No.6 Discussion Paper No. 7
Determining Viable Contract-for-Difference Prices and Revenue Receipts for Gatton Solar Research Facility (PDF) 2 MB

Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the role that a Contract-for-Difference (CFD) feed-in tariff might play in underpinning increased investment in renewable energy in Australia. We investigate two particular CFD designs: two-way and a one-way CFD. We develop a financial model that is capable of determining commercially viable CFD strike prices for different renewable energy projects. In this modelling, we take account of revenue from wholesale electricity market and renewable energy certificate sales. We also include capital and operational costs of the project including distribution of funds for holders of equity and debt. We present findings bases on analysis of the solar array located at UQ Campus Gatton Australia, employing a typical meteorological year framework.  Our major findings are that governments will prefer a two-way CFD design and Single-Axis tracking solar array technology. Project proponents, however, will strongly prefer a one-way CFD design.
 


GCI Discussion Paper No.6Discussion Paper No. 6
Projecting Solar PV Yield of the Solar Array Installed at UQ Gatton Campus Using NREL’s SAM Model (PDF) 2 MB

Abstract
The viability of utility scale solar PV farms will depend critically upon the annual production of such farms. A crucial determinant of solar PV yield will be prevailing solar irradiance and weather conditions.  In Australia, the combined effects of weather relating to solar irradiance, temperature and rainfall on PV yield is likely to be closely linked to the El NiƱo–Southern Oscillation ENSO cycle. To investigate this we use NREL’s SAM model to simulate electricity production from a 3.275 megawatt pilot solar PV plant at The University of Queensland’s Gatton Campus. A key finding was that the best simulated PV yields were obtained during 2013 and 2014, when ENSO neutral conditions but with an El Nino bias prevailed. The worst years were 2010 and 2011 which were characterised by moderate and weak La Nina phases of ENSO. All other years considered had average PV yield outcomes including 2015 which experienced a very strong El Nino event.


Discussion Paper No. 5
Assessment of the Comparative Productive Performance of Three Solar PV Technologies Installed at UQ Gatton Campus Using The NREL SAM Model (PDF) 2.6 MB

Abstract
The economic assessment of the viability of different types of solar PV tracking technologies centres on assessment of whether the annual production of the different tracking technologies is increased enough to compensate for the higher cost of installation and operational expenditures incurred by the tracking systems. To investigate this issue, we use the NREL’s SAM model to simulate electricity production from three representative solar PV systems installed at Gatton. In these simulations we use hourly solar irradiance, weather and surface albedo data, technical data relating to both module and inverter characteristics and impacts associated with module soiling and near-object shading. A key finding was that over the period 2007 to 2015, average increases in annual production of between 23.9 and 24.3 per cent and 38.0 and 39.1 per cent were obtained for Single Axis and Dual Axis tracking systems relative to the Fixed Tilt system.


Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of Three Solar PV Technologies Installed at UQ Gatton Campus
Discussion Paper No. 4
Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of Three Solar PV Technologies Installed at UQ Gatton Campus (PDF) 2.8 MB

Abstract
Economic assessment of the viability of different types of solar PV tracking technologies centres on assessment of whether the annual production of the different tracking technologies is increased enough relative to a benchmark Fixed Tilt system to compensate for the higher cost of installation and operation incurred by the tracking systems. To investigate this issue, we calculated the LCOE of three representative solar PV systems. These calculations depend crucially on assumptions made about ($/kW) construction costs as well as annual capacity factors of the three solar technologies considered. A key finding was that the Single Axis Tracking technology was the most cost competitive, followed by a Fixed Tilt system. A Dual Axis Tracking system was the least cost competitive technology of those considered. We also considered how LCOE could underpin a ‘Contract-for-Difference’ feed-in tariff scheme.



Discussion Paper No. 3
Comparative Productive Performance of Three Solar PV Technologies Installed at UQ Gatton Campus (PDF) 3 MB

Abstract
Economic assessment of the viability of different types of solar PV tracking technologies centres on assessment of whether the annual production of the different tracking technologies is increased enough relative to a benchmark Fixed Tilt system to compensate for the higher installation and operational costs incurred by the tracking systems. To investigate this issue, we use the PVsyst software to simulate electricity production from three representative solar PV systems installed at Gatton. In these simulations we use hourly solar irradiance, weather and surface albedo data, technical data relating to both module and inverter characteristics and impacts associated with module soiling and shading. A key finding was that over the period 2007 to 2015, average increases in simulated annual production of between 17.7 and 17.9 per cent and 36.5 and 36.7 per cent were obtained for Single-Axis and Dual-Axis tracking systems relative to the Fixed Tilt system.