Power systems with high renewable energy sources: A review of inertia and frequency control strategies over time
Traditionally, inertia in power systems has been determined by considering all the rotating masses directly connected to the grid. During the last decade, the integration of renewable energy sources, mainly photovoltaic installations and wind power plants, has led to a significant dynamic characteristic change in power systems. This change is mainly due to the fact that most renewables have power electronics at the grid interface. The overall impact on stability and reliability analysis of power systems is very significant. The power systems become more dynamic and require a new set of strategies modifying traditional generation control algorithms. Indeed, renewable generation units are decoupled from the grid by electronic converters, decreasing the overall inertia of the grid. 'Hidden inertia', 'synthetic inertia' or 'virtual inertia' are terms currently used to represent artificial inertia created by converter control of the renewable sources. Alternative spinning reserves are then needed in the new power system with high penetration renewables, where the lack of rotating masses directly connected to the grid must be emulated to maintain an acceptable power system reliability. This paper reviews the inertia concept in terms of values and their evolution in the last decades, as well as the damping factor values. A comparison of the rotational grid inertia for traditional and current averaged generation mix scenarios is also carried out. In addition, an extensive discussion on wind and photovoltaic power plants and their contributions to inertia in terms of frequency control strategies is included in the paper.