The IRoN Project


This project aims to study rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system integration effects on Tunisian electrical distribution network (EDN). The solar photovoltaic energy has been promoted for residential (policies subsidies for encouragement, special pricing, etc.) since several years, in Tunisia, where electrical energy consumption in residential sector is important: more than 30% of the total electrical energy consumption. So, actual situation analysis leads to some questions:


Actual situation analysis leads to some questions:

  1. How to ensure high quality high availability requirements of residential although PV energy intermittence and uncertainty?
  2. How to cope with decades old Tunisian electrical infrastructure and probably ill-suited to widespread proliferation of PV grid connected systems.
  3. How large integration of PV systems will affect grid stability and especially EDN
  4. How to cope with voltage and frequency variations due to large scale PV grid integration?
  5. How much rooftop PV systems Tunisian EDN will be able to integrate if no special carewould be taken of?


Several solutions are worldwide prospected, some probably well adapted to Tunisian conditions, others not. This project aims to investigate, using Power Hardware-in-the-Loop (PHIL) approach, some solutions considered as promising to cope with voltage and frequency variations due to PV systems integrations on EDN, considering Tunisian conditions.
Special solutions to investigate will be distributed storage systems since several private Tunisian companies are interested in, self consumption with local storage and micro grids as concepts. This project will generate a dataset in the field of PV, residential load profiles. This database will serve to establish Tunisian computer models which will run in real-time coupled to a hardware test setup to validate holistic PV-battery energy storage inverter control applied across a Tunisian EDN, under different loading scenarios and with varying penetrations of PV-only and PV-energy storage units combined. The expected PHIL-based testbed will allow researchers and manufacturers to safely evaluate energy technologies performance and reliability: autonomous devices and their control parameters but also their interaction with Tunisian EDN. Our USG-supported partner has an experience and knowledge in energy, power and control related to micro grids incorporating PV and storage systems and his advices will help to success this present project.

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