Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Osama Mohammed

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kemal Akkaya

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Mohammed Hadi

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Sakhrat Khizrorv

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Mark J. Roberts

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Controls and Control Theory, Electrical and Electronics, Power and Energy, Systems and Communications

Date of Defense



Today’s Smart Grid constitutes several smaller interconnected microgrids. However, the integration of converter-interfaced distributed generation (DG) in microgrids has raised several issues such as the fact that fault currents in these systems in islanded mode are way less than those in grid connected microgrids. Therefore, microgrid protection schemes require a fast, reliable and robust communication system, with backup, to automatically adjust relay settings for the appropriate current levels according to the microgrid’s operation mode. However, risks of communication link failures, cyber security threats and the high cost involved to avoid them are major challenges for the implementation of an economic adaptive protection scheme. This dissertation proposes an adaptive protection scheme for AC microgrids which is capable of surviving communication failures. The contribution is the use of an energy storage system as the main contributor to fault currents in the microgrid’s islanded mode when the communication link fails to detect the shift to the islanded mode. The design of an autonomous control algorithm for the energy storage’s AC/DC converter capable of operating when the microgrid is in both grid-connected and islanded mode.

Utilizing a single mode of operation for the converter will eliminate the reliance on communicated control command signals to shift the controller between different modes. Also, the ability of the overall system to keep stable voltage and frequency levels during extreme cases such as the occurrence of a fault during a peak pulse load period. The results of the proposed protection scheme showed that the energy storage -inverter system is able to contribute enough fault current for a sufficient duration to cause the system protection devices to clear the fault in the event of communication loss. The proposed method was investigated under different fault types and showed excellent results of the proposed protection scheme. In addition, it was demonstrated in a case study that, whenever possible, the temporary disconnection of the pulse load during the fault period will allow the utilization of smaller energy storage device capacity to feed fault currents and thus reduce the overall expenditures.

Also, in this dissertation we proposed a hybrid hardware-software co-simulation platform capable of modeling the relation between the cyber and physical parts to provide a protection scheme for the microgrid. The microgrid was simulated on MATLAB/Simulink SimPowerSystems to model the physical system dynamics, whereas all control logic was implemented on embedded microcontrollers communicating over a real network. This work suggested a protection methodology utilizing contemporary communication technologies between multi-agents to protect the microgrid.






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