Grid-Forming Inverters at Scale: A journey from a single microgrid to a bulk power system with 10,000+ inverters

Dr. Wei Du


This presentation will be a journey from a single microgrid to an integrated transmission & distribution system with 10,000+ inverters. The presentation includes three parts. First, it will review the basic concepts of droop control and share the field experience on how CERTS Microgrid deals with overload events through autonomous control design. Second, it will provide a comparative study of two widely used grid-forming controls: single- and multi-loop droop controls. An insight will be provided to help understand the differences between the two widely used control strategies. EMT simulation, small signal analysis, and HIL testing will be provided to verify and explain this understanding. Finally, this presentation will share some simulation work performed on an integrated T&D co-simulation platform that has 10,000+ grid-forming and grid-following inverters leveraging the U.S. DOE invested open-source tools. The stability boundary identified through this case study will be discussed.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Wei Du received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2014. His main areas of research are control design, modeling, and simulation of power systems with high penetration of power electronics devices. He is currently a staff research engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and serves as the Principal Investigator for several multi-million-dollar projects funded by U.S Department of Energy that focus on studying the impacts of high penetration of inverter-based resources on the transient and dynamic behaviors of power systems at different scales. He serves as the technical lead of the Modeling and Simulation Area of the Universal Interoperability for Grid-Forming Inverters (unifi) Consortium co-funded by U. S. Department of Energy solar and wind offices. Prior to joining PNNL, he worked as a post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2016 to 2018. He also worked as a Research Engineer at the key power system Real Time Digital Simulation (RTDS) lab of China Southern Power Grid Company from 2014 to 2016. He serves as an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid.