Power Quality Improvement in Micro Hydropower Plants through FPGA-Based Harmonic Elimination in Electronic Load Controller

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Muhammad Kamran, Faiz Ullah, Aman Khan, Zeeshan Umar, Inam Ullah, Imtiaz Rasool, Ismail Khan


Micro hydropower plants (MHPP) have gained significant attention as renewable energy source due to their environmental friendliness and potential for local power generation. However, the presence of voltage and current harmonics due to the variations in the load of micro hydropower plants can deteriorate power quality and cause operational challenges. Traditionally, an electronic load controller (ELC) has been an essential part of the MHPP, whose main function is to keep the power consumption equal to the generated power in order to keep the voltage and frequency stable. In this paper, we propose an innovative approach to enhance power quality in MHPP through the implementation of an FPGA-based harmonic elimination technique in an ELC. The proposed system employs an FPGA-based ELC, which enables real-time monitoring and control of load characteristics. By employing an advanced harmonic elimination technique using a discrete-time PID controller inside the FPGA, the system effectively eliminates voltage and current harmonics, resulting in improved power quality. The FPGA-based implementation provides high-speed and accurate control, allowing for rapid response to dynamic load changes. Experimental results obtained from a prototype of the FPGA-based ELC design demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed system in significantly reducing harmonics and enhancing power quality. Comparative analysis with traditional control techniques confirms the superiority of the FPGA-based approach in terms of harmonic elimination performance. The proposed system offers a cost-effective and reliable solution for enhancing power quality in micro hydropower plants, thereby facilitating their integration into the grid and promoting sustainable energy practices. The proposed design was first simulated in the MATLAB Simulink and then a complete hardware model was implemented using a Xilinx FPGA and tested on an MHPP site. It performed very well on the physical site.

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