IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - 68

Distribution systems face many challenges
due to the introduction of new agents, enablers,
and requirements.
immediately covered by the battery, allowing for the system's continuous operation. There have been high-impact
events during the operational life of the Huatacondo microgrid that demonstrate the capability of this technological solution.
2012 Venida

During the summer months (January and February), there
is a climatic phenomenon known as "Altiplano winter,"
which is a rainy season originating in the Bolivian Altiplano.
Some years, this rain produces large inflows in the Andes
streams, such as the one that flows near Huatacondo. In
2012, a large water inflow caused a mud avalanche (venida)
that blocked the route that connects Huatacondo with other
locations, so the fuel supply was cut for approximately three
months. Careful microgrid operation based on local resources
(the sun) and stocked fuel allowed for continued operation
when the route was blocked, significantly reducing the location's fuel dependency.
2014 Iquique earthquake

On 1 April 2014, there was an earthquake that measured 8.2 on the Richter scale with an epicenter approximately 95 km (59 mi) northwest of Iquique. That quake
produced a complete blackout of the northern interconnected system: 17 h after the event there were approxima tely 38,000 consumers without power. Huatacondo
did not experience any type of power interruption during
the earthquake.
2014 Storm

On 23 May 2014, there was an unexpected storm in the north
of Chile with high-speed winds and sleet. As a result of the
storm, a wind turbine fell down, making the power supply
from that component unavailable. However, microgrid operation was not interrupted due to support from the batteries
and the diesel genset.

Ollagüe
This microgrid was developed in the small town of Ollagüe,
Antofagasta region, Chile, a village along the AntofagastaBolivia railway. The town is at an altitude of 3,700 m above
mean sea level with a marginal desert climate. There is a
large temperature variation between day and night (changes
of up to 22 °C), with the absolute minimum temperature
reaching −20 °C during the winter season. Ollagüe was not
connected to the national grid but just to a system powered
68

ieee power & energy magazine

by a 250-kW diesel genset, which didn't supply electricity
from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.
A microgrid was developed with the following objectives: supply energy to the town for 24 h/day, seven
days/week; minimize fuel consumption of the existing
diesel generator; test advanced renewable generation and
storage  systems in a harsh environment (the great temperature fluctuation between day and night and extreme
solar radiation in a rarefied atmosphere); and develop
technical solutions for a fast-growing market of microgrid
developments. This project was developed by Enel Green
Power with the cooperation of the Energy Center, Universidad de Chile. The characteristics of the microgrid are
as follows:
✔ solar PV: 200 kWp (thin film modules)
✔ storage: 200 kW, 752 kWh (sodium nickel chloride)
✔ wind turbine: 30 kW
✔ diesel generator: 410 kVA
✔ separate dish stirling engines: two, providing warm
water to the local school.
There have not been many high-impact events since the
Ollagüe microgrid began operating in April 2015. There
was an event that tested the black start capability of this
microgrid. On 3 November 2015, there was a fault in the
medium-voltage line that joins the PV and wind power plant
with the rest of the system, which caused a complete blackout of the microgrid. Figure 3(b) shows the daily operation
of the microgrid during that day, with the fault occurring
at approximately 13:00 h. The microgrid was completely
recovered 1 h later.

Puertecitos
Puertecitos is a small village located in Baja California,
Mexico. Like the previous two cases, it is an isolated location dependent on a diesel genset with limited power supply.
In this case, there is a clear opportunity to promote tourism activities if a continuous power supply is guaranteed.
The Autonomous University of Baja California led this project that began operation in January 2016. The Puertecitos
microgrid diagram is shown in Figure 4. The Puertecitos
microgrid comprises the following:
✔ storage: 100 kW, 522 kWh
✔ solar PV: 55 kW
✔ wind turbine: 5 kW
✔ diesel generator: 75 kVA.
One of the most important challenges of this microgrid
is related to the large temperature variation. During the
may/june 2017



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