Island operation capability in the Colombian electrical market: a promising ancillary service of distributed energy resources

  • Juan D. Marín-Jiménez Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Sandra X. Carvajal-Quintero Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Josep M. Guerrero Universidad de Aalborg
Keywords: Distributed Energy Resources, Distributed Generation, Microgrids, Islanded Operation Capability


Nowadays most distributed generators are not designed to operate under islanded conditions. The ancillary service of islanded operation capability is proposed as a technical support service with the ability to increase the reliability, security and flexibility of an electrical distribution system. Nevertheless, island operation entails technical, economic and social issues that must be discussed and analyzed during the planning stage.
This article compares an intentional island project to a preplanned island and describes the main issues and benefits of islanded operation. Additionally, the reliability of the service to implement the islanded operation capability as an ancillary service is economically assessed, which shows that island-based operation has the potential to minimize non-supplied energy up to 50%. Also, a technical analysis of implementing island operation capability ancillary service is presented. Subsequently, an existing electrical distribution system with small hydropower plants is considered as a study case in order to identify the technical requirements set out for both, the distribution system and the generation source. Finally, taking into account the current Law and regulations, a proposal is outlined for the implementation of the island operation capability ancillary service in the Colombian electrical system.

Author Biographies

Juan D. Marín-Jiménez, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

PhD en Ingeniería, Magister en Ingeniería Eléctrica, Ingeniero Electricista, Facultad de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica y Computación. Grupo E3P

Sandra X. Carvajal-Quintero, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

PhD en Ingeniería, Magister en Automatización Industrial, Ingeniera Electricista, Facultad de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica, Electrónica y Computación. Grupo E3P

Josep M. Guerrero, Universidad de Aalborg

PhD en Electrónica de Potencia, Magister en Ingeniería Electrónica, Ingeniero de Telecomunicaciones, Departamento de Tecnología en Energía


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How to Cite
J. D. Marín-Jiménez, S. X. Carvajal-Quintero, and J. M. Guerrero, “Island operation capability in the Colombian electrical market: a promising ancillary service of distributed energy resources”, TecnoL., vol. 21, no. 42, pp. 169-185, May 2018.


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