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How FACTS Controllers Benefit AC Transmission Systems

How FACTS Controllers Benefit AC Transmission Systems

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How FACTS Controllers Benefit AC Transmission Systems
How FACTS Controllers Benefit AC Transmission Systems

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Published by: waaloo on Dec 02, 2009
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07/27/2011

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 Abstract
--This paper provides a summary of one of the threeplanned presentations on the topic of “FACTS Fundamentals,”for a session sponsored by the DC and FACTS EducationWorking Group, under the DC and FACTS Subcommittee of theT&D Committee. This paper is on Part I of the session andfocuses on a summary of the issues and benefits of applyingFACTS controllers to AC power systems. The overall process forsystem studies and analysis associated with FACTS installationprojects and the need for FACTS controller models is alsodiscussed. Finally, an introduction to the basic circuits of severalFACTS controllers is provided with a focus on their systemperformance characteristics. This paper is designed to beaccompanied by the presentation material.
 Index Terms
--Flexible AC Transmission Systems, FACTS,Power Electronic Equipment, Power System Stability, PowerSystem Control
I. I
NTRODUCTION
 With the ongoing expansion and growth of the electricutility industry, including deregulation in many countries,numerous changes are continuously being introduced to aonce predictable business. Although electricity is a highlyengineered product, it is increasingly being considered andhandled as a commodity. Thus, transmission systems arebeing pushed closer to their stability and thermal limits whilethe focus on the quality of power delivered is greater thanever.In the evolving utility environment, financial and marketforces are, and will continue to, demand a more optimal andprofitable operation of the power system with respect togeneration, transmission, and distribution. Now, more thanever, advanced technologies are paramount for the reliableand secure operation of power systems. To achieve bothoperational reliability and financial profitability, it hasbecome clear that more efficient utilization and control of the
existing
transmission system infrastructure is required.Improved utilization of the existing power system isprovided through the application of advanced controltechnologies. Power electronics based equipment, or FlexibleAC Transmission Systems (FACTS), provide proven technicalsolutions to address these new operating challenges beingpresented today. FACTS technologies allow for improvedtransmission system operation with minimal infrastructureinvestment, environmental impact, and implementation timecompared to the construction of new transmission lines. 
John J. Paserba is with Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.,Warrendale, Pennsylvania, USA (e-mail: j.paserba@ieee.org).
Traditional solutions to upgrading the electricaltransmission system infrastructure have been primarily in theform of new transmission lines, substations, and associatedequipment. However, as experiences have proven over thepast decade or more, the process to permit, site, and constructnew transmission lines has become extremely difficult,expensive, time-consuming, and
controversial
. FACTStechnologies provide advanced solutions as cost-effectivealternatives to new transmission line construction.The potential benefits of FACTS equipment are nowwidely recognized by the power systems engineering andT&D communities. With respect to FACTS equipment,voltage sourced converter (VSC) technology, which utilizesself-commutated thyristors/transistors such as GTOs, GCTs,IGCTs, and IGBTs, has been successfully applied in a numberof installations world-wide for Static SynchronousCompensators (STATCOM) [1-5], Unified Power FlowControllers (UPFC) [6, 7], Convertible Series Compensators(CSC) [8], back-to-back dc ties (VSC-BTB) [9, 10] and VSCtransmission [11]. In addition to these referenced and otherapplications, there are several recently completedSTATCOMs in the U.S., in the states of Vermont [12, 13],California [14], and Texas [no references available]. Inaddition, there are newly planned STATCOMs in Connecticut[15] and Texas, as well as a small STATCOM (D-VAR)planned for BC Hydro [16] and several other locations. Otherinstallations of power electronic equipment includesDistributed Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage units(D-SMES) [17]. These aforementioned transmission systeminstallations are in addition to the earlier generation of powerelectronics systems that utilize line-commutated thyristortechnology for Static Var Compensators (SVC) [18] andThyristor Controlled Series Compensators (TCSC) [19-22].II. C
ONTROL OF
P
OWER
S
YSTEMS
 
 A. Generation, Transmission, Distribution
When discussing the creation, movement, and utilization of electrical power, it can be separated into three areas, whichtraditionally determined the way in which electric utilitycompanies had been organized. These are illustrated inFigure 1 and are:
Generation
Transmission
Distribution
How FACTS Controllers BenefitAC Transmission Systems
John J. Paserba,
Fellow, IEEE 
 
 
2
 
Generation
Mechanical-to- Electrical Energy Conversion 
TransmissionDistribution
Electrical Power Used and Electrical-to-Mechanical Energy Conversion 
 
Generation
Mechanical-to- Electrical Energy Conversion 
TransmissionDistribution
Electrical Power Used and Electrical-to-Mechanical Energy Conversion 
 Figure 1. Illustration of the creation, movement,and utilization of electrical power
Although power electronic based equipment is prevalent ineach of these three areas, such as with static excitationsystems for generators and Custom Power equipment indistribution systems [23], the focus of this paper andaccompanying presentation is on transmission, that is,
moving
 the power from where it is generated to where it is utilized.
 B. Power System Constraints
As noted in the introduction, transmission systems arebeing pushed closer to their stability and thermal limits whilethe focus on the quality of power delivered is greater thanever. The limitations of the transmission system can takemany forms and may involve power transfer between areas(referred to here as transmission bottlenecks) or within asingle area or region (referred to here as a regional constraint)and may include one or more of the following characteristics:
Steady-State Power Transfer Limit
Voltage Stability Limit
Dynamic Voltage Limit
Transient Stability Limit
Power System Oscillation Damping Limit
Inadvertent Loop Flow Limit
Thermal Limit
Short-Circuit Current Limit
 
Others
 
Each transmission bottleneck or regional constraint mayhave one or more of these system-level problems. The key tosolving these problems in the most cost-effective andcoordinated manner is by thorough systems engineeringanalysis, as described later in this paper.
C. Controllability of Power Systems
To illustrate that the power system only has certainvariables that can be impacted by control, consider the basicand well-known power-angle curve, shown in Figure 2.Although this is a steady-state curve and theimplementation of FACTS is primarily for dynamic issues,this illustration demonstrates the point that there are primarilythree main variables that can be directly controlled in thepower system to impact its performance. These are:
Voltage
Angle
ImpedanceOne could also make the point that direct control of poweris a fourth variable of controllability in power systems.
E
S
@
δ
°E
R
@ 0°PX
 
P090180
δ
PEEX
SR
=
sin
δ
P090180
δ
PEEX
SR
=
sin
δ
 Figure 2. Illustration of controllability of power systems
With the establishment of “what” variables can becontrolled in a power system, the next question is “how” thesevariables can be controlled. The answer is presented in twoparts: namely conventional equipment and FACTScontrollers.
Examples of Conventional Equipment For EnhancingPower System Control
Series Capacitor-Controls impedance
Switched Shunt-Capacitor and Reactor-Controls voltage
Transformer LTC-Controls voltage
Phase Shifting Transformer-Controls angle
Synchronous Condenser-Controls voltage
Special Stability Controls-Typically focuses on voltage control but can ofteninclude direct control of power
Others (When Thermal Limits are Involved)-Can included reconductoring, raising conductors,dynamic line monitoring, adding new lines, etc.
Example of FACTS Controllers for Enhancing PowerSystem Control
Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM)-Controls voltage
Static Var Compensator (SVC)-Controls voltage
Unified Power Flow Controller (UPFC)
Convertible Series Compensator (CSC)
Inter-phase Power Flow Controller (IPFC)
Static Synchronous Series Controller (SSSC)
 
3
-Each of the aforementioned (and similar) controllersimpact voltage, impedance, and/or angle (and power)
Thyristor Controlled Series Compensator (TCSC)-Controls impedance
Thyristor Controlled Phase Shifting Transformer(TCPST)-Controls angle
Super Conducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES)-Controls voltage and powerAs mentioned earlier, the key to solving transmissionsystem problems in the most cost-effective and coordinatedmanner is by thorough systems analysis. This includescomparing the system benefits available by conventionalequipment and from FACTS controllers. There is animportant distinction to make when considering thedifferences in these two solution options. Figure 3 is anillustration of a few cycles of voltage at power systemfrequency. This figure shows that the speed of mechanicalswitches (primarily circuit breakers) for conventionalequipment solutions can be as fast as a couple of cycles of 60(or 50) Hz. This
speed 
of switching in and of itself may befast enough to solve many power system constraints.Although there is a vast improvement in switching time frommechanical to power electronic based solutions (Figure 3illustrates that the speed of power electronics switches is afraction of a cycle), the main benefit that FACTS controllersolutions provide is the “cycling/repeatability” and “smoothcontrol” that accompanies the power electronic basedswitching. In other words, a mechanically switched based(conventional) solution is usually a “one and done” or “on oroff” impact to the power system in the time frame needed forpower system stability, whereas the power electronic basedsolution can provide a smooth, continuous, and/or repeatableoption for power system control. Thus by applying powerelectronic based solutions to alleviate power systemconstraints, it is not just “speed” but “cycling” and “smoothcontrol” that is gained.
012Mechanical Breaker ActionThyristor Switch Action012Mechanical Breaker ActionThyristor Switch Action
 
Figure 3. Illustration of the speed of power system control
 D. Benefits of Control of Power Systems
Once power system constraints are identified and throughsystem studies viable solutions options are identified, thebenefits of the added power system control must bedetermined. The following offers a list of such benefits:
Increased Loading and More Effective Use of Transmission Corridors
Added Power Flow Control
Improved Power System Stability
Increased System Security
Increased System Reliability
Added Flexibility in Siting New Generation
Elimination or Deferral of the Need for NewTransmission LinesThe advantages in this list are important to achieve in theoverall planning and operation of power systems. However,for justifying the costs of implementing added power systemcontrol and for comparing conventional solutions to FACTScontrollers, more specific metrics of the benefits to the powersystem are often required. Such benefits can usually be tiedback to an area or region for a specific season and year at adefined dispatch (usually given by an ISO or equivalent) whilemeeting the following criteria, for example:
Voltage Stability Criteria-e.g., P-V voltage or power criteria with minimum margins-e.g., Q-V reactive power criteria with minimum margins
Dynamic Voltage Criteria-e.g., Avoiding voltage collapse-e.g., Minimum transient voltage dip/sag criteria(magnitude and duration)
Transient Stability Criteria
Power System Oscillation Damping-e.g., Minimum damping ratio
OthersEach of the above-listed items can usually be measured interms of a physical quantity such as power transfer through acritical transmission interface, power plant output, and/or areaor region load level. This allows for a direct quantification of the benefits of adding power system control and provides ameans to compare such benefits by the various solutionoptions considered, whether they be conventional or FACTSbased.III. P
HASES OF
P
OWER
S
YSTEM
S
TUDIES FOR
FACTSI
NSTALLATION
P
ROJECTS
 Figure 4 shows the author’s view of the overall process forsystem studies associated with FACTS installation projects.The presentation that accompanies this paper goes into detailsof the various phases of power system studies and what itemsmust be focused on for each phase including the modelingrequirements. The presentation will start with initialfeasibility studies to determine system constraints andreinforcement needs, typically undertaken by theutility/transmission owners, all the way through to the systemstudies and modeling issues associated with the every-dayoperation of an installed FACTS controller in a specific powersystem. The following subsections provide the basicobjectives and selected details for each study phase in a bulletlist format of the presentation material.

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