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Sensitivity of AC Adjustable Speed Drives to Voltage Sags and Short Interruptions

Sensitivity of AC Adjustable Speed Drives to Voltage Sags and Short Interruptions

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Sensitivity of AC Adjustable Speed Drives to VoltageSags and Short Interruptions
S. Ž. Djokic´, K. Stockman
 , Member, IEEE 
, J. V. Milanovic´
 , Senior Member, IEEE 
, J. J. M. Desmet
 , Member, IEEE 
,and R. Belmans
 , Senior Member, IEEE 
This paper discusses the sensitivity of adjustablespeed drives (ASDs) to voltage sags and short interruptions on thebasis of extensive test results. Existing standards and previouslypublished work are critically reviewed, and a description of testprocedures needed for appropriate assessment of ASD sensitivityis presented. The following tests were performed: sensitivity torectangular three-phase, two-phase, and single-phase voltage sagswith ideal and nonideal supply characteristics, as well as sensi-tivity to nonrectangular-balanced three-phase voltage sags similarto those caused by the starting of large motors. The results showthat although the behavior of this equipment has a rather complexpattern, a simple representation of ASD sensitivity to varioustypes of voltage sags and short interruption can be established.
 Index Terms—
Nonideal power supply characteristics, powerquality, rectangular and nonrectangular three-phase, two-phase,and single-phase voltage sags and short interruptions, voltage-tol-erance curve.
I. I
C adjustable speed drives (ASDs) are typical examplesof recently emerged, rather complex and sophisticatednonlinear power electronic equipment. An ASD controls thespeed of an induction or synchronous motor by convertingfixed frequency/fixed magnitude ac mains supply voltage toa variable frequency/variable magnitude voltage at the motorterminals. Improved process control, energy savings in appli-cations with variable torque loads and reduced motor speeds,reduction of mechanical and thermal stresses through “soft”start, acceleration, and deceleration, remote communicationand control, simple maintenance and automated diagnostic aresome of the benefits which ASDs provide. The dominant typeof ASD in several hundreds up to the megawatt range is thepulsewidth-modulation (PWM)-controlled voltage-source in-verter. In essence, the PWM ac ASD is a converter, comprisingof a rectifier (or input converter), a dc link (or dc bus), aninverter (or output converter), and additional control, protectionand measurement circuits. All of these circuits respond tovarious power-quality disturbances both individually and as a
Manuscript received April 8, 2003; revised October 13, 2003. This workwas supported in part by the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences ResearchCouncil (EPSRC) under Grant GR/R40265/01, in part by the Copper Develop-ment Association (U.K.), and in part by Electrotek Concepts Inc. (USA). Paperno. TPWRD-00380-2003.S. Ž. Djokic´and J. V. Milanovic´are with the School of Electrical and Elec-tronic Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester M60 1QD, U.K.K. Stockman and J. Desmet are with the Department Provinciale IndustriëleHogeschool, Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen, Kortrijk, Belgium.R. Belmans is with the Electrical Engineering Department, Div. ELECTA of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven B-3000, Belgium.Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2004.832353
complete assembly, leading to high and complex patterns of drive sensitivity.Usually, the ASD is only one part of some system in whichotherelectricalcomponentsareinvolved.Ifapower-qualitydis-turbance is severe enough to cause disconnection of at leastone of the critical system components, the whole process maybe stopped. Disconnection of the ASD during voltage sags andshortinterruptionscanbe:i)internallydriven,whensomeofthedrive protection systems commands disconnection, or ii) exter-nally driven, when some other component (e.g., motor or con-troller) commands the stoppage of the process and subsequentdisconnection of the drive. Different ASD applications and var-ious modes of drive operation may result in a number of param-eters and criteria that can be used for externally initiated dis-connection of the drives. For example, decrease in speed and/ortorque of the controlled motor during the sag may be criticalin some processes. However, all external malfunction/perfor-mance criteria are application specific, and their usage for drivesensitivityassessmentshouldbeconsideredona“case-by-case”basis.Sensitivity of ASDs to voltage sags is usually expressedas a voltage tolerance curve, in terms of only one pair of sag magnitude/duration values. These two values are denotedas the threshold values—if the voltage sag is longer thanthe specific duration threshold and deeper than the specificvoltage magnitude threshold, the ASD will malfunction/trip.For ASDs, reported threshold values vary from 50–60% to80–90% of rated voltage for magnitude, and from cycle(or even less) up to 5–6 cycles for the duration [1]. The useof magnitude/duration threshold values is straightforward forsingle-phase equipment and balanced polyphase sags, butit cannot be applied for assessment of ASDs sensitivity topolyphase unbalanced voltage sags. The ASDs are three-phaseequipment and voltage sags with different combinations of phase voltages will have different effects on their operation.These effects can be assessed only if the sensitivity of ASDsand voltage sags characteristics are expressed considering thethree-phase nature of power supply and drive itself.This paper is concerned only with the internally drivenmalfunction of the ASD. Bypass mode of operation (whencontrolled motor continues to operate directly connected tothe power supply and without speed control by the drive) isconsidered as the drive disconnection condition. Similarly,automatic restart of the drive was considered as not possiblein general. (Some drives do not support that feature, and someprocesses do not allow arbitrary restart.) The paper summarizesresults of a comprehensive study of ASD behavior during
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE
et al.
voltage sags and short interruptions. After a critical review of existing standards and previously published work, the paperpresents extensive experimental results, demonstrating that thehigh sensitivity of ASDs to various types of voltage sags has arather complex nature.II. E
 A. Overview of Existing Standards1) General Power Quality Standards:
Detailed overviewand critical assessment of the PQ standards related to voltagesags and short interruptions is given in [2], [3]. Due to the space limitations, only a few points will be highlighted in this section.Existingpower-qualitystandards[4]
nevoltagesagsand short interruptions as a short duration variation of voltagemagnitude of any or of all phase voltages of a single-phase ora polyphase power supply at a point in the electrical system. In[10], voltage sag is described as a
two dimensional electro-magnetic disturbance, the level of which is determined by both(rms value of) voltage and time (duration)
. Other characteris-tics of voltage sags (e.g., phase shift during the sag, or point onwave of sag initiation), are generally ignored, or it is eventuallysuggested([12])nottoconsiderthemfortheequipmentcompat-ibilityevaluation.However,thebehaviorofcertainequipmentisin
uenced by phase shift and/or point on wave of sag initiation[2], and without these parameters equipment sensitivity cannotbe fully assessed.All current standards assume that the voltage magnitude isconstant during the sag, i.e., that sag has a
rectangular shape
.Other voltage sag
, e.g., two-stage voltage sags, orvoltage sags due to starting of large motors are, at the best, just mentioned. Practical instructions about quanti
cation andcharacterization of nonrectangular sags are not given, nor howto assess their in
uence on equipment sensitivity.
2) Standards Related to Testing:
Testing procedures in ex-isting standards are in accordance with the
nition of voltage sags and short interruptions [13]
[15].Recommended tests are related to generation of simple rect-angular (or
) sags and interruptions, in which onlymagnitude and duration are controlled. Standard [15] considersonly some (few) discrete values of voltage magnitude andduration for testing, while the most recent standard [13] rec-ommends testing with incremental changes in sag magnitude,not larger than 5%. For each sag magnitude, maximum (orcritical) sag duration before the equipment malfunction occursshould be identi
ed. That way, [13] introduces the conceptof voltage-tolerance curve as a graphical representation of equipment sensitivity.Regarding testing of three-phase equipment, only two proce-dures are described in standards. The
rst is
testing, in which only one phase of the three-phase equipmentis exposed to sags and interruptions [13], [15]. The rated condi- tionsareinallaspectsmaintainedintwoother,unsaggedphases.After testing of one phase, tests should be repeated with thesame conditions two more times, for both other phases. How-ever, standards do not give precise instructions how to representequipment sensitivity if different responses were identi
ed fordifferent phases (adopt response of the most sensitive phase, oraverageoftestedphases,orshowtheresultsforallthreephases).In the second procedure [15], three-phase equipment should betested with the same sag duration and magnitude applied to allthree phases simultaneously. In both standards, these two pro-cedures are indicated as
for assessment of three-phaseequipment sensitivity.Standards give no suggestions related to testing of equipmentto nonrectangular voltage sags. Allowed deviations in magni-tude, frequency, and total harmonic distortion from the idealvoltage supply conditions (e.g., in [9]) are not considered as apart of the testing procedure. Pre- and post-sag voltage wave-forms used in tests should be the ideal sine waves with ratedvoltage and frequency. Tests should be performed preferably at0 point on wave [14]. Standard [15] suggests testing for ad- ditional angles (from 0 to 360 in steps of 45 ) only if theyare
considered critical by product committees or individualproduct speci
.Standard [16] recognizes that the voltage sags could havedetrimental effects on ASDs. It does
recommend, however,testing of drives against sags:
According to the state of the art,the behavior of the drive is predictable with simple and reli-able calculations, and depends on its operating mode and onits rating. Therefore, tests against voltage sags (which are un-economic) need not be performed.
Unfortunately, there are noinstructions in [16] provided about
simple and reliable calcu-lations
that should be used instead of testing. Standard [16],however, considers testing of drives to short interruptions:
where it is possible and not dangerous, the behavior of the driveduring short interruptions may be veri
ed by switching off andon the mains supply during the standard operating conditions of the drive.
Finally, it concludes that:
EMC characteristicsof the drive are normally not affected by the amount of load onthe motor
and instructs that testing with unloaded motor is ac-ceptable, and that full load testing should be considered only if it is required.
 B. Overview of the Previous Research
Therearealotofpublishedpapersandreportsconcernedwithvarious power-quality aspects of operation and application of ASDs. Only a relatively small number of existing reports dis-cussing experimental or simulation results of drive sensitivityto voltage sags and interruptions is discussed here.In [17]
[21], a simpli
ed simulated model of an ac ASD wasanalyzed regarding balanced and unbalanced sags, with em-phasis on changes in dc link voltage and reduction in motorspeed and/or torque. Voltage-tolerance curves of drives werenot obtained, simply because theprotection systems of the drivewere not modeled and duration of sags was neglected as a pa-rameter of in
uence. It was concluded that testing of three-phase equipment is more complicated than testing of single-phase equipment, and suggested that testing of drives shouldbe performed against sags classi
ed in several (seven) types, re-lated to different fault types. Only results of simulations againstthese several sag types were presented, without any comparisonwith theexperimentalones. It was concluded that point onwaveof sag initiation and phase shift during the sag do not in
uencethe behavior of ASDs during the sags.
A test bed for ASDs is described in [22] and [23]. Results of  testing of various ASDs against different sag types (accordingto the classi
cation in [21]) are presented, and also comparedto results obtained in simulations of the drives. The identi
edvoltage-tolerance curves have
at or slightly inclined horizontalpart,
at vertical part and a
between them. Lower sen-sitivity of drives was identi
ed for operation of the controlledmotor with lower torque and lower speed. Voltage-tolerancecurves are also used for the illustration of drive ride-through ca-pability improvements, when an active front end or a front-endboost converter are applied.In [24], a programmable ac power source with integrated ar-bitrary waveform generator is described and used for testing of several con
gurations of two ASDs. Some tabulated informa-tion about the changes in speed of the controlled motor, dc link voltage and input current arepresented for tests with single, twoand three-phase sags and different loading torques. No voltage-tolerance curve is identi
ed for the tested drives. It is concludedthat the way of supplying the drive control logic has a largeimpact on drive sensitivity (higher sensitivity is identi
ed forsupply by ac mains voltage than by dc link voltage).Voltage unbalance and phase angle shift were reported as twoadditional sag parameters in [25], but their in
uence on drivesensitivity was assessed only regarding changes in drive inputcurrent, dc link voltage and motor speed. It is not shown howthesetwoparametersactuallychangedrivesensitivity.However,in [26] is concluded that:
any phase shift during a voltagesag affecting the zero crossing of the supply voltage does notappear to greatly impact the operation of an ac PWM drive.
Load dependent behavior of tested ac drives was documentedwith two voltage-tolerance curves [25]. Curves are obtained forthree-phase balanced sags and interruptions with duration from2 to 20 cycles, indicating a decrease in drive sensitivity withdecrease in both speed and load of the controlled motor.A test protocol and results of tests on twelve 3-hp drives andten 20-hp drives were presented in [27]. Drives were tested onlyagainst three pairs of magnitude/duration values (i.e., againstone balanced three-phase interruption and two balanced three-phasesags)(0,50,and70%ofratedvoltagewith -s, -sand 1
s duration, respectively). Four malfunction criteria wereused: i) only momentary change in speed, ii) drop in speedto zero or reversing, but drive recovers with loaded motor, iii)drop in speed to zero or reversing, but drive recovers if motorload is removed, and iv) disconnection of the drive. A constanttorque load type and two loading conditions (full and half of rated value) were applied. Results show that 3 hp are less sen-sitive than 20
hp drives, and that the loading of the motor doesnot have a signi
cant in
uence on drive sensitivity. However,it is suggested that additional tests with unbalanced sags, dif-ferent loadtypes, loading conditionsand speeds of themotor, aswellaswithintroductionofthephaseshiftsandnonidealsupplycharacteristics are necessary for full assessment of drive sensi-tivity.Results of testing of one 15 kW ASD against single, two andthree-phase sags were presented in [28]. Tests were conductedwith two different load conditions (25 and 75% of rated load)andthreedifferentpre-sagvoltages(95,100,,and105%ofratedvoltage). The malfunction criterion used in tests was disconnec-tion of the drive. Families of voltage-tolerance curves were ob-tained, showing the highest sensitivity for three-phase and thelowest for single-phase sags. Lower value of pre-sag voltage in-creasesensitivity,andviceversa.Also,slightlylowersensitivitywas identi
ed for lower loading conditions.Voltage sag measurements and their analysis performed intwo industries for a period of 17 months were presented in[29]. Voltage sags recorded in the system were correlated withthe malfunction of the drives installed at two industrial sites.That way, instead of direct testing, sensitivity of the drives wasassessed against actual voltage sags. Magnitude and durationthresholds for drives with the highest sensitivity were identi
edas 80% of rated voltage and a duration of six cycles. However,information about the recorded sag types was not provided(only one-point sag representation was given). Although it isstated that a detailed database was developed with all relateddata of the drives (brand, model, capacity, installed number andnumber of malfunction), this information was not presented.A controllable dynamometer was used in testing of driveswith different load characteristics in [30] and [31]. Three dif- ferent load types with different inertia constants were simulatedin tests: constant torque, constant mechanical power and vari-able (quadratic) torque versus speed. A decrease in motor speedduring the sag was the only parameter monitored. No infor-mation on changes in drive ride-through capability was given,norwerevoltage-tolerancecurvesprovided.Themaximumsen-sitivity (i.e., change in speed) is obtained for constant torqueload type, and the minimum for quadratic load type. However,presented results show relatively small changes in speed fordifferent load types and different inertia constants, especiallyduring the time between sag initiation and moment of tripping.III. T
 A. List of Tests
The ASDs are three-phase equipment and different combi-nations of three phase voltages during the sags have differenteffects on their operation. However, in realistic power systems,notallcombinationsofphasevoltagesduringpolyphasevoltagesags are likely to occur. In tests presented here, it was assumedthatvoltagesagsandshortinterruptionscausedbydifferentfaulttypes (line to ground, double-line to ground, line-to-line andthree-phase faults) propagate in power systems in such a waythatat leasttwo phase voltagesduring thesag havealmostequalmagnitudes. More precisely, testing of ASDs described in thispaper was conducted with the following three types of voltagesags:1) Three-phase balanced voltage sags (i.e., during-sagvoltage magnitudes in all three phases are equal).2) Generalized two-phase voltage sags (i.e., during-sagvoltage magnitudes of two sagged phases are equal;voltage in the third,
phase is used as param-eter, and it can be either rated or below the rated).3) Generalized single-phase voltage sags (i.e., during-sagvoltage magnitude of one (sagged) phase is below therated value; voltage magnitudes in two other phases are

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