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filters for reducing THD created by

industrial systems

I. Zamora, A. J. Mazon. P. Eguia, I. Albizu, K. J. Sagastabeitia, E. Fernández

Abstract—Nowadays, power electronics are widely used in filters are one of the most effective.

industry for supplying loads with an amplitude and frequency Before taking any corrective action, it is necessary to

controlled voltage. These systems comprises mainly rectifiers and evaluate the distortion introduced by the installation into the

inverters which, as non-linear loads, produce currents with high distribution network and the expected reduction when the

harmonic content. In order to fulfil the legislation concerning active filter is in use. In this stage, simulation has been proved

voltage harmonic distortion it is necessary to put in place

to be a useful tool. It allows to quantify the harmonic

corrective actions. Among these corrective actions active filters

are one of the most effective. For the design of these filters distortion created by a system and, when a corrective action is

simulation has been proved to be a very useful tool. In this paper, introduced, simulation will show the reduction in the

the simulation by MATLAB/Simulink of an active filter for the distortion. Besides, simulation can be used as a tool for the

reduction of the harmonic distortion is analysed. Two examples design of the active filter.

are presented: a steel plant and an underground traction system. The work presented in this paper is based on the simulation

of active filters for reducing harmonic distortion created by

Index Terms— Active filter, computer simulation, induction industrial loads. Simulations have been carried out under the

furnace, steel plant, metro traction system, THD. MATLAB/Simulink environment and two examples of

industrial harmonic polluting loads are presented: a steel plant

I. INTRODUCTION and an underground traction system.

supply of electricity with a determined power quality and

reliability to the minimum possible cost. Due to the increased

In order to perform the harmonic analysis of the voltage

and current signals present in the industrial systems, a

Simulink block has been developed. This block calls an M-file

quality of life, it has taken place a spectacular increase of the that makes the required calculations and shows graphically the

number and installed power of non-linear loads, especially of harmonic spectrum of the analysed signal (Fig. 1). The 1st

electronic devices used mainly in the control of systems and harmonic is out of scale so that the rest of the harmonics can

power hardware. be visualized properly. The calculated values correspond to

Depending on the nature of these loads, the distortion peak values.

created can be very high and affect the voltage supplied by the

distribution network. In this case, it is highly possible that

other loads served from the same network will be affected.

For regulating this situation a complete legislation exists at

national and supranational levels concerning voltage harmonic

distortion. To comply with legislation, corrective actions have

to be taken to reduce harmonic distortion to established

University of the Basque Country, Spain (e-mail: iepzabei@bi.ehu.es).

A. J. Mazón is with Department of Electrical Engineering-ESI of Bilbao,

University of the Basque Country, Spain (e-mail: iepmasaj@bi.ehu.es).

P. Eguia is with Department of Electrical Engineering-ESI of Bilbao,

University of the Basque Country, Spain (e-mail: iepeglop@bi.ehu.es).

I. Albizu is with Department of Electrical Engineering-ESI of Bilbao,

University of the Basque Country, Spain (e-mail: iepalfli@bi.ehu.es).

J.K. Sagastabeitia is with Dep. of Electrical Engineering-EUITI of Bilbao,

University of the Basque Country, Spain (e-mail: iepsabuk@lg.ehu.es).

E. Fernández is with Department of Electrical Engineering-ESI of Bilbao,

Fig. 1. Harmonic analyser result

University of the Basque Country, Spain (e-mail: iepfehee@bi.ehu.es).

A real time harmonic analyser, that shows the peak values in the performance of the passive filter. In order to overcome

of the first twenty harmonic components as the circuit is being these problems active power filters have been developed.

simulated, has been developed too. This block has been Active power filters were first proposed for harmonic

developed using Simulink blocks. The results format is shown compensation in the early 1970's, but they could not be used in

in Fig. 2. real power systems because high-power high-speed switching

devices were unavailable. Since then, and because of the high

development of power electronics technology, much research

has been done on active filters and their practical applications.

Currently, a great number of these devices has been

installed, for different purposes as: harmonic compensation of

non-linear loads, harmonics isolation between utilities and

customers, harmonic damping throughout power distribution

systems, reactive power/negative-sequence, flicker

compensation, etc.

The operation of an active filter is based on a continuous

monitoring and conditioning of the distorted current created

by the non-linear load. The same harmonic currents, but with a

180º phase shift are generated by the filter, so that harmonic

components are cancelled and only fundamental component

flows from the point of common coupling of the load.

The filter used in the simulations is based on an inverter

connected in parallel with the load. The inverter has a voltage

Fig. 2. Real time spectrum analyser source configuration and its control is based on the p-q control

theory [1-2].

II. ACTIVE FILTER The SIMULINK model for the active filter can be seen in

Passive filters consisting of tuned LC filters have Fig. 3. In these figure, the filter is connected to the low voltage

traditionally been used to improve power factor and to absorb winding of a power transformer.

harmonics in power systems because of their simplicity, low

cost and high efficiency. However, these devices may fall in

series and parallel resonance with the source impedance.

Besides, the source impedance may vary, and influence

The traction system is supplied by a source with 1230

III. CASES STUDIES MVA of short-circuit power and feeds a linear and another

non-linear load.

A. Underground Traction System The linear load has been considered as a pure resistance

The main components of the traction substation and represents the station and auxiliary services. For

modelled are the following ones: modelling considerations, the two underground station

- Four rectifier groups with 3R+1 configuration. That service transformers and their load have been grouped into

is to say, three rectifiers are connected at the same a single constant load of 5.000 kVA supplied at 30 kV and

time and one is always in reserve. Each rectifier the auxiliary services transformer and its load as a constant

group is composed of a 30/1,295 kV transformer load of 1.000 kVA supplied at 30 kV.

(TGR) with 2.250 kVA rated power and a three- The non-linear load is shown in Fig. 4. It includes three

phase rectifier. The rectifiers convert the voltage at traction groups that feed two meter units. The rated power

the output winding of the transformers group into of the non-linear load is 6 MW and it is adjustable through

DC voltage of 1750 V when they work without load the convoys torque. In the simulation, the torque

and into 1650 V when they work with 2000 kW measurements are real.

rated power. To evaluate the rate of the total harmonic distortion in the

- Two 30/13,8 kV power transformers with 2.500 substation, two measurement points have been located. The

kVA rated power each one, for station services. "point 1" is located in the connection with the distribution

- One 30/0,4 kV transformer with 1.000 kVA rated system of the electrical utility and the "point 2" is located in

power, for auxiliary services. the feeding to the non-linear load (traction unit). In Fig. 5,

Each metro traction unit or convoy has a traction power the whole system, including the active filter, can be seen.

of 2.880 kW and nominal voltage of 1.500 Vdc and consists As the frequency of underground trains varies along the

of four motor wagons. Each wagon leans over two bogies day and so, the number of convoys that at the same time are

with two motors each, this is, each convoy has 16 induction supplied by the same substation, the simulation have been

motors of 180 kW supplied by a PWM inverter connected carried out at three different traction load levels

directly to DC line voltage. (developing a 100%, 50% and 10% of the nominal torque)

to study the variations produced in THD along the day.

Fig. 5. Complete substation and traction system model

As example, we show the results of the case that both If the harmonic analysis is performed including the

convoys are working in steady-state and developing a 100% active filter, the results change as can be seen in Fig. 7. The

of the nominal torque each one. Besides, in the “point 1” of THD of the current is reduced from 4.85% to 0.10% and

measurement (connection with the distribution system) the the voltage THD from 0.43% to 0.31%. The values of the

graphs of voltage harmonic spectrum are shown, while in highest harmonics have been reduced considerably. But

the “point 2” (feeding to the no-linear load) the graphs of some new components of low value (harmonics due to the

current harmonic spectrum are shown. injection of the filter) can be observed.

The results obtained in the harmonic distortion analysis

of voltage at the connection “point 1” without the active

filter are shown in Fig. 6. The THD value corresponding to

the current is 4.85% while the voltage THD is 0.43 %.

It can be seen that the harmonic voltage, generated by

the substation, hardly have weight. This is due to the non-

linear load consumption which is about 6 MVA in front of

the 1234 MVA short circuit power of the source.

The highest harmonics are the 5th (250 Hz) and the 7th

(350 Hz) and they are repeated at the 11th (550 Hz) and the

13th (650 Hz). These harmonics are characteristic of non-

linear loads that include three-phase rectifiers of six pulses.

with filter

in the harmonic distortion analysis of current without the

active filter are shown in Fig. 8. It is observed a higher

deformation of the waves than in the case measured in the

point 1. This distortion is due to the characteristic

consumption of the non-linear load that contains electronic

power devices. The THD value corresponding to the current

is 9.16% while the voltage THD is 0.31%.

Fig. 6. Voltage harmonic spectrum in the point 1, without filter

- The harmonics are decreased almost completely and

the highest value becomes the 11th and 13th order,

instead of the 5th and 7th order in the case without

filtering. Even harmonics are also observed

(included the 0 order harmonic which is the DC

component). These harmonics are introduced by the

active filter, but they take worthless and highly

variable values.

B. Steel Plant

The steel plant substation considered is fed alternatively

from two 30 kV lines switched by means of a disconnector.

Fig. 8. Current harmonic spectrum in the point 2,

The electric load of the plant is composed of six induction

without filter furnaces, temper furnaces and general services.

There are two different types of induction furnaces. Four

If the harmonic analysis is performed including the furnaces are of type 1 and the other two of type 2.

active filter (Fig. 9), the THD of the current is reduced from Each furnace of type 1 is fed from a 4 MVA three-

9.16% to 0.35% and the voltage THD from 0.43% to winding transformer which reduces the voltage from 30 kV

0.31%. to 770 V. The secondary winding feeds a six pulse rectifier

and the tertiary feeds another identical rectifier. The

rectification has a 12-pulse configuration. Both rectifiers

are connected in parallel including filtering coils that

improve the direct current obtained. A capacitor bank is

connected in parallel with the induction furnace coil to

achieve a controllable resonance of the coil. The voltage in

the coils that melt the steel is 2200 V with a frequency of

500 Hz and an approximate consumption of 3300 kW.

Each furnace of type 2 is fed from a 5 MVA three-

winding transformer. The voltage is reduced to 945 V.

Similarly to the type 1 furnace configuration, the secondary

winding feeds a six pulse rectifier and the tertiary feeds

another identical rectifier. The rectification has a 12-pulse

Fig. 9. Current harmonic spectrum in the point 2, configuration. Both rectifiers are connected in series

with filter including filtering coils. A capacitor bank is connected in

parallel with the induction furnace coil. The approximate

From the whole simulated cases results without and with

consumption of the coil is 4 MW.

the active filter, it can make a comparative analysis:

The rectifiers used to get the DC voltage are the cause of

- The THDI decreases more than 86% in anyone of

the injection of current harmonics in the system and

the three cases, which implies a high effectiveness of

consequently the cause of the voltage distortion. The

the active filter (TABLE I and TABLE II).

characteristic harmonics injected by a 12-pulse rectifier are

TABLE I. – Results for measurement point 1 (substation harmonics of order 11th and 13th.

interconnection) The distribution transformers of the general services and

Current Reduction of the temper furnaces consume 1800 kW with a cosφ of 0,85.

Current

Traction load distortion with current For simulation purposes they have been modelled as a

distortion

level active filter distortion

(THDI %) linear load of these characteristics. This is acceptable as

(THDI %) (%)

100 % 4,85 0,09 98,14

their consumption is only a little portion of the total power

50 % 4,07 0,09 97,79 consumed in the plant and they do not produce any

10 % 1,72 0,08 95,35 distortion. All these elements have been modelled using

existing SIMULINK blocks contained in the

TABLE II. – Results for measurement point 2 (traction load) SymPowerSystems blockset.

Current Reduction of As there is no induction furnace electrical model, new

Current blocks have been created for the two types of induction

Traction load distortion with current

distortion

level

(THDI %)

active filter distortion furnaces (Fig. 10 and 11).

(THDI %) (%)

100 % 9,16 0,35 96,18

50 % 11,51 0,63 94,53

10 % 15,08 2,01 86,67

Fig. 10. Type 1 induction furnace model

The simulation model of the steel plant including the the voltage harmonic distortion created by the steel plant

active filter inserted in parallel with the furnaces can be has been measured. Secondly, after the active filter has been

seen in Fig. 12. added, the distortion has been measured again.

The steel plant has been simulated considering different

levels of load (one, three and six furnaces working). Firstly,

Fig. 12. Steel plant model including the active filter

furnaces working. This is the most common working

situation of the steel plant in order to get the maximum

profitability. This is the worst case from the point of view

of the harmonic distortion and the active filter should be

able to correct it properly.

We can see that the current THD value is 7.41% while

the voltage THD is 6.38%. The voltage distortion is too

high as it is above the limit imposed by the regulations (5%

for 30 kV). The highest harmonics are the 11th and the

13th. The 9th harmonic also increases its value from the

previous cases.

The results obtained in the harmonic distortion analysis

are shown in Fig. 13 and 14.

shown in Fig. 15 and 16.

IV. CONCLUSIONS

The use of simulation tools as MATLAB/ Simulink,

allows to reproduce the behaviour of the power systems in

different situations, analyse how the system answers in

these situations and choose the solution that better fit with

the particular problem without additional costs. Besides,

active filters with different rated values can be simulated in

order to analyse different reductions of the harmonic

distortion.

By means of the simulation carried out, the voltage and

current harmonic distortions created by an underground

traction system and a steel plant have been obtained.

Moreover, the reduction of the distortion by an active filter

has been simulated for both systems.

Fig. 16. Current harmonics (6 furnaces + active filter)

V. REFERENCES

The THD of the current is reduced from 7.41% to [1] H. Akagi, Y. Kanazawa and A. Nabae, “Generalized theory of

3.33% and the voltage THD from 6.38% to 3.61%. The instantaneous reactive power in three-phase circuits”, Int. Power

new value of the voltage distortion is below the limit of 5%. Electronics Conf., pp. 1375-1386, Tokyo, 1983.

[2] H. Akagi, “New trends in active filters for power conditioning” ,

Therefore the active filter is adequate for the steel plant to IEEE Trans. Ind. Applications, Vol. 32, No. 6, 1996.

fulfil the voltage quality requirements. [3] J. Shen, N. Butterworth, "Analysis and design of a three level

The 11th and 13th harmonics are still the highest PWM converter system for railway-traction applications", IEE

harmonics and the 9th is nearly removed. But there are Procedings Electric Power Applications, Vol. 144, No. 5, 1999.

[4] K. Al-Haddad, B. Singh and A. Chandra, “A review of active filters

many new components introduced by the filter spread over for power quality improvement”, IEEE Transactions on Industrial

the spectrum, but they take worthless and highly variable Electronics, Vol. 46, No. 5, pp. 960-971, 1999.

values. [5] G. Casaravilla, A. Salvia, C. Briozzo and E. Watanabe, “Selective

Additional results obtained whit one or three furnaces active filter applied to an arc furnace adjusted to harmonic

emission limitations”, Latin America T&D IEEE Conference, San

working are shown in TABLES V and VI. Pablo - Brasil, 2002.

[6] P.T. Cheng, . Bhattacharya, D.M. Divan, "Application of dominant

TABLE V. - Current distortion harmonic active filter system with 12 pulse nonlinear loads", IEEE

No. of Current THDI with Reduction of Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1999.

furnaces THDI active filter THDI [7] Chih-Ju Chou, Chih-Wen Liu, June-Yown Lee, Kune-Da Lee,

working (%) (%) (%) “Optimal Planning of Large Passive- Harmonic-Filters Set at High

Voltage Level”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol.15, No.

1 4.47 1.87 58.1

1, 2000

3 6.91 3.85 44.2 [8] Bhim Singh, Kamal Al-Haddad, Ambrish Chandra, “A New Control

6 7.41 3.33 55 Approach to Three-Phase Active Filter for Harmonics and Reactive

Power Compensation”, IEEE Transactiones on Power Systems,

TABLE VI. – Voltage distortion Vol.13, No.1, 1998.

No. of Voltage THD with Reduction of [9] Carlos V. Nunez-Noriega, George G.Karady, “Five Step- Low

furnaces THD active filter THD Frequency Switching Active Power Filter for Network Harmonic

Compensation in Substations”, IEEE Transactions on Power

working (%) (%) (%)

Delivery, Vol. 14, No.4, 1999.

1 1.04 0.66 36.5 [10] Thierry Thomas, Kévork Haddad, Géza Joós, Alain Jaafari, “Design

3 3.23 2.06 36.2 and Performance of Active Power Filters”, IEEE Industry

6 6.38 3.61 43.4 Applications Magazine, 1998.

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