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Smart Grid

Smart Grid

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Published by: thirumalai22 on Feb 01, 2011
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EPRI has conducted research programs to study the application of
high-power adjustable speed drives (ASDs) to auxiliary motors of elec-
tric generating stations (EPRI CU-9614, 1990). Four utilities participated
in feld tests of these large ASDs on boiler feed pumps and forced draft


In the period of the feld tests, rapid advances had been made in
the technology of ASDs for large induction motors. The principal gains
arose from new schemes for commutating the inverter. Vector control
has also been introduced to allow separation of motor fux control and
motor current control to allow the control of torque separately from
voltage. These feld test projects use the existing power plant squirrel
cage induction motors. The power electronics equipment additions al-
lowed control of feedwater fow or air fow directly by motor speed,
thus eliminating the control valve or inlet vanes and the power losses
associated with these devices.

The test program observed the performance of the equipment op-
erating with and without ASD control. Power measurements were made
to verify power savings and economics. Harmonics were measured at
the input and output of the ASD. Motor vibrations were measured
over the speed range. Current and voltage wave shapes were recorded
and means were established to determine ASD effciency. Several ASD
cooling systems and enclosures were evaluated in the course of the test

These tests occurred over a fve-year period. During this time,
modifed load-commutated inverters and the current-source GTO-PWM
inverters were installed in over 200 installations nationwide, ranging
from 600 HP to 9000 HP. GTO stands for gate turn-off thyristors; PWM
stands for pulse-width modulated—a technique for creating low har-
monic content AC waveforms.

These feld tests yielded a wealth on the application of this technol-
ogy to large power plant induction motors. Among the lessons learned
in this work were the following:

Electric Energy Efficiency in Power Production & Delivery


• The potential for operating cost savings by controlling process fow
with motor speed is real.

• Reliability of large ASDs is not an issue. Several improvements in
ASDs that have developed directly from operating experience have
contributed to improved overall system reliability:
— An input transformer is now used on all large ASD installations
to control common-mode voltage.
— Shaft torsional resonance caused by interaction of the ASD
output capacitor flter and the motor winding is now understood
and can be controlled either by eliminating harmful output
harmonics with the GTO-PWM ASD or a 12-pulse inverter or by
separating the electrical and mechanical resonance frequencies
with an output reactor.
— Power electronic devices, like thyristors and GTOs, have proven
to be robust and reliable when correctly applied.
— Available control systems have proven to provide trouble-free

Utilizing the information gained from these tests, a preferred con-
fguration for a power plant-specifc ASD has evolved. This confgura-
tion has the following features:

• Input transformer to control input harmonics and line-to-ground
voltage at the motor.

• Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system for clean power to
the ASD control system to eliminate adverse effects from voltage
spikes, dips, and interruptions on ASD performance.

• Water-cooled thyristors to simplify cooling of the ASD in the often
hot, dusty environment of power plants.

• GTO thyristor inverter to control harmonics to the motor in order
to eliminate shaft torsional resonance.

• Ground between inverter and motor to control line-to-ground volt-
age at the motor used in combination with input transformer.

The preferred confguration for a large power plant induction mo-
tor ASD is shown in Figure 2-1.


The Smart Grid: Enabling Energy Efficiency and Demand Response

There have been remarkable advances in power electronics control
of large induction motors in power plant applications. Different hous-
ings, different cooling systems, different rectifer arrangements, and
different inverter technologies have been analyzed, and preferred ASD
application procedures have been identifed.

However, the application of adjustable speed drive to large induc-
tion motors is still a relatively new technology.

Utility-specifc ASD

The lessons learned in EPRI feld test installations and from several
other recent utility installations of induction motor ASDs have contrib-
uted to a concept for a second-generation ASD specifcally for power
plants. Features of the power plant-specifc ASD are as follows:

• Use of input transformer for 12-pulse or 18-pulse converter.

• Grounding of ASD system to stabilize DC link voltage and elimi-
nate motor over-voltage.

Figure 2-1. Preferred Confguration for Large Power Plant ASD

Electric Energy Efficiency in Power Production & Delivery


• Built-in design tolerance for bus voltage swings, spikes and inter-

• Water-cooled thyristors for simplifed and more effective cooling.

• Control of or elimination of resonance between output flter and

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