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POWER SYSTEM CONTROL AND STABILITY
Power systems are controlled to ensure the quality of supply to the users without
causing excessive wear or damage to power system transmission and generation
equipment.
User requirements
Users require a consistent supply voltage so that loads can operate as designed (lights
do not become dim) or are not damaged through an over voltage (usually light
filament bulbs are most vulnerable). The supply voltage should not contain significant
harmonics as this can generate excessive losses in the loads. The frequency must also
remain stable for synchronous machines and induction machine loads.
Power Utility requirements
A Utility’s primary concern is that revenue is maximised through continuity of
supply. To facilitate this, the supply voltage must be maintained and must not cause
insulator failure. The power frequency must also be kept within a tight margin to
avoid generator failure through mechanical torque oscillations in the generator shafts.
Line currents must be minimised to avoid equipment failure due to excess
temperatures (excess temperatures cause insulation failure and cable sagging)
Major control options
Voltage
 Generator exciter control
 Shunt reactor insertion
 Tap changing transformers
Frequency
 Prime mover load output
 Load management
Power flow
 Generator power division among units
 Phase shift transformer
 Line switching
 Series capacitors
Voltage control
At the generator the generator terminal voltages can be controlled through control of
the exciter current. In a modern generator the terminal voltage is controlled
automatically by Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVR). The AVR response time can
be extremely fast if modern electronic devices are used. The presence of an AVR
means that the practical stability limit of a generator will no longer be limited by the
load angle as with a variable excitation the output power will be independent of the
load angle.
In the power system tap changing transformers are traditionally popular for
controlling the power network voltages. This is a power transformer where the turns
ration can be altered to regulate the output voltage levels (usually in steps). As
indicated schematically in figure 1.
Figure 1 Schematic of a tap changing transformer
Network transformers can change tap settings on line. The disadvantages are: only
incremental changes are available, the mechanical tap changing gear is a moving part
which could potentially fail , when boosting the secondary voltage the primary current
will increase which in turn will increase the voltage drop in the primary side and
hence negate the overall effect.
We have already seen that there is a strong linkage between voltage and the injection
of reactive power ( V and Q). This is exploited in power system control. In the
lectures on power transfer The following relationships were derived
X
V
dV
dQ
B
~ (1)
or
X
VdV
dQ
B
~ (2)
or
B sc
dQ I dV ~ (3)
V
p
V
s
Traditionally the reactive power injection is achieved with shunt capacitors or
inductors. Shunt capacitors act as a reactive power source and shunt inductors act as
reactive power loads. The control is limited to just switching in and out load banks.
The equivalent per unit circuit for a tap changing transformer is as given in Figure 2
Figure 2 Equivalent circuit for a tap changing transformer
We can put:
(4)
If we assume that V
s
and V
p
are in phase so that the left hand side of (4) is a real
number (imaginary part is zero) then equation (4) can be rearranged to give:
(5)
or given that
then
(6)
Thus if t<1 the Q is positive so it is equivalent to injecting reactive power and if t>1
then Q is negative so it is equivalent to absorbing reactive power.
At the transmission level over excited unloaded synchronous machines also make a
cost effective reactive source.
Frequency control
The net torque acting on a machine will accelerate or decelerate the synchronous
generators. The mechanical torque produced by the prime movers (turbines or
windmills) is balanced by the torque produced by the electrical load on the machine.
rotor
mechanical Electrical
d
T T J
dt
e
÷ = (7)
Where T
mechanical
is the prime mover input mechanical torque, T
Electrical
is the torque
produced by the electrical load, J is the total moment of inertia of the rotating parts of
the machine and ω
rotor
is the angular velocity of the rotor in radians per second. If we
X/t
2
t :1 V
p
/t
V
s
Q
multiply equation (7) by ω
rotor
and note that T ω=Power then we have the following
expression.
rotor
mechanical Electrical rotor
d
P P J
dt
e
e ÷ = (8)
Therefore the system is held at constant frequency (50 or 60 Hz) by carefully
balancing the mechanical input power with the load power.
At the generators the mechanical input power is controlled through the speed
governor settings on the prime movers. The loads can in some cases be directly
controlled by the utilities. But in general good load prediction is required. Load
prediction is a complex problem, for example a 1
0
C error in the weather forcast will
give a 1% error in the power system loading. Tariff schemes are usually employed to
try to smooth out the daily variation in load. For instance domestic “Economy 7”
tariff in the UK offers a reduced rate over 7 night time hours. For industry more
complex tariff schemes can be employed.
Power flow
Although generators are the only source of power in a power system the distribution
of power around the system can be influenced by controlling the voltage phase angles.
We have seen that the power flow along a transmission line is related to the load angle
or phase angle δ between voltages at the receiving and transmitting ends of the
transmission line. For a lossless system we have
sin P o · (9)
Traditionally the load angle is adjusted with the use of phase shift transformers. The
circuit arrangement for one phase of a three phase phase shift transformer is as given
in Figure 3. The resulting phasor diagram is given in Figure 4.
Figure 3. Circuit arrangement for a single phase of a phase shift transformer.
Phase  a
Phase  b
Phase  c
Figure 4 Phasor diagram showing how phasea of a 3 phase phase shift
transformer is adjusted
The transformer uses the fact that the line voltage between two phases is orthogonal to
the third phase. Adding a proportion of V
bc
to V
a
therefore adjusts its angle but not
significantly its amplitude The output voltage on a given phase is shifted by an
amount θ which can be adjusted by the transformer tapping.
Line switching can also be used to control the power flow, support overloaded lines
and to adjust the transmission impedance between to points in a power system. On
very long lines series capacitors are included to reduce the line inductance. The
optimum location is in the centre of a transmission line but often this is inaccessible
so a series capacitor at each line end or in each substation is employed as depicted in
Figure 5. For capacitors at each end typical values of 35% of the line inductances are
used reducing the total line impedance to 30% of the line inductance. Series
capacitors are popular for long lines of the order of 150 km particularly in the higher
latitudes where they reduce the effects of geomagnetic storms.
The transmission system will have a total reactance X
T
given by
T l c
X X X = ÷ (10)
and the power flow is then given by
sin
T
EV
P
X
o = (11)
V
a
V
c
V
b
V
bc
αV
bc
θ
Figure 5. Two popular arrangements for series capacitors installed on long lines
To consider what series capacitors can offer consider a lossless line. If we express the
power transfer in per unit quantities and assume (E=V=1) we have:
(12)
which gives
=1 (13)
Therefore
(14)
Using the trig identity
then reduces to
(15)
or
(16)
We can then write that the power at the VA limit of a transmission line is given by
(17)
a)
X
c
=35%X
l
X
c
=35%X
l
X
l
X
l
/2 X
l
/2
X
c
=50%X
l
b)
Figure 6 shows the relationship between per unit power at maximum VA and total
line impedance in per unit values.
Figure 6 Per Unit Power output against loss less line reactance at rated VA
The degree of compensation is a trade off between Capacitor VA and improvement of
power flow. Only for long ehv lines with impedances of the order of 0.5 pu or more
will there be a substantial improvement.
0.84
0.86
0.88
0.9
0.92
0.94
0.96
0.98
1
1.02
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
P
o
w
e
r
a
t
V
A
m
a
x
(
p
u
)
Per Unit Line Reactance
Division of power between generator units
The speed governors on generators will govern how the total load is distributed
between the generator units. A governor will have a certain power – speed
relationship which can be adjusted by the “speeder gear” setting to give the required
loading at rated frequency. A typical governor characteristic is shown in figure 7.
When there are rapid changes in system loading there will be initially a system
frequency change (free governor action) before the governor settings can be changed
to bring back the system to the rated frequency (typically 50 or 60 Hz).
Figure 7 Typical generator governor characteristics
The speeddroop characteristics of the generator governors are given by their per unit
regulation R
pu
which can be expressed as:
2 1
0
pu
g
f f
f
R
P
S
÷
= (18)
where
f
2
= no load frequency
f
1
= frequency at rated output P
g
f
0
rated frequency (50Hz or 60 Hz)
S = Base MVA
P
g
= rated generator output
Actual regulation can be found by multiplying by f
0
/S giving
frequency
1 pu
1.04 pu
0.96 pu
alternative settings
power
2 1
g
f f
R
P
÷
= Hz/MW (19)
Thus a load change ΔP
g
will give a generator frequency change given by
0
g u g
f
f R P R P
S
 
A = ÷ A = ÷ A

\ .
(20)
For a multimachine system the frequency change must be identical (i.e. there is one
common frequency) . Equation (20) can therefore be rearranged to give the change in
power of a generator for a given frequency change
0
1
g
u
S
P f
R f
 
A = ÷ A

\ .
(21)
The total load change ΔP
T
is then :
0 0
1 1
T g
u u
S S
P P f f
R f f R
   
A = A = ÷ A = ÷ A
 
\ . \ .
¿ ¿ ¿
(22)
Equation (22) can be rearranged to give the initial system frequency change which
would occur given the total power change
0
1
1
T
pu
P f
f S
R
A A
= ÷
¿
(23)
The initial power change in each generator ΔP
i
unit can then be expressed as
1
1
T
i
pui
pu
P
P
R
R
A
A =
¿
(24)
Secondary control will be instigated after a load change to
 Restore the system frequency
 Ensure economic dispatch
 Provide prearranged power exchange
 Cause an area to absorb their own power changes
Example
Consider two 600 MW machines supplying 1000 MW at 50Hz. Machine 1 has a
speeddroop characteristic of 4% and outputs 520 MW and machine 2 has a speed
droop characteristic of 3% and outputs 480 MW. If there is a total load changes to
1100 MW what will be the output power of each machine and the new system
frequency before secondary governor control occurs?
Answer
Using equation (23) we can derive the frequency change as
3
0
1 100 1
2.857 10
1 100 100
600
4 3
T
pu
P f
f S
R
÷
A A
= ÷ = ÷ = ÷ ×
+
¿
or
Δf = 0.14285 Hz
The power change for each machine is then given by equation (24)
( )
1
1
1 1 100
42.9 MW
1 4
100 100
100
4 3
T
pu
pu
P
P
R
R
A
A = = =
+
¿
( )
2
2
1 1 100
57.1 MW
1 3
100 100
100
4 3
T
pu
pu
P
P
R
R
A
A = = =
+
¿
Secondary control will act to restore the system frequency to 50 Hz and also ensure
efficient system operation.