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Applications of wavelet transforms in electric power quality: harmonic distortion

J. Barros, Senior Member IEEE, R I. Diego, Member IEEE, M. de Apráiz
Dept. of Electronics and Computers University of Cantabria Santander. Spain

Abstract—Wavelet transform is, at present, one of the most useful digital signal processing tools for time-frequency analysis of power quality disturbances in power systems. This paper presents a review of the applications of wavelet transforms in the measurement and analysis of harmonic distortion in power systems, discussing the performance, advantages and limitations of the different methods proposed in the technical literature. Keywords-harmonic distortion; power quality; power systems; wavelets.



short and long duration voltage variations and harmonic distortion. The authors proposed the use of short wavelet functions, such as Daubechies with 4 coefficients (db4) or with 6 coefficients (db6), for the case of fast transients and longer wavelet functions, such as db8 and db10, for the case of slow transients. Robertson et al. explored in [8] the use of the wavelet transform for power system transients and described a methodology for building a transient recognition system, separating power transient signals into meaningful components. The system was initially proposed for capacitor switching and fault transients. Since those first applications of wavelets in power systems, many new applications of wavelets have been proposed in the technical literature in all areas of power engineering, from the analysis of non-stationary and stationary signals, to the detection, classification, compression and storage of power quality disturbances, to power system relaying and protection. References [9-12] present an interesting review of the use of wavelet transforms in different areas of power system engineering. In this context the purpose of this paper is to present a review of the different methods proposed in the technical literature for the measurement and analysis of harmonic distortion using wavelets. In section II of the paper the methods applied for estimation of harmonic, interharmonic and subharmonic distortion using different wavelet transforms are summarised. Section III describes the methods proposed for the detection and tracking of time-varying harmonics. Section IV studies the application of wavelets in harmonic compensation and, finally, Section V considers the special case of the waveform distortion produced by voltage notching and the use of wavelets for its characterization. II. WAVELETS AND HARMONIC DISTORTION

The two basic signal processing methods proposed in the international standards for analysis of electric power quality are the r.m.s. value, used for the measurement of the magnitude of voltage or current wavefoms and Fourier analysis, used for the estimation of the magnitudes of the fundamental and harmonic components [1-4]. Although these methods are defined for analysis of stationary signals, they are also used for non-stationary signals, producing erroneous results. Different digital signal processing tools have been proposed to overcome to some extent the limitations of the standard methods, such as the Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT), Kalman filtering (KF), wavelet transforms (WT) and others, but until now, none of them have been considered in the measurement standards. Wavelet analysis is an advanced mathematical tool that uses short-duration oscillating waveforms with zero mean and sharp decay to zero at both ends, instead of stationary sinusoidal waveforms as are used in Fourier analysis. These short-duration waveforms are shifted and translated to vary the time-frequency resolution. Wavelet analysis is well suited to non-periodic signals that may contain both stationary components as well as transient signals, such as the ones that can be found in power quality disturbances. The capacity of wavelets to adapt the window size improves the analysis of these types of non-stationary signals. P.F. Ribeiro was the first to apply wavelet transform for analyzing non-stationary signals in power systems [5, 6]. In these papers the author presents the basic concepts of wavelet theory and investigates the potential for its application in power system distortion analysis. Santoso et al. proposed in [7] an approach using wavelets to detect and localize electric power quality disturbances, such as fast voltage fluctuations,

The suitability of wavelets for studying signals in different frequency bands has lead to different proposals for their application in the analysis of harmonic distortion in power systems. Furthermore, using the time information provided by the wavelet transform, it is possible to track the time evolution of harmonic, interharmonic and subharmonic components in power system waveforms. Continuous wavelet transform (CWT), discrete wavelet transform (DWT), wavelet packet transform (WPT) or

The authors wish to thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, National Plan of R+D+I (2008-2011), for its support of this research project under grant ENE2009-13978-C02-01, of which the present paper is a part.

978-1-61284-946-1/11/$26.00 ©2011 IEEE

On the other hand. By selecting a suitable sampling frequency of the input signal and the wavelet decomposition tree. in [26] a statistical approach for the computation of the r. using the Morlet wavelet function.s. The authors proposed an approach based on the method in [14]. and power/energy measurements of fundamental or harmonic components using the wavelet transform. References [17-18] proposed an approach where CWT is applied. A hybrid wavelet-Fourier approach is proposed in [41] to reduce the computation complexity in the analysis of harmonic distortion. magnitudes of harmonic components in power system waveforms.m. power factors and others.m. DWT is applied to the input signal and then DFT is applied to wavelet coefficients in the different decomposition levels. E. selecting the two parameters to fulfil the requirements of a specific application. 32] proposed different implementations to reduce the computational complexity of WPT for its application in real-time measurement of harmonics. . More recently. A WPT decomposition compatible with the harmonic groups defined in IEC standards is also used in [35] for detection and identification of harmonics in voltage and current waveforms in an arc furnace. 40] to redefine power quality indexes. value to compare the performance of different wavelet families using DWT is presented.m. a method is presented for estimating frequency and harmonic parameters in real time using a recursive wavelet transform. the use of a combination of CWT and DWT for identification of harmonics and to quantify their amplitudes and phase angles is proposed. for detection and estimation of the frequency and magnitude of harmonic. On the other hand.s. wavelets with large numbers of coefficients present lower spectral leakage than wavelets with small numbers of coefficients. Hamid et.recursive wavelet transform (RWT) have been proposed for estimation of harmonic distortion in power system waveforms. to obtain fifteen 50-Hz width bands up to harmonic group of order 15.J. proposed in [19-21] the use of the WPT to separate and to improve the results obtained using DWT in the estimation of the r. L. Using this criterion the authors proposed db7 as the most suitable wavelet for analysis of power system harmonics. 43]. The method proposed presents an error in the acceptable range for an IEC standard measurement instrument.6 kHz sampling frequency. compatible with the harmonic groups defined in the IEC standard. for the case of stationary harmonic distortion and better results than the standard method in the case of non-stationary harmonic distortion and in the case of the presence of interharmonic components. As a general rule. A five-level wavelet decomposition tree with db10 as the mother wavelet is used in order to reduce the spectral leakage. in the time-frequency domain. 34] propose the use of a wavelet packet decomposition tree. Vaidyanathan with 24 coefficients [19. In [14]. CWT is also used in [16] for identification of harmonics. Devaney in [31. Reference [13] provides the theoretical basis for r. Eren and M. reference [37] presents a method for estimation of the magnitude of the subharmonic components computed using the WPT. There is no agreement about the most suitable wavelet function for analysis of harmonics. WPT is also proposed in [39. Reference [27] suggested the use of the Gaussian wavelet for estimation of harmonics using the continuous wavelet transform. with each harmonic frequency in the centre of each band. This paper presents an instrument for timefrequency analysis of the waveform distortion in voltage supply using wavelets and proposes a new performance index for assessment of the distortion in this frequency range.s. Symlet 8 and Coiflet 5. al. An integrated approach for estimation of harmonic. in [25] an algorithm for selecting the most suitable mother wavelet for measurement of harmonics and interharmonics using WPT is proposed. Daubechies with 20 coefficients [23] and Coiflet 5 [24] have been proposed in the literature as the most adequate wavelet functions for harmonic analysis. uniform frequency decomposition can be obtained that corresponds to the harmonic and interharmonic groups as defined in standard IEC 61000-4-7 [2]. DWT is also proposed in [28-30] for a new definition of the power components contained in IEEE Standard 1459-2000 in the wavelet domain. The authors concluded that discrete Meyer wavelet provides better performance than db10. 22]. The authors study the effect of sampling frequency and data window size on the performance of the algorithm. The logarithmic decomposition of the frequency spectra produced by the DWT does not exactly correspond to the harmonic components of a signal and cannot be used to obtain a precise estimation of the harmonic distortion. comparing the performance of this method with the standard method. Finally a method for estimation of waveform distortion in the frequency range from 2 kHz to 9 kHz using the WPT is proposed in [44]. References [33. In [42. interharmonic and subharmonic groups.Y. A new approach based on wavelet packet transform is proposed in [38] for power calculation of fundamental and all harmonics of a signal. and are better suited for analysis of harmonic components. interharmonics and subharmonics. In [15]. This limitation in the estimation of harmonic distortion is overcome using the wavelet packet transform. with Vaidyanathan with 24 coefficients and 1. instead of using FFT. such as THD. and the time-evolution of harmonic using simultaneously different levels of the same wavelet packet transform decomposition tree is proposed in [36]. The choice of the mother wavelet function is one of the key factors in the successful application of wavelets in the analysis of harmonic distortion or any other power quality disturbance. subharmonic or interharmonic components. using the Chaari complex wavelet function instead of the Gaussian function for the evaluation of harmonic content in power system waveforms. distortion index. the same authors proposed a method for compensation of the distortion introduced by the filter banks used in the implementation of wavelet transform.

phase angle and frequency to control an active power filter. a wavelet-based controller is applied in [64] to control the dc link voltage of a shunt active power filter. even when the source voltage is asymmetrically distorted. A conventional decomposition filter bank is used to obtain band-pass filters centred at each harmonic frequency and a non-conventional synthesis bank structure with up-sampling is used for separately reconstructing each harmonic component waveform to its original sampling rate. The authors reported the performance of the method proposed in the analysis of an arc furnace system. In [56]. In [65]. Zeng et. A combined method for analysis of time-varying harmonics using the wavelet transform and the Short Time Fourier transform is presented in [53]. WAVELETS AND HARMONIC COMPENSATION Wavelets have been proposed in [60-67] for harmonic compensation both in active power filters and in unified power quality conditioners (UPQC). The method only used the high-frequency coefficients of the first level of the decomposition tree for detection purpose and it is sensitive to high-frequency noise. Driesen et. al. In [46]. a methodology to separate and reconstruct odd and even harmonic components up to order 15 in the input signal is proposed. Morsi and El-Hawary proposed in [66] a method based on WPT to decompose the load distortion current into active and residual components. The wavelet transform is used to detect the time and the main frequency range of the transient signal. the use of DWT with dmey wavelet function is proposed to analyze and visualize time-varying harmonics in voltage and current waveforms. 55] for timefrequency characterization of power system harmonics. In [48] a Morlet wavelet transform for the study of timevarying harmonics is proposed. wavelet analysis enables the time-frequency analysis of a signal with different resolutions. A method for locating bursts of harmonics in power systems using DWT with the Symmlet wavelet function is presented in [51]. requiring a careful selection of the detection threshold. al. which makes it possible to identify any event occurring in the input signal. with Haar wavelet function. wavelet transform in combination with least mean squares and recursive mean squares algorithms are used to track non-stationary harmonics in real time. On the other hand. as was previously stated. based on definitions of active and reactive power quantities in the time-frequency domain associated with complex wavelets. To this end. with the Meyer wavelet function. proposed in [45] the use of the DWT. However. applying the STFT to the transient signal. A combination of wavelets and Kalman filtering is used in [49] for on-line tracking of power system harmonics. due to the use of band-pass filter banks none of the methods proposed is valid to track individual harmonic components. . presented in [61] an algorithm to determine the reference filter current for an active power filter. On the other hand. the use of the DWT does not allow the adequate separation of the different harmonic components. Driesen et. The main advantage of this method is that these two components are accessible at each frequency band over time. WAVELETS AND TIME-VARYING HARMONICS In contrast to DFT analysis. wavelet analysis is used to extract the disturbance and to generate the reference signal to drive the shunt part of the unified power quality conditioner. proposed the use of transient and steady-state models for power systems in the wavelet domain for transient and timevarying harmonic analysis. In [47]. allowing selective harmonic elimination. However. DWT with db4 and 24 decomposition levels is applied to the dc voltage error signal. in [67] a repetitive current control scheme which utilizes a real-time delay-less digital filter based on wavelet transformation is proposed to control an active power filter. less than ¼ cycle. interharmonic compensation and non-active power measurement. al. concluding that both methods present better performance than the “dq method” with the EKF method showing faster response in transient conditions. The method proposed simultaneously uses different levels of the filter bank used to analyze the time-varying characteristics of the different harmonic frequency bands in the input signal with different resolutions. An algorithm based on the use of the WPT is presented in [54. DWT with the dmey wavelet function is applied in [63] to obtain the reference compensation of a shunt active power filter. The inrush current from singlephase and three-phase transformers and the input current of an arc furnace system are used as test signals to show the performance of this approach. the use of DWT does not permit the assignation of the scales of the multi-resolution algorithm to the different harmonic frequencies. Wavelet transform. In [60]. which provides a frequency resolution that is a function of the sampling window used and no time resolution. showing the performance of the method in three practical examples. In [52]. Finally. Different authors have proposed the use of wavelets for analysis of time-varying harmonics. the same authors proposed a wavelet-based method for measurement of waveforms with harmonics that step-change between different levels for use in the calibration of IEC standard harmonic analyzers. Reference [62] made a performance comparison of an extended Kalman filtering (EKF) and wavelet-based algorithm to obtain in real time the reference current for an active power filter with respect to the “dq method”.III. Wavelet analysis provides high time resolution for highfrequency components of a signal and low time resolution for the low-frequency components. The method proposed presents short transient time. then a least-squares algorithm is applied to compute its amplitude. CWT with Gabor mother wavelet function is used in [50] for tracking the performance of power electronic converters. In [57-59]. T. to analyse time-varying power system harmonics. the fundamental component of the load current is extracted using a wavelet transform decomposition. is employed to develop a new harmonic model to shorten the tracking time when using Kalman filtering. In spite of what is stated in these references. IV.

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