IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, VOL. 21, NO.

2, APRIL 2006

987

Optimal Integration of an Offshore Wind Farm to a Weak AC Grid
X. I. Koutiva, Student Member, IEEE, T. D. Vrionis, Nicholas A. Vovos, Senior Member, IEEE, and Gabriel B. Giannakopoulos, Senior Member, IEEE

Abstract—This paper studies the behavior of a high-voltage direct current link based on voltage-source converters, which feeds a weak ac network with power produced from an offshore wind farm (WF) of induction generators. Its control system, which is based on adaptive fuzzy controllers, manages to offer very satisfactory performance, without the need for a detailed mathematical model, but just prior knowledge of the behavior of the electrical system. Using the simulation program PSCAD/EMTDC, the study was performed under both steady-state and transient conditions. The results show that the link supplies the variable power of the WF to a weak grid, keeping the ac voltage fluctuations in the point of common coupling at an acceptable level. Moreover, due to the ability of the control system to adjust the stator frequency of the induction generators in relation to the wind velocity, maximum wind power acquisition is achieved. Index Terms—DC–AC power conversion, fuzzy control, HVdc transmission, induction machines, voltage control, wind power generation.

I. INTRODUCTION

D

URING the last decade, due to the increased energy demand and environmental concern, wind farms (WFs) have penetrated to the field of power generation worldwide. Wind power is integrated into electricity grids and accounts for a noticeable share of the total power generation. Suitable places for big clusters of windmills installations are uninhabited islands and offshore platforms, because they offer high, uniform wind speed and acceptable visual impact. In this case, the underwater transmission of power to the mainland grid has to be by cable. For long distances, ac transmission cannot be used to bring the wind power ashore, as long-distance cables produce large amounts of capacitive Vars. So dc transmission is the only applicable solution. On the other hand, the dominating kind of wind power generators is that of asynchronous generators since they are robust and cost-effective. Induction generators, however, do not contribute to the regulation of grid voltage nor frequency and they are substantial absorbers of reactive power. Furthermore, areas with good wind resources are geographically far from the consumers and are in regions where the power grid is relatively weak. This generates many problems, such as voltage drop, voltage flicker, harmonic distortion, and frequency deviation. Compensation is then needed to preserve power quality in the network.

Classical HVdc links are not suitable for this type of transmission application, as they require a high short-circuit ratio between the two ends. On the contrary, the technology of HVdc based on voltage-source converters (VSCs) can be a feasible solution [1]–[3]. It presents the advantages of dc transmission and due to the high switching capability of the VSCs’ insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), it can instantly regulate the reactive power and, consequently, the ac voltage, independent of the real power flow. So the short-circuit ratio between the two ends of the link does not have to be high. Furthermore, the power quality and system stability can be improved via continuously adjustable reactive power support with ac voltage feedback control. While some control methods for HVdc links based on VSCs connecting WFs of synchronous generators to strong ac systems have been relatively discussed in the literature [4], [5], the topology regarded in this paper has not been studied so far. Aiming to cope with a more demanding case, the connection of a WF of induction generators to a weak ac grid via an HVdc link based on VSCs was studied. The system under study is a highly complex, nonlinear system. The wind is a fluctuating and unstable power source so when a WF feeds a weak ac grid, the supply of power to the ac network becomes even more difficult. For this reason, a quick, flexible and adaptive control system is required, which is able to cope with imprecise and noisy data and, at the same time, a control system which can be online tuned in order to present optimum performance under any operating conditions. Taking into account the above requirements, the implementation of the control system was based on adaptive fuzzy controllers (AFCs). They combine the advantages of classical controllers with an inherent ability to deal with imprecise and noisy data. Furthermore, they are self-tuned online in order to achieve optimum performance under any circumstances. So this dynamic type of control, due to its ability to easily adapt to the quickly changing and fluctuating values of the wind velocity, offers the possibility to achieve, apart from an acceptable voltage waveform to the point of common coupling (PCC), an optimum wind power acquisition that drives the WFs to maximum aerodynamic efficiency. II. DESCRIPTION OF A VSC-BASED HVDC LINK An HVDC link based on VSCs connecting a WF with an ac network is shown in Fig. 1. It consists of a WF at the sending end, an ac network at the receiving end, the VSC stations, and the intermediate high-voltage dc link. Each converter station consists of a VSC, an interface transformer, dc capacitors, and

Manuscript received December 13, 2004; revised April 4, 2005. Paper no. TPWRD-00587-2004. The authors are with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Patras, Rion 26500, Greece (e-mail: xanthi@ee.upatras.gr). Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.859275

0885-8977/$20.00 © 2006 IEEE

except for the automatic MFs adjustment. which follows the reasoning of an expert which would manually tune the MFs. For example. between the fundamental frequency voltage generated by the converter. The two VSCs are connected with two coaxial cables. it is able to extend its control capability even to those operating conditions where linear control techniques fail (i. changes the amount of power absorbed by the WF and can achieve maximum wind power absorption according to the wind speed. and the dc voltage will return to its reference value. This type of control offers. AFCSs can adapt to their environment and acquire new knowledge by themselves through learning. thus. it has inherent abilities to deal with imprecise or noisy data. and the ac bus voltage. consequently. 1.. the dc voltage at the point G detects the deviation of increases. 1). The main drawback of an FL-based control system is that the tuning of its membership functions (MFs) needs too much “trial and error. Respectively. consequently.” In order to reduce the time-consuming process of the MFs tuning or to ameliorate the performance when it does not satisfy the specification. VOL. the phase angle soidal reference signal . IV. According to (1). NO. by regulating the angular frequency at In addition. The amplitude of the ac voltage in each converter station is compared to a reference value and the error is passed into a regulator. the dc capacitors will discharge. 1). In addition. 2(a) and(b). just by incorporating the experts’ knowledge into fuzzy rules. VSC-based HVdc link. when the WF sends more power to the dc link. This adjustment is accomplished online. when the wind power increases. Neglecting the losses at the transformer. . which the point tends to increase. the active power.e. (Fig. the phase angle . AFCs are thus very suitable for the control of systems which are strongly fluctuating. consequently. and fuzziness in the decision-making process. CONTROL SYSTEM DESCRIPTION The control system is based on fuzzy logic (FL). For example. whose output is the modulation index “m. Vni. This is detected by gives an order to increase the phase angle of the PWM sinuand. Both VSCs control the ac voltage at their sides by regulating the modulation index “m” of the sinusoidal PWM reference signal and. such as systems of large WFs of induction generators. This power balance is achieved by keeping constant the voltage at is designated the role of the point G (Fig. manages to offer a very satisfactory performance. 2. without the need of a detailed mathematical model of the system. large parameter variations). with series-connected insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) in each valve Fig. A possible arrangement of such a system is the implementation of a fuzzy controller (FC) to adjust the parameters of another FC. This type of control. the angular frequency returns to its reference value. imprecision. The control system of the dc voltage from its reference value and gives an order to increase the phase angle of the pulsewidth-modulated (PWM) sinusoidal reference signal and. according to the behavior of the system. must be equal to the active power received by the network at the other side of the link plus the losses. when the ac voltage exceeds its reference value. which is supplied to the HVdc link. ac filters. we can apply an online-tuned adaptive fuzzy control system (AFCS). approaching the human reasoning that makes use of the tolerance. (b) Structure of a VSC valve. (a) One level of a VSC bridge. CONTROL PRINCIPLES OF A VSC-BASED HVDC LINK The active power P flowing between each converter and its adjacent ac network is controlled by changing the phase angle . the angular frequency at . without the need of a telecommunication line between the stations. the modulation signal of the magnitude of ac voltage generated by the converters. Therefore. according to (1). the active power is calculated according to (1) (1) where is the transformer leakage reactance. The bridge of the VSCs is of two levels six-pulse type. “m” is decreased. uncertainty. an adapting tuning of the MFs. more power is absorbed by the ac grid. 2. Vn. the point K (Fig. consequently. with reof the fundamental ac output voltage of spect to the ac voltage at the other side of the transformer. In normal operation mode. more power is driven to the dc system and. with respect to of the fundamental ac voltage of . . 21.988 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY. the dc voltage regulator at this point. Vg. The control of power angle is achieved by regulating the angular frequency of the ac voltage created by the VSC. Each IGBT is provided with an antiparallel diode.” If the voltage generated by the converter is lower than its reference value. III. the active power flow between the two VSCs is automatically balanced. the modulation index is increased in order to increase the generated ac voltage. Thus. Fig. by the ac voltage at the bus of the WF increasing the phase angle . 1). As the dc voltage at the point G is kept at a constant value. APRIL 2006 Fig. The main FCs MFs are tuned online through the supervisor-FC.

1). 4). regulating factor of MFs. phase shift of the phase angle (positive for and negative for decrement of increment of ). This is achieved by changing the reference value of and monitoring the correthe frequency at the point K by sponding change of the WF real power output. absolute mean deviation of from . These MFs are the initial MFs before their tuning. at the end FCs is described in detail in the The structure of the following paragraphs. angular frequency at the point K. : is the main FC of the angular fre1) Structure of quency regulator control system. (OK). which is the main controller This system consists of of the AFCS. This is managed through an AFCS.KOUTIVA et al. is the new value of the phase angle and is where the previous value of the phase angle . HVDC link based on VSCs and its control circuit block diagram. are shown in Fig. 3). in order to achieve maximum wind power absorption according to the regulates the angular frequency at the point wind speed. If an increment of the reference frequency causes an increment to the power P. Of by course. 5. Its inputs are the deviation of from its reference and its derivative. Fig. positive small (PS). Its output is the phase shift of . P. 1). By accumulating the successive values of . 3. when the WF operates at the maximum aerodynamic efficiency for a specific wind speed. step change of . whose main role is to fine-tune and . phase angle . efficiency of the WF for a specific wind speed The meaning of the symbols shown at Fig. according to (2) (2) Fig. 4. the value of comes up. . A. This searching method drives to oscillate near the optimum value. Each of them will be described in detail in the following paragraphs. at the point K (Fig. 4). . . .: OPTIMAL INTEGRATION OF AN OFFSHORE WIND FARM TO A WEAK AC GRID 989 Fig. negative small (NS). Angular frequency regulator control system AFCS . The overall control system proposed in this paper consists of two AFCSs and two simple fuzzy control systems (FCS). which dynamically detects online the angular frequency at the point K that corresponds to the maximum aerodynamic (Fig. and The frequency at the point . is dynamically approached in real time from The value of (Fig. using a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technique. AFCS (Fig. and positive big (PB). 3). which produces a signal the error is passed through (Fig. As shown in Fig. Otherwise. the general form of the final MFs will remain the same. angular frequency at the point K for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. is compared to . is the angular frequency As was previously mentioned. Angular Frequency Regulator As was mentioned in the previous paragraph. five fuzzy subsets are needed for the input : negative big (NB). mentioned in the previous paragraph. 4 is the following: P real power at the point K. The initial MFs for the input The term initial is used because these MFs are tuned online . 5. the direction of the search is reversed. variance of . the search is continued in the same direction. 3. K (Fig.

producing bigger variations of . The priority of this conMFs in order to drive troller is to regulate the as close to its reference as possible. APRIL 2006 Fig. it must be decelerated by increasing the phase angle . In fact. positive and small(S). If the angular frequency is almost equal to its nominal value and is quickly accelerating. 7. medium (M) are PB. 2. the phase angle must be increased very slowly in order to avoid the oscillations near the set point. the following points must be taken into account: If the angular frequency is much higher than its nominal value. the system must become “stricter. and the output of this controller is • the variance of the signal (Fig. and the output of this controller is ance of (3) Specifically. to an experienced control system designer. Membership functions for the fuzzy set ! 0! . : The role of is to fine-tune on line 2) Structure of . NS. . By accumulating the successive . 7. As was mentioned in the previous paragraph. the correction action must be strong. . The corresponding outputs are selected as given in Table I. 21. VOL. and increase very fast (IVF). (OK). and NB. 6. increase slowly (IS). NS. and they are shown in Fig. the range of increased. gular frequency reference value online The inputs of this controller are the following: • the last change of . The vari. 5. Gaussian MFs are used for both inputs and outputs.” To achieve this. who continuously monitors the system and modulates the MFs in order to make the system more or less “strict” according to the circumstances.990 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY. : The role of is to compute the an3) Structure of . This reasoning is extended for all possible combinations of the angular frequency and its rate. it is possible to online tune MFs in order to optimize acts similar its parameters under any circumstances. • the corresponding change of real power . The machines must be decelerated by quickly increasing the electrical power flow into the dc link. increase fast (IF). 4). increases or decreases the range of the MFs which correspond to the output in order to render “stricter” or “looser. are decrease The fuzzy sets required for the phase angle very fast (DVF). When this goal is can be further fine-tuned in order to miniachieved. Membership functions for the fuzzy set phase angle  . in case of a large variation of the wind velocity. increase very slowly (IVS). there is no combination of parameters that ensures optimum performance under any operating conditions. OK.” For example. The online tuning of the MFs is a good way the MFs of to deal with the continuing variation of the system parameters. If the angular frequency at the point K is higher than its nominal value and is accelerating. used by . Three fuzzy subsets are needed for each input: big (B). The fuzzy control rules are shown in Table II. are the following: The inputs of from its reference • the absolute mean deviation of . Fig. The fuzzy sets required for medium (PM). which will optimize MFs. 6. NO. decrease very slowly (DVS). decrease slowly (DS). For the derivative of the . and PB. Obviously. according to (3). the fuzzy sets needed are NB. the regulating factor values of is produced. decrease fast (DF). TABLE I FUZZY RULES FOR FC Fig. In order to form the fuzzy control rules. Through . and they are shown in Fig. no matter if it is accelerating or decelerating. PS. Membership functions for the fuzzy set derivative of ! 0! . mize the width of fluctuations of near its reference. PS. this is managed by increasing the phase angle very quickly .

consists of a main FC and an additional FC . Each turbine is coupled to the induction generator through a speedup gear ratio. The fuzzy sets used by inputs and outputs are the following: PVB positive very big. so it The structure of the above FCs is similar to that of will not be discussed further. . .KOUTIVA et al. 8. and they will not be analyzed further. As we can see in Fig. DC Voltage Regulator A real power unbalance between the sending and receiving end of the dc link causes a respective change in the voltage of . PS positive small. which generates the signal (Fig. NM negative medium. consequently. the much higher value of inertia of the wind-turbine (WT) rotating parts. the modulation signal of the magnitude of the ac voltage generated by the VSCs. The WF consists of 50 squirrel-cage induction generators.: OPTIMAL INTEGRATION OF AN OFFSHORE WIND FARM TO A WEAK AC GRID 991 TABLE II FUZZY RULES FOR FC Fig. 9. TABLE III FUZZY CONTROL RULES OF FC DC voltage regulator control system AFCS . maintain a constant dc voltage across its capacitor by adjusting the power flow from the dc link to the ac source. 9). PM positive medium. 8. as it is a case in which the supplying power makes fluctuations and some times big (ramp) changes. The output of the regulator is the modulation index “m” of the sinusoidal PWM reference signal and. If the system is able to cope with these disturbances. it will operate successfully under any other operating conditions. The structure of and is very tuning of the similar to the structure of and its tuning controller . So the cable and capacitors are discharged and the dc voltage is reduced. NVB negative very big. and its output is the current change of Gaussian MFs are used for both inputs and outputs. The fuzzy control rules used by B. 3) is compared to its reference value and its error is passed through . which sends power to a weak ac network of 20 kV via a VSC-based HVdc link. compared to the inertia of a common machine rotating parts. and is the previous value of the phase angle . NS negative small. As the dc-link voltage is regulated at a constant value. without the need of a telecommunication line. In order to achieve this. AC voltage regulators (FCS ). V. 8). which is the dc voltage regulator. Also. renders the study of the system very interesting. DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM STUDIED The system under study includes a 90-MW offshore WF with induction generators. has to the dc capacitors. N negative. Fig. Only their inputs and outputs are sited in Table IV. The application of the WF supplying a weak network was chosen to test the performance of the system. ZE zero. At a wind speed of 12 m/s. the active power flow between the two VSCs is automatically balanced. C. are shown in Table III. PB positive big. P positive. NB negative big. The an AFCS value of comes up. When the dc voltage is too high. is adjusted to push more power into the ac system. which is responsible for the online MFs. the measured dc-link voltage (at the point G. TABLE IV INPUTS AND OUTPUTS OF FC AND FC Fig. according to (4) (4) where is the new value of the phase angle . each machine reaches its rated output of 1800 kW. AC Voltage Regulators The ac voltage regulators in each converter station compare the amplitude of the ac voltage generated by the VSCs to the amplitude of a reference voltage and apply the error into an FC (Fig. respectively.

EVALUATION OF THE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE This paragraph presents the simulated response of the system. under steady-state and two disturbances. Then. the fuzzy logic toolbox of MATLAB was also used. Respectively. Wind velocity. 10. Fig. blade impact area. link. constants. Finally. The control system detects the deviation of the dc voltage from its reference and gives an order to adjust the phase angle to push less power to the ac system and to increase the dc voltage. the and values of the real power at the two ends start to decrease (Fig. Electrical frequency and its reference. 12. When this happens. 11. tip speed ratio. keeps decreasing. Before the system manages to reach the steady-state. rising up to 11 m/s. 13 shows the dc voltage at the receiving end of the link and its reference . We can observe that is order to decrease continuously attached to . converting the simple fuzzy controllers of the fuzzy logic toolbox into AFCs. which can be self-tuned online. nonlinear simulation of the system has been used in order to test the system under steady-state and transient conditions. Each machine of the WF was represented separately in the simulation in order to take into account the interaction between the generators of the WF. and a sudden increase of the wind speed. new steady-state. causing a respective increment of stays close to and increases until it reaches its optimal . following an ates with a mean value near 9 m/s and at almost step change. 11). the design of AFCs was accomplished. The dc cables are coaxial and 100 km long.component model [7] and is defined by the following equation: (8) is the base wind velocity. the dc voltage reaches its reference value again. which corresponds to the wind velocity of 8 m/s. Even in this disturbance. dc capacitors of 500 F are used at each converter. the decreases too. The basic simulation program used is PSCAD/EMTDC. so the dc voltage returns to its reference value. the control system gives an (Fig. the control system gives an order to push more power to the ac system. wind density . When the wind velocity decreases. 12). 2. 21. angular velocity of the turbine. the wind speed changes again. APRIL 2006 The modeling of the turbine characteristics was accomplished through the following equations [6]: (5) (6) (7) where wind turbine power. 11–14 show the response of the system at the above mentioned disturbances. VOL. . Then. a sudden decrease. VI. Through C++ programming. and reach a value. which corresponds to the maximum absorption of real power from the WF. As decreases. when the dc voltage rises. reach its optimal value for the specific wind velocity.992 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY. Because the control system was based on fuzzy logic. AC capacitors of a total capacity equal to 10 F are placed at the side of the WF in order to supply a constant amount of the reactive power that is necessary for the operation of the inductive generators. trying to Fig. Power at the sending and the receiving end of the VSC-based HVdc Fig. drops to a mean value near 8 m/s (Fig. and The 20-kV ac network has a short-circuit capacity (SCC) equal to 45 MVA. performance coefficient. After a few seconds. the real power at both ends increases. component. A detailed. Figs. pitch angle. The system is simulated with a wind velocity which fluctu200 s. . blade semidiameter. The wind model used in this application is a three. is the ramp wind where is the noise wind component. 10). NO. wind velocity. Fig. the wind velocity rises suddenly up to 11 m/s.

“A superconucting dc transmission system based on VSC transmission technologies. 18. 2002. She is mainly specializing in HVdc transmission based on voltage-source converters (VSCs).D. 3. in 1976. T. J. Vrionis. Dec. Fig. but when the wind speed changes suddenly. vol. vol. 2001. “A simulation model of an HVDC link using VSC’s and a control system exploiting its capabilities. and intelligent control. Greece. “DC overvoltage control during loss of converter in multy-terminal voltage-source converter-based HVDC. T. Vovos.. maximum wind power acquisition. R. [6] S. 1922–1925. 35. 2. which offers the possibility to supply the variable real power of the WF to the low short-circuit capacity bus at the PCC with an acceptable power quality. 12. 2003. Ooi. Graz. Superconduct. Andersen. 2003. Greece. Jun. Heier. “Steady state operation of HVDC power transmission system with voltage-source converters and simultaneous VAR compensation. flexible. The AFCs that are presented in this paper have the ability to be self-tuned online in order to have an optimum performance in every operating condition. [7] P. CONCLUSION In this paper. PAS-102. NY: Wiley. resulting in a big deviation of the voltage from its reference. M. X. REFERENCES [1] G. She received the Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Patras. Giannakopoulos. Greece.” in Proc. Syst. they cannot react as fast as they should. driving the WFs to the maximum aerodynamic efficiency. and intelligent control. Wind Energy Conversion Systems. Jul. so they offer the possibility to achieve. Johnson. Austira. We can observe that the ac voltage stays between the acceptable limits. Fig. 15. Koutiva (S’03) was born in Tripolis. and P. RMS ac voltage at the grid when the controllers are simple FCs. in 2001. pp. pp. [2] W.” IEEE Trans. no. DC voltage at the grid. the connection of a big offshore WF of induction generators to a long-distance weak ac grid is studied. no. 15 shows the ac voltage at the grid bus when the controllers are unsupervised FCs. 16. Xu. RMS ac voltage at the grid.” in Proc. renewable energy sources. [4] L. [5] X. The only feasible solution for this connection is an HVdc link based on VSCs. It starts deviating from its reference for a few seconds after the wind speed changes.” IEEE Trans. Vrionis was born in Athens. where he is currently pursuing the Ph. Fig. Acha. L. 13. K. vol.” Power Eng. B. so it demands a quick. 915–920. D. 1983. pt. 3791–3795. The FCs offer satisfactory performance in steady-state.. power quality. EPE.: OPTIMAL INTEGRATION OF AN OFFSHORE WIND FARM TO A WEAK AC GRID 993 VII.D. CSIT. pp.. 14. V. in 1976. Bose. They can easily adapt to the quickly changing and fluctuating values of the wind velocity.-T.. computer applications in power systems analysis. even during the disturbances. Rion. Agelidis. but the control system quickly detects this deviation and drives the voltage to its initial level. no. 2. G.” IEEE Trans. The proposed control system is based on adaptive fuzzy control. computer applications in power systems analysis. and adaptive control.KOUTIVA et al. degree. 2002. Power Del. He received the Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Patras. pp. and G. renewable energy sources. degree. in 2000. Koutiva. This system has a very unstable and fluctuating behavior by nature. Lu and B. 1998. Fig. apart from an optimum integration of the WF to the weak ac grid. N. I. “Topologies for VSC transmission. p. Xu. Appl. Power App. power quality. Greece. Venkataramanan and B. 142–150. “Stability simulation of wind turbine systems. where she is currently pursuing the Ph. A. His main research interests include HVdc transmission based on voltage-source converters (VSCs). Rion. J. vol. Jun. . and E. Anderson and A. Horton. [3] B. In order to indicate the amelioration of the system performance when AFCs are used instead of simple unsupervised FCs. 14 shows the voltage at the ac grid. Fig. 13.

NO. U. Currently. in 1950. His research interests are the transient stability study of integrated ac/dc systems. in 1978. 2. Greece. Manchester. computer techniques in power system analysis. Giannakopoulos (M’95–SM’96) was born in Volos. Rion.D. 21. Gabriel B. VOL. His main interests are HVdc transmission. . Greece. power quality. APRIL 2006 Nicholas A. Vovos (M’76–SM’95) was born in Thessaloniki. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Patras.Sc. Currently. in 1978. University of Patras.K. degree from the University of Patras. power quality.. and renewable energy sources. he is Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. in 1951. in 1975. University of Patras. flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS). he is Professor and Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Greece. degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). Greece. He received the Ph. Rion. and renewable energy sources. He received the M.994 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY. flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS). and the Ph.D.

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