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3 Mitigation of Voltage Stability Problems
The following methods can be used to mitigate voltage stability problems: Must-run generation. Operate uneconomic generators to change power flows or provide voltage support during emergencies or when new lines or transformers are delayed. Series capacitors. Use series capacitors to effectively shorten long lines, thus, decreasing the net reactive loss. In addition, the line can deliver more reactive power from a strong system at one end to one experiencing a reactive shortage at the other end. Shunt capacitors. Though the heavy use of shunt capacitors can be part of the voltage stability problem, sometimes additional capacitors can also solve the problem by freeing ‘‘spinning reactive reserve’’ in generators. In general, most of the required reactive power should be supplied locally, with generators supplying primarily active power. Static compensators (SVCs and STATCOMs). Static compensators, the power electronics-based counterpart to the synchronous condenser, are effective in controlling voltage and preventing voltage collapse, but have very definite limitations that must be recognized. Voltage collapse is likely in systems heavily dependent on static compensators when a disturbance exceeding planning criteria takes these compensators to their ceiling. Operate at higher voltages. Operating at higher voltage may not increase reactive reserves, but does decrease reactive demand. As such, it can help keep generators away from reactive power limits, and thus, help operators maintain control of voltage. The comparison of receiving end QV curves for two sending end voltages shows the value of higher voltages. Secondary voltage regulation. Automatic voltage regulation of certain load buses, usually referred to as pilot buses, that coordinately controls the total reactive power capability of the reactive power sources in pilot buses’ areas, has proven to be an effective way to improve voltage stability (Can˜izares, 2005). These are basically hierarchical controls that directly vary the voltage set points of generators and static compensators on a pilot bus’ control area, so that all controllable reactive power sources are coordinated to adequately manage the reactive power capability in the area, keeping some of these sources from reaching their limits at relatively low load levels. Undervoltage load shedding. A small load reduction, even 5% to 10%, can make the difference between collapse and survival. Manual load shedding is used today for this purpose (some utilities use distribution voltage reduction via SCADA), though it may be too slow to be effective in the case of a severe reactive shortage. Inverse time–undervoltage relays are not widely used, but can be very effective. In a radial load situation, load shedding should be based on primary side voltage. In a steady-state stability problem, the load shed in the receiving system will be most effective, even though voltages may be lowest near the electrical center (shedding load in the vicinity of the lowest voltage may be more easily accomplished, and still be helpful). Lower power factor generators. Where new generation is close enough to reactive-short areas or areas

However. Therefore. By adjusting the reactive power flow. used by transmission system operators (TSOs) to control the transmission line voltage. This major fault prompted action to find a permanent solution to a voltage control problem. voltage and reactive power control systems are key. Generators should be used as effectively as possible.that may occasionally demand large reactive reserves. the TSO can change voltage drop along the lines and the receiving end voltage. As the majority of reactive power is generated by power plants. the voltage at the customer connection is dependent on the voltage control used by the TSO between the source generator and the customer load. Overload capability of generators and exciters may be used to delay voltage collapse until operators can change dispatch or curtail load when reactive overloads are modest. However. shunt capacitors with a higher power factor generator having reactive overload capability may be more flexible and economic. Reactive power. Voltage control is managed by capacitors and reactors installed at various system operational facilities along the transmission line route. To be most useful.85 power factor generator may sometimes be appropriate. namely at the customer connection point. because of the increased transmission line losses. It is unfortunate the transmission lines from the main power plants are located some 1000 km (621 miles) southwest of the transmission system problems in northeast Poland. northeast Poland experienced a complete system failure in the form of a blackout that lasted a few hours. this method of voltage control has limitations. Use generator reactive overload capability. operators trained in its use.80 or 0. Supply contracts used by the industry do not specify the need for unity power factor. Northeast Poland has no significant generation plants. reactive overload capability must be defined in advance. and protective devices set so as not to prevent its use. An unavoidable parameter of system load flows is the presence of reactive power associated with the phase difference between voltage and current. The generators are able to deliver adjustable leading and lagging reactive power without affecting fuel costs. Shaping the Flow In June 2006. For large transmission systems. it is not cost effective to transmit reactive power over long distances. . Research and development work on this issue was conducted in Polish technical universities and foreign institutions before the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) was able to offer a solution in June 2008. therefore. The presence of reactive power effectively reduces the load transfer capability of the transmission system. increasing the voltage drop across network impedances. a 0. the energy (active power) and reactive power are delivered by other regions of the country. is additional to the load currents. The reactive power is partially compensated on the customer side while the remainder effectively loads the network.

The Blackout The Polish power system blackout occurred on June 26. so by 7 a. there is a lack of grid-connected generation. In northeast Poland. a minute reserve of 656 MW and a cold reserve of about 2600 MW. a demand much higher compared with the same month in previous years... 2006. two in Kozienice and two in Laziska Power Plants. one generator in the Dolna Odra Power Plant was activated. causing deterioration of the operational conditions within the power plants. which included a second reserve of 237 MW. were disconnected from the system. another four units. before noon.200 MW. In the meantime. The transmission system was equipped with automatic reactive power and a voltage control system that operated correctly. Adding to those issues. of which one unit was off-line for maintenance at the time of the blackout. there was a demand shortfall of 1100 MW. The demand was to be supplied from 75 generation units supported by a spinning reserve of 1350 MW. a deteriorating condition that continued until the low voltage caused the generators to shut down. which limited the use of available generation capacity from outside the region. . leading to a complete system blackout. the nearest power plant in the region being Ostroleka (3 × 200 MW). there was the loss of a generator at Patnow Power Plant and. Nevertheless. This situation was mainly constricted to the power plants located in central and northern Poland. and the transmission line capacity was much higher than required. Local control of voltage by means of auto transformers resulted in increasing line current and diminishing voltage levels. reducing voltage at the customer terminals. an unusual heat wave hit the country. but for technical reasons. These five generators were the main source of supply to northeast Poland. the generating capability of some power plants was reduced. the predicted consumption was some 600 MW less than the system demand. The net effect of the demand for additional reactive power was to increase the load current and line voltage drops. the combined system operational characteristics were able to cause a major system blackout. The loading on some of the transmission lines reached the acceptable load-transfer limits. As a result of insufficient cooling water and above-average water temperatures.m. Simultaneously. In the early hours of June 26. The existing generation was sufficient to supply the system demand. Not the Usual Causes This system blackout occurred without any unusual system equipment failures or adverse weather conditions such as lightning or a hurricane. the availability of the cold-reserve generation was delayed by six hours.m. 570 MW of generation had been lost. The control of reactive power became critical. when the predicted system morning peak demand was 18. By 1 p.

Reactive power flow involves the generation of additional reactive power. the control system is able to manage and adjust the generation of reactive power in power plants to the voltage. all such contracts are profit oriented. the balancing requires a request for a change in the generation. the TSO began installing static VAR compensators. Poland. Since the compensators have been installed. and the reactive power needed in each of these areas for safe operation was evaluated. this software tool has been developed and used primarily for off-line planning studies. The computation was applied to a detailed model of the Polish power grid. As customers are free to change their power demand at any time. The remaining two units will be installed in 2011. TSOs that do not own generation facilities have to achieve their voltage control task by contracted reserves and generation-load balancing. in June 2008. To date. this form of system control can result in a system blackout. as the transmission of reactive power over long distances is not only uneconomical but also can be ineffective for voltage control. contributing to the development of the tool for the identification of voltage problems and lack of reactive power. the EPRI experts visited Warsaw. In a market economy. the TSO had commissioned five of the predicted seven reactive power compensators. but on the other hand. TSO staff regularly attended EPRI project meetings. it is more difficult and more expensive to achieve. By August 2009. In normal operating conditions. As the result. On one hand. The framework developed in this research project has been successfully implemented in a precommercial-grade software tool and has been tested on several other large power systems with satisfactory results.The reactive power compensation is location dependent. the reliability of supply in a market environment is more important because of customer expectations. several suspect areas were identified. Read more: http://tdworld. operation of the transmission system has improved and no voltage problems have been experienced. To ensure the appropriate standards of system reliability are Results of the Research Project The project for the Polish TSO started at the end of 2007. and the newly developed software was implemented on the Polish transmission system. it will be extended to on-line control center applications. and a few months work with EPRI was needed to establish the right approach to apply the theoretical method for this particular system. Based on the results of these calculations. but in the Finally. If the location of reactive power sources is remote and inadequate.html#ixzz2A8FQGMqt . Read more: http://tdworld.

push the system through every condition. For a wide range of system conditions and contingencies. dispatch conditions and defined transactions (source-to-sink transfers). The approach adopted for this research project was based on the power-voltage curve method combined with modal analysis. The search concluded when the TSO participated in a project led by EPRI.html#ixzz2A8FUJvo4 The Search for a Solution The events in June 2006 led to the availability of funds and a dramatic search to find a solution to avoid a recurrence. Use power-voltage curve methodology. Store the results of the modal analysis in a database for analysis using data-mining techniques to identify the critical areas and track them throughout the range of system changes. perform modal analysis to determine the critical mode of instability as defined by a set of bus participation factors corresponding to the zero eigenvalue. until voltage instability is reached. Define a large set of contingencies that spans the range of credible contingencies. substations or buses at risk for voltage instability. At the point of instability (the nose of the power-voltage curve for each case).Grzegorz Blajszczak (Grzegorz. The Polish TSO was able to take the necessary steps to improve the control of voltages and reactive power in its transmission system. under all contingencies. Budapest Technical University and Rand Afrikaans University of Johannesburg. he joined Westinghouse Electric Europe as vice director. Read more: http://tdworld. Blajszczak. During his career. and in 1996. the model sought had to identify regions.Blajszczak@pse-operator. joined PSE Operator in 1999. where he is currently the supervisor for power The model also had to indicate areas where the existing generating capacity was evaluated as critical as well as areas where the level of reactive power resources required to maintain reliable system operation. • • . In 1994. Establish the reactive reserve requirements for each identified critical area. who has been an IEEE member sice was awarded a master's degree from Warsaw University of Technology in 1984 and a PhD from the Hungarian Academy of Science in 1990. Blajszczak has been engaged on research on power quality at Warsaw University of Technology. he was appointed foreign relations manager in Energoprojekt-Warszawa. The project aimed to develop a highly automated method for the identification of areas prone to voltage instability in practical power system models. The framework for this project can be summarized in the following tasks: • • • • Define a system operating space based on a wide range of system load conditions.