Research Journal Applied Sciences Engineering and Technology 4(9): 1110-1116, 2012

ISSN: 2040-7467
© Maxwell Sacientific Organization, 2012
Submitted: November 09, 2011 Accepted: November 29, 2011 Published: May 01, 2012
Corresponding Author: Masoud Farhoodnea, Department of Electrical Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad
University (SRBIAU), Hesarak, Tehran, I.R. Iran
Power System Voltage Stability and Control- A Review
Masoud Farhoodnea,
Hadi Zayandehroodi,
Mahdiyeh Eslami,
Reza Sirjani,

Marjan Mohammadjafari and
Amirreza Forozia
Department of Electrical Engineering, Science and Research Branch,
Islamic Azad University (SRBIAU), Hesarak, Tehran, I.R. Iran
Department of Electrical Engineering, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran
Department of Economy and management, Science and Research Branch,
Islamic Azad University (SRBIAU), Hesarak, Tehran, I.R. Iran
Abstract: At the recent years, power system becomes a large complex interconnected network that contains
of hundreds of buses and generating stations. In addition, to provide the required power, new installation of
power generators and transmission lines are required. Due to the environmental and economic constraints of
installation of new generators and increasing demands, transmission line flows has been increased on the
existing transmission lines which may increase the risk of losing voltage stability and blackouts in the system.
This paper presents an overview on definition and principles of voltage stability. Furthermore, common
proposed techniques in the literature to enhance the steady-state voltage stability, such as excitation control and
FACTS devices are also addressed.
Key words: Dynamic stability control, power flow control, power system oscillation, power system stability
Power system stability can be defined as the ability
to recover a counterbalance state after the occurrence of
disturbance in the system (Grigsby, 2007). Stability
analysis of a system can be divided into two classes,
steady-state stability and transient stability. Steady-state
stability, which recently named as dynamic stability, is
only a function of the operating condition, while transient
stability is a function of both the operating condition and
the disturbance (Venikov et al., 1975; Kwatny et al.,
1986). Various types of disturbance such as changing
power demand and short circuits are the main causes of
power system dynamic. These disturbances may cause a
broad range of dynamic changes and the loss of stability
into some parts or the whole of system at a different time
scale (Bose, 2003). Therefore, the dynamic changes and
stability of the system depends strongly on the size of the
disturbances (Agarwal, 1995; Pavella et al., 2000).
Over the past decades, stability issues, especially
voltage instability, were the major challenging topic for
the system planners. The rapid development of
technology in field of power flow controller devices such
as Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS), Energy
Storage System (ESS), and Distributed Generation (DG)
is gradually reshaping the conventional power systems
(Pal and Chaudhuri, 2005; Du et al., 2009). Most of these
devices are based on power electronics technology, and
operate by controlling the volume of injected active and
reactive powers, or by controlling voltage angle at the
specific buses of the system in order to improve the
quality of the power and stability of the system (Hanzelka
and Milanoviƒ, 2008; Bayod-Rújula, 2009). The Thyristor
Switched Series Capacitor (TSSC) or Thyristor Controlled
Series Capacitor (TCSC) devices can also be used to
change the apparent reactance of the line in discrete or
continuous mode (Edris, 1997; Zhang and Ding, 1997).
Furthermore, excitation control is known as an effective
controller to improve dynamic and transient stability in
power systems (Mathur and Varma, 2002).
Voltage stability which is one of the contexts of
power system stability can be defined as the ability of a
power system to preserve steady-state bus voltages,
before and after being subjected to a disturbance (Van
Cutsem, 2000). When the system operates close to critical
conditions, voltage stability analysis is an important and
promising approach to estimate the response of the system
to typical disturbances such as line tripping or step load
increasing (Borghetti et al., 1997; Van Cutsem, 2000;
Zima et al., 2005). Therefore, power system is voltage
stable when voltages at all buses in the system after a
disturbance are close to voltages at normal operating
condition (Kundur et al., 2004). It should be noted that
voltage control and instability are local problems, but it
may have a widespread impact on the system (Van
Cutsem, 2000; Zima et al., 2005).
This study concentrates on an overview of definitions
and research studies related to the context of voltage
Res. J. Appl. Sci. Eng. Technol., 4(9): 1110-1116, 2012
Fig. 1: Equivalent circuit and phasor diagram of a transmission system
stability in power systems. The operating issues and the
current methods to enhance stability of the power system
are also discussed.

Steady state voltage instability and its occurrence are
considered as a serious problem in a large power system
(Garng and Zhang, 2001). To maintain system voltage at
a stable point has become a major crisis due to the thermal
capability or steady state voltage stability limits (Lof et
al., 1992; Young-Huei et al., 1997). Voltage instability is
known as a continuous voltage collapse, when the
network loadings and the reactive power demand increase
at the specific areas or entire system (Zima, 2002;
Vargon…ík and Kolcun, 2007). One of the most important
factors causing voltage instability is the incapability of the
power system to provide the reactive power in the
presence of reactive loads or high reactive power losses to
keep desired voltages (Ajjarapu and Christy, 1992).
Considering the equivalent circuit of a transmission
system and its phasor diagram, as shown in Fig. 1, the real
and reactive power absorbed by the load, Pn and Qn, can
be expressed as (Machowski et al., 1997):
(1) P Vl V
   cos sin
 

(2) Q VI V
    sin cos
 

where N and * are the phase angle between V and I; and
E and V, respectively.
Equation (1) and (2) can be simplified and written as:
 
 
  

sin cos cos
  

Figure 2 shows the graphical illustration of Eq. (3) in
terms of the P-V curve or Nose curve with respect to N as
Fig. 2: A group of P-V curves with different phase angle
a parameter. From the Figure, it is clear that the voltage
decreases at a lagging power factor as the real load
increases, and the voltage initially increases and decreases
(Wijekoon et al., 2003). through a low lagging power
factor. Equation (3) and Fig. 2 show the effect of power
demand on voltage stability which should be strongly
considered in stability analysis
The main factors in long term voltage stability are the
field current and frequency control at generators
(Johansson, 1998). The frequency regulation problems
have forced engineers to develop the turbine speed
governors and excitation controllers to rapid control of
frequency and voltage output of the synchronous
generators within the specified limits in case of changes
in real and reactive power
demands (Patel et al., 2004). So as to carry out excitation
control to enhance stability control, rapid and accurate
measurement of various types of prime data, such as the
real power, system frequency, and rotational speed is
necessary. The major task of the excitation system is to
control and adjust the field current, which can regulate the
terminal voltage of the synchronous machine (Bevrani,
2009). Due to the high time constant of field circuit,
exciter should have a high ceiling voltage which enables
the exciter to operate transiently with the voltage levels up
to 3 to 4 times of the normal level (Stewart, 1947). In
addition, because of the high reliability required, the rate
of change of voltage should be as fast as possible and
Res. J. Appl. Sci. Eng. Technol., 4(9): 1110-1116, 2012
Fig. 3: structure diagram of a sample fuzzy-PID controller
each generating unit should be supplied by its individual
exciter (Bayne et al., 1975; Kirby and Hirst, 1997).
Generally, there are three types of excitation systems
including dc excitation systems, ac excitation Systems,
and static excitation systems(Friedman and Corporation,
The Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controller
is one of the most common controllers with simple
structure and strong adaptability for excitation control
(Kiam Heong et al., 2005; Tan et al., 2007). Recent
studies on PID parameters tuning led to develop efficient
complex control techniques based on artificial neural
networks and genetic algorithms (Berenji, 1992; Jahedi
and Ardehali, 2011). Other studies have combined the
intelligent algorithm with the fuzzy PID control to
improve the PID controller by presenting PSO searching
method. To enhance the local optimization problem of the
PSO algorithm, the rebound strategy to optimize the
boundary restricts of PSO has been used, which can
achieve the rapid and steady control of the excitation of
the synchronous generator (Junfeng et al., 2006; Pan
et al., 2011). Figure 3 shows the structure diagram of a
sample fuzzy-PID controller (Hui et al., 2009). In Fig. 3,
first the fuzzy-PID controller formulates fuzzy
computation based on the terminal voltage error e(t) and
error variation rate e
(t) , then logical reasoning and
judgment is created according to the fuzzy rules. Finally,
by combing with the initial values of the parameters, the
output values u(t) of the PID controller can be generated.
Fuzzy neural networks controller based methods are
also wildly proposed in the previous studies. In these
methods, the artificial neural networks have been used to
build a network holding fuzzy information and study the
rules of convention fuzzy controller. Also, the fuzzy
relational matrix, which is the core of fuzzy reasoning,
has been replaced the trained neural networks. Then the
controller that is based on the fuzzy neural networks can
make control response quickly when the controlled object
has the difference between the actual output value and the
given input value (Lin and Lee, 1991; Godjevac, 1995;
Ching-Hung and Ching-Cheng, 2000). Figure 4 shows the
block diagram of a fuzzy neural networks controller (Wei
et al., 2009).
Reactive power compensation is often known as an
effective method to improve voltage stability of power
systems. Due to the effective role of the power system
components and controller, it is important to determine
voltage stability in case of occurrence of disturbance and
static/dynamic voltage instability, which is a difficult task
in complex power system. Hence, how to achieve a
simple, suitable and realistic principle for static voltage
stability is still an important task in field of voltage
stability problems. The rapid improvement and utilization
of FACTS in the power transmission system has led to
many applications to improve static/dynamic voltage and
angle stability of the system. Due to the effects of reactive
power on voltage reduction and voltage instability, the
FACTS devices can be effectively used for decreasing the
effects of reactive load and increasing the reactive power.
It should be noted that the injection of reactive power
have to be local and adequate (Zhang and Ding, 1997).
The FACTS devices, including Static Synchronous
Compensator (STATCOM), Static Var Compensators
(SVC), Thyristor Controlled Series Compensator (TCSC),
and Static Synchronous Series Compensator (SSSC), have
their own characteristic and limitations (Gyugyi et al.,
1997; Sode-Yome et al., 2005). Therefore, they may the
issue under consideration and the time frame involved.
represent by different mathematical models depending on
Generally, the FACTS devices can be divided into three
categories including series connected, shunt connected
and combination of series and shunt connected
controllers. In theory, the series controllers are used to
inject voltage in series with the line to alleviate line
overloads and increase transfer capability, where the
shunt controllers are able to inject current in parallel with
the line at the point of connection to compensate voltages
by injecting reactive power at the low voltage buses. Also,
the combined controllers such as Unified Power Flow
Controller (UPFC) are used to inject current into the
system with the shunt part and voltage in series with the
series part of the controllers to control both the active and
reactive power flow (Song et al., 2004).
Res. J. Appl. Sci. Eng. Technol., 4(9): 1110-1116, 2012
Fig. 4: The structure of Fuzzy neural networks controller
Fig. 5: Equivalent circuit of SVC
Fig. 6: Basic structure of STATCOM
The main difficulty in FACTS installation is to
determine the possible locations of each FACTS device.
Due to this problem, several methods have been proposed
based on the sensitivity analysis on series controllers,
such as TCSC. In addition, several methods have been
proposed based on system load ability and contingency
analysis to determine optimal location of shunt
controllers, such as SVC. It should be noted that the
calculation of the sensitivity to determine the suitable
location of shunt and series controllers must be
determined at the specific buses where the problems are
occurred, which is quite time consuming approach to
analyse for every bus and its respective line (Jurado and
Rodriguez, 1999).
Static Var Compensators (SVC): One type of FACTS
devices is SVC, which is a shunt connected static Var
controller with an adjustable output according the
required capacitive or inductive current. In other words,
SVC operates as a shunt compensator to control and
maintain the magnitude of voltage at a desired level by
the change of parallel susceptance from sensing the
change of bus voltage. Furthermore, SVC, which mainly
operated at load side bus as a replacement for existing
voltage control devices, can control transient stability,
power fluctuation, and low frequency oscillations in the
system (Song and Johns, 1999).
The equivalent circuit of SVC is shown in Fig. 5. As
shown in the figure, SVC is modelled by a variable
reactor and a fixed capacitor. Using the optimal
parameters for capacitors and variable reactor, the amount
of injected reactive power by the SVC can be continually
determined in order to control the voltage or to maintain
the desirable power flow in the system. Usually to control
the SVC parameters, some search algorithms such as GA
and SA are used in order to find the optimal parameters of
SVC to achieve the optimal coordinated control of the
compensator. It should be noted that SVC has its own
upper and lower susceptance limits, which determine the
capability of supplying adjustable reactive power within
these limits. When a SVC reaches to its limit, it cannot
supply the needed additional reactive power support.
Hence the system may lose its stability at this situation
(Khaki et al., 2008).
Static synchronous compensator (STATCOM): The
STATCOM (also known as the static VAR generator
(SVG)) is a voltage converter device which uses in order
to generate the active and reactive power needed by the
system. The STATCOM has several advantages including
fast response, continuous and quick control of reactive
power, and smaller storage capacitance (Zhang and Ding,
1997). In addition, the ability of the reactive power
compensation in STATCOM is better than SVC.
Therefore, STATCOM may consider as an effective
Res. J. Appl. Sci. Eng. Technol., 4(9): 1110-1116, 2012
Fig. 7: Basic structure of TCSC
Fig. 8: Basic structure of SSSC
solution to the problem of voltage stability. Figure 6
shows the basic structure of STATCOM. Figure 6 shows
that STATCOM is a shunt connected device which is
connected to the grid through a series reactance.
On the DC side of the converter device, which is
equipped with a Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM)
controller, there is only a capacitor and there is no source
or demand of real power. Dynamic reactive compensation
can be achieved by adjusting voltage and angle of internal
voltage source (Arnold, 2001; El-Moursi and Sharaf,
2006; Ghafouri et al., 2007; Ben-Sheng and Yuan-Yih,
Thyristor Controlled Series Compensator (TCSC):The
TCSCs are a type of FACTS devices which are an
effective and economical means to provide fast active
power flow regulation and control of series compensation
such as sub-synchronous resonance. This device consists
of a set of capacitor bank and a parallel thyristor
controlled inductor. By controlling active power through
TCSC using the firing angle of the thyristors, this device
is able to indirectly control the power angle of remote
generator and enhancing the transient stability problems
(Stromberg, 1998; Mahajan, 2006; Wagh et al., 2009;
Meikandasivam et al., 2011). Figure 7 shows the basic
configuration of TCSC.
Static Synchronous Series Compensator (SSSC): The
SSSC is a series connected, Voltage Source Convertor
(VSC) based device which is able to compensate reactive
power and increase the critical clearing time of fault and
damps out the post-fault rotor angle oscillations (Sen,
1998; Poshtan et al., 2006). The SSSC is able to directly
control the current, and indirectly the power of the system
by controlling the reactive power exchange between the
SSSC and the AC system (Kamarposhti and Lesani,
2011). The SSSC has numerous advantages over the
TCSC including omission of large passive components
such as capacitors and operational ability for both
inductive and capacitive modes (Padiyar, 2007). Figure 8
shows the basic configuration of SSSC.
Due to the increased reactive power consumption,
power systems have been operated under more stressed
conditions. Under this situations, a number of unstable
behaviour such as voltage drops have been experienced in
power systems. In this paper, a basic definition about
context of voltage stability has been addressed using
power-voltage relationships and P-V curve. Furthermore,
the effects of field current and frequency control at
generators on voltage stability and control has been
discussed. Also a brief explanation about fuzzy-PID and
Fuzzy neural networks controllers has been given. In
section 4, the effects of FACTS devices on modern
voltage stability control has been discussed and two
common types of FACTS devices including SVC,
STATCOM, TCSC and SSSC has been introduced.
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