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A Comparison of Active Power Filter Control Methods in Unbalanced and Nonsinusoidal Conditions

G.D. Marques
SecqBo de Miquinas ElCctricas e Electrdnica de Potzncia
IST, AV. Rovisco Pais, 1096 Lisboa, Portugal
Abstract - Active power filters are used to eliminate current
harmonics near nonlinear loads. This paper evaluates four
different methods of determining the compensating current
for a shunt active filter that is working under nonsymmetrical conditions. The methods compared are the
Instantaneous Reactive Power Theory, the Modified
Instantaneous Reactive Power Theory, the Synchronous
Reference Frame Theory and the Modified Synchronous
Reference Frame Theory. The comparison is based on
simulation results. In balanced sinusoidal source voltages, the
difference between the results obtained by the four methods
are of minimum importance. For unbalanced and nonsinusoidal source voltage Conditions, the results obtained by
the methods referenced are quite different. The synchronous
reference frame method had shown the best choice for all
situations studied in this paper.

paper compares four control methods to obtain the
current under
asymmetric conditions.
This paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes
succinctly the four methods that will be compared in this
paper. The comparison is presented in section 3 with the
help of a simulation program. The results obtained with the
four above mentioned methods will be compared in
symmetrical and in non-symmetrical conditions. The
nonlinear load to be compensated is a three-phase diode
bridge. Non-symmetrical conditions are studied in two
different cases. In the first situation, the load is asymmetric
and the voltage remains symmetric. In the second situation
the non-symmetrical conditions are obtained when the
three-phase voltage system has a direct and an inverse
component. The conclusion is presented in section 4.

The majority of power consumption has been drawn by
linear loads. Modern loads typically contain power
electronic devices. The current drawn by these modern
devices is non-sinusoidal and therefore contains
Shunt active filters were proposed as a means of
removing current harmonics. In an active power filter, a
controller determines the harmonics that are to be
eliminated. The output of this controller is the reference of
a three-phase current controlled inverter. Fig. 1 illustrates
the principle of a shunt active filter. The nonlinear load is
connected to the power system and is supplied by the nonsinusoidal current .,i The active power filter is connected
in parallel to the mains, on the point of common coupling
PCC, and supplies the current harmonics needed to
maintain the source current sinusoidal.
Traditionally active power filters are studied under
sinusoidal and symmetrically voltage conditions. This




A. PqMethod
The p q theory [l], also known as the instantaneous
reactive power theory, defines the active and reactive
power as:

Where x denotes currents or voltages. When there is no
neutral point i,=O, then:

Fig. 1. Principle of an active power filter


Shunt active power filters inject ac currents on the
network. An outer controller determines the reference ac
currents that should be injected and thus compensated. A
three-phase voltage inverter with current regulation is then
used to inject the compensating current into the power line.
There are some different methods for implementing the
detection of harmonic currents. These methods were
studied in symmetrical conditions in the literature. The aim
of this paper is to qualitatively determine the differences
between four of those methods for a three-phase system
with unbalanced system of voltages and loads.

1998 IEEE


Authorized licensed use limited to: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DELHI. Downloaded on May 28,2010 at 11:18:41 UTC from IEEE Xplore. Restrictions apply.

* .. Downloaded on May 28. For a three wire system. . -e.. Whence Ps = PLav 4s =o (9) The reference source currents. the reference currents can be calculated using the same criteria as on the p q method..*= -(i. However the phase position angle must be determined in some way. + e. q = e.. 0 is a time variant angle that represents the angular position of the reference frame. using (5). * + ih) The compensating reference currents are calculated to compensate the instantaneous reactive power and the oscillating component of the instantaneous active power. In the synchronous reference frame. iLp are the measured values of the load currents.. so: C. e. B. The reference currents are obtained with an inverse transformation.ymisp are ideal source currents. e. T.-e. The fundamental current of the dq components is now a dc value. Restrictions apply. + ih + ic = 0 (14) From ( 1 2) and (1 3). Harmonic isolation of the dq transformed signal is achieved by removing the dc offset. the transformation is defined by: In this case the source transmits only the non-oscillating component of the active power.i. The ap components can be calculated using the ap transformation. The instantaneous active and reactive power p and q can be decomposed into an average and an oscillating component. The harmonicis appear like ripple. .i. + e$.-ec e. The ap currents can be obtained by the p and q using: Now the determinant is: where A=e:+ei As in the p q method. To implement the synchronous reference frame method some kind of synchronizing system should be used. Synchronous referenceframe method Pc = Pos (8) 4c ’ 4 L In the synchronous reference frame method [3]. and iLa.’ ec’ lag eo. the load current is transformed into the conventional rotating frame dq. and ec respectively by 90 degrees. 445 Authorized licensed use limited to: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DELHI.his is accomplished using a high pass filter (HPF). i. Three is no need to supply voltage information for a SRF based controller.The active power p and reactive power q are defined respectively as: p = e.i. + e. P = Pav + Pos * (7) 9 = 4av + 40s i.pjld] [y”]=[e.are: The compensating reference currents are: .00 1998 IEEE Where x denotes voltages or currents. In [4] and [SI a phase-locked loop (PLL) is used for the implementation of the this method. Modified pq method The modified pq method is presented in [ 2 ] . If 8 is the transformation angle. Fig. (4) %-ec][] e. + e$. This reference franne is rotating at constant speed in synchronism with the three-phase ac voltages. 2 illustrates a block diagram of the dq synchronous reference frame method. 0-7803-4503-7/98/$10.’.* (19) Where i.2010 at 11:18:41 UTC from IEEE Xplore..ic (13) Where e(.

6. The load used is a three-phase diode rectifier. Principle of the synchronous reference frame method D. 7 shows the source currents obtained. The a voltage component is considerably higher than the component. and a 50V inverse sequence voltage and a null zero-sequence voltage were used.015 ~ - ~ 0.00 1998 IEEE B. during the commutation of the diodes. In the second case. A 220V direct sequence voltage. The ac line currents presented are the reference source currents obtained by the methods referenced. Let 0 be the transformation angle (variable in time).8 - ~ 0. It is presented and named the instantaneous idiq method.2. The source currents in the other methods are almost sinusoidal 0-7803-4503-7/98/$10. The influence of the commutation of the diodes is clearly visible. This angle is computed using the ac voltages using (20) and (21). 4. 2-20 0 .02 Fig. That is due to the influence of the commutation on the voltage waveform. Restrictions apply. _ I _ 0. where some imprecision occur. Downloaded on May 28.01 Time [SI ~ . These waveforms are common to all methods studied. It is possible to conclude that the differences between the four methods in symmetrical conditions under sinusoidal voltage waveforms are of minor importance. In the third situation. unsymmetrical voltage and load conditions were considered. The best method is the synchronous reference frame method that exhibits practically sinusoidal currents. several simulations were performed. [7].2010 at 11:18:41 UTC from IEEE Xplore. a non-symmetrical load and a symmetrical voltage was used. In the first situation. 446 Authorized licensed use limited to: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DELHI. 3. 8 and 9.pq Method IL2 -4 e I / I - / 1 I / I . The major difference is that the speed of the referential is no longer constant. The transformation angle is now obtained with the voltages.. COMPARISION BETWEEN THE FOUR METHODS To evaluate the performances of the various methods. Fig. C. 2. The influence of the APP on the PCC voltage was not considered. . Unsymmetrical load and source voltage I ) Load waveforms: On the point of common coupling the voltage is the one shown on fig. It varies instantaneously depending of the waveform of the three-phase voltage system. 3. Modified synchronous reference frame method The modified synchronous reference frame. is presented in [6].. 7.- ~ . but there are some points. In this method. Fig. 5.005 - - 1 - 0.. A. The source current spectra for both methods are presented in Fig. 8 and 9.. Source currents obtained in symmetrical conditions. This method is similar to the synchronous reference frame method. The currents on the load are presented in fig. a sinusoidal and symmetrical ac voltage system is studied. I / I-" "r" "r" Fig. Symmetrical load and source The results obtained in this case are presented in fig. no synchronizing circuit is needed. 111. Unsymmetrical load and symmetrical source voltage The results obtained in the previous subsection are dependent on the voltage waveform. It was verified in several situations that those results are still valid when the load is unbalanced. 6 shows the APF compensating currents while fig. 2 ) Results obtained with p q Methods: The results obtained with the pq method are presented in fig.

0 0.pq Method PCC Voltages 6001 I I 4 0 0.015 0. . order Fig.02 Modified pq Method -600: 0. 5 . 9.015 0.00 1998 IEEE 447 Authorized licensed use limited to: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DELHI. However. Restrictions apply. The source currents are not sinusoidal. 9. .02 4- .. Modified pq Method 5 10 00 Harm. corresponds a lower CL current component. The better characteristic. order Harm.2010 at 11:18:41 UTC from IEEE Xplore. Voltages on the point of common coupling Load currents 25 I -25l 0 I I I 0.7 16. Spectra of the source currents (modified p q method). order Fig. m 8-. from the point of view of harmonics. To the voltage a component. 18. .02 T" [s] Fig.01 Time [SI 0. The behavior of the modified p q method is different.01 0. 8. the amplitude of each harmonic is practically the same in a and in p components. 2- . The a and p components are very different.005 0.02 Time Is] Fig.005 1 1 0. and conversely. obtained with the modified p q method is due to the waveform of the determinant (6) and (17) under 0-7803-4503-7/98/$10. 6 -.01 0. .01 5 0. Load currents D q Method Harm.005 0. the higher component. Spectra of the source currents @9 method).005 0. 8. The p q method has a poor performance from the harmonics point of view. 4. 12.015 I 0. 9 g10. Fig. Downloaded on May 28. Fiig. - 14.01 0.

3 ) Results obtained with the synchronous reference frame Methods: Fig. Waveform of the determinant of the modified p q method. .01 Time [SI 0. as the commutations of the diodes. .02 ~ _ _ . _ I . .performance in respect of harmonics. the synchronous reference frame method has a lower 0-7803-4503-7/98/$10.01 Time [SI 0.. . .. pq Method x105 3 Synchronous Reference Frame Method Z2o _ _ _ _ _ _ : .02 0. ._ 8 0.- . _- 2-20 ~ 0 ~ 1 - ~ ~ . Restrictions apply. 0 0. ..005 0.. . I _ .. Waveform of the determinant of the p q method.01 Time [SI 0..~ . . are obtained with the synchronous reference frame method..- ~ .__ _ . unbalanced conditions. .- 3-20 0 ~ .. . . Downloaded on May 28.015 LL q-20 0.- -2- . 10 and Fig. 1 _ _ _ _ .015 ~ . 0.- - _ a _ . As the a0 active power filter currents are different._ .02 Fig. 14 and 15 present the results obtained with the synchronous reference frame methods.02 Fig. but has a better performance in respect to the unbalance... _ .- 0. The method is also insensitive to the perturbations on the voltage due to the nonlinear load.. 13. I 1..01 0. Fig.. ._ _ . The source currents are far from the sinusoidal waveform...005 ~ - 2 - 0. 12. Compensating currents obtained with the synchronous reference frame methods .015 0. When compared with the modified p q method.- _ I _ .. 11 show the waveform of both determinants for this case. . The modified synchronous reference frame method has a good performance in respect to the peak value of the source currents but it is poor in respect to harmonics and unbalance. . _ I _ ~ ~.005 0. the source currents are also different. The best results. .01 Time [SI - . .2010 at 11:18:41 UTC from IEEE Xplore.- ~ - ~ .015 0. 12.015 Modified Synchronous Reference Frame Method 0.1. 13.02 Fig. Fig. .0. 448 Authorized licensed use limited to: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DELHI.005 0. Source currents obtained.. . '_ . .8 - ~ . even when compared with the presented on the previous subsection. . 10. . .- L -3 0 0.00 1998 IEEE _ .005 0 ~ 0. . In this case the source currents are practically sinusoidal and balanced.. .

all methods give different results.. H. [7] V. s 2a 10. . D. when there are harmonics on the load. 1997. P.767.3. order Fig. European Power Electronics Conference EPE’91 pp 3-030. Trondheim.=. 4.035. Verdelho. “An Active Power Filter and Unbalanced Current Compensator” IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics vol.e. Verdelho.OIH. 14.=l!2 u.00 1998 IEEE [6] V. [5] P. pp 4. The source currents resulted are not sinusoidal but are balanced. [9] Leonard0 Pittrorino. IV. [4] P. The modified pq method gives acceptable waveforms in respect to harmonics but is poor in respect to the voltage unbalance. Marques. ’ 86. G.772. Verdelho. [8] S. Italy -12. 23-25.M. D.729-2.1096-1101.3. “A control method for active power filters under unbalanced nonsinusoidal conditions” Power Electronics and Variable speed drives PEVD’96 Se. L.Kawabata. Nabae. 1998 Praha. 44.=220v u@=5 ov V. [2] Komatsu. Y. Firenzi. IEEE Trans. pp120-124. pp 625-630. “Synchronous Frame Harmonics Isolator using Active Series Filter”. . Divan and B. Norway. Marques. order Harm. Y. NO3 June 1997. D.. 10 Harm. 4. 15. June 22-27. D. VI. Ingram. In this case the methods gives similar results but the synchronous reference frame method gives the best results.. Marques. “Instantaneous Reactive Power Cornpensators Comprising Switching Devices Without Energy Storage Components”. Spectra of the source currents (SRF method).ptember. on Ind. The synchronous reference frame method is the best. Spectra of the source currents (modified SRF method).Appendix Parameters used: R. It is clear that under balanced and sinusoidal voltages these four methods gives similar results. Restrictions apply.OOlH. The p q method gives good results in sinusoidal and balanced voltages but its performance is poor in respect to voltage unbalance. Missouri. G. Missouri. “Active Power Filter Control Circuit with Phase Locked Loop Phase Angle Determination” PEMC’98. The modified reference frame method gives equal peak currents on the source but its waveform is far from the sinusoidal waveform. Sep. Trondheim. Soares. Jacques du Toit. vol. Kanazawa. pp. Bhattacharya. It drives sinusoidal and balanced currents on the source and is insensitive to voltage perturbations. pp 321-328. “Active Power Filter Control Circuit Based on the Instantaneous Active and reactive Current id-iq Method” Power Electronics Specialists Conference. T. M. CONCLUSION The comparison of four active power filter control methods was investigated in this paper. Downloaded on May 28.. Appl.11271133. D. “Evaluation of Converter Topologies and Controllers for Power Quality Compensators Under Unbalanced Conditions” Power Electronics Specialists Conference PESC’97 St.=lO Q. G. Ldc=. REFERENCES “0 5 Harm. Louis. . Marques.2010 at 11:18:41 UTC from IEEE Xplore. The differences arrive when the voltage is perturbed by the load. 449 Authorized licensed use limited to: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DELHI. G. 200 Harm. ACKNOWLEDGMENT Part of the costs related with the publication of this paper was supported by CAUTL. “Experimental Comparison o f pq and Extension pq method for Active Power Filter” European Power Electronics Conference EPE’97 pp2. D.. Rourd. pp.E. i. Norway 14- [3] S. A. Pesc’97 St. Verdelho. D. Louis. order Fig. Under non-sinusoidal and unbalanced conditions. 0-7803-4503-7/98/$10. 8-10. June 22-27. “An Evaluation of Techniques for Determining Active Filter Compensating Currents in Unbalanced Systems” European Power Electronics Conference EPE’97. Soares. Banerjee.734. Johan Enslin. 1997. P. IA-20. no. R. order 10 0 5 [I] Akagi. MayIJune 1984.