Flexible distribution systems through the application of multi back-to-back converters: Concept, implementation and experimental verification | Energy Development | Electric Power System

Flexible distribution systems through the

application of multi back-to-back
converters: Concept, implementation and
experimental verification
PROEFSCHRIFT
ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor aan de
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, op gezag van de
rector magnificus, prof.dr.ir. C.J. van Duijn, voor een
commissie aangewezen door het College voor
promoties in het openbaar te verdedigen
op woensdag 26 mei 2010 om 14.00 uur
door
Roald Antonius Adrianus de Graaff
geboren te Waalwijk
Dit proefschrift is goedgekeurd door de promotor:
prof.ir. W.L. Kling
Copromotor:
dr. J.L. Duarte
Copyright © 2010 R.A.A. de Graaff
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechan-
ical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage
and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the
copyright owner.
The work leading to this thesis was supported by KEMA and the
IOP-EMVT program of SenterNovem.
CIP-DATA LIBRARY TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EIND-
HOVEN
Graaff, Roald A.A. de
Flexible distribution systems through the application of multi
back-to-back converters: Concept, implementation and experi-
mental verification / by Roald Antonius Adrianus de Graaff. -
Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 2010.
Proefschrift. - ISBN 978-90-386-2220-0
NUR 959
Trefw.: Elektriciteitsdistributie / Vermogenselektronica / Ver-
mogenssturing / Besturing elektriciteitsdistributie / Span-
ningskwaliteit / Spanningsregeling
Subject headings: Power distribution / Power electronics / Load
flow control / Power distribution control / Power quality / Voltage
control
To Susana
To my parents
Promotor:
prof.ir. W.L. Kling, TU/e
Copromotor:
dr. J.L. Duarte, TU/e
Core committee:
prof.dr.ir. R.W. De Doncker, RWTH Aachen University
prof.dr. E. Lomonova, TU/e
prof.dr. J.A. Pe¸ cas Lopes, University of Porto
Other members:
prof.dr.ir. J.H. Blom (reserve), TU/e
dr.ir. F. van Overbeeke, EMforce
prof.dr. A.G. Tijhuis (chairman), TU/e
ir. P.T.M. Vaessen, KEMA
Contents
List of Figures v
List of Tables ix
Abstract xi
Samenvatting xv
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Changes in electrical power generation . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2 Changes in the organization of power systems . . . . . . . 4
1.3 Consequences for the distribution network . . . . . . . . . 5
1.4 Ongoing research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.4.1 Communication and automation . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.4.2 Load control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.4.3 Generation control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.4.4 Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.4.5 Power electronics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.4.6 Active distribution networks . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.5 Research objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.6 Research questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.7 Research approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.8 IOP-EMVT programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.9 Outline of the thesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.10 Publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
2 Distribution systems 17
2.1 The network operator’s role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.2 Network topology and redundancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.2.1 Network topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.2.2 Redundancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.3 Power quality aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2.3.1 Steady state voltage amplitude . . . . . . . . . . . 21
i
ii Contents
2.3.2 Flicker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.3.3 Voltage dips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
2.3.4 Phase angle jumps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
2.3.5 Power frequency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
2.4 Voltage control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
2.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
3 FACTS in distribution systems 29
3.1 Principles of power flow control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
3.1.1 Power flow in overhead line . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
3.1.2 Power flow in underground cable . . . . . . . . . . 35
3.2 FACTS technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
3.2.1 Solid-state switching devices . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
3.2.2 Converter topologies and switching strategies . . . 37
3.2.3 Mechanical switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.3 FACTS and D-FACTS applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.3.1 Shunt FACTS and D-FACTS devices . . . . . . . . 41
3.3.2 Series FACTS and D-FACTS devices . . . . . . . . 45
3.3.3 Mixed form FACTS and D-FACTS devices . . . . 46
3.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
4 Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 55
4.1 Facilitating increased loading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.1.1 Controlled sharing of redundancy . . . . . . . . . . 56
4.1.2 Controlled power exchange between grid areas . . 60
4.2 Controlling voltage profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
4.2.1 Example application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.3 Voltage dip mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
4.3.1 Example application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.4 Possible Intelligent Node topologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.4.1 Power electronics controlled auto transformers . . 74
4.4.2 Power electronics controlled series impedances . . 75
4.4.3 Power electronics converters . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
4.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
5 Intelligent Node control and protection 79
5.1 Basic converter controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
5.1.1 Controller discretization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
5.1.2 AC current control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
5.1.3 AC voltage control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
5.1.4 Active and reactive power control . . . . . . . . . . 85
5.1.5 DC bus voltage control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
5.2 IN response to unplanned power system events . . . . . . 86
5.2.1 Voltage dip mitigation by injecting reactive power 88
Contents iii
5.2.2 IN protection concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
5.3 IN role in planned power system events . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.3.1 Energization and de-energization . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.3.2 Disconnecting grid areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
5.3.3 Connecting grid areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
5.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
6 Laboratory-scale demonstration 115
6.1 Experimental set-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.1.1 Converter control implementation . . . . . . . . . 117
6.1.2 Modeling of experimental set-up . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.2 Basic converter step responses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
6.2.1 Changing power reference values . . . . . . . . . . 120
6.2.2 Changing voltage reference value . . . . . . . . . . 121
6.2.3 Changing load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
6.3 Transition from radial to meshed operation . . . . . . . . 124
6.3.1 Synchronization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
6.3.2 Three-phase load-break switch closing . . . . . . . 124
6.3.3 Phase-by-phase load-break switch closing . . . . . 127
6.3.4 Ensuring load-break switch closing detection . . . 131
6.4 Transition from meshed to radial operation . . . . . . . . 132
6.4.1 Three-phase load-break switch opening . . . . . . . 133
6.4.2 Phase-by-phase load-break switch opening . . . . . 134
6.5 Voltage dip and swell mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
6.6 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
7 Conclusions, thesis contribution and recommendations 139
7.1 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
7.2 Thesis contribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
7.3 Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
References 147
Abbreviations, symbols and notations 159
A DC current of AC/DC converter 163
A.1 DC link current in single phase voltage source converter . 163
A.2 DC link current in three-phase voltage source converter . 164
B Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 167
Acknowledgements 185
Curriculum vitae 187
List of Figures
1.1 Small and medium scale renewable energy sources. . . . . . . 3
1.2 Google Timelines results for selected search terms. . . . . . . 7
1.3 Structure of the IOP-EMVT Intelligent Power Systems project. 14
2.1 Types of medium and low voltage grids. . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.2 Each feeder can supply the load of another feeder. . . . . . . 20
2.3 Sequence of events during a short-circuit. . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.4 Curve for P
st
= 1 for rectangular voltage changes. . . . . . . 24
2.5 Typical voltage coordination radial MV/LV network. . . . . . 27
3.1 Single-line and phasor diagram for overhead line. . . . . . . . 30
3.2 Power flow control using a series voltage source. . . . . . . . . 32
3.3 Power flow control using a series impedance. . . . . . . . . . 33
3.4 Power flow control using a parallel device. . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3.5 Power flow in cable with series voltage source. . . . . . . . . . 35
3.6 Ratings of solid-state switching devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.7 Basic diagrams current and voltage source converters. . . . . 38
3.8 Topology and output voltage source converters. . . . . . . . . 39
3.9 PWM switching technique applied to a single-switch topology. 39
3.10 Mechanical switches applied in FACTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.11 Basic (D-)FACTS connection methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.12 Single-line diagram and operating characteristic SVC. . . . . 42
3.13 Single-line diagram and operating characteristic STATCOM. 44
3.14 Single-line diagram and operating characteristic TSSC/TCSC. 47
3.15 Single-line diagrams SSSC and D-SSSC. . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
3.16 Single-line diagrams UPFC and IPFC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
3.17 Transfer switch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
3.18 Single-line diagram and operating characteristic B2B device. 50
4.1 Sharing of redundancy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
4.2 Sequence of events during short-circuit in a network with a
3-port IN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
v
vi List of Figures
4.3 Manual phase-by-phase opening/closing of MV switchgear. . 59
4.4 Traditional grid reinforcements to supply increasing load Ld-C. 60
4.5 IN application to supply increasing load Ld-C. . . . . . . . . 61
4.6 Voltage profiles with increasing DG. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
4.7 Voltage profile ’bending’ with the application of a 2-port IN. 63
4.8 Medium voltage cable network with a 4-port IN. . . . . . . . 64
4.9 Graphical impression gradient method applied to 2D problem. 66
4.10 Flowchart for voltage profile optimization using Cauchy’s
gradient method. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
4.11 Configuration I: Iteration path towards optimal IN settings. . 69
4.12 Voltage dip mitigation in cable network, IN without storage. 72
4.13 Medium voltage cable network with IN and reactors. . . . . . 73
4.14 IN consisting of multi-output PE controlled auto transformer. 75
4.15 IN consisting of multiple controlled impedances. . . . . . . . 76
4.16 IN consisting of multiple converters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
5.1 Basic converter operating modes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
5.2 Converter with control system. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
5.3 Transfer function proportional resonant current controller. . . 83
5.4 Transfer function proportional resonant voltage controller. . . 84
5.5 Negative-sequence filter αβ reference frame. . . . . . . . . . . 86
5.6 Transfer function DC voltage controller. . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
5.7 Calculation delay for single-phase r.m.s. detection method. . 89
5.8 Calculation delay for three-phase rectification method. . . . . 90
5.9 Calculation delay for αβ domain detection method. . . . . . . 91
5.10 Comparison of P and PI voltage control methods. . . . . . . 93
5.11 Proposed PI controller for voltage dip and swell mitigation. . 93
5.12 Grid during transition from meshed to radial operation. . . . 97
5.13 Frequency density and probability plots of frequency logs. . . 100
5.14 Control topology meshed to radial operation. . . . . . . . . . 101
5.15 Orthogonal system generator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
5.16 Voltage control two-wire grid connection. . . . . . . . . . . . 102
5.17 Positive-sequence filter αβ reference frame. . . . . . . . . . . 103
5.18 Grid during transition from radial to meshed operation. . . . 104
5.19 Control scheme to synchronize load-break switch voltages. . . 105
5.20 Probability of exceeding phase angle difference . . . . . . . . 109
5.21 Generator supplying load through an impedance. . . . . . . . 110
5.22 Power control scheme after closing of load-break switch. . . . 112
6.1 Pictures of laboratory-scale set-up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
6.2 Single-line diagram of laboratory-scale set-up. . . . . . . . . . 117
6.3 Example of interface implementation in ControlDesk software. 119
6.4 Converter response to step function active power. . . . . . . . 120
6.5 Converter response to step function reactive power. . . . . . . 121
List of Figures vii
6.6 Converter response to step function voltage amplitude. . . . . 122
6.7 Converter response to load step from 0 to 0.9 p.u. . . . . . . 122
6.8 DC controller response to load step. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
6.9 Angle deviation while synchronization algorithm is active. . . 125
6.10 Three-phase closing of LB2, Area 2 without load. . . . . . . . 126
6.11 Three-phase closing of LB2, Area 2 has 0.9 p.u. load. . . . . . 127
6.12 Closing of LB2-B, Area 2 without load. . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
6.13 Detection of LB2-B closing based on I

and I
abc,rms
. . . . . 129
6.14 Detection of LB2-B closing based on only I

. . . . . . . . . . 129
6.15 Closing LB2-C, island without load. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
6.16 Closing LB2-C, island with load. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
6.17 R.m.s. converter currents after closing of LB2-C. . . . . . . . 131
6.18 Required current directions to ensure detection. . . . . . . . . 131
6.19 Frequency and voltages LB2 after three-phase opening LB2. . 133
6.20 Opening of LB2-C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
6.21 Disconnecting phases A and B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
6.22 Mitigation of 20 % balanced voltage dip. . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
6.23 Mitigation of 50 % balanced voltage dip. . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
6.24 Mitigation of 17 % balanced voltage swell. . . . . . . . . . . . 137
B.1 AC current and AC voltage controller responses. . . . . . . . 168
B.2 AC and DC voltage controller responses. . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
B.3 Three-phase connection of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . 170
B.4 Three-phase connection of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . . 171
B.5 Connection of phase B of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . 172
B.6 Connection of phase B of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
B.7 Connection of phase C of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . 174
B.8 Connection of phase C of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
B.9 Three-phase disconnection of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . 176
B.10 Three-phase disconnection of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . 177
B.11 Disconnection of phase C of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . 178
B.12 Disconnection of phase C of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . 179
B.13 Disconnection of phase B of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . 180
B.14 Disconnection of phase B of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . . . . 181
B.15 Mitigation of 12, 15 and 20 % voltage dips. . . . . . . . . . . 182
B.16 Mitigation of 30 and 50 % voltage dips and 17 % swell. . . . . 183
List of Tables
2.1 Classification of voltage dip measurement results. . . . . . . . 25
4.1 Simulation results voltage profiles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
4.2 Simulation results voltage dip mitigation example network. . 72
5.1 Converter and controller transfer functions. . . . . . . . . . . 87
6.1 Electrical components practical set-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
6.2 Converter controller parameters practical set-up . . . . . . . 118
ix
Abstract
Flexible distribution systems through the
application of multi back-to-back converters:
Concept, implementation and experimental
verification
In recent years the planning and operation of electrical power systems
has changed significantly. The unbundling of the formerly integrated
generation, transmission, distribution and delivery companies and the
growing penetration of DG is increasing the complexity and uncertainty
in distribution network planning and operation. Due to the uncertainty,
network investments that are done to anticipate load growth or the con-
nection of expected new generators may turn out to be uneconomic. The
complexity leads to a higher risk of failures. This stimulates the distri-
bution network operator to consider flexible alternatives to traditional
network reinforcements and flexible operation measures.
This thesis concerns a power flow control device based on power
electronics, called Intelligent Node (IN), which can provide such needs.
The idea to control power flow by the application of power electron-
ics is not new in itself. The existing applications are mainly aimed at
transmission systems, with its high voltage and power levels and exis-
tence of advanced measurement and control systems. In this thesis, an
overview is given of existing applications. Successful experiences in the
transmission network cannot be applied directly to the distribution sys-
tem due to its different network topology and operation. For example,
the low-inductive character of underground cables, as opposed to the
mostly inductive impedance of overhead lines, requires adaptations on
the methods to control voltages and power flow in the distribution sys-
tem. Also the phase-by-phase operation of load-break switches is only
found in distribution networks, and the availability of measurement data
for all network nodes cannot be taken for granted.
The IN consists of multiple converters interconnected on their DC
xi
xii Abstract
side, and thus the AC side voltages are decoupled. This topology has
the ability to control power flow between its AC ports and can supply a
radial network section with a controllable voltage.
By having the ability to control the power flow it is possible to dis-
tribute redundancy over different feeders when needed. In the current
practice, every feeder must be able to supply the full load of another
feeder, and can therefore only be loaded up to around fifty percent of
its power rating. Sharing the redundancy over more feeders allows the
connection of loads and generation units beyond this limit. Since the
AC voltages on the different IN ports are unrelated, the IN can con-
nect networks with different voltage amplitudes, phase angles and/or
frequencies, which makes it possible to also share redundancy in such
situations.
Controlling the power flow in a meshed network can also be used
to optimize voltage profiles, and thus maximize the penetration level of
distributed generation units in the network. Alternatively, the power
flow can be optimized to reduce losses in the network.
During a network disturbance, the IN can prevent spreading of this
disturbance, support the disturbed network, temporarily supply part of
the network as a radial network, and restore meshed operation after the
disturbance.
To allow the Intelligent Node (IN) to perform the described tasks,
the IN converters need to be able to respond quickly to planned and
unplanned events in the power system, such as load changes, short-
circuits and the opening and closing of load-break switches. The ability
of the converters to do so, depends, besides on their ratings, mainly on
the controls that drive them. Furthermore, the protection system of the
IN needs to prevent damage to the IN components due to over-currents
and over-voltages.
At the converter level two basic operating modes exist: power flow
control and voltage control. The first operating mode is used in meshed
network operation, and called PQ control mode. The converter controls
its power exchange with the network by controlling its output current.
In the second operating mode, called V control mode, the converter de-
fines the amplitude, frequency and phase angle of the voltage on its AC
port. The converter behaves as a voltage source with a fixed frequency
and supplies or consumes the active and reactive power as required by
the connected loads and generators of a radial network section. In the
proposed IN concept, at least one of the converters of the IN is galvani-
cally connected to the ’central grid’, and operates in PQ control mode,
in order to supply the connected sections and to control the DC bus
voltage.
To fully utilize the capabilities of the interconnected converters, the
IN control concept also includes specific detection schemes and addi-
Abstract xiii
tional control and protections, which can change the operating mode
and set-points of the converters or shut down the IN in response to
power system events.
When the power system is in normal operation conditions and the
converters are in PQ control mode, the IN controls the power flow in the
meshed network according to centrally determined P and Q set-points.
During a short-circuit, and the resulting voltage dip, the IN should
no longer follow these set-points, but inject reactive power to mitigate
the voltage dip. To do so, a control scheme was developed, which is only
active when the network voltage is outside of a certain voltage band.
Although it is assumed that meshed operation is the normal situa-
tion, it might be necessary to operate some parts of the network radially
for some time. In order to perform maintenance or repair work on a
certain network section, it can be necessary for instance to isolate it by
opening the switches on each of its sides. In such a situation, the IN
can supply a resulting radial part of the network, with the applicable
converter in V control mode. To do so, the applicable IN converter
must stop controlling the power flow and start controlling the voltage
level instead, after detecting the change in the network. A control and
detection scheme was developed to implement this functionality.
After the maintenance or repair work has been finished, the radial
part of the grid is to be reconnected to the rest of grid. To maintain
IN operation and minimize voltage discontinuities after restoring meshed
operation, it is necessary that the voltage of the radial network section is
synchronized with the voltage of the rest of the network. Therefore, the
voltage amplitude, frequency and phase angle are periodically measured
at a remote location, and transmitted to the IN with a random but
limited time delay. To determine the maximum remote measurement
interval, the statistics of frequency variations in the public electricity
network have been gathered through measurements. The maximum in-
terval is determined as a function of acceptable phase angle difference
between the networks. After detecting that the meshed network has
been restored, the applicable converter must be able to change from V
control mode to PQ control mode, without disconnecting from the grid
or stopping operation.
The operation of circuit breakers is in many networks performed si-
multaneously on all three phases. In other medium voltage networks,
for example in the Netherlands, however, the phase-by-phase opera-
tion of load-break switches is common, given the wide-spread applica-
tion of manually operated, compact, epoxy resin insulated, single-phase
switchgear. Phase-by-phase connection and disconnection of grid areas
requires a different IN behavior. The control and detection schemes
were developed both for three-phase and for phase-by-phase switchgear
operation.
xiv Abstract
Existing back-to-back applications cannot make the described transi-
tions without supply interruption, neither for three-phase nor for phase-
by-phase switchgear operation.
The developed control and detection schemes are implemented in a
laboratory-scale set-up. The main components of this set-up are two
400 V, three-phase converters, connected on their DC sides, with the
possibility to connect the AC sides to a radial network with a resistive
load or to the public low voltage network. With this set-up, experiments
are performed, focusing on the connection and disconnection of network
areas and on voltage sag and swell mitigation.
The experimental verification of the connection and disconnection
control and detection schemes, as well as the voltage dip and swell mit-
igation implementation, shows a successful implementation of the con-
cept.
Samenvatting
In het recente verleden zijn de planning en de bedrijfsvoering van elek-
triciteitsnetten wezenlijk veranderd. De ontbundeling van de voorheen
ge¨ıntegreerde productie-, transport-, distributie- en leveringsbedrijven
en de toenemende penetratie van decentrale opwekking veroorzaakt een
toename in de complexiteit en onzekerheid in de planning en bedrijfs-
voering van het elektriciteitsdistributienet. Tengevolge van de onzeker-
heid, kunnen investeringen in het net, die gedaan worden om op belas-
tingtoename te anticiperen of op het aansluiten van nieuwe opwekkers,
oneconomisch blijken. De complexiteit leidt tot een hogere kans op
storingen. Dit stimuleert de distributienetbeheerder tot het overwegen
van flexibele alternatieven voor de traditionele netverzwaringen en flexi-
bele beheersmaatregelen.
Dit proefschrift betreft een apparaat voor vermogenssturing dat is
gebaseerd op vermogenselektronica, genaamd een Intelligent Knooppunt
(IN), dat in zulke behoeften kan voorzien.
Het idee om vermogens te sturen met behulp van vermogenselektro-
nica is op zich niet nieuw. De bestaande toepassingen zijn vooral gericht
op transportnetten, met hun hoge spannings- en vermogensniveaus en
het bestaan van geavanceerde meet- en regelsystemen. In dit proefschrift
wordt een overzicht gegeven van bestaande toepassingen. Succesvolle
ervaringen in het transportnet kunnen niet direct worden toegepast op
het distributienet vanwege de afwijkende netopbouw en bedrijfsvoer-
ing. Bijvoorbeeld, het laaginductieve karakter van ondergrondse ka-
bels, in tegenstelling tot de meestal inductieve impedantie van boven-
grondse lijnen, vereist aanpassingen van de regelmethodes voor spanning
en vermogensstroom in het distributienet. Ook het fase-voor-fase be-
dienen van lastschakelaars komt alleen voor in distributienetten, en de
beschikbaarheid van meetgegevens voor alle netknooppunten kan niet
als vanzelfsprekend worden aangenomen.
De IN bestaat uit meerdere converters die aan hun DC-zijde zijn
gekoppeld, en op die manier zijn de spanningen aan de AC-zijden ont-
koppeld. Deze topologie heeft de mogelijkheid tot het regelen van de
vermogensstroom tussen de AC-poorten en kan een radiaal netwerkdeel
xv
xvi Samenvatting
voeden met een regelbare spanning.
Door de mogelijkheid tot het regelen van de vermogensstroom is
het mogelijk om redundantie te verdelen over verschillende strengen, als
dat nodig is. In de huidige praktijk moet iedere streng de volle belas-
ting van een andere streng kunnen voeden, en kan daardoor slechts tot
circa vijftig procent van zijn capaciteit belast worden. Het delen van
redundantie over meerdere strengen maakt het mogelijk om belastingen
en opwekeenheden aan te sluiten boven deze limiet. Aangezien de AC-
spanningen op de verschillende IN-poorten onafhankelijk zijn, kan de IN
netten met verschillende spanningsamplitude, -fasehoek en -frequentie
koppelen, wat het mogelijk maakt om ook in zulke situaties redundantie
te delen.
Het sturen van de vermogensstroom in een vermaasd net kan ook ge-
bruikt worden om spanningsprofielen te optimaliseren, en op die manier
het penetratieniveau van decentrale opwekkers te maximaliseren. Ander-
zijds kan vermogensstroomsturing toegepast worden voor het reduceren
van verliezen in het net.
Tijdens een verstoring in het net kan de IN de verspreiding van de-
ze verstoring voorkomen, het gestoorde net ondersteunen, tijdelijk een
netgedeelte als radiaal net voeden en na de verstoring de vermaasde
bedrijfsvoering herstellen.
Om het mogelijk te maken dat de IN de genoemde taken kan uitvoe-
ren, moeten de IN-converters snel kunnen reageren op geplande en onge-
plande gebeurtenissen in het elektriciteitssysteem, zoals belastingsveran-
deringen, kortsluitingen en het openen en sluiten van lastschakelaars.
De geschiktheid van de converters om dit te kunnen, hangt, behalve van
hun vermogen, af van de regelingen die hen aansturen. Voorts dient
het beveiligingssysteem van de IN schade aan de IN-componenten door
overstromen en overspanningen te voorkomen.
Op het converterniveau bestaan er twee basis-bedrijfstoestanden:
vermogenssturing en spanningsregeling. De eerste bedrijfstoestand wordt
toegepast in vermaasd netbedrijf en wordt de PQ bedrijfstoestand ge-
noemd. De converter regelt de vermogensuitwisseling met het net door
zijn uitgangsstroom te regelen. In de tweede bedrijfstoestand, de V
bedrijfstoestand, regelt de converter de amplitude, frequentie en fase-
hoek van de spanning op zijn AC-poort. De converter gedraagt zich
als een spanningsbron met een vaste frequentie en levert of absorbeert
het actieve en blindvermogen zoals vereist is voor de op het radiale net
aangesloten belastingen en opwekkers. In het voorgestelde IN-concept
is tenminste ´e´en van de converters van de IN aangesloten op het ’cen-
trale net’, en bevindt zich in de PQ bedrijfstoestand, om de aangesloten
netdelen te voeden en om de DC-railspanning te regelen.
Om de mogelijkheden van de gekoppelde converter ten volle te be-
nutten, omvat het IN-regelconcept ook de specifieke detectiesystemen
Samenvatting xvii
en additionele regelingen en beveiligingen, die de bedrijfstoestand en de
instelwaarden van de converters kunnen wijzigen of de IN uit kunnen
schakelen, in reactie op gebeurtenissen in het elektriciteitssysteem.
Wanneer het elektriciteitssysteem onder normale bedrijfsomstandig-
heden verkeert en de converters in de PQ bedrijfstoestand zijn, regelt
de IN de vermogensstroom in het vermaasde net op basis van centraal
bepaalde P en Q instelwaarden.
Gedurende een kortsluiting en de resulterende spanningsdip moet de
IN niet langer deze instelwaarden volgen, maar blindvermogen injecte-
ren om de spanningsdip te verminderen. Hiertoe is een regelsysteem
ontwikkeld, dat alleen actief is als de netspanning buiten een bepaalde
spanningsband komt.
Hoewel de aanname is dat vermaasd bedrijf de normale toestand is,
kan het noodzakelijk zijn om enkele delen van het net gedurende enige
tijd radiaal te bedrijven. Om onderhouds- of reparatiewerkzaamheden
uit te voeren aan een bepaald netdeel, kan het bijvoorbeeld nodig zijn
om dit te isoleren door de schakelaars aan de beide zijden ervan te ope-
nen. In zo’n situatie kan de IN het resulterende radiale netdeel voeden,
met de betreffende converter in de V bedrijfstoestand. Hiertoe dient
de IN-converter te stoppen met het regelen van de vermogensstroom en
daarvoor in de plaats de spanning te regelen, na detectie van de veran-
dering in het net. Een regel- en detectiesysteem is ontwikkeld om deze
functionaliteit te implementeren.
Nadat de onderhouds- of reparatiewerkzaamheden zijn afgerond dient
het radiale netdeel opnieuw met de rest van het net verbonden te wor-
den. Om de IN in bedrijf te houden en spanningsdiscontinu¨ıteiten te
voorkomen na het herstellen van vermaasd bedrijf, is het noodzakelijk
dat de spanning op het radiale netdeel wordt gesynchroniseerd met de
spanning op de rest van het net. Hiertoe worden de spanningsampli-
tude, -frequentie en -fasehoek periodiek gemeten op een locatie op af-
stand en naar de IN verzonden met een willekeurige, maar beperkte
tijdsvertraging. Om het maximale tijdsinterval voor de meting op af-
stand te bepalen, zijn statistische gegevens van de frequentievariaties in
het openbare elektriciteitsnet verzameld door middel van metingen. Het
maximale tijdsinterval is bepaald als functie van het toelaatbare fase-
hoekverschil tussen de netten. Nadat gedetecteerd is dat het vermaasd
bedrijf is hersteld, dient de betreffende converter van de V naar de PQ
bedrijfstoestand te gaan, zonder de verbinding met het net te verbreken
of de bedrijfsvoering te stoppen.
Het bedienen van vermogensschakelaars wordt in veel netten tegelij-
kertijd op alle drie de fasen uitgevoerd. Echter, in andere middenspan-
ningsnetten, zoals bijvoorbeeld in Nederland, is de fase-voor-fase be-
diening van lastschakelaars gebruikelijk, vanwege de wijdverbreide toe-
passing van handbediende, compacte, gietharsge¨ısoleerde, enkelfasige
xviii Samenvatting
schakelaars. De fase-voor-fase koppeling en ontkoppeling van netten
vereist een ander IN-gedrag. De regel- en detectiesystemen zijn zowel
voor driefasige als voor fase-voor-fase bediening van schakelaars ontwik-
keld.
Bestaande back-to-back toepassingen kunnen de beschreven over-
gangen niet maken zonder leveringsonderbreking, noch voor de driefasige,
noch voor de fase-voor-fase bediening van schakelaars.
De ontwikkelde regel- en detectiesystemen zijn ge¨ımplementeerd in
een opstelling op laboratoriumschaal. De hoofdcomponenten van deze
opstelling zijn twee 400 V driefasen-converters, gekoppeld aan hun DC
zijden, met de mogelijkheid tot het koppelen van de AC zijden aan een
radiaal net met een weerstandsbelasting of aan het openbare laagspan-
ningsnet. Met deze opstelling zijn experimenten uitgevoerd met de
nadruk op het koppelen en ontkoppelen van netdelen en op het ver-
minderen van spanningsdips en spanningsverhogingen.
De experimentele toetsing van de regel- en detectiesystemen voor
het koppelen en ontkoppelen, alsook van de toepassing van de vermin-
dering van spanningsdips en spanningsverhogingen, laat een succesvolle
implementatie van het concept zien.
Chapter 1
Introduction
Nowadays society is more than ever dependent on energy, and thus de-
mands for a high reliability of its energy supply. At the same time
environmental concerns stimulate a reduced and more sustainable use
of energy. The construction of energy-efficient buildings, more efficient
transportation methods and the use of renewable energy sources (RES)
such as wind and sun are examples of this. Some of these energy sources
can be used directly, if they are available where and when needed in the
form it is produced, but more often an intermediate energy conversion
is required. Electricity is such an intermediate energy carrier. A char-
acteristic of electrical energy is that, once the primary energy form has
been converted into electricity, it can be transported and converted to
most other forms of energy with a high efficiency. This makes electricity
the enabler for many types of renewable developments such as electric
vehicles, heat pumps, photovoltaic cells and wind turbines.
Because of this, electrical power systems are and will continue to
be a key factor to satisfy society’s energy needs. This role of enabler
introduces however some challenges. The intermittent character of re-
newable energy sources and the unrestricted energy trading in the lib-
eralized market increase the stress on the electricity networks. On all
voltage levels, the power flow becomes less predictable and controllable.
Also the balancing of supply and demand is becoming more complicated
because of the fluctuating generation. Furthermore, increased efforts are
needed to ensure sufficient power quality as experienced by consumers.
To meet these challenges in a cost effective way, innovative ways of
operating the networks are needed [1]. International research focuses
on increasing the flexibility of electricity consumption, using storage
to smooth out power fluctuations, and on controlling the power flow
using new hardware and software technologies. This thesis is on the
control of power flow in distribution networks through power electronics
incorporated in the networks.
1
2 Chapter 1
In this introductory chapter, an overview is given of the various
changes and the possible steps to be taken in power systems. The spe-
cific research objectives, questions and approach of this thesis are given,
as well as how this fits in national and international research programs.
The chapter ends with an outline of the thesis.
1.1 Changes in electrical power generation
In the early days of electrical power systems the grid consisted of small
island grids with a local balance of load and generation. Later, to im-
prove reliability in an efficient way, interconnections were made between
these island grids, creating a larger power system. Due to economies of
scale the power rating of individual power plants increased. These two
trends caused an evolution of power systems into the current situation,
which is characterized by large central power generation plants feeding
into networks which span entire continents. In these networks, electrical
energy is delivered from the higher voltage levels to the lower voltage
levels where the loads are connected.
On the primary energy source side, an ever existing concern is the
increasing scarcity of fossil energy sources such as oil and gas. Fur-
ther there has always been the awareness that being dependent from
other countries for energy supply, makes a nation politically dependent,
an unwanted situation, especially when the political bonds with those
countries are unstable. Diversification of primary energy sources has al-
ways been the primary means to mitigate this dependence. As a result
of the availability of primary energy sources the electrical power gener-
ation mix consists mainly of coal, gas, nuclear power, hydro power and
oil.
A strong driver to reconsider this generation mix is the growing con-
cern over anthropogenic climate change [2]. The most important man-
influenced gas to contribute to global warming is CO
2
which is unbreak-
ably connected to the use of fossil fuels. This concern has led to a global
political intention to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, written
down in the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 [3], after which several international
conferences were held on the implementation, the latest one was held in
Copenhagen, Denmark [4]. One of the means to reach these targets is
to use renewable energy sources, which emit no or less CO
2
, or which
have a short CO
2
life cycle. These include biogas, biomass, geother-
mal electricity, large and small scale hydro, photovoltaic (PV) and wind
power. Some examples of these generation technologies are shown in
Figure 1.1. Wave and tidal energy are RES technologies that are still in
an infant stage. The European Commission set an indicative objective
for the contribution by RES to the European Unions gross inland energy
Introduction 3
(a) Combined heat and power.
(b) Solar photovoltaic.
(c) Wind turbines.
Figure 1.1: Small and medium scale renewable energy sources.
consumption to 12% by 2010 [5] and to 20 % by 2020 [6]. A more specific
target, the RES share in electrical energy use, was set to a value of 22%
for the European Union as a whole [7]. These targets are planned to be
achieved by direct financial support, subsidy schemes, tariff structures,
investments in research, etc. Next to RES also combined heat and power
systems (CHP) can contribute to a lower CO
2
emission by increasing en-
4 Chapter 1
ergy efficiency through the combination of heating and electrical power
generation, which can be applied in greenhouses, industrial processes
and residential and commercial buildings.
On the consumer side, one of the oldest trends in electrical power
systems is the steadily increasing energy use per capita per year. While
energy use is increasing, society also becomes more dependent on the
availability of electrical power. This, and the energy cost becoming a
relatively larger part of the expenses, results in an increased customer
interest in the efficiency and reliability of electrical power supply. For
some consumers this can be a reason to install their own generation
units [8].
Because of the mentioned reasons (CO
2
emission, energy efficiency,
political dependence and fossil fuel scarcity), the penetration level of
distributed and renewable energy sources has increased in recent years
and is expected to continue to do so in the following years.
Several of the mentioned generation techniques depend on energy
sources that are distributed by nature, such as wind and sun, or are
directly coupled to relatively small scale processes such as residential
heating, greenhouses or industrial plants. For this reason, these genera-
tors are often also referred to by the term distributed generation (DG).
DG units and partly also RES units are relatively small in size and in the
1980s it was already noticeable that the size of newly built generating
units started to decrease [9]. In this thesis the term DG will be used
rather than RES, since the distributed nature is more important than
the environmental aspect when studying the impact of these generators
on the electrical power system.
1.2 Changes in the organization of power systems
In the past the generation, transmission, distribution and delivery of
electrical energy was centrally coordinated. This meant, for example,
that plans for new power plants were developed in close cooperation
with network planners. Also the active and reactive power output of
power plants was coordinated with the network operator so that over-
loading and network instability were prevented and minimum losses were
achieved. This made the planning and operation of electrical power sys-
tems relatively well surveyable. In the unbundling process, which is
being implemented across Europe [10], the various tasks and responsi-
bilities are split amongst different parties. For example, in the Nether-
lands, the ’Elektriciteitswet’ (Electricity Act) [11] distinguishes the enti-
ties of supplier, producer, trader and network operator. For this thesis,
the network operator is the most relevant entity. Two types of net-
work operators exist: the distribution network operator (DNO) and the
Introduction 5
transmission network operator. The DNO’s main task is to provide and
operate a distribution network of sufficient capacity. The transmission
network operator is responsible for doing the same for the transmission
network and mostly also for providing system services such as matching
supply and demand, which is why this role is generally referred to as
the transmission system operator (TSO). To fulfill the task of matching
supply and demand the TSO organizes a market place where suppliers
can offer power generation patterns. In other countries, similar roles and
responsibilities have been described.
1.3 Consequences for the distribution network
The consequences of the organizational changes and the changing gen-
eration mix for the DNO are both in the network planning phase and
in the operational phase. The increasing DG penetration in distribution
networks has several consequences, as described by, for example, [12].
The most relevant aspects for this thesis are discussed here shortly, and
will be treated in more detail in the next chapter.
Power flow and voltage variations. The power production of many
DG units fluctuates. This can, for example, be due to the natural vari-
ations of the primary energy source, in case of wind or solar power,
or because the electricity production is coupled to the consumer’s heat
demand, in case of combined-heat-power installations, or to the elec-
tricity market. In the network this results in a fluctuating power flow,
and, especially in radially operated networks, in fluctuating voltages.
The power flow would normally follow the load profile of the consumers
connected to the network and it can be anticipated how to handle the
resulting voltage deviations. However, with less predictable, fluctuat-
ing, power sources the voltage variations become rather stochastic. In
the existing operation of distribution networks only a limited number
of signals is measured and of those only a part is recorded. This makes
it hard for the network operator to distinguish consumption and gen-
eration, and thus to determine accurately where, when and how much
power is being consumed and produced.
This uncertainty hampers the existing concept of voltage regulation.
The so called compounding technique [13] measures voltage and current
at the high voltage to medium voltage (HV/MV) transformer termi-
nals and operates the transformer tap changer in such a way that a
constant voltage is obtained in a location at some distance from the
transformer. Thus, the voltages in the network are kept within a certain
band. The lack of knowledge on consumed and produced power can
cause more frequent, and non-optimal tap changer operations, result-
6 Chapter 1
ing in increased component ageing. And, much more important, feeders
that connect large amounts of DG units in a network that for the rest
mainly supplies loads on the other feeders, may experience excessive
voltage increase, which cannot be mitigated using the mentioned com-
pounding technique. With inhomogeneously distributed DG units, the
compounding technique can even worsen instead of improve voltage pro-
files. In such situations, the compounding technique must be replaced
with an alternative method that determines the optimal tap changer
position not only from local measurements, but also from more detailed
information on the power flow situation along the feeders.
Voltage fluctuations due to changes of the power flow are most serious
in radial networks [14]. The obvious way to mitigate these fluctuations is
to convert radial to meshed networks. This however decreases reliability
because of faults affecting larger network areas, and increases complexity
of protection systems.
Efficient network operation versus obligation to connect. The
network operator has the duty to provide for any new connection when
requested, and to secure the transfer of power to and from that point
of connection continuously, but also to operate the network efficiently.
However, the planning of size, location and moment of coming online
of DG units is done independently of network planning. Together with
the already mentioned lack of accurate information on existing load and
generation in the network, the planning of network expansions and re-
inforcements has become more difficult and risky. Using standard tech-
nologies, the network operator can choose to invest in advance and risk
stranded investments, or to refuse new connections, or to accept new
connections and take the risk of losing redundancy. None of these op-
tions is ideal and new innovative options are worth considering.
No more fit and forget. Most studies confirm, that the local pen-
etration of distributed generation up to a level of about 20% of the
maximum load can be absorbed by the electricity distribution network
without major costs [15]. The penetration level in many networks is still
below this limit, but this will change. In situations where more DG is
being connected, measures are likely needed [8, 16].
1.4 Ongoing research
For several years there has been international research on what should
be the right direction for power systems to develop in this context. The
European Commission has initiated several research programmes on the
topic of integration of DG and on network operation. To study fu-
Introduction 7
ture system concepts programs like FENIX [17], MICROGRIDS and
MOREMICROGRIDS [18, 19], and EU-DEEP [20, 21] were initiated.
In Japan such research was performed within the FRIENDS project [22,
23]. More specifically targeted to the level of the distributed generation
itself are the programs DISPOWER [24] and DGFACTS [25]. Several of
these research programs are part of the IRED-cluster [26]. To converge
the outcomes of all these programs and develop new steps ahead, the Eu-
ropean Technology Platform for the Electricity Networks of the Future,
in short ’ETP SmartGrids’ [27], was installed. Also in the United States
of America research programs are ongoing, such as GRIDWISE [28], In-
telliGrid [29], GridStat [30] and a number of projects under the Electric
Distribution program [31]. As an illustration of the history of inter-
national attention for the main research topics, Figure 1.2 shows the
t (y)
distributed generation
electrical energy storage systems
microgrids
power electronics
smartgrids
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Figure 1.2: Google Timelines results for selected search terms (vertical
scale is different for each line).
results of a comparison of Google Timeline results. The lines show the
relative amount of internet content on the different topics which can be
traced back to a certain year. Especially ”smartgrids” is a buzzword
that is growing strongly at the moment of writing, while, for example,
”distributed generation” is already on its return.
As a result of the (partly still ongoing) research a consensus is de-
veloping that the passive network operating must be transformed into
active network management [32]. The academic and industrial efforts
to implement this transition have resulted in a wide range of possible
methods. These methods can be divided into two categories. The first
8 Chapter 1
category is based only on the use of communication and automation
technology to control the network and the connected load and genera-
tion. These methods are considered to be the first steps towards smarter
grids and experience is being built up world wide [33]. The second cate-
gory uses, besides the technologies from the first category, also electrical
power equipment with the ability to influence power flow and power
quality. In the following an overview is given of the current status of the
most important methods.
1.4.1 Communication and automation
Communication technology applications are developing rapidly in several
directions such as broadband wired and wireless internet services, satel-
lite communication, power line communication etc. These technologies
allow fast and synchronized exchange of measurement and control signals
between, for example, a central control system, the on-load tap changer
(OLTC) of the utility’s transformer, a consumer’s electrical hot water
boiler and a producer’s wind turbine converter to name a few. Since
the introduction of phasor measurement units (PMU) in the eighties of
the twentieth century [34] it is possible to synchronize power systems
measurement data with a high accuracy.
The standardization of communication protocols is developing rapidly
and is resulting in a family of standards around IEC61850 [35]. Also
the development of smart meters already enables some DNOs to gain
detailed information on consumption patterns [36]. Furthermore, smart
meters have the potential to be the intermediary between the consumers’
installations and the distribution system operator.
The mentioned developments in communication and automation are
an important enabler for a more active role of loads and DG in the
operation of power systems.
1.4.2 Load control
Traditional demand-side management (DSM), which has been imple-
mented internationally for many years, uses fixed, nation-wide tariff pat-
terns. This reduces the power system peak load, losses, generation costs
and prevents or postpones power system reinforcements. This method
is effective because consumers, at least when aggregated in large groups,
have a more or less constant and predictable response to tariff patterns
when looking at yearly, weekly and daily consumption patterns. With
the introduction of large amounts of intermittent and uncontrollable
amounts of generation the current fixed tariff patterns may become an
obsolete technique. In the extreme situation of a network with mainly
uncontrollable generation, the generators can, by definition, no longer
Introduction 9
be controlled to match the demand. Instead, the loads must be con-
trolled to match the available supply. This is a paradigm shift that is
very important for the further development of power systems. In the
ADDRESS project [37] a commercial and technical framework is being
developed to make this paradigm shift possible.
Not all loads are suitable to be controlled. Mainly load types which
are associated to any kind of storage are relatively well controllable
without affecting the consumer’s comfort or process. Examples of such
loads are freezers, refrigerators, water boilers, space heating and air
conditioning and industrial processes which use heat, cold or compressed
air. Here, electric vehicles must be mentioned as a type of load, with a
high potential as far as controllability is concerned [38]. E-vehicles have
an intrinsic large energy storage capacity (20 to 100 kWh), and a large
power output (30 to 50 kW), when compared with typical power rating
of low voltage equipment.
Above, load control was only discussed to support the matching of
supply and demand. Another application of load control, other than
to match supply and demand, is to solve network problems [39, 40].
This application is discussed in paragraph 1.4.6 on active distribution
networks.
1.4.3 Generation control
Controlling the active and reactive power output of generators in re-
sponse to system conditions is the basis for today’s power system stabil-
ity. Two main controls exist: frequency regulation by controlling active
power output and voltage regulation by controlling reactive power out-
put. Currently, DG units based on non-controllable energy sources are
excluded from the obligation to participate in frequency and voltage reg-
ulation. Therefore, most DG operators run their units at zero reactive
power output, in order to maximize the active power output. In a situ-
ation where the majority of energy is supplied by intermittent sources,
it becomes necessary to also control those generators. For generators
with an intermittent availability of the primary energy resource, such
as wind and solar power, the possibilities are however limited. Active
and reactive power control possibilities can only be achieved when the
DG units operate below their maximum active power output. To reach
a cost effective power system operation, the ancillary services of active
and reactive power control by DG could be offered in a market.
Analogous to load control, also generation control can be used to
solve network problems, in addition to the discussed balancing of supply
and demand. Various methods are being developed to control voltage
profiles [41–44], but also to avoid network overloading [45] or to create
a local balance between demand and supply [46]. These applications
10 Chapter 1
can be used as a component of active distribution networks, see also
paragraph 1.4.6.
1.4.4 Storage
In any market, storage reduces price spikes due to temporary changes
in supply and demand and increases the availability and reliability of
a commodity. Currently, electrical storage is not used on a large scale,
which makes it essential to have a momentary balance between supply
and demand. Because of this, production must be capable of supplying
the peak demand instantaneously, which is costly. One way to reduce
the peak demand is to control loads, as discussed previously. Another
way is to supply the peak load from temporary energy storage installa-
tions that charge during off-peak hours. With the advancement of DG,
a part of generation units supply an amount of power, independent of
the actual balance of supply and demand, which increases the stress on
the rest of the electricity production plants, the network and therefore
the market. Storage can help matching supply and demand by providing
frequency support. Other ancillary services that storage can provide, are
voltage regulation, flicker reduction and reliability improvement. Stor-
age is also proposed to facilitate the implementation of DG, by solving
local network constraints that occur due to the intermittent nature of
the DG output [40, 47].
The most mature storage application today is pumped hydro, which
is mainly used to counteract the effect of the fluctuating output of wind
farms. The other mature, but used only very limited, technology with
this capability is compressed air energy storage (CAES). Other storage
technologies are various types of battery systems (mature: lead-acid,
sodium sulphur), redox installations and flywheels [48]. A type of storage
which may become interesting for distribution networks is formed by
electric vehicles, as mentioned already in paragraph 1.4.2.
1.4.5 Power electronics
A technological breakthrough that allows a flexible control of electri-
cal power is the advancement in power electronics. The oldest power
electronics devices for power systems are applied in transmission sys-
tems and are based on thyristors. The two main applications are the
high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology, which is used to trans-
mit power over large distances, and the static var compensator (SVC),
which is used to control voltage by injecting reactive power. These de-
vices are characterized by low switching frequencies and large filters. De-
velopments of the solid state switching elements have resulted in higher
voltage and current ratings and higher switching frequencies [49]. This
Introduction 11
enables the use of converter based topologies instead of thyristor based
devices [50]. For distribution systems the main applications concern the
control of voltage and power flow but also the improvement of power
quality. A future price reduction of the semiconductor switching ele-
ments is expected to strengthen the business case for such distribution
system applications of power electronic devices [51, 52]. Also the de-
velopment and standardization of modular products is needed to enable
the large scale deployment of these devices in distribution systems [53].
1.4.6 Active distribution networks
As part of a larger vision on the future of electrical power systems, the
ETP SmartGrids has proposed the concept of active distribution net-
works [54]. This concept can be considered the integration of the topics
discussed above: communication and automation, load and generation
control, storage and power electronics. In the MicroGrids, MoreMicro-
Grids and FRIENDS projects [18, 19, 22, 23] a forerunner of this concept
was developed, developing a concept in which a certain network area is
operated autonomously and that is in principle independent of the rest
of the network. Such a microgrid may or may not be connected to a
larger network. When connected to a larger network, the microgrid con-
cept can be applied to reach an optimum situation, taking into account
the market price of electricity, the cost of local production, energy losses
and greenhouse gas emission [55]. During a blackout in the larger grid,
the microgrid concept makes it possible to operate as an island, imple-
menting black start capabilities, thus increasing security of supply [56].
In the current regulation scheme, it is the DNO’s role to provide suffi-
cient network capacity to supply load and connect generators. Reducing
loads or limiting generators to solve network problems is in clear contra-
diction with this role. To influence supply and demand on a local scale
requires the establishment of a local market [57]. This requires drastic
changes in regulation, but even more so in the consumer’s behavior and
their willingness to participate in such a scheme.
1.5 Research objective
Meshed distribution networks are mostly operated radially to prevent
geographic spreading of disturbances, and to limit short-circuit currents.
A consequence is that grid faults require time consuming operations to
restore power delivery through other routes. Also, growing penetration
levels of DG cause fluctuations in the power flow situation and voltage
profiles. Operating networks in a meshed way mitigates these effects and
reduces losses, but also makes the network more vulnerable, and more
12 Chapter 1
complicated to operate and protect. The interconnection of grid areas
is sometimes not possible because of too large voltage differences.
Having the ability to couple networks in a controlled manner would
combine the benefits of radial and meshed networks: limited geographic
spreading of disturbances, the ability to control power flow and voltages
and the online availability of an alternative supply path.
The objective of the here presented PhD research project is to investi-
gate the use of a multi back-to-back converter to support the transition
to active distribution networks. The investigation must explicitly not
focus on finding the optimal power electronics topology, but rather on
defining the role that such a device can play in a power distribution
system and on the proof of principle. The possible tasks of this device
are to actively control power flow and to maintain power quality and
stability, both during normal operation and during fault conditions in
medium voltage networks with distributed generation. The combination
of this versatile converter system and the control and protection systems
that define its functionality are in this thesis denoted as the Intelligent
Node (IN).
1.6 Research questions
To contribute to this objective, the following questions need to be an-
swered:
1. Which are the main benefits of multi back-to-back converter de-
vices in distribution systems?
2. How and under which conditions can these benefits be achieved?
What controls should be adopted?
3. Which are the specific aspects that distinguish the application of
the multi back-to-back devices in distribution systems from similar
applications in transmission systems?
4. Can this be demonstrated on a laboratory-scale set-up?
1.7 Research approach
The research approach consists of the following three steps.
Development of the Intelligent Node concept. To develop the IN
concept, the various possible benefits are defined and evaluated. Based
on this evaluation, the primary benefits are distinguished, which are
those benefits that could be enough reason to implement this concept.
Introduction 13
Also secondary benefits are discussed, which can be achieved once such
a concept is applied, but which are considered to not be enough reason
to choose for the concept. Based on the defined concept, the required
functions are specified on a more detailed level.
Implementation in a practical set-up. The various functions are
implemented into a control system for the Intelligent Node as a whole
and for each of the converters. These controls are developed in Matlab
Simulink. In the laboratory a practical set-up is realized, which con-
sists of two low voltage converters, connected on their DC sides. The
developed control system is implemented in this set-up.
Verification by experiments. Using the described set-up, the inno-
vative aspects of the IN concept are experimentally verified. The exper-
imental results are compared with results from calculations. Based on
the experimental results, the effects of scaling the developed concept to
medium voltage levels are analyzed.
1.8 IOP-EMVT programme
The research presented in this thesis was performed within the frame-
work of the ’Intelligent Power Systems’ research project. The project
is part of the IOP-EMVT programme (Innovation Oriented research
Programme, Electro Magnetic Power Technology), which is financially
supported by SenterNovem, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Eco-
nomic Affairs. The ’Intelligent Power Systems’ project is initiated by
the Electrical Power Systems and Electrical Power Processing groups of
Delft University of Technology and the Electrical Energy Systems and
Control Systems groups of Eindhoven University of Technology. In total
10 PhD students, of which 9 have already finished their work, are in-
volved in the project. The research focuses on the effects of the structural
changes in generation and consumption that are taking place, like for in-
stance the large-scale introduction of distributed (renewable) generators.
Such a large-scale implementation of distributed generators leads to a
gradual transition from the current vertically-operated power system,
which is supported mainly by several big centralized generators, into a
future horizontally-operated power system, having also a large number
of small to medium-sized distributed (renewable) generators [58]. The
project consists of four parts, which is illustrated in Figure 1.3.
The first part, ’inherently stable transmission system’, investigates
the influence of uncontrolled decentralized generation on the stability
and dynamic behavior of the transmission network. As a consequence
of the transition in the generation, less centralized plants will be con-
14 Chapter 1
Inherently
Stable
Transmission
System
Optimal
Power
Quality
Manageable
Distribution
Networks
Self-
Controlling
Autonomous
Networks
Figure 1.3: Structure of the IOP-EMVT Intelligent Power Systems
project.
nected to the transmission network as more generation takes place in
the distribution networks, whereas the remainder is possibly generated
further away in neighboring systems. The investigated solutions include
the control of centralized and decentralized power, the application of
power electronic interfaces and monitoring of the system stability.
The second part, ’manageable distribution networks’, focuses on the
distribution network, which becomes ’active’. Technologies and strate-
gies have to be developed that can operate the distribution network in
different modes and support the operation and robustness of the net-
work. The project investigates how the power electronic interfaces of
decentralized generators or between network parts can be used to sup-
port the grid. Also the stability of the distribution network and the
effect of the stochastic behavior of decentralized generators on the volt-
age level are investigated. The research described in this thesis is within
this part of the programme.
In the third part, ’self-controlling autonomous networks’, autono-
mous networks are considered. When the amount of power generated in a
part of the distribution network is sufficient to supply the local loads, the
network can be operated autonomously but actually remains connected
to the rest of the grid for security reasons. The project investigates
the control functions needed to operate the autonomous networks in an
optimal and secure way.
The interaction between the grid and the connected appliances has
a large influence on the power quality. The fourth part, ’optimal power
Introduction 15
quality’, analyzes all aspects of power quality. The goal is to provide
elements for the discussion between polluter and grid operator who has
to take measures to comply with the standards and grid codes. Setting
up a power quality test lab is an integral part of the project.
1.9 Outline of the thesis
This introductory chapter is followed by the following chapters:
Chapter 2 Distribution systems The relevant aspects of distribu-
tion systems are discussed. This includes power quality considerations,
redundancy aspects, and voltage control methods.
Chapter 3 FACTS in distribution systems After a description of
power flow control principles, an overview is given of the state-of-the-art
of power electronic applications for power flow control in electrical power
systems.
Chapter 4 Functional concept of the Intelligent Node The pro-
posed functional concept for the application of a multi back-to-back
converter device as IN is given here. The applications are developed on
a functional level, with the device at a black-box level. To satisfy the
resulting requirements several technology options are analyzed, ending
with the versatile multi back-to-back converter topology.
Chapter 5 Intelligent Node control and protection In this chap-
ter, the developed applications are translated into control schemes for
the individual converters. To ensure proper implementation of the con-
cept, together with the control concept, also a protection concept is de-
veloped, which is tailored to the specific characteristics of the Intelligent
Node.
Chapter 6 Laboratory-scale demonstration To demonstrate the
concept and controls as described in the previous chapters, a three-phase
laboratory-scale set-up is realized. In this set-up experiments are carried
out, which focus on the innovative parts of the IN concept.
Chapter 7 Conclusions The thesis ends with general conclusions
and recommendations for future research.
16 Chapter 1
1.10 Publications
The results of the research presented in this thesis have been presented
in the following conferences and journals:
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.L. Duarte, W.L. Kling, P.T.M. Vaessen, ”Pha-
se-by-Phase Connection and Disconnection of Grid Areas using
Multi Back-to-Back Converters”, IEEE Tr. Power Delivery (sub-
mitted for review)
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.L. Duarte, W.L. Kling, P.T.M. Vaessen, ”Flex-
ible Framework for the Operation of Distribution Networks - Syn-
chronizing and Connecting Grid Areas using Multi Back-to-Back
Converters”, European Tr. on Electrical Power (under review)
• R. de Graaff, J. Duarte, W.L. Kling, P. Vaessen, ”Intelligent Nodes
in Distribution Systems - Transition from Radial to Meshed Op-
eration”, Proc. CIRED 2009, June 8-11, 2009, Prague, Czech
Republic
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.M.A. Myrzik, W.L. Kling, J.H.R. Enslin, ”In-
telligent Nodes in Distribution Systems - Optimizing Steady State
Settings”, Proc. PowerTech 2007, July 1-5, 2007, Lausanne, Swit-
serland
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.M.A. Myrzik, W.L. Kling, J.H.R. Enslin,
”Intelligent Nodes in Distribution systems - Operating Concept”,
Proc. CIRED 2007, May 21-24 2007, Vienna, Austria
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.H.R. Enslin, ”Profitable, Plug and Play Dis-
persed Generation: The Future?”, Leonardo Energy Digest, Vol.
3, No. 1, 2007
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.M.A. Myrzik, W.L. Kling, J.H.R. Enslin, ”Se-
ries Controllers in Distribution Systems - Facilitating Increased
Loading and Higher DG Penetration”, Proc. Power Systems Con-
ference and Exposition 2006, October 29 - November 1, 2006, At-
lanta, Georgia, USA
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.M.A. Myrzik, W.L. Kling, J.H.R. Enslin, ”Se-
ries Controllers in Distribution Systems - Facilitating Increased
Loading”, Proc. Universities Power Engineering Conference 2006,
September 6-8, 2006, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
• R.A.A. de Graaff, J.M.A. Myrzik, W.L. Kling, J.H.R. Enslin, ”Se-
ries Controllers in distribution systems - A survey of benefits in
relation to DG”, Proc. Conference on Future Power Systems 2005,
November 16-18, 2005, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Chapter 2
Distribution systems
The overall, functional requirements for a properly designed and oper-
ated power system are [59]:
1. The system must be able to meet the continually changing load
demand for active and reactive power, without overloading equip-
ment.
2. The system should provide energy at minimum cost and with min-
imum ecological impact under market conditions.
3. The quality of power supply must meet certain minimum standards
with regard to constancy of frequency, constancy of voltage and
reliability
The physical infrastructure of power systems is developed to meet these
requirements. The operation of this infrastructure is based on market
rules for matching supply and demand and uses supervisory control for
the interconnected power system and separated operation of its subsys-
tems. For the network two operation levels exist: transmission system
and the distribution system. This thesis concerns distribution systems.
In this chapter, those aspects of distribution systems are discussed that
are relevant to the Intelligent Node concept and its implementation.
First the legal framework that defines the network operator’s role is
given, then reliability and redundancy considerations are treated, fol-
lowed by power quality aspects and implemented voltage control meth-
ods. Finally, the chapter concludes with a summary of the challenges
DNOs are facing.
2.1 The network operator’s role
In Europe the legal entity of the network operator is by law separated
from the legal entities of the commercial roles of supplier, producer and
17
18 Chapter 2
trader [60]. As an example of the role and responsibility of the network
operator, the Dutch situation is described here. In the Dutch Electric-
ity Act [11] the responsibilities of the DNO are defined, of which the
following are the most relevant ones for this thesis. DNOs should:
• Operate and maintain the network in a certain region (voltage level
< 50 kV).
• Ensure the safety and reliability of their networks and the trans-
mission of electricity in the most efficient way.
• Construct, repair, renew or expand their network, while taking
into consideration measures regarding sustainable electricity, en-
ergy saving, demand management or distributed generation by
which the need to replace or increase generation capacity can be
prevented.
• Maintain enough spare capacity to transmit electricity.
• Connect third parties to the network within a reasonable time
(which is at most 18 weeks for connections up to 10 MVA).
The TSO has, in addition to these tasks for voltage levels > 50 kV, also
the responsibility to take measures and perform system services needed
to ensure the transmission of electricity through all networks in a safe
and efficient manner. Also the coordination of measures after large-scale
black-outs is done by the TSO.
The power threshold of 10 MVA is higher than the power rating of
most DG units connected to distribution networks. In such situations,
the DNO has therefore only a limited time to take adequate measures
in its network, if needed. The connection of a single generator may not
require any measures, but in areas which are favorable for DG multiple
connection requests can be expected at very short notice. In such a sit-
uation, the DNO may need to take measures in the distribution network
and this can easily need more time than this period [16]. Therefore, grid
reinforcements must be made in advance, based on estimates of future
connection requests. If these connection requests do not come, grid in-
vestments turn into stranded costs. This is against the DNO’s task to
transmit electricity in the most efficient way.
It is important to note that in the current legal and regulatory frame-
work the DNO cannot oblige loads and generators to support the op-
eration of the distribution network. This control feature, also called
active demand side participation [37], for the moment can only be ap-
plied for matching generation and loads by market parties [11, 60]. This
can actually increase the coincidence of loads and thus, instead of solve
constraints, cause additional stress in the distribution system.
Distribution systems 19
2.2 Network topology and redundancy
The reliability of a distribution network depends on the reliability of
its individual components, the topology of the network, the loadability,
the protection system, the operating concept and on external factors
such as digging activities and lightning [61]. Here, the choices made
in the network topology, protection system and operating concept are
discussed.
2.2.1 Network topology
Three basic distribution network topologies exist: radial, ring and mesh-
ed [62], as shown in Figure 2.1. The radial topology is characterized by
(a) Radial (b) Ring (c) Meshed
MV/LV transformer
LV connection
MV cable
LV cable
Figure 2.1: Types of medium and low voltage grids.
only one possible supply path for each load, no redundancy exists. In
the ring and meshed topologies at least two supply paths exist, which
leads to higher reliability. Operating a network as a ring or meshed
requires distance or zone protection and more switchgear to ensure that
only the faulted section is switched off. Ensuring adequate settings for
all network conditions for large numbers of distance protection relays
complicates network operation. In radial networks the simpler maximum
20 Chapter 2
current-time protection can be applied. By opening switches, a ring or
meshed network can be operated radially. This gives both the benefit of
a simple protection system and the availability of an alternative supply
path (after switching over).
2.2.2 Redundancy
The duration of the outage experienced due to a disturbance in a net-
work (fault) is determined by the time needed to clear the fault, the
availability of an alternative supply path and on the time needed to re-
configure the network. In radial networks, no alternative supply path
exists and the supply interruption time is equal to the time needed to
repair the faulted component. In radially operated ring or meshed net-
works, there is an alternative supply path. To allow reconfiguration,
sufficient capacity must be available on the alternative supply path. To
provide this capacity, networks are normally not loaded up to their nom-
inal rating. In the symmetric situation shown in Figure 2.2 this results
a
b
c
d
50%
50%
50%+50%=100%
C
o
u
p
l
i
n
g
b
u
s
b
a
r
Sum=200%
Figure 2.2: Each feeder can supply the load of another feeder.
in a maximum loading level of each feeder of 50 %. By operating the
load-break switches (LBs) on the right, the different feeders can be in-
terconnected through the coupling busbar. Also the transformers are
not loaded above half of their power rating. The sequence of events that
follows a fault is illustrated and described in Figure 2.3. The shown
steps are typical for underground cable networks, which are character-
ized by mostly permanent faults. In overhead line networks 50 to 80 %
of faults are temporary [61], since they are caused by lightning. This
allows faster restoration of supply on disconnected feeders. To achieve
this, after step c), the circuit breaker of feeder c is reclosed automatically
after some seconds. If the fault then still exists, after a delay the circuit
breaker opens again and the sequence of events is continued with step
d) and further. The reclosing process can be limited to one single at-
tempt, or can be repeated several times. If the fault has disappeared, the
Distribution systems 21
reclosing brings the network immediately back to situation a). This pro-
cedure is called automatic reclosing. In this thesis, the Dutch situation
is assumed, where the radially operated meshed medium voltage (MV)
and radial low voltage (LV) networks consist entirely of underground
cables [63], without automatic reclosing.
2.3 Power quality aspects
Electrical equipment and processes connected to the power system can
only withstand limited deviations of the supply voltage from its nominal
parameters. These deviations are quantified using several power quality
indicators. The IN can improve the power quality level in a network, for
example, by injecting reactive power in the network during a fault, by
controlling the network voltage, or by compensating harmonic currents.
During switching actions in the network, the IN plays an important
role to ensure that the voltage stays within acceptable limits. In the
following paragraphs, the power quality indicators that are relevant in
this thesis are discussed: steady state voltage amplitude, flicker, voltage
dips, phase angle jumps and power frequency.
2.3.1 Steady state voltage amplitude
The commonly used standard EN50160 [64] gives a characterization of
expected values in normal operation, excluding ’abnormal operating con-
ditions’. These ’abnormal operating conditions’ include, for example, ”a
temporary supply arrangement to keep the network users supplied dur-
ing condition arising as a result of a fault, maintenance and construction
work or to minimize the extent and duration of a loss of supply”. Explic-
itly it is stated that ”the voltage characteristics (...) are not intended to
be used as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) levels or user emission
limits for conducted disturbances in public distribution networks”. Re-
cently, the organization of European regulators ERGEG has proposed to
transform the current characterization into compatibility limits [65–67]
to protect customers interests better.
Currently EN50160 states that in medium voltage systems 95 % of
all 10 min mean r.m.s. measurements of the supply voltage within a
week can be expected to be within ±10% of the declared voltage. For
low voltage networks the same applies and additionally, all 10 min mean
r.m.s. values of the supply voltage can be expected to be within the
range of +10 % and −15 %.
22 Chapter 2
a
b
c
a) The power system is in
normal operation, all feed-
ers are operated radially.
a
b
c
b) A permanent short-
circuit occurs on feeder
c.
a
b
c
c) The circuit breaker of
feeder c opens. The loads
on feeder c are unsupplied.
a
b
c
d) The fault is isolated
by opening the load-break
switches of the affected sec-
tion.
a
b
c
e) The LBs of feeders b and
c at the coupling busbar are
closed, the circuit breaker of
feeder c is reclosed. Feeder c
is supplied through feeder b,
all loads are supplied again.
a
b
c
f) The line section is re-
paired.
a
b
c
g) The two load-break
switches of the repaired
section are closed and feed-
ers b and c are in meshed
operation.
a
b
c
h) By opening the two
switches at the coupling
busbar the radial operation
of situation a) is restored.
Figure 2.3: Sequence of events during a short-circuit.
Distribution systems 23
Anticipating a future restriction of EN50160 following ERGEG’s rec-
ommendations, in this thesis the following is defined with respect to
voltage magnitude limits: ”Network companies shall ensure that supply
voltage variations (r.m.s. value) are within an interval of ±10 % of the
declared voltage, measured as a mean value over one minute, in points
of connection in the low voltage network, both during normal operation
and during maintenance and temporary supply arrangements that are
made to prevent or reduce loss of supply.” This text is the translation of
paragraph 3.3 of the Norwegian power quality regulation [65, 68], with
a scope extension for the network conditions. This scope extension is
made based on the observation that if ”a certain condition causes voltage
deviation that may lead to damage for electrical equipment, than for the
customer it is better to experience an interruption” [65]. For the MV
network the interval is assumed to be ±5 % (see further paragraph 2.4).
2.3.2 Flicker
Incandescent light bulbs and other electrical light sources are sensitive
to voltage variations. A change of the voltage amplitude results in a
change of the luminance of the light source, which brings annoyance to
human beings. The human brain responds in a complex non-linear way
to voltage variations of different repetition frequencies and shapes. To
quantify the annoyance observed by a human being the parameters short
and long-term flicker are used. Flicker is measured using the flickerme-
ter, which is defined in IEC61000-4-15 [69]. With the phasing-out of
incandescent light bulbs [70] and the increasing use of alternative light
sources such as energy saving lamps and LEDs, this flickermeter needs
revision [71]. Energy saving lamps and LEDs are less sensitive to volt-
age variations. As a worst-case approach, the thresholds and methods
developed for the incandescent lamp are used in this thesis.
For this, the curve that indicates the annoyance threshold can be
used. For rectangular voltage changes, this curve is shown in Figure 2.4.
For non-repetitive events, the following analytical method can be
used. For a series of events the short-term flicker level is equal to
P
st
=

Σt
f
T
p

1/3.2
(2.1)
with the flicker impression time in seconds
t
f
= 2.3 (F · d
max
)
3.2
(2.2)
and the interval T
p
equal to 600 s [72]. According to these equations the
maximum rectangular voltage amplitude change (F = 1), due to non-
repetitive events such as network reconfiguration or load connection,
24 Chapter 2
number of voltage changes per minute
d
(
%
)
10
−1
10
0
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
−1
10
0
10
1
Figure 2.4: Curve for P
st
= 1 for rectangular equidistant voltage changes
with amplitude d [72].
can have a maximum amplitude d
max
of 5.7 %. The maximum relative
steady-state voltage change is however limited to 3.3 % according to [72],
while the Dutch grid code uses 3 % as the maximum amplitude of fast
voltage variations. On the other hand, the mentioned power quality lim-
its for flicker are not applicable in all network conditions. For example,
the Dutch grid code excludes situations where there is loss of production,
large loads or lines. In this thesis it is assumed that for deliberate net-
work reconfiguration actions the limits for normal operations apply. For
the IN this means that the rate at which the power flow in the network
is changed must be limited, to avoid excessive flicker levels.
2.3.3 Voltage dips
A voltage dip is defined as a ”sudden reduction of the voltage at a partic-
ular point on an electricity supply system below a specified dip threshold
followed by its recovery after a brief interval” [73]. The voltage thresh-
olds are equal to 90 % and 1 % of the declared voltage. Conventionally
the duration of a voltage dip is between 10 ms and 1 minute. The depth
of a voltage dip is defined as the difference between the minimum r.m.s.
voltage during the voltage dip and the declared voltage. The residual
voltage is the minimum r.m.s. voltage during the dip. In this thesis both
the term ’depth’ and ’residual voltage’ are used.
Voltage dips occur due to a number of reasons, such as short-circuits,
the energization of transformers or the connection of heavy (inductive)
loads, and cannot be prevented entirely. The limits for acceptable volt-
age dips are not well defined in international standards and only in-
dicative values of occurring residual voltage, duration and frequency of
occurrence are given [64].
Table 2.1 can be used to classify measured dips. In the table the
commonly used ITIC curve [74] is shown, which is an indication of the
voltage dip immunity of computers and other digital devices. Network
Distribution systems 25
Table 2.1: Classification of voltage dip measurement results.
V (%)
t
d
(s)
80 - 90
70 - 80
60 - 70
50 - 60
40 - 50
30 - 40
20 - 30
10 - 20
1 - 10
0.01
-
0.02
0.02
-
0.1
0.1
-
0.5
0.5
-
1.0
1.0
-
2.0
2.0
-
5.0
5.0
-
10
10
-
20
20
-
60
ITIC
reconfigurations in a network with an IN can cause voltage dips. To
assess the impact of such voltage dips, in this thesis the voltage dips
that are measured and calculated are compared with the ITIC curve.
2.3.4 Phase angle jumps
Phase angle jumps are not a frequently used power quality indicator
and little information exists on equipment immunity. Although exten-
sive research was performed to qualify phase angle jumps as a parameter
of voltage dips [75], this has not resulted in agreement on more general
phase angle jump immunity levels. In the IN concept, phase angle jumps
can occur, and therefore here an attempt is made to determine accept-
able values. In order to do so, other events where phase angle jumps
occur are examined: the synchronization of a synchronous generator and
the connection of two grid areas. Also, circuit breaker specifications are
examined.
In case of generator synchronization, the voltage angle difference is
the most critical factor, since it causes a transient torque on the gener-
ator shaft after connection, which has to be limited. The sensitivity of
generating units to phase angle jumps can be deduced from the thresh-
old values for synchronization and the functioning of protection systems.
Exemplary values of 10° and 20° for synchronization [76, 77] are reported.
When connecting two grid areas, it is the voltage angle difference
which is the most important parameter: in cable grids with a low X/R
ratio, the transformer inductive impedance is the dominant impedance
limiting the current after closing the circuit breaker. In [78] for a medium
voltage distribution system the maximum allowable voltage angles were
calculated to prevent overloading of the concerned feeder. Threshold
26 Chapter 2
values of a few degrees were found.
Another factor limiting the phase angle difference on both sides of
the circuit breaker is the circuit breaker itself. General purpose circuit
breakers are tested with voltages up to 90° phase difference [79], which
is a rather high value when compared to other limiting factors.
From the above, it is observed that connected loads and generators
are already exposed to phase angle jumps of 5°, 10° and even 20°. No
compatibility problems are known in relation to these phase angle jumps.
From this, it is concluded that phase angle jumps up to at least 10° are
acceptable for loads and DG units. This limit is used in the development
and implementation of the IN concept, where it is a critical parameter
in the connection of different network areas.
2.3.5 Power frequency
The frequency of the supply voltage is controlled by generators, which
adjust their power output accordingly when the network frequency
changes and thus balance out supply and demand deviations [80]. In
large interconnected power systems, such as the European ENTSO-E
networks, the resulting frequency fluctuations are small. For 99.5 % of
the time the power frequency should be within ±1 % of the nominal fre-
quency and during 100 % of the time within +4 % and −6 %. In island
networks larger frequency variations are allowed: ±2 % during 95 % of
the time and ±15 % during 100 % of the time [64]. In the EMC standard
IEC61000-2-2 [81] a compatibility level of ±1 % is given for temporary
frequency variations. For the implementation of the IN concept, the
power frequency characteristics are used as an input for the definition
of suitable threshold values to detect switching actions during network
reconfiguration.
2.4 Voltage control
In typical cable distribution networks the only available technique to
control the voltage at the low voltage supply terminals is the operation
of the HV/MV on-load tap changers (OLTC). The OLTC is operated
based on local measurements of the loading of the connected feeders.
This information is meant to compensate the voltage drop and rise along
the feeder by means of a voltage offset [82]. This method is called com-
pounding. The tap changers of the MV/LV transformers are of the
off-load type, and cannot respond to voltage changes. Voltage drops in
the low voltage network add to the voltage drops in the MV network,
that is why voltage variations in the LV network are larger than in the
MV network. Figure 2.5 shows typical voltage variations in a network
Distribution systems 27
PSfrag replacemen
HV MVb MVe LVb LVe
V
o
l
t
a
g
e
v
a
r
i
a
t
i
o
n
(
p
.
u
.
)
1.05
1.00
0.95
0.90
Figure 2.5: Typical voltage coordination in a radially operated MV/LV
network [83].
with a radial structure in the MV and LV parts of the network, assum-
ing only loads. In this thesis these typical values for voltage bands are
an input for the application of the IN to control voltage profiles in the
distribution network, which is elaborated in paragraph 4.2.
2.5 Conclusion
In the current regulatory environments the distribution network opera-
tor is faced with some contradictory responsibilities. On one side, the
DNO must provide and operate a network of sufficient capacity in an eco-
nomical way. On the other side, the DNO must provide new connections
at very short notice. Anticipating these connections by strengthening
the network in advance, brings uncertainty in the return on investments.
Furthermore, the expected control of load and DG units for balancing
supply and demand, and thus reducing generation costs, stresses the
distribution system, but is out of the DNO’s sphere of control. The
application of an IN can support the DNO here, as will be explained in
Chapter 4.
The Intelligent Node can influence some power quality parameters,
such as flicker, voltage dips and phase angle jumps. Currently, for many
of these parameters no binding compatibility levels exist, but steps are
made towards this. For each of the relevant PQ indicators, the lim-
its which are used in this thesis to assess the influence of the IN are
defined. The power quality parameters steady state voltage amplitude
and power frequency are discussed as they are input for the development
and implementation of the IN concept.
Finally, the currently implemented voltage control technologies are
discussed, as well as the resulting typical voltage ranges for cable net-
works. The more advanced FACTS and D-FACTS devices to influence
power flow and voltages are discussed in the following chapter.
Chapter 3
FACTS in distribution systems
In this chapter the state of the art of power electronics applications in
electrical power systems is given. When applied to transmission systems,
this kind of devices is often referred to as FACTS devices (Flexible AC
Transmission Systems), while for distribution system applications the
terms D-FACTS (Distribution FACTS) and Custom Power are used. In
this thesis, the term FACTS is used both for transmission and distribu-
tion system applications and D-FACTS for applications that are only for
distribution systems. FACTS are used to influence the electrical voltages
and currents in the grid to add flexibility to the operation of the power
system. In a meshed power system power flows in the ’path of least resis-
tance’, or more precisely, power flows according to the ratio of the inverse
of the path impedances. This may lead to overloading of the path with
the lower impedance, while the other paths are under-utilized. Voltages
in a power system depend on the power flow conditions and impedances.
If these voltages exceed certain limits, power system stability is at risk or
end-users are no longer supplied with a stable voltage. Having the abil-
ity to control power flow and influence voltages can help prevent these
problems. In this chapter, first the principles of power flow control are
discussed, using simplified power systems representation. Second, the
basics of FACTS technologies are discussed, followed by an overview of
the state of the art of FACTS devices applied in distribution systems
and their typical applications.
3.1 Principles of power flow control
To investigate the possibilities to influence the active and reactive power
flow in a certain line of a meshed network we first analyze the basic
configuration of an overhead line connecting two generators, which can
freely exchange active and reactive power. Next, the analysis is repeated
for an underground cable.
29
30 Chapter 3
3.1.1 Power flow in overhead line
The power flow in an overhead line (OHL) depends on the voltages on
both sides and on the impedance of this line. Figure 3.1a shows the basic
V
1
V
2
I
G
1
G
2
P
1
, Q
1
P
2
, Q
2
X
(a) Single-line diagram.
V
1
V
2
δV
I
jX
S
1
= P
1
+jQ
1
(b) Phasor diagram.
Figure 3.1: Single-line and phasor diagram for overhead line.
configuration used to analyze this dependency [84]. For this analysis the
overhead line impedance is assumed to be purely inductive, which is a
good approximation. The general equation for complex power S, using
the complex quantities V for voltage and I for current, is
S = V I

= P +jQ (3.1)
while the current through the line equals
I =
V
1
−V
2
jX
(3.2)
Figure 3.1b shows the phasor diagram for arbitrarily chosen phasors V
1
and V
2
. The angle between the dotted lines is equal to the angle of the
impedance jX, i.e. 90

, as follows from (3.2).
It can be more intuitive to express complex voltages and currents in
polar form using amplitudes and angles. The above mentioned voltages
and current then become
V
1
=

V
1

(cos(0) +j sin(0)) =

V
1

= V
1
(3.3)
V
2
=

V
2

(cos(δ) +j sin(δ)) = V
2
(cos(δ) +j sin(δ)) (3.4)
FACTS in distribution systems 31
I =
−V
2
sin(δ) −j (V
1
−V
2
cos(δ))
X
(3.5)
where δ is the phase angle between the voltages on both sides. Note
that the given amplitudes of current and voltage are r.m.s. values. This
results, in this lossless situation, in the active and reactive power injected
by generators G
1
and G
2
to be equal to
P
1
= −P
2
=
−V
1
(V
2
· sin(δ))
X
(3.6)
Q
1
=
V
1
(V
1
−V
2
· cos(δ))
X
(3.7)
Q
2
=
−V
2
(V
2
−V
1
· cos(δ))
X
(3.8)
The given formulas can be expressed in the following more intuitive
relation between impedance, voltage and power:
In a line with a purely inductive impedance the flow
of active power causes a phase difference between the
sending and receiving end of the line while a reactive
power flow causes a voltage amplitude difference.
Indeed, overhead lines have a dominantly inductive impedance: the ratio
of R/X is typically larger than 10.
These relations result in the following basic options to change the
active and reactive power flow through an overhead line:
1. By inserting a series voltage source in the line it is possible to:
a) Increase or decrease the active power transfer by changing
the phase angle δ between the voltages on both sides of the
line.
b) Increase or decrease the reactive power flow by changing the
amplitude difference between the voltages on both sides of
the line.
2. By inserting a series reactor or capacitor in the line it is possible to
increase or decrease the impedance X of the line, and thus decrease
or increase both the reactive and the active power flow.
3. By connecting a parallel device active and reactive power can be
injected or consumed which influences the power flow accordingly.
32 Chapter 3
Series voltage source Methods 1a and 1b are illustrated using the
network shown in Figure 3.2a where a series voltage source ∆V is con-
nected in series with generator G
2
(V
3
= V
1
). Figure 3.2b shows the
phasor diagram for method 1a, applying a series voltage in quadrature
with the receiving end voltage V
2
(i.e. δ = 90°), which results in active
power flow. Figure 3.2c shows the phasor diagram for method 1b, by
using a series voltage source which is in phase with V
2
(i.e. δ = 0°),
which results in a reactive power flow.
V
1
V
2
V
3
I
G
1
G
2
P
1
, Q
1
P
2
, Q
2
X
∆V
(a) Series voltage source.
V
1
V
2
S,I
∆V
jX
(b) Quadrature voltage.
V
1
V
2
I
∆V
jX
S
(c) In phase voltage.
Figure 3.2: Power flow control using a series voltage source.
Series impedance Method 2 for controlling power flow by changing
the impedance of a line is illustrated using the network as shown in
Figure 3.3a. In Figures 3.3c the resulting vector diagram is shown for the
situation without and with a series capacitor, for an arbitrarily chosen
voltage across the line. From the diagram it can be concluded that a
series capacitor decreases the line impedance and increases the power
flow.
Parallel injection Besides series voltage sources and impedances,
parallel devices can be used to control the power flow in a overhead
line network. A parallel device can inject/consume reactive power, if
FACTS in distribution systems 33
V
1
V
2
I
G
1
G
2
P
1
, Q
1
P
2
, Q
2
X
∆Z
(a) Series impedance.
V
1
V
2
∆V
I
jX
S
(b) No series capacitor.
V
1
V
2
∆V
I
jX +
1
jωC
S
(c) Series capacitor.
Figure 3.3: Power flow control using a series impedance.
capacitive or inductive components are used, or also inject/consume ac-
tive power if, for example, a storage device is used. In Figure 3.4a the
diagram is given for a device connected in parallel with an overhead line
network. The distribution of the injected power P
3
and Q
3
towards the
left and the right circuits depends on the ratio of their impedances. The
effect on the voltage V
3
depends on the equivalent (mostly inductive)
network impedance as seen from the connection point of the parallel
device, as shown in Figure 3.4b. The equivalent network impedance is
equal to the parallel connection of the short-circuit impedances of the
left and the right part of the network. The resulting phasor diagrams for
active and reactive power injection are shown in Figures 3.4c and 3.4d.
From these diagrams it is concluded that in an overhead line network
reactive power injection influences the voltage amplitude at the point of
connection while active power injection changes the phase angle of the
voltage.
34 Chapter 3
V
1
V
2
V
3
G
1
G
2
P
1
,Q
1
P
2
,Q
2
P
3
,Q
3
X
1
X
2
Parallel
Device
(a) Parallel injection.
S
k
= ∞
V
eq
V
3
P,Q
I X
eq
Parallel
Device
(b) Equivalent network.
V
1
V
2
S,I
∆V
jX
eq
(c) Active power injection.
V
2
V
1
S
∆V
jX
eq
I
(d) Reactive power injection.
Figure 3.4: Power flow control using a parallel device.
FACTS in distribution systems 35
3.1.2 Power flow in underground cable
An underground cable has different impedance characteristics than an
overhead line: the series impedance of cables ranges from dominantly
resistive for thin low voltage cables (X/R < 0.1) to mixed resistive/in-
ductive (X/R ≈ 1) for thick medium voltage cables. To assess how
power flow is influenced by this, the analysis from above is repeated for
a purely resistive line, as shown in Figure 3.5.
V
1
V
1
V
2
I
G
1
G
2
P
1
, Q
1
P
2
, Q
2
R
∆V
(a) Series voltage source.
V
1
V
2
I
S
∆V
R
(b) Quadrature voltage.
V
1
V
2 S,I
∆V
R
(c) In phase voltage.
Figure 3.5: Power flow in cable with series voltage source.
Looking at these diagrams and formulas and comparing them to the
ones for a purely inductive impedance, we can see the exact opposite
relation between impedance, voltage and power:
In a line with a resistive impedance, reactive power flow
causes a phase angle difference and active power flow a
voltage amplitude difference.
And when a line has a mixed resitive/inductive impedance, the rela-
tion between impedance, voltage and power is a combination of the two
previously analyzed cases:
In a line with a mixed resistive/inductive impedance re-
active power flow causes both a phase angle difference
and an amplitude difference, and also active power flow
causes these differences.
More precisely, a voltage amplitude difference across a line causes a
power flow with a P/Q ratio equal to the R/X ratio of the line, while
36 Chapter 3
a voltage angle difference causes a P/Q ratio equal to the X/R ratio of
the line. Following these relations, shunt reactive power injection in a
resistive network influences the phase angle of the voltage, while active
power injection influences the voltage amplitude.
As described in the previous chapter, the typical distribution sys-
tem lines in the Netherlands, consist of underground medium and low
voltage cables, with mixed resistive/inductive impedances. This implies
that the use of reactive power injection for voltage control or the use of
series voltage sources that introduce a phase shift for power flow con-
trol are not efficient methods. Instead, to control power flow, (also) the
voltage amplitude needs to be changed and active power must be in-
jected to influence the voltage. This is an important aspect to consider
when analyzing the suitability of existing FACTS technologies for cable
distribution networks.
3.2 FACTS technologies
FACTS devices are designed to use the above mentioned principles of
power flow control. Before presenting the different topologies and ap-
plications of existing FACTS devices here an overview is given of the
basic FACTS technologies. First, a summary of the available solid-
state switching techniques is given, followed by a description of converter
topologies, and concluded by addressing the use of mechanical switches.
3.2.1 Solid-state switching devices
The enabling technology for FACTS devices is the application of solid-
state switching devices. Devices available for high power applications
are thyristors, gate turn-off thyristors (GTO), insulated gate bipolar
transistors (IGBT) and integrated gate commutated thyristors (IGCT).
Thyristors are naturally commutated devices, i.e. they can be turned
on and start conducting at any moment, but only be turned off and
stop conducting when the current crosses zero. The main distinguish-
ing feature of GTOs, IGBTs and IGCTs when compared to thyristors
is that they can interrupt the current at any moment, i.e. they have
turn-off capabilities. The typical power and switching frequency rat-
ings are displayed in Figure 3.6. Numerous text books and reports such
as [51, 85, 86] are available for details on the technology and develop-
ments of solid-state switches. Due to their lower cost per MVA, the
most widely used solid-state switch for the highest power levels is the
thyristor. For lower power levels, as typical in distribution systems, the
use of devices with turn-off capabilities starts to become more feasible.
Research and development of solid-state switches is an ongoing process
and the voltage and current ratings, as well as switching frequencies are
FACTS in distribution systems 37
P
C
T
IGCT
HV IGBT
IGBT
SJ MOS
MOSFET
P
o
w
e
r
R
a
t
i
n
g
(
V
A
)
Frequency (Hz)
10
10
100
100
1k
1k
10k
10k
100k
100k
1M
1M
10M
100M
Figure 3.6: Ratings of solid-state switching devices [87].
continuously increasing. New solid-state devices and topologies are be-
ing developed, such as high power metal oxide semiconductors (MOS)
controlled thyristors (MCT) and IGCTs [88]. New wide band-gap semi-
conductor materials are becoming available, which can replace silicon as
the basic raw material for diodes, power MOSFETS (MOS field-effect
transistors), thyristors, GTOs (gate turn-off thyristors) etc. [89]. Silicon
carbide (SiC) is the most promising technology of this new generation of
materials, which is already making it possible to make 10 kV MOSFETS
and 13 kV IGBTs [49].
3.2.2 Converter topologies and switching strategies
In FACTS applications solid-state switches are used to dynamically con-
trol the behaviour of a device by conducting during a controlled percent-
age of the time, thus defining the effective output or operating charac-
teristic of the device. As a building block for FACTS two basic converter
topologies exist:
• The three-phase voltage source converter.
• The three-phase current source converter.
The diagrams for the two basic types of converters are shown in Fig-
ure 3.7. As can be seen, the two topologies are identified by the type of
38 Chapter 3
i
d
+

(a) Thyristor based current source converter.
u
d
+

(b) IGBT based voltage source converter.
Figure 3.7: Basic diagrams for three-phase current and voltage source
converters.
energy storage on the DC side of the converter: a capacitor for the volt-
age source converter and an inductor for the current source converter.
Depending on the solid-state switch, different switching strategies are
used. The output of a thyristor based current source converter is con-
trolled by changing the time between voltage zero-crossing and turning
on the thyristor, in other words by adjusting the firing angle. In Fig-
ure 3.8, the case is shown of square wave switching, where each valve is
conducting 50% of the time. Two types of voltage source converters are
shown, the 6-pulse version, which has large harmonic and requires big
filters, and the 12-pulse version, with reduced harmonic content. De-
vices with turn-off capabilities allow different switching strategies such
as pulse width modulation (PWM) and harmonic elimination technique.
In the PWM technique, the switching moments are determined by com-
paring a reference signal with a saw tooth signal of the desired switching
frequency and creating a logic control signal for the switches, as shown
in Figure 3.9. The output of the converter is a square wave voltage,
with a harmonic content that depends on the applied saw tooth fre-
quency: higher switching frequencies reduce the amplitude and increase
the frequency of the harmonics, allowing smaller, thus cheaper, filters.
Practical high power applications use more advanced topologies, such as
FACTS in distribution systems 39
VSC
1:1
(a) 6-pulse converter.
VSC
VSC
30°
1:1

3:1
(b) 12-pulse converter.
Figure 3.8: Topology and output voltage source converters.
(a) Saw tooth signal and reference voltage.
(b) Switching pattern.
Figure 3.9: PWM switching technique applied to a single-switch topol-
ogy.
multi-level converters [90], and various modulation principles exist [50].
3.2.3 Mechanical switches
Although not as the enabling technology of FACTS, also mechanical
switches play an important role in FACTS applications. Mechanical
switches are applied in situations where the high control speed of power
electronics is not required or where they are complementary to power
electronics, defining the bigger control steps of a FACTS device, leaving
40 Chapter 3
the finer and faster control to power electronics. Mechanical switches
in FACTS are used to connect or disconnect a shunt component [91]
or bypass series components [92], but also to switch between taps of a
transformer, when applied in a on-load tap changer (OLTC) [93], see
Figure 3.10.
(a) Series and shunt. (b) Tap changer.
Figure 3.10: Mechanical switches applied in FACTS.
3.3 FACTS and D-FACTS applications
Using the technologies and building blocks as described above, different
FACTS topologies have been developed to perform different functions
in electric power systems. The basic functions of these topologies follow
from the analysis in paragraph 3.1:
1. Inject or consume active and/or reactive power to control the volt-
age at the point of connection. Devices with these capabilities are
connected in shunt with the power system, see Figure 3.11a.
2. Insert a series voltage source or impedance in a line in order to
control the power flow in a meshed system. This functionality
requires a series connected FACTS device, see Figure 3.11b.
3. The two previous capabilities can be combined in one FACTS de-
vice, which then requires both a shunt and a series connection,
which is called a mixed form device in this thesis, see Figure 3.11c.
All previous capabilities can also be applied to more than one line
by one device. The terms shunt and series can then often no longer
be used to describe the topology. Also for those forms the term
mixed form device will be used in this thesis.
FACTS in distribution systems 41
(a) (b) (c)
Figure 3.11: Basic (D-)FACTS connection methods: (a) shunt, (b) series
and (c) mixed form.
Depending on the technology, (D-)FACTS devices can respond quick-
ly to events in the power system. While in transmission systems FACTS
are also used to increase voltage stability or to damp power oscillations,
the main applications for distribution systems are to control power flow
(including voltage control), to limit short-circuit current and to mitigate
voltage unbalance. Other distribution systems applications are the mit-
igation of harmonic voltages, damping of harmonic resonance, and the
mitigation of voltage dips and flicker. An international power electronics
applications survey [94] shows that series devices are mostly applied for
limiting the short-circuit current, protection against voltage sags, and
shunt devices mostly for voltage regulation, phase balancing and flicker
reduction. Little experience is reported in using series or mixed form de-
vices for voltage profile and power flow control in distribution systems.
In the following an overview is given of existing FACTS topologies and
their applications. Extensive literature exists detailing the application,
topology, and analysis of FACTS, such as [51, 95, 96]. Here only those
topologies are discussed that are relevant to distribution systems. This
excludes typical transmission system topologies such as high voltage DC
systems (HVDC) and phase shifting transformers or quadrature boosters
(PST/QB).
3.3.1 Shunt FACTS and D-FACTS devices
Two mature shunt devices are relevant topologies for distribution sys-
tems, both used for reactive power injection or consumption. The first
device that is discussed is the Static Var Compensator (SVC), a device
based on reactors and capacitors in combination with thyristors, widely
deployed in transmission systems and on higher voltage levels of distri-
bution systems. The second device that is described, is the more recently
introduced Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM), a converter-
based device using solid-state switches with turn-off capabilities.
42 Chapter 3
3.3.1.1 Static var compensator (SVC)
A static var compensator (SVC) is defined by IEEE [97] as ”a device
for fast reactive compensation, either inductive or capacitive, brought
about by thyristor-based control of an effective shunt-susceptance. It is
typically used to regulate voltage at a bus on the high voltage transmis-
sion system”. Or, as defined by CIGRE [98]: ”SVCs are shunt connected
static generators and/or absorbers of reactive power whose outputs are
varied so as to maintain or control specific parameters of the electrical
power system”. An SVC consists of a thyristor controlled shunt re-
actor and/or a thyristor switched capacitor, optionally in combination
with mechanically switched capacitors and/or reactors and filters, as
illustrated in Figure 3.12a. By adjusting the firing angle of the thris-
tor bridge, the equivalent value of the shunt reactor can be controlled.
In situations where it is not required to have full control of the entire
range of installed reactive power at any moment, mechanically switched
susceptances are applied in parallel with the thyristor-controlled suscep-
tance. This way the current rating of the thyristors is limited and so are
the associated losses, both reducing costs. The amount of reactive power
TCR
TSR
TSC filter MSC MSR
(a) Single-line diagram.
Inductive Current Capacitive Current
V
(b) Operating characteristic.
Figure 3.12: Single-line diagram and operating characteristic SVC.
injection is determined by a controller that has a voltage reference value
V

SV C
as input and as output the reference value for the injected reactive
power. The relation between system voltage and reactive current is a
droop function. When the system voltage equals the reference voltage,
no reactive current is injected. When the measured system voltage is
higher than the set-point, reactive current is consumed, the SVC be-
FACTS in distribution systems 43
haves as a shunt reactor. When the system voltage is lower than the
set-point the SVC behaves as a shunt capacitor and reactive power is in-
jected. Note that the maximum reactive current decreases linearly with
decreasing voltage, and thus reactive power decreases quadratically with
decreasing terminal voltage. That is to say,
I
L
=
V
jωL
Q
L
=
V
2
jωL
(3.9)
I
C
= jωC · V Q
C
= jωC · V
2
(3.10)
The actual operating point is determined by the reference voltage, the
droop setting, the power system voltage when there is no reactive power
injection, and the system impedance. The slope of the droop function
is a design parameter of the SVC and determines the operating area of
the device.
Figure 3.12b illustrates the operating characteristics of an SVC. In
this diagram, the injected reactive current is on the horizontal axis, while
the system voltage is on the vertical axis. The positive x-axis is for induc-
tive current, the negative x-axis is for capacitive current. For reference,
the operating characteristics of a fixed reactor and a fixed capacitor are
also depicted, as hashed straight lines through the origin. The nomi-
nal operating characteristic is indicated by the solid line, characterized
by zero current injection at nominal reference voltage (1.0 p.u.), the
nominal droop and the capacitor and reactor sizes. The enclosed area
indicates the possible operating region of an SVC, for different voltage
reference values and droop settings. The operating region is bounded
by the capacitor and reactor size, the solid-state switches voltage rat-
ing and by the minimum and maximum droop settings, in combination
with the minimum and maximum reference voltage. The solid lines out-
side the filled area indicate the characteristics during short over- and
under-voltages: the solid-state switches do not switch anymore, but are
continuously conducting, making the SVC impedance equal to the full
capacitor or reactor size. The reactive power injection capability of the
SVC is mainly applied to control voltage and damp oscillations, but also
to improve the steady state power flow and transient stability [99]. Volt-
age control can be used to compensate under-voltage and unbalance but
also faster phenomena such as dips and flicker. Note that this technol-
ogy is mostly applicable in overhead line networks, since the injection of
reactive power only leads to a voltage increase in lines with an inductive
impedance. The device is therefore classified mainly as FACTS device
although it can also be applied as a D-FACTS device in overhead line
distribution systems.
44 Chapter 3
3.3.1.2 Static synchronous compensator (STATCOM)
This device was originally called static condensor (STATCON), while
later the term static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) was ac-
cepted. ABB also uses the proprietary name SVC Light
®
[100]. A
STATCOM is a solid-state DC to AC switching power converter, con-
sisting of a three-phase voltage source converter. On the AC side, the
converter is shunt connected to the grid, normally through a transformer.
The DC side of the converter is connected to a capacitor. The function
of the capacitor is to provide a constant DC voltage, not to supply reac-
tive power, which is why its size is only small when compared to that of
a classic static shunt capacitor or SVC. Figure 3.13a shows the single-
line schematic of a STATCOM. The IGBT converter can in principle
inject any current into the grid, with any desired amplitude and phase
angle. However, a basic STATCOM configuration includes only a small
DC capacitor, which prohibits any exchange of active power, since that
would quickly charge or discharge the capacitor, leading to an under- or
over-voltage on the DC bus. As a result, the injected current generally
has a phase angle of either 90° leading or 90° lagging the grid voltage,
thus injecting or consuming reactive power as desired. To also allow
active power exchange, storage or generation must be connected to the
DC bus. The operating characteristic of a STATCOM (without stor-
STORAGE/
GENERATION
(a) Single-line dia-
gram.
Inductive Current Capacitive Current
V
(b) Operating characteristic.
Figure 3.13: Single-line diagram and operating characteristic STAT-
COM with optional storage and generation.
age) is shown in Figure 3.13b. The injected reactive current is on the
x-axis and the terminal voltage on the y-axes, identical to the axes of
FACTS in distribution systems 45
Figure 3.12b, which shows the operating characteristics of an SVC. The
nominal operating characteristic is indicated by the solid line, charac-
terized by zero current injection at nominal reference voltage (1.0 p.u.),
nominal droop and the maximum converter current rating. The enclosed
area indicates the operating region of a STATCOM, which is bounded
by the current and voltage ratings of the power electronics valves and
by the minimum and maximum droop settings, in combination with the
minimum and maximum reference voltage. Unlike it is the case with
an SVC, with a STATCOM the maximum reactive current does not lin-
early decrease with the terminal voltage, but is constant, which results
in a linear decrease of reactive power with decreasing terminal voltage,
instead of a quadratic decrease. The reactive power injection capabil-
ity of the STATCOM is used for similar applications as the SVC, and
additionally for harmonics mitigation. When applied to distribution
systems, the STATCOM is also called D-STATCOM and besides the
normal applications, also used to increase the loadability of distribution
feeders [101] by improving the power factor. Due to the fast response of
the STATCOM controller, its contribution to the short-circuit current
during a fault in the power system, is limited to around 1 p.u. The most
important distinguishing features of a STATCOM when compared to an
SVC device are its smaller footprint and higher reactive power output
at reduced system voltage. Technological developments continuously in-
crease the voltage and current ratings of IGBT valves, as well as the
allowable switching frequency. For lower voltage levels this allows the
omission of the grid coupling transformer and a direct grid connection
through series reactors, which reduces the costs of the STATCOM instal-
lation. Higher switching frequencies allow smaller filters, also reducing
costs and footprint. Relocatable units exist. Also here, as with the SVC,
it must be noted that the application of a STATCOM is most efficient
in overhead line networks and less efficient in cable networks. Like the
SVC, this device is more used as a FACTS than as a D-FACTS device.
3.3.2 Series FACTS and D-FACTS devices
Series FACTS devices are based on the principle of inserting a series
voltage source or changing the impedance of a circuit in order to change
the power flow in the meshed grid that the line is part of, as explained in
paragraph 3.1. The basic impedance changing types are the Thryristor
Switched Series Capacitor (TSSC) and the Thryristor Controlled Series
Capacitor (TCSC). An implementation of a series voltage source is the
so called Distributed Static Synchronous Series Compensator (D-SSSC),
consisting of a series transformer in combination with a voltage source
converter. The Phase Shifting Transformer (PST) is another FACTS
device that operates as a series voltage source, but it is more typical
46 Chapter 3
for transmission systems than for distribution systems and therefore not
considered here.
3.3.2.1 Thyristor switched series capacitor (TSSC) and
thyristor controlled series capacitor (TCSC)
The TSSC is a FACTS device based on a number of series connected ca-
pacitors, each with a parallel thyristor branch, which gives the option of
short-circuiting the capacitor. By using a sufficient amount of capacitors
in series, the impedance can be controlled in small discrete steps. The
thryistors are not angle-controlled, but are either conducting or blocking
the entire sine wave. The more advanced TCSC consists of a few series
connected capacitors, each with a parallel reactor that is phase angle
controlled by thyristors. This configuration prevents discrete impedance
control steps and also allows inductive behaviour instead of only capac-
itive. Both devices and their operating ranges are shown in Figure 3.14.
When applied in overhead line networks, the TSSC and TCSC can lower
or increase a circuit’s inductive impedance, thus controlling power flow.
In cable networks, the TSSC and TCSC are less efficient in doing this,
since the resistive component of the network impedance, which is signif-
icant if not dominant, is not affected.
3.3.2.2 Static series synchronous compensator (SSSC)
The SSSC is a voltage source converter connected to the grid through
a series transformer, as shown in Figure 3.15a. Its function is to in-
ject reactive power into the grid, which in a meshed network with its
inductive impedances results in circulating active power. No storage
or generation is connected to the DC bus which prevents substantial
active power exchange (some active power is consumed to compensate
losses and maintain the DC bus voltage). A D-FACTS variation to this
topology, the Distributed Static Series Synchronous Compensator (D-
SSSC) [102], has a direct connection of the converter to the grid without
a transformer, as shown in Figure 3.15b and is applied on the lower volt-
age levels. The (D-)SSSC can only inject reactive power and is therefore
more suitable for overhead line networks than for cable networks.
3.3.3 Mixed form FACTS and D-FACTS devices
3.3.3.1 Unified power flow controller (UPFC) and interline
power flow controller (IPFC)
The UPFC can be seen as a combination of a STATCOM and an SSSC
connected by their DC bus, as shown in Figure 3.16a. Due to its abil-
ity to allow active power flow from the shunt to the series connection,
FACTS in distribution systems 47
(a) TSSC topology.
(b) TCSC topology.
V
I
0
c
a
p
a
c
i
t
i
v
e
i
n
d
u
c
t
i
v
e
1 section
n sections
(c) TSSC characteristic.
V
I
0
c
a
p
a
c
i
t
i
v
e
i
n
d
u
c
t
i
v
e
both capacitive
1 section inductive,
1 section capacitive
both inductive
(d) TCSC characteristic.
Figure 3.14: Single-line diagrams and operating characteristics TSSC
and TCSC.
(a) SSSC. (b) D-SSSC.
Figure 3.15: Single-line diagrams SSSC and D-SSSC.
48 Chapter 3
and independent of that reactive power injection in both interfaces, the
UPFC has a very wide range of capabilities and possible applications.
The UPFC can support voltage by reactive power injection, but also
change the series impedance of a circuit and insert a series voltage in
phase in or in quadrature with the line voltage, thus controlling the
power flow. Despite its diverse capabilities, UPFCs are not frequently
applied in power systems, due to unfavorable economics. The IPFC
(a) UPFC. (b) IPFC.
Figure 3.16: Single-line diagrams UPFC and IPFC.
can be seen as a combination of two or more SSSCs connected by their
DC link, see Figure 3.16b. The application allows bi-directional active
power flow control between the different circuits. Each SSSC can inde-
pendently inject a quadrature voltage, which in overhead line systems
results in an active power flow. In cable systems, a combination of in-
phase and quadrature voltage must be used, also requiring active power
injection. Both the UPFC and the IPFC can be effectively used both
in overhead line and cable systems due to their ability to inject both
in-phase and quadrature series voltages, and can therefore be classified
both as FACTS and as D-FACTS devices.
3.3.3.2 Solid-state load tap changer (SSLTC)
Besides in converters, power electronics are also being applied in the
control of transformer tap changers. The resulting D-FACTS applica-
tion is known under the name of solid-state load tap changer (SSLTC).
The power electronics can simply replace mechanical switches and ap-
ply full-wave switching, maintaining the discrete character of the tap
changer, or it can apply a PWM switching pattern, which transforms
the discrete tap changer steps in a continuous characteristic. Imtech,
a Dutch supplier, provides a transformer equipped with a power elec-
tronics controlled tap changer under the name of Smarttrafo
®
. The
application consists of a 10/0.4 kV transformer with IGBTs connected
to the high voltage tap changer [103], which allows it to maintain a con-
FACTS in distribution systems 49
stant voltage on the secondary side. This is in large contrast with the
normal situation where it decreases linearly with increasing load, since
typically the tap changers of these distribution transformers are off-load
tap changers, only being adjusted when the distribution system or the
demand changes structurally. A similar idea was proposed in [104],
where a thyristor switched tap changer is applied for the larger, discrete
voltage steps and an additional PWM controlled series controller using
GTOs or IGBTs ensures an overall continuous voltage control.
3.3.3.3 Transfer switches
A transfer switch is a device which is applied to select the supply path
for the connected loads, see Figure 3.17. Typically, one of the supply
Control
Switches
Loads
Supply Path 1 Supply Path 2
Figure 3.17: Transfer switch.
paths is the public electricity network, while the other is formed by a
local generator. Mechanical switches cannot be operated fast enough
to perform this transition without a (short) power interruption, so in-
stead, power electronic valves are used. The resulting device is the static
transfer switch (STS), which has the capability to transfer loads within
half a power frequency cycle from one source to the other, which is suffi-
ciently fast for uninterrupted power supply [105]. This topology has been
applied successfully on medium voltage levels to achieve uninterrupted
power supply for the connected loads [94].
The topology of the STS has been extended with mechanical switches
to take advantage of both the speed of power electronics and the low
losses of mechanical switches, while still achieving uninterrupted supply,
resulting in the hybrid transfer switch (HTS) [106]. The STS and HTS
are, besides for uninterrupted supply, also applied to increase power
quality, by switching from one source to the other if one source has a
higher power quality level than the other.
50 Chapter 3
The application of the STS and HTS is targeted to the increase of
the reliability and power quality of power supply to critical loads, and
not to the optimization of the power flow in a power system.
3.3.3.4 Back-to-back converter
The back-to-back converter is the topology most related to the topic
of this thesis, and is applied both as FACTS and as D-FACTS device.
The device consists of two voltage source converters (i.e. STATCOMs)
that are connected on the DC side. Besides the STATCOM capabilites
(fast reactive power injection) the device has the additional capability of
active power exchange between the two AC connections, thanks to its DC
bus interconnection. The single-line diagram of a back-to-back converter
is shown in Figure 3.18a. The solid-state switching devices that are used
(a) Single-line diagram.
P
Q
I
max
Maximum DC link power
V
ac
= 0.9 p.u.
V
ac
= 1.0 p.u.
V
ac
= 1.1 p.u.
(b) Operating characteristic.
Figure 3.18: Back-to-back device single-line diagram and operating char-
acteristic.
in the converters need to have turn-off capabilities, typically IGBTs
are used. The operating range of the device is, as described in [107],
determined by:
• The current rating of the converter, which can be seen as a circle
around the origin in the PQ plane.
• The maximum DC voltage level, which limits the output voltage of
the converter, which in its turn limits the reactive power injection
capabilities in overhead line networks. In cable networks, this also
limits the active power transfer capability.
FACTS in distribution systems 51
• The maximum DC connection current, which limits the active
power transfer capability.
Depending on the presence of external passive reactive components, as
part of the grid-side filter or otherwise, the entire operating area, which
is shown in Figure 3.18b, can be shifted along the Q-axis. The shown
limitation in reactive power in case of higher AC system voltage is true
for inductive networks. For a resistive network, the limitation would be
on the positive P-side of the graph. As illustrated, this FACTS device
can both control active and reactive power, making it suitable to be
applied in both overhead line and cable networks.
Different suppliers use different names for their back-to-back con-
verter products. ABB calls their application BtB Light
®
[92] when
the two converters are on the same location and HVDC Light
®
[108]
when the two converters are geographically separated and connected
by a DC cable. SIEMENS uses the name SIPLINK
®
[109] for their
medium voltage back-to-back application, used for connecting different
grid areas, and the name Siharbor
®
for a similar installation used for
ship-to-shore connections. In Japan the Central Research Institute of
Electric Power Industry performs research on an application which is
called a Loop Balance Controller or a Loop Power Flow Controller. In
the following, some existing installations are discussed to illustrate the
state of the art of this technology.
Eagle Pass/Piedas Negras back-to-back interconnection. This
HVDC Light
®
installation, commissioned in 2000, interconnects the
asynchronous grids of Mexico and Texas, USA, with the purpose of
providing voltage support for both grids using reactive power injection,
and allowing controlled power exchange from the stronger Mexican grid
to the weaker Texas grid to prevent voltage instability in the Eagle Pass
network [92]. The 36 MVA 138 kV installation with a footprint of 35 m x
45 m also facilitates supplying Eagle Pass when the connection with the
rest of the Texas grid is out of service [110], although the reconnection
to the rest of the Texas grid requires a black-out for the Eagle Pass grid.
Talega dual STATCOM. This back-to-back installation, commis-
sioned in 2003, consists of two STATCOM installations, capable of pro-
viding voltage support using reactive power injection. The ratings of
the installation are ±100 MVA, 138 kV. The DC link required for active
power transfer is physically in place, but the actual use of this func-
tionality is not possible, since it is not yet implemented in the control
system. The control implementation would result in a maximum active
power transfer capability of 50 MW [111].
52 Chapter 3
Ulm and Karlsruhe back-to-back installations. The two SIP-
LINK
®
applications in Ulm and Karlsruhe, Germany, both consist of a
back-to-back installation connecting two grids. In Ulm, the main func-
tionality of the installation is to transport energy between the networks
of the districts Ulm and Neu-Ulm during times of peak demand to share
expensive regulating power. The installation has a capacity of 2 MVA
and was commissioned in 2003 [112]. The pilot installation in Karlruhe
has similar ratings, and was installed to avoid overloading of a certain
cable [113]. Additional functions are the optimization of voltage and the
supply of an affected sub-network as an insular system in the event of
failure of one of its infeed points.
Japanese distribution system back-to-back research setup. In
Japan, the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry has
developed a medium voltage back-to-back application [114]. The basic
functions are the control of voltage and power flow in a distribution
system without increasing the short-circuit power level. The installation
consists of a transformerless 1 MVA 6.6 kV back-to-back converter with
a footprint of 4 m x 1.7 m an 3 m height. The transition from meshed
to radial operation is supported, with relatively large voltage changes.
The opposite process is not reported [115].
Back-to-back installation for research, development and testing
at KEMA. Although not installed as a FACTS device in a distribu-
tion system, this installation is worth to be mentioned, as an illustration
of the state of the art in power electronic converters. In the Flexible
Power Grid Lab (FPGL) in Arnhem, the Netherlands, a back-to-back
installation was erected for research and development and testing pur-
poses. The setup consists of a 4-quadrant 1 MVA, 3.3 kV converter, with
custom-made controls that allow a freely adjustable voltage output, in-
cluding adjustable individual harmonic levels, unbalance, frequency vari-
ations, dips etc. The footprint of the back-to-back installation is around
5 m x 2 m.
3.4 Conclusion
A FACTS or D-FACTS device is used to influence voltage and loading
levels in the electrical network that it is part of. The effect that such a
device can achieve is significantly different for cable networks when com-
pared to overhead line networks. In an overhead line network reactive
power injection leads to an increased voltage, while in a cable network it
(also) causes a phase angle difference. Similarly, a series voltage source
that inserts a quadrature voltage causes a circulating active power flow
FACTS in distribution systems 53
in a meshed overhead line network, while in a meshed cable network, it
(also) causes a circulating reactive power flow.
The application of solid-state switches is the enabling technology for
FACTS and D-FACTS. An overview is given of existing devices and their
capabilities, followed by an overview of the basic topologies in which
these devices are applied.
FACTS and D-FACTS devices exist in a wide variety of topologies
and functions, and may be categorized by their connection type. The
shunt devices called SVC and STATCOM both have a relatively simple
topology and fulfill one specific function, namely the injection of reactive
power for voltage control. The series devices TSSC and TCSC are both
based on controlling the series impedance of the line, while the SSSC and
D-SSSC operate as series voltage sources, controlling the power flow by
injecting a series voltage. None of the devices SVC, STATCOM, TSSC,
TCSC, SSSC and D-SSSC can inject active power and are therefore less
suitable for application in cable distribution networks where only re-
active power injection has a limited effect for voltage and power flow.
The mixed form devices UPFC and IPFC are more complex devices,
combining several functions in one device, such as series voltage injec-
tion, series impedance control, voltage control, active power exchange
between circuits and are more suitable for cable distribution networks.
Power electronics are also applied in distribution system transformer
tap changers, switching from one tap to the other, thus avoiding mov-
ing parts and changing the discrete characteristic of a mechanical tap
changer into a continuous one. These devices are only applied for volt-
age control, not for power flow control in meshed networks. Finally the
back-to-back converter is discussed, which allows both active and re-
active power injection, which makes it suitable for application in cable
distribution systems. This configuration is the most relevant D-FACTS
topology for this thesis. For illustration purposes, several installed de-
vices are described for this device. In the next chapter, an extension of
the back-to-back converter application is proposed.
Chapter 4
Functional concept of the
Intelligent Node
The introduction of distributed generation in electrical power systems
is changing the operation of that part of the network which tradition-
ally has been called the ’distribution system’. The primary task of the
operator of these networks, the DNO, is to operate them, to ensure
the safety and reliability of these networks and to facilitate the trans-
mission of electricity in an economical way. The DNO also has to do
network construction, repair, refurbishment and expansions while con-
sidering measures regarding renewable energy, energy saving, demand
control and DG, as was discussed in Chapter 2.
Given the increasing uncertainty of load and generation (size, loca-
tion and coming on-line) in distribution systems and the DNO’s obliga-
tion to maintain enough spare capacity, investments in grid reinforce-
ments may turn out to be uneconomic. This stimulates the DNO to
maximize the use of the existing network and to consider installing flex-
ibility and intelligence in the grid, instead of traditional grid reinforce-
ments. It is in this context that the application of the Intelligent Node
(IN) is proposed.
The IN may be seen as a black box with on the outside a number of
AC ports, and, for now, an undefined internal topology. The preliminary
functional requirements of this black box are:
• Inject or consume an adjustable amount of active and/or reactive
power through each of its AC ports.
• Supply a radial network part from any of its AC ports.
• Improve the power quality of the connected network parts.
• Optionally: store energy.
55
56 Chapter 4
In this chapter, several applications are proposed and it is analyzed how
and to what degree they can provide the required flexibility. As the IN
applications are discussed, the functional requirements are elaborated in
more detail. The first application of the IN to be discussed concerns the
increase of loading capacity, followed by the IN application to facilitate
DG integration. The third application which is presented is the use of
the IN to mitigate voltage dips. The chapter ends with a summary of
the functional requirements and possible internal topologies, followed by
a conclusion.
4.1 Facilitating increased loading
One of the oldest trends in electrical power systems is the gradual growth
of electricity demand. As an alternative to traditional grid reinforce-
ments to accommodate this growth, the application of an IN is pro-
posed. Power system lines are generally not loaded to their nominal
rating because of redundancy considerations. With this in mind, two
grid configurations are identified. The first concerns a radially operated
pocket network in which redundancy can be made available by reconfig-
uring the network, which can be done in multiple ways through the IN.
The second concerns a network where the redundancy is not enough to
accommodate a load growth and where an alterative supply point in a
certain geographical distance has enough capacity to accommodate the
increasing load, but the power flow of the interconnection between the
regions has to be controlled to prevent overloading.
4.1.1 Controlled sharing of redundancy
This IN application concerns a network that requires reconfiguration
in order to resume supply after a certain part of the network was de-
energized due to a short-circuit. Such a network is shown in Figure 4.1a.
In case of a fault on feeder d the concerned section of the line is de-
energized. Subsequently, to limit or avoid customer interruption time,
the network is reconfigured and the affected loads are supplied by feeder
c. This reconfiguration is only possible if enough spare capacity is avail-
able on the concerned feeders, as explained in Chapter 2. To make the
spare capacity fully available to accommodate the extra load, the ap-
plication of an IN is proposed. The concept of sharing redundancy is
based on the use of the total spare capacity of several feeders, instead
of using only the spare capacity of one feeder. Figure 4.1a shows a part
of a distribution grid, with four feeders ending in one geographical lo-
cation. In that location a coupling busbar is used with 4 load-break
switches (LBs) to connect and disconnect feeders. As illustrated, the
pre-reconfiguration loading of any of the feeders cannot exceed 50% of
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 57
a
b
c
d
50%
50%
50%+50%=100%
C
o
u
p
l
i
n
g
b
u
s
b
a
r
Sum=200%
(a) One feeder supplies the load of an other feeder.
a
b
c
d
75%+25%=100%
75%+25%=100%
75%+25%=100%
I
n
t
e
l
l
i
g
e
n
t
N
o
d
e
Sum=300%
(b) All feeders share the load of the affected feeder.
Figure 4.1: Sharing of redundancy.
their nominal rating, in order to allow the shown reconfiguration. In
Figure 4.1b the switches and the coupling busbar are replaced by an IN
which actively balances the power demand from feeder d equally across
feeders a, b and c. As illustrated, the pre-reconfiguration loading level
of each feeder can now be allowed to grow up to 75% of the nominal
rating. Note that in case of n feeders connected in the described way,
the maximum loading level becomes 100 · (n −1)/n %. This also means
that in case of only 2 feeders, there is no benefit from this application,
at least in terms of redundancy, since no further redundancy sharing
can be done. The control objective while the network is reconfigured,
is to balance the power consumption of feeder d among feeders a, b and
c. In this basic example it is, for simplicity reasons, assumed that only
the network feeders are approaching their loading limits, and that the
supplying transformers have enough capacity to accommodate the load.
With all feeders fully in service, the IN can be used to optimize the
power flow in the meshed network. Part of this optimization can be
the control of voltage profiles, which is discussed in paragraph 4.2 and
the minimization of losses. The minimization of losses is not further
elaborated in this thesis.
In order to establish the requirements for the IN for this application,
the sequence of events during such a grid reconfiguration is analyzed.
58 Chapter 4
a
b
c
IN
a) The power system is in
normal operation, the IN
controls power flow, for ex-
ample, to minimize losses.
a
b
c
IN
b) A permanent short-
circuit occurs on feeder
c.
a
b
c
IN
c) The circuit breaker of
feeder c opens and the IN
disconnects from feeder c.
The loads on feeder c are un-
supplied.
a
b
c
IN
d) The fault is isolated
by opening the load-break
switches of the affected sec-
tion.
a
b
c
IN
e) The circuit breaker of
feeder c is reclosed and the
IN starts to supply the IN
side of feeder c. All loads
are supplied again.
a
b
c
IN
f) The line section is re-
paired and the IN en-
sures voltage synchronism
between the two energized
parts of feeder c.
a
b
c
IN
g) By closing the two load-
break switches of feeder c
meshed operation of situa-
tion a) is restored.
Figure 4.2: Sequence of events during short-circuit in a network with a
3-port IN.
Figure 4.2a through g show and describe the different events and ac-
tions following a short-circuit in one of the feeder sections. To compare
with the sequence of events in situations without an IN, see Chapter 2.
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 59
The sequence of events for planned maintenance are the same, with the
exception of steps b) until e), which are skipped, and the supply of the
loads on feeder c is never interrupted. The operation of circuit breakers
is in many networks performed simultaneously on all three phases. In
other medium voltage networks, for example in the Netherlands, how-
ever, the phase-by-phase operation of load-break switches is common,
given the wide-spread application of manually operated, compact epoxy
resin insulated, single-phase switchgear [116], of which an example is
shown in Figure 4.3.
Figure 4.3: Manual phase-by-phase opening and closing of medium volt-
age switchgear [117].
To enable the described events and phases, the IN must be able to:
• Detect a permanent short-circuit and de-energize the appropriate
feeder (feeder c in the example).
• Ride through a voltage dip, which occurs due to a permanent fault
on an adjacent feeder (feeders a and b should not be affected in
the example).
• Detect the opening of the load-break switches which isolate a net-
work section and change from controlling power flow in the meshed
network to supplying the radial network part (in case of section
de-energization for planned maintenance).
• Synchronize the voltages on both sides of the isolated feeder sec-
tion.
• Detect the closing of the load-break switches which restore the
meshed network operation and change from supplying the radial
network part to controlling power flow in the meshed network.
• Support the above also for the phase-by-phase operation of the
load-break switches.
60 Chapter 4
4.1.2 Controlled power exchange between grid areas
Figure 4.4 illustrates another situation where an IN can facilitate load
growth, also by sharing redundancy, but in a different manner. For this
T-B1
1.0 p.u.
T-B2
1.0 p.u.
T-A1
1.0 p.u.
T-A2
1.0 p.u.
T-A3
PST
B-B
B-C
B-A
Ld-B
0.7 p.u.
Ld-C
0.9→1.2 p.u.
L-BC
L-AC1, 1.0 p.u.
L-AC2, 1.0 p.u.
L-AC3
Option 1, 0.2 p.u.
Option 2, 0.2 p.u.
Figure 4.4: Traditional grid reinforcements to supply increasing load on
busbar B-C (Ld-C).
network, it is expected that, in the future, the load Ld-C will exceed
the capacity of the redundant lines L-AC1 and L-AC2 and transformers
T-A1 and T-A2. Busbar B-B however, still has enough spare capac-
ity to feed the increasing load, but connecting busbars B-B and B-C,
would result in an overloaded line L-BC. This overloading is the result
of equalizing currents that occur due to different circuit impedances of
the two grid areas, different voltage amplitudes and/or different phase
angles. These factors depend on the power system configuration and the
network loading conditions and therefore vary during time. Counteract-
ing the equalizing currents by classical means, involves, for example, the
application of a phase-shifting transformer PST in line L-BC, which is
shown as Option 1. This option is only feasible in networks with a mainly
inductive impedance, such as overhead line networks. The other tradi-
tional method to increase the network capacity is the shown Option 2,
which consists of increasing the capacity of line L-AC and adding a third
transformer T-A3. A side effect of both options is that the maximum
short-circuit current on busbars B-A, B-B and B-C increases.
As an alternative, the application of an IN in line L-BC is proposed,
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 61
T-B1 T-B2
T-A1
T-A2
B-B
B-C
B-A
Ld-B
Ld-C
IN
0.2 p.u.
L-BC L-AC1
L-AC2
Figure 4.5: IN application to supply increasing load Ld-C.
as shown in Figure 4.5. The IN and line L-BC both have a power rating
of the excess load, i.e. 0.2 p.u. in the shown numerical example. The
IN actively controls the power flow and thus solves the expected power
deficit, while preventing overloading. The IN can control the power flow
independently from power system impedance and voltage differences,
and is thus feasible in both cable and overhead line networks. Depend-
ing on the IN technology, the short-circuit rating of busbars B-A, B-B
and B-C can be maintained the same. Besides the already mentioned
functional requirements, this application does not require any additional
functionality from the IN.
Whether the IN’s ability to supply a radial network area is useful
depends on local load conditions, since the IN is only able to supply a
load Ld-C up to the power ratings of the IN and the line L-BC. This
situation could, for example, occur in a N-2 contingency with both lines
L-AC1 and L-AC2 out of service. An existing back-to-back installation
at Eagle-Pass, Texas, USA, which was described in paragraph 3.3.3.4,
has the ability to supply a radial network. The ability to resume meshed
operation without supply interruption is not reported.
4.2 Controlling voltage profiles
A second IN application involves the control of voltage profiles to facil-
itate the integration of distributed generation. The connection of DG
units in a distribution network can result in reverse power flow and volt-
62 Chapter 4
age rise instead of voltage drop on the concerned feeder system. If this
occurs in only some of the feeders that are fed from one busbar, the volt-
age profiles of the connected feeders can possibly no longer be kept within
a certain band by compounding (the operation of the transformers tap
changers, see also paragraph 2.4). This is illustrated in Figure 4.6. To
Generators
Loads
I
0
V
max
V
min
(a) One feeder has predominantly generation, the other mainly load.
(b) Resulting feeder current, assuming homogenously distributed loads and DG.
(c) Compounding is no longer a solution.
Loads
Generators
distance →
distance →
Figure 4.6: Voltage profiles with increasing DG.
keep voltages within the required limits it is possible to create dedicated
networks to connect generation, for example, by splitting the busbar in
generation and load sections and supplying each from a different trans-
former, each with its own compounding. However, in case of an outage
of one of the transformers the busbar cannot be operated split and the
voltage profiles can still exceed the allowed limits. The application of
an IN can be proposed as a method to control voltage profiles by the
control of both active and reactive power flow. As explained in Chap-
ter 3, the voltage amplitude can be influenced by the injection of active
and/or reactive power, depending on whether the line concerns an un-
derground cable or an overhead line. In Figure 4.7, the location of the
IN for this application is shown, as well as an illustration of the effect
which can be achieved on the voltage profiles. In this network, only ac-
tive power is exchanged between the two feeders, resulting in the shown
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 63
Generators
Loads
I
0
V
max
V
min
(a) IN controls power flow between feeders.
(b) Resulting feeder current has partly changed direction.
(c) Voltage profiles are within limits.
Loads
Generators
distance →
distance →
IN P
Figure 4.7: Voltage profile ’bending’ with the application of a 2-port IN.
current profiles. Power flow calculations show that the voltage profiles
are then ’bent’ towards each other, which makes it possible to bring all
voltages within the network within the required voltage band. Besides
active power, also reactive power can be injected or consumed, resulting
in a similar effect on the voltage profile. The optimal active and reac-
tive power set-points of the IN depend on the loading situation in the
network and on the ratings and impedances of the various components.
The shown example concerns a two-port IN, but the concept can be
expanded to an n-port device. In the following paragraph, a four-port
example application is described.
4.2.1 Example application
The intention of this example application is to assess the maximum
achievable voltage profile improvement in a certain network by control-
ling the power flow with the IN. It is not the intention to find the optimal
IN settings for this network, considering all effects. This means that, for
example, the minimization of losses is not taken into account. To illus-
trate the possible benefits of this IN application, we consider the network
64 Chapter 4
150/10.5 kV
2x66 MVA
20 %
6900
240Al
0.08
1900
150Al
0.32
4900
150Al
0.32
400
150Al
0.04
4600
35Cu
0.64
2500
150Al
0.16
500
150Al
0.04
400
150Al
0.08
6600
150Al
0.08
900
150Al
0.04
1 MVA
1100
150Al
0.04
1
2
3
4
IN
600
35Cu
0.08
1300
240Al
0.16
3400
25Cu
0.04
800
35Cu
0.16
3200
35Cu
0.16
1200
35Cu
0.16
700
95Al
0.00
1600
35Cu
0.32
3200
95Al
0.08
6900
240Al
0.08
feeder length (m)
cross section (mm
2
) and material
total load per feeder (MVA)
normally open
P
1
,Q
1
P
2
,Q
2
P
3
,Q
3
P
4
,Q
4
Figure 4.8: Medium voltage cable network with a 4-port IN.
shown in Figure 4.8. The network consists of several cable feeders, each
supplying some loads (cos(φ) = 0.9 inductive), equidistantly connected
to their feeder (not shown). The total load per feeder is shown in the
figure. One 1 MVA generator (cos(φ) = 1.0) is connected to a busbar
in the grid. The rectangle shows the location of the IN, which does not
have storage connected. Three configurations are considered. In config-
uration I, an IN is connected in the indicated location. In configuration
II, the IN is replaced by a busbar, which interconnects the four feeders,
resulting in meshed operation of the network. In configuration III, re-
active power compensation is connected to the busbar of configuration
II.
4.2.1.1 Voltage optimization method
To obtain the optimal voltage profiles in the network, we must first
define what is considered ’optimal’ and, second, find the IN settings to
achieve these optimal conditions. In order to define the optimal voltage
profiles two terms are introduced: ’voltage band’ and ’associated nodes’.
The ’voltage band’ is defined as the difference between the lowest and
the highest voltage occurring on a certain set of grid nodes at a certain
moment. The ’associated nodes’ are defined as all nodes for which a
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 65
galvanic path exists to the IN and for which this galvanic path does
not pass through the MV busbar of the HV/MV substation. The node
voltages are calculated by solving the power flow equations, a technique
which is elaborated in many text books, for example in [118]. In this
example the power system analysis tool PowerFactory from DIgSILENT
is used for this task.
In the shown example, this excludes all nodes of the radial network
section connected to the center of the MV busbar of the HV/MV sub-
station. The voltages on the k associated nodes are V
an,1
until V
an,k
.
The optimal voltage profiles in the network occur when the voltage
band of the associated nodes has its minimum value. The objective
function is expressed mathematically as
minimize max(V
an,1
, ..., V
an,k
) −min(V
an,1
, ..., V
an,k
) (4.1)
which is subject to the following boundary conditions:
• The sum of the injected/consumed active power through all IN
ports is zero:
¸
N
i=1
P
i
(t) = 0 (in the example no storage is con-
nected)
• The apparent power of each IN port is not exceeded: S
i
< S
max
• The feeder ratings are not exceeded: I
i
(x) < I
max
for i = 1..N
and 0 < x < L
i
with L
i
the length of feeder i
• The node voltages are limited: 0.97 p.u. < V
an,i
< 1.03 p.u. for
i = 1..k
As an example of a possible approach towards optimal settings for
the IN, Cauchy’s gradient method [119] is used. The gradient method
determines the effect of each control parameter on the objective function
in order to find the steepest gradient towards the maximum or minimum
of the objective function. Figure 4.9 shows a graphical impression of the
application of the gradient method for maximization of a 2 dimensional
problem. By applying small disturbances in the two dimensions (x and
y), the gradient of the objective function (z) is determined. Iteratively
applying a stimulus in the direction of and proportional to the gradi-
ent will bring us to the desired operating point: the global maximum.
A flowchart of the individual steps to be performed to implement the
gradient method for voltage profile optimization is shown in Figure 4.10
and described in more detail hereafter.
In the example network, eight variables exist, which can be adjusted
to find the optimal voltage band: the active and reactive power injected
from each of the four IN ports. Thus, the optimum IN setting is com-
posed of a linear combination of the eight variables Q
1
to Q
4
and P
1
66 Chapter 4
Figure 4.9: Graphical impression of gradient method applied to 2 di-
mensional problem.
to P
4
, see Figure 4.8. In the example, we assume that the IN does not
contain storage, which reduces the degree of freedom with one, since the
sum of P
1
, P
2
, P
3
and P
4
must be equal to zero at all times. The first
three of the seven vectors, S
1
until S
3
, concern the active power flow
control and are chosen such that this condition is met for all possible
combinations of S
i
, see Equation (4.2). The remaining four vectors S
4
until S
7
concern the reactive power flow control and are equal to Q
1
until
Q
4
, which are independent variables. The resulting seven independent
vectors S
1
until S
7
are equal to

S
1
S
2
S
3
S
4
S
5
S
6
S
7
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
=

1 −1/3 −1/3 −1/3 0 0 0 0
−1/3 1 −1/3 −1/3 0 0 0 0
−1/3 −1/3 1 −1/3 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
×

P
1
P
2
P
3
P
4
Q
1
Q
2
Q
3
Q
4
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
(4.2)
Starting from the initial condition, with zero active and reactive power
injection by the IN, successively each IN control vector S
i
is triggered
with a small amplitude dS
i
and a power flow calculation is performed.
The resulting change dV
i
of the voltage band is calculated. Performing
this calculation for each vector S
i
gives the gradient of the objective
function for each vector. Subsequently, a linear combination of S
1
until
S
7
is applied, where each vector S
i
has an amplitude that is proportional
to dV
i
. In this way, per iteration step, the maximum reduction of the
voltage band is obtained by applying a linear combination of the vectors.
Repeating these steps n times results in the optimal settings for the IN
to minimize the voltage band.
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 67
apply actual loads in model
perform loadflow
calculate global voltage range
apply dS
i
perform loadflow
calculate change global voltage range dV
i
apply combination of S
1
..S
7
perform loadflow
calculate global voltage range
apply controller settings
r
e
s
p
o
n
d
t
o
c
h
a
n
g
e
s
o
f
l
o
a
d
a
n
d
D
G

n
d
o
p
t
i
m
a
l
c
o
n
t
r
o
l
l
e
r
s
e
t
t
i
n
g
s

n
d
l
o
c
a
l
g
r
a
d
i
e
n
t
f
o
r
i
=
1
.
.
7
n
i
t
e
r
a
t
i
o
n
s
e
v
e
r
y
m
s
e
c
o
n
d
s
Figure 4.10: Flowchart for voltage profile optimization using Cauchy’s
gradient method.
68 Chapter 4
Subsequently, the settings are used as set-points by the IN. This
optimization process can be repeated regularly, in order to respond to
changing power flow and network conditions.
4.2.1.2 Optimization results
The described method is applied to the network of Figure 4.8. The
boundary conditions for the optimization method are the power rating
of the IN, 1 MVA for each of the IN ports, and the maximum total re-
active power injection by the IN, which is set to 1.5 Mvar. With these
limitations in place, the described optimization process is implemented
in the software tool DIgSILENT PowerFactory. The resulting iteration
path of active and reactive power, and the resulting voltage band and the
total reactive power injection are shown in Figure 4.11. The calculated
voltages are given in per unit values, where 1 p.u. equals 10.5 kV. In the
optimization process the constraints due to network component ratings
are not implemented yet. However, inspection of the results shows that
no components are overloaded. From the results, it can be seen that with
the IN starting set-point equal to zero, the voltage band is 4.1 % and
that with optimal set-point the IN reduces the voltage band to around
0.57 %. In Table 4.1 these simulation results are given numerically, and
also the results for configurations II (IN replaced by busbar) and III
(same as II but with reactive power injection) are given. For configu-
ration II and III the given P
i
and Q
i
values represent the power flow
through the corresponding connections between the IN-replacing busbar
and the network. Configurations II and III result in a voltage band of
1.26 % and 0.78 % respectively. From these results it can be concluded
that in the example network, a large voltage band reduction is obtained
by changing from radial to meshed operation. A further reduction is
obtained by injecting reactive power. Finally, optimizing the active and
reactive power flow reduces the voltage band even more. Thus, for the
example network it can be concluded that the voltage performance that
is achieved with the application of an IN is comparable to the results in
meshed operation with reactive power injection.
As stated earlier, an actual implementation of an optimization meth-
od as described above would also need to take into account other factors,
such as, for example, network losses. The method described above re-
quires measurement data from several network locations. It is likely
that this information is available in the central control room that con-
trols the network that the IN is part of, rather than at the IN location.
In such a central location the optimal IN settings can then be deter-
mined. Research is performed on determining the optimal IN settings
only from locally available information [83, 120]. This is an interest-
ing development, which would make the IN operation independent of
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 69
P
1
(MW)
Q
1
(
M
v
a
r
)
P
2
(MW)
Q
2
(
M
v
a
r
)
P
3
(MW)
Q
3
(
M
v
a
r
)
P
4
(MW)
Q
4
(
M
v
a
r
)
iteration n
V
o
l
t
a
g
e
b
a
n
d
(
p
.
u
.
)
iteration n
Σ
Q
i
(
M
v
a
r
)
10 20 30 40 50 60 10 20 30 40 50 60
-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1
-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1
-1.5
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
0
0.01
0.02
0.03
0.04
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
Figure 4.11: Configuration I: Iteration path towards optimal IN settings:
active and reactive power set-points, voltage band and total reactive
power injection.
70 Chapter 4
Table 4.1: Simulation results voltage profiles.
I: IN II: meshed III: meshed + Q
Voltage band (p.u.) 0.00567 0.01262 0.00777
V
1
(p.u.) 0.996

0.991

0.996
V
2
(p.u.) 0.996
V
3
(p.u.) 1.000
V
4
(p.u.) 0.999
φ
1
(

) -0.717

0.002

-0.507
φ
2
(

) -0.079
φ
3
(

) -1.344
φ
4
(

) -1.098
P
1
(MW) -0.03 0.15 0.09
P
2
(MW) -0.91 -1.03 -0.98
P
3
(MW) 0.36 0.37 0.37
P
4
(MW) 0.58 0.52 0.52
Q
1
(Mvar) 0.36 -0.10 0.70
Q
2
(Mvar) 0.13 -0.19 0.39
Q
3
(Mvar) 0.47 0.13 0.17
Q
4
(Mvar) 0.52 0.16 0.23
communication and thus more robust. In this thesis, the optimization
process is not further developed and not included in the list of require-
ments for the IN. The already listed IN requirements are sufficient for
controlling voltage profiles.
4.3 Voltage dip mitigation
A third application of the IN involves the mitigation of voltage dips, with
as potential benefit the reduced disturbance of connected customer’s pro-
cesses. Dips are caused by current surges due to e.g. a short-circuit, mo-
tor starting or the energization of a transformer. The duration of a dip
due to a short-circuit is determined by the time needed for the protec-
tion equipment to detect the short-circuit, the duration of the opening
process of the circuit breaker and the protection system’s delay time.
The delay time is chosen such that selectivity amongst different protec-
tion systems is ensured. The duration of a dip due to motor starting
or transformer inrush is a characteristic of the type of equipment. The
observed depth of a dip is determined by the short-circuit power of the
power system at the location of its cause, the location of the observer,
grid impedances and the magnitude of the current surge. A situation in
which dips cause problems can be solved my mitigating the voltage dips
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 71
in the grid and/or by increasing the dip immunity of equipment.
The proposed IN application concerns the mitigation of the dips
themselves by reducing their depth by controlling the power flow. The
effect of power flow control on the voltage amplitude depends on the
impedance of the network. In a network with inductive impedance,
a reactive power flow changes the voltage amplitude, while in a resis-
tive network, the voltage amplitude is changed by active power flow, as
explained in Chapter 3. To obtain the maximum change of voltage am-
plitude in a network with mixed resistive/inductive impedance, active
and reactive power must be injected with a ratio of P/Q equal to the
R/X ratio of the network impedance. To assess the feasibility of this IN
application, we consider the cable network as shown in Figure 4.12a. We
assume that in this network the R/X ratios of the network impedances
as seen from the IN are equal to 2 and that a voltage dip occurs due to
a fault on feeder d. The resulting voltage dip on the MV busbar is ob-
served on all feeders. To mitigate this dip, active and reactive power can
be injected from the IN. However, if no storage is connected to the IN,
the sum of active power delivered by the IN must be zero, rendering it
impossible for the IN to inject P and Q in the optimal ratio of 2:1 on each
of its ports. Therefore, if no storage is connected, only reactive power
can be used for voltage dip mitigation. This results in only limited abil-
ity of the IN to mitigate voltage dips in the example network. However,
in some cable grids each cable is equipped with a series reactor con-
nected between the MV busbar and the cable, as shown in Figure 4.12b.
The purpose of these reactors is to limit the short-circuit current in the
connected cables. The series inductive impedance also makes it possible
to use reactive power to increase the voltage amplitude on the healthy
feeders. This allows the IN to operate as an independent STATCOM on
each of its ports and to support the voltage during disturbances.
4.3.1 Example application
To illustrate the potential of an IN to mitigate voltage dips in a cable
network, the medium voltage network of Figure 4.8 is considered. This
is the network that was used to illustrate the IN application of control-
ling voltage profiles. In Figure 4.13, this network is expanded with the
reactors L
1
, L
2
and L
3
, and again no storage is connected to the IN. Also
the location is indicated where a short-circuit is applied in order to cre-
ate a voltage dip. The voltage dips in four situations are calculated. In
the base case no reactors are applied and no reactive power is injected.
In the other three situations combinations of reactors and/or reactive
power injection from the IN are applied. In the situations with reactive
power injection, the amount of reactive power which is used is equal
on all ports and is limited by the maximum output current (1 MVA at
72 Chapter 4
a
b
c
d
I
n
t
e
l
l
i
g
e
n
t
N
o
d
e
Q
Q
Q
Q
(a) Limited mitigation in mixed resistive/inductive network.
a
b
c
d
I
n
t
e
l
l
i
g
e
n
t
N
o
d
e
Q
Q
Q
Q
(b) Improved mitigation with series reactors.
Figure 4.12: Voltage dip mitigation in cable network, IN without storage.
10.5 kV ≈ 55 A) of the IN. The reactors’ rating is 6 MVA with U
k
= 4%.
The calculation results are given in Table 4.2, where V
MBB
is the main
busbar voltage, V
TRn
is the voltage on the secondary side of reactor L
n
and V
INn
is the voltage on port n of the IN.
Table 4.2: Simulation results voltage dip mitigation example network.
Base
Case
Base Case
and Q
Reactors Reactors
and Q
I
SC
(kA) 4.68 4.74 3.29 3.33
V
MBB
(p.u.) 0.854 0.864 0.845 0.855
V
TR1
(p.u.) - - 0.845 0.862
V
TR2
(p.u.) - - 0.600 0.608
V
TR3
(p.u.) - - 0.841 0.870
V
IN1
(p.u.) 0.838 0.863 0.825 0.870
V
IN2
(p.u.) 0.850 0.867 0.841 0.864
V
IN3
(p.u.) 0.827 0.859 0.815 0.865
V
IN4
(p.u.) 0.829 0.859 0.816 0.865
From the calculation results it can be seen that the short-circuit cur-
rent is limited significantly by the application of the reactors. In the
situation with reactors the short-circuit has a large reactive component,
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 73
150/10.5 kV
2x66 MVA
20 %
6900
240Al
0.08
1900
150Al
0.32
4900
150Al
0.32
400
150Al
0.04
4600
35Cu
0.64
2500
150Al
0.16
500
150Al
0.04
400
150Al
0.08
6600
150Al
0.08
900
150Al
0.04
1100
150Al
0.04
1
2
3
4
IN
600
35Cu
0.08
1300
240Al
0.16
3400
25Cu
0.04
800
35Cu
0.16
3200
35Cu
0.16
1200
35Cu
0.16
700
95Al
0.00
1600
35Cu
0.32
3200
95Al
0.08
6900
240Al
0.08
feeder length (m)
cross section (mm
2
) and material
total load per feeder (MVA)
normally open
L
1
L
2
L
3
Q Q
Q Q
Figure 4.13: Medium voltage cable network with IN and reactors.
and due to this the voltage on the main 10.5 kV busbar is not signifi-
cantly different from the base case, where the short-circuit current has a
large active component. The use of reactive power to mitigate the volt-
age dip results in an increase of the remaining voltage at the medium
voltage busbar of around 0.01 p.u. on the non-faulted feeders when no re-
actors are applied. With reactor the voltage dip on the secondary side of
the reactors is mitigated with around 0.017 to 0.029 p.u. Further down
the feeders, at the terminals of the IN, higher mitigation is achieved.
The achieved voltage dip mitigation depends on the maximum amount
of reactive power injection by the IN and on the grid impedance. The
impedance of the reactor is typically not more than several percents,
which means that the maximum induced voltage across the reactor can-
not be more that a few percents either, assuming the reactive power
current stays within the nominal feeder ratings. This limits the applica-
tion of the IN to mitigate voltage dips in cable networks and therefore
it is is likely only a secondary benefit from an IN application for a dif-
ferent use. In overhead line networks, the network impedance is mainly
inductive and reactive power injection by the IN is more useful.
74 Chapter 4
4.4 Possible Intelligent Node topologies
The optimal internal topology and technology of an IN depend on the
requirements. Not all mentioned functional requirements are necessary
in each IN application. In some applications, the power exchange will,
for example, always be in one direction, or only concern reactive power
injection or consumption. Other applications may only require meshed
operation, and do not need the ability to supply a radial network sec-
tion. In this paragraph, possible IN topologies are given, along with
their typical capabilities. As available building blocks of the IN we con-
sider power electronics controlled auto transformers and impedances,
and power electronic converters.
4.4.1 Power electronics controlled auto transformers
An auto transformer consists of a single coil for each phase, which has a
neutral/ground connection and two different winding connections, one
for the input, and one for the output. The auto transformer can be seen
as a series voltage source, with an inserted voltage that is in phase with
the network voltage. The amplitude of the inserted voltage is controlled
by adjusting the tap changer. This is a technique applied in radially
operated medium voltage systems to compensate the voltage drop along
a line. The tap changer position in such an application is normally
fixed. Applying power electronics to operate the tap changer prevents
mechanical wear and tear and the tap changer can be operated contin-
uously. Multiple outputs can be created by connecting several arrays
of power electronics valves to a number of taps of the autotransformer.
Each array selects its own tap position and thus controls the voltage
on that feeder. By coordinating the various tap positions, the voltage
amplitude differences between several parts of a meshed network can be
controlled. Such a configuration is given in Figure 4.14a, where only
one of the three phases is shown. By controlling the voltage amplitude
differences between the different ports, reactive or mixed reactive/active
power flow is controlled, depending on the network impedances, as was
shown in Chapter 3. In a network with inductive impedances, such as
an overhead line network, only reactive power is influenced and there
this configuration can thus only be used to control voltage profiles, not
for active power flow control. Note that this configuration only circu-
lates reactive power, and does not generate any (i.e. the sum of reactive
power injected through all ports is zero). In a network with mixed resis-
tive/inductive impedances, such as a cable network, active and reactive
power flow can be controlled, with a ratio equal to the ratio of the re-
sistive and inductive components of the network impedance. No active
or reactive power is generated, so both the active and reactive power
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 75
(a) Single line dia-
gram.
P
Q
I
n
d
u
c
t
i
v
e
C
a
p
a
c
i
t
i
v
e
(b) Operating characteristic inductive
grid impedance.
P
Q
I
n
d
u
c
t
i
v
e
C
a
p
a
c
i
t
i
v
e
P
0
/Q
0
∝ R/X
P
0
Q
0
(c) Operating characteristic mixed in-
ductive/resistive grid impedance.
Figure 4.14: Intelligent Node consisting of a multi-output power elec-
tronic controlled auto transformer.
add up to zero for all ports. The operating characteristics shown in
Figure 4.14b and c illustrate the limited degree of freedom in controlling
the power flow. Coupling networks using a power electronics controlled
auto transformer contributes to the short-circuit level in the connected
networks.
4.4.2 Power electronics controlled series impedances
The application of a TCSC in a network allows the control of power flow
in a network, as discussed in Chapter 3. Connecting multiple control-
lable series impedances allows the exchange of power between different
circuits, such as shown in Figure 4.15. By adjusting the reactive se-
76 Chapter 4
Figure 4.15: Intelligent Node consisting of multiple controlled
impedances.
ries impedances, the reactive component of the network impedance is
increased or decreased and thus the power flow is influenced.
In a cable network, where the resistive component of the network
impedance is dominant, this method is less efficient. To effectively in-
crease the network impedance in that situation involves the application
of series resistors, which is undesirable because of the resulting energy
losses. Decreasing the impedance implies inserting a negative resistor,
i.e. a power source, which is contradictory to the concept of adjusting
impedances.
4.4.3 Power electronics converters
A versatile configuration for an IN consists of a number of power elec-
tronics converters, connected by their DC side, as shown in Figure 4.16a.
This configuration allows the independent control of reactive power on
each of its ports and can exchange active power freely among its con-
nections. In principle any number of converters can be used, although
practical applications will not likely involve more than four converters,
since in practice the number of feeders ending in one geographical loca-
tion is limited. The number of converters affects the rating of the DC
bus, which depends on the expected voltage and load unbalance (see
also Appendix A), the rate of expected power flow changes, the PWM
frequency of the converters and the control speed of the DC bus voltage
controller. The optional energy storage can be connected to the DC bus.
The voltage amplitude, phase angle, and frequency of the different
ports do not need to be equal. The operating region of this configuration
per port is equal to the operating region of the back-to-back device, as
shown in Chapter 3 and repeated here in Figure 4.16b. Each converter
can operate in any P, Q point within the circular contours, with the
boundary condition that the sum of the active power of all ports is zero.
Functional concept of the Intelligent Node 77
(a) Single line diagram
P
Q
I
max
Maximum DC link power
V
ac
= 0.9 p.u.
V
ac
= 1.0 p.u.
V
ac
= 1.1 p.u.
(b) Operating characteristic
Figure 4.16: Intelligent Node consisting of multiple converters.
This results in a versatile and flexible device to control the power flow.
Power electronic converters typically do not contribute to the short-
circuit current in the network.
4.5 Conclusion
In this chapter three IN applications were discussed:
• Facilitating increased network loading by controlled sharing of re-
dundancy or by controlled power exchange between grid areas.
• Controlling voltage profiles to facilitate integration of distributed
generation.
• Voltage dip mitigation.
It is concluded that facilitating increased loading is the most impor-
tant IN application and that the control of voltage profiles and voltage
dip mitigation only offer limited benefits when compared with alterative
solutions. From the mentioned applications the following functional re-
quirements were formulated:
• Inject or consume an adjustable amount of active and/or reactive
power through each of its AC ports.
• Supply a radial network from any of its AC ports.
• Improve the power quality of the connected networks.
• Optionally: store energy.
78 Chapter 4
• Detect a permanent short-circuit and de-energize the appropriate
feeder.
• Ride through a voltage dip, which occurs due to a permanent fault
on an adjacent feeder.
• Detect the opening of the load-break switches, which isolate a net-
work section and change from controlling power flow in a meshed
network to supplying a radial network part.
• Synchronize the voltages on both sides of a remote opened load-
break switch.
• Detect the closing of the load-break switch which restores meshed
network operation and change from supplying a radial network
part to controlling power flow in a meshed network.
• Support the above also for the phase-by-phase operation of the
load-break switches.
The following three possible topologies for the IN were described:
• Multiple power electronics controlled auto transformers.
• Multiple power electronics controlled series impedances.
• Multiple back-to-back connected power electronics converters.
In the next chapter, the controls for the most versatile of these topologies
is elaborated, i.e. the multiple back-to-back connected power electronics
converters.
Chapter 5
Intelligent Node control and
protection
In order to allow the Intelligent Node (IN) to perform the tasks as de-
scribed in the previous chapter, the IN converters need to be able to
respond quickly to planned and unplanned events in the power system,
such as load changes, short-circuits and the opening and closing of load-
break switches. The ability of the converters to do so, depends, besides
on their ratings, mainly on the controls that drive them. Besides, the
protection system of the IN needs to prevent the IN components and
the power system from over-currents and over-voltages.
In this chapter the implemented IN control and protection algorithms
are described, starting at the converter level in paragraph 5.1, where the
AC current and voltage controllers, the DC voltage controller and the
power flow control algorithm are described. In paragraph 5.2, it is ex-
plained how the IN responds to uncontrolled power system events, such
as the occurrence of a permanent or temporary short-circuit or under-
voltage. Also the protection concept is described here. In paragraph 5.3,
the detailed description is given of the IN behavior during controlled
power system events, such as the transition from supplying a radial net-
work to controlling the power flow in meshed network operation (from
PQ to V control) upon closing of a sectionalizer, and also for the reverse
process after opening of a sectionalizer.
5.1 Basic converter controls
At the converter level two basic operating modes exist: power flow con-
trol and voltage control. In the first operating mode, which we call the
PQ control mode, the converter follows the voltage of the grid that it is
connected to and controls the power flow. In the second operating mode,
which we call V control mode, the converter defines the amplitude, fre-
79
80 Chapter 5
quency and phase angle of the voltage on its AC port, and supplies or
consumes the active and reactive power as required to and from the
connected loads and generators. A converter must be operating in PQ
control mode, if it has a synchronous connection to the network that
has voltage amplitude, frequency and phase control, such as the public
power system. A converter must operate in V control mode, when con-
nected to a network that has no voltage amplitude, frequency and phase
control, such as a feeder with only loads, and/or DG that does not have
such controls and follows the grid voltage. In the proposed IN concept,
at least one of the converters of the IN is galvanically connected to the
’central grid’, and operates in PQ control mode, in order to supply the
connected sections and to control the DC bus voltage. In Figure 5.1 an
example of an IN application is given, with the operating mode indi-
cated per converter. In this chapter, it is assumed that a human oper-
PQ PQ
V V
Intelligent Node
Figure 5.1: Basic converter operating modes.
ator or an automatic process provides the IN with active and reactive
power set-points for each converter that operates in PQ control mode,
for example based on the optimization process described in the previous
chapter, when maximizing the penetration of DG, paragraph 4.2.
The basic blocks of the converter control structure (software) are
shown in Figure 5.2, along with the converter components (hardware).
The DC side of each of the converters is connected directly to one com-
mon DC bus capacitor, while each AC side is connected to a different
part of the power system through an LC filter. The heart of the control
topology for each converter is a current control loop, which is always ac-
tive. This is a fundamental choice, common in modern converters, which
allows current waveform control, peak current protection, overload re-
jection and good dynamics [121]. Depending on the operating mode of
the converter, the current reference is provided by an active and reactive
power controller (PQ Controller) or by the AC voltage controller (V -
controller). A feed-forward signal is added to the output of the current
controller for improved dynamic response. The simultaneous switching
Intelligent Node control and protection 81
.
.
0.5
Software Hardware
PR PR
PI
PWM
S
1
S
2
AC
Voltage
Controller
PQ Controller
DC Voltage Controller
AC
Current
Controller
Feed Forward
V

ac
P

Q

V

dc
2
x
2
I

I
ac
V
ac
V
dc
f( )
V
pwm
C
dc
C
f
L
f
Figure 5.2: Converter with control system.
of the software switches S
1
and S
2
changes between PQ and V control
mode. The shown switch positions correspond to V control mode.
5.1.1 Controller discretization
In the practical set-up, which is described in Chapter 6.1, the IN and
its converters are controlled using a digital signal processor (DSP). This
implies that discrete control methods are used, which are specified in
the z domain. Here, the various control and converter transfer functions
are given in the s-domain, using the Laplace transform. To implement
the controller transfer functions, a relationship is needed between the s
and the z domain. To find this, we look at a time-domain delay of T
s
,
which can be expressed in the s and z domain as
1
z
= e
−sT
s
=
e
−sT
s
/2
e
sT
s
/2
(5.1)
Expanding the numerator and denominator into their equivalent Taylor
series results in
1
z
=
¸

n=0
(−sT
s
/2)
n
n!
¸

m=0
(sT
s
/2)
m
m!
=
1 −
1
2
sT
s
+
1
4
(sT
s
)
2

1
12
(sT
s
)
3
+
1
48
(sT
s
)
4

1
240
(sT
s
)
5
+...
1 +
1
2
sT
s
+
1
4
(sT
s
)
2
+
1
12
(sT
s
)
3
+
1
48
(sT
s
)
4
+
1
240
(sT
s
)
5
+...
(5.2)
82 Chapter 5
By truncating the numerator and denominator expressions to the first
power of s, we obtain the (1, 1)-Pad´e approximation of 1/z [122]. Rewrit-
ing this, results in the approximation of z by
z ≈
1 +
1
2
sT
s
1 −
1
2
sT
s
(5.3)
This expression is commonly referred to as the Tustin transformat-
ion [123], and can be written as
s ≈
2
T
s
z −1
z + 1
(5.4)
which is used to translate the s domain controller transfer functions
into the z domain. The error that is introduced by this approximation
is illustrated for each controller.
5.1.2 AC current control
In three-phase converter applications a commonly used current control
method is a proportional integral (PI) controller applied in the syn-
chronous dq reference frame [124]. The main advantage of this controller
type is a zero error at the synchronous frequency. Disadvantages are the
relatively high computational effort requirement and the need for ad-
ditional synchronous reference frames to control negative-sequence and
harmonic currents [125]. An alternative method to achieve zero error at
the fundamental frequency is the application of a proportional resonant
(PR) controller in the stationary domain [126], which is a modifica-
tion of the normal resonant controller [127], allowing the width of the
resonance to be adjusted and having a large, but finite, gain at the reso-
nance frequency. This type of controller has a very high open loop gain
at the fundamental frequency, resulting in negligible error at that fre-
quency. The main advantage of this controller over the synchronous PI
controller is the intrinsic ability to control both positive- and negative-
sequence currents using only one controller and reduced computational
requirements [125]. Furthermore, PR controllers can be extended eas-
ily to also control higher harmonic currents with zero error, by adding
resonances in the transfer function for the desired frequencies. In the
practical set-up used in Chapter 6.1 a PR controller is used to control
the converter current. The transfer function of the resonant controller
is given in Table 5.1, Equation (5.12), with K
p
cc
and K
i
cc
the propor-
tional and resonant controller constants, ω
1
the resonance frequency and
ω
c
cc
the bandwidth of the resonance. The resonance frequency is chosen
equal to the nominal grid frequency of 100π rad/s (=50 Hz). Figure 5.3
displays the amplitude and phase angle of the current controller transfer
Intelligent Node control and protection 83
f (Hz)
G
a
i
n
(
d
B
)
H
PR
(s)
Tustin transformation
f (Hz)
A
n
g
l
e
(
d
e
g
r
e
e
s
)
H
PR
(s)
Tustin transformation
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
1
10
2
10
3
-50
0
50
-40
-30
-20
-10
Figure 5.3: Transfer function proportional resonant current controller.
function, as applied in the practical set-up. The solid line is the transfer
function in the s domain, while the dots indicate the s domain equiva-
lent of the z domain implementation. The control error introduced by
the discretization is negligible.
5.1.3 AC voltage control
Also for the control of the AC voltage a proportional resonant controller
is chosen, for the same reasons as mentioned in the discussion of the
AC current controller. The transfer function of the controller H
PR
vac
is shown in Table 5.1, Equation (5.13), with K
p
vac
and K
i
vac
being the
proportional and resonant controller constants, ω
1
the resonance fre-
quency and ω
c
vac
the bandwidth of the resonance. To compensate for
voltage drops in the connected power system, a line-drop compensation
(LDC) algorithm is implemented, which adjusts the amplitude of the
voltage reference signal according to the measured output power of the
converter and the power system characteristic impedances. This droop
characteristic is similar to the LDC algorithm commonly implemented
84 Chapter 5
in the tap changer controller of high to medium voltage transformers,
as described in Chapter 2. The optimal droop characteristics depend
on the impedances and configuration of the power system, as well as on
the location of loads and generators. Figure 5.4 displays the amplitude
f (Hz)
G
a
i
n
(
d
B
)
H
PR
(s)
Tustin transformation
f (Hz)
A
n
g
l
e
(
d
e
g
r
e
e
s
)
H
PR
(s)
Tustin transformation
10
1
10
2
10
3
10
1
10
2
10
3
-50
0
50
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
Figure 5.4: Transfer function proportional resonant voltage controller.
and phase angle of the voltage controller transfer function, as applied
in the practical set-up. The solid line is the transfer function in the s
domain, while the dots indicate the s domain equivalent of the z do-
main implementation. The high frequency components of the measured
voltage signal are removed using low-pass filtering, so the control er-
ror introduced by the discretization, which increases above several kHz,
is negligible. In paragraph 5.3.2.2, a modification of the given voltage
controller is presented, which controls only the voltage of phase C, in
the situation that phases A and B are already connected to the ’central
grid’.
Intelligent Node control and protection 85
5.1.4 Active and reactive power control
To control the active and reactive power of the converter, the reference
current signal is calculated from the measured AC voltage and the refer-
ence values for active power P

and reactive power Q

. This calculation
is performed in the αβ reference frame defined by the Clarke transforma-
tion, which transforms a three-phase system in a system consisting of the
orthogonal α and β components and a zero sequence component. This
transformation is mostly used in electrical machines and power electron-
ics control, and described in, for example, Chapter 3 of [128]. Expressed
in αβ components, the relationship between balanced currents, voltages
and active and reactive power is
P

= v
α
i

α
+v
β
i

β
Q

= −v
β
i

α
+v
α
i

β
(5.5)
Rewriting these equations results in reference signals for the current
controller equal to
i

α
=
v
α
P

−v
β
Q

v
2
α
+v
2
β
i

β
=
v
β
P

+v
α
Q

v
2
α
+v
2
β
(5.6)
This method only works perfectly for balanced and sinusoidal AC volt-
ages. In case of voltage unbalance, higher harmonic components are in-
troduced in the reference currents. These harmonics appear due to the
fact that voltage unbalance causes the denominator of Equation (5.6) to
be not constant in time. To inject active and reactive power that is asso-
ciated only to the positive-sequence voltage, the harmonic voltages and
the negative-sequence component are removed from the measured volt-
age, by using a low-pass filter and by substracting the negative-sequence
from the measured voltage signal, using the output of the negative-
sequence stationary αβ reference frame filter shown in Fig. 5.5. The
parameter ω
1
is the grid frequency and ω
b
is the bandwidth of the filter.
5.1.5 DC bus voltage control
The DC bus is a central energy buffer connected to all converters and its
main function is to provide a constant DC voltage. The voltage ampli-
tude of the DC bus depends on the electrical energy that is stored inside
and can therefore be controlled by injecting or taking power from it. The
relationship between the capacitor voltage V
dc
and the active power ex-
change P is as shown in Table 5.1, Equation (5.11). To control the
86 Chapter 5
1
s
1
s
ω
b
ω
b
ω
1
ω
1
v
α
v
β
v

α
v

β
Figure 5.5: Negative-sequence filter αβ reference frame [129].
DC bus voltage a proportional integral (PI) controller with anti-windup
is applied with as input the difference between the squared values of
the reference and measured DC bus voltages. The output signal of the
controller is added to the active power set-point P

of the PQ con-
troller. The transfer function of the PI controller is shown in Table 5.1,
Equation (5.14), with K
p
vdc
and K
i
vdc
the proportional and integral
constants. Figure 5.6 displays the amplitude and phase angle of the DC
voltage controller transfer function, as applied in the practical set-up.
The solid line is the transfer function in the s domain, while the dots
indicate the s domain equivalent of the z domain implementation. The
control error introduced by the discretization is negligible.
The exchange of balanced three-phase reactive power does not influ-
ence the DC bus voltage, since no energy is drawn from the DC bus.
However, in case of unbalanced reactive power exchange, such as, for
example, during the mitigation of an unbalanced voltage dip, a ripple
appears in the current drawn from the DC bus, with a frequency that is
twice the grid frequency, as explained in Appendix A.
5.2 IN response to unplanned power system events
The converter controls described above define the dynamic behavior of
the converters for each control mode. To fully utilize the capabilities
of the interconnected converters, the IN control concept also includes
specific detection schemes and additional control and protections, which,
based on power system events, change the operating mode and set-points
of the converters or shut down the IN. In the following this is described.
The described events are the occurrence of power system faults, power
system over-voltages and the unintentional opening of a circuit breaker
leading to the creation of a radial network area only supplied from an IN
converter. Also the protection against faults within the IN is treated.
Intelligent Node control and protection 87
Table 5.1: Converter and controller transfer functions.
Description Transfer function
PWM signal to
AC current
H
inv
(s) = V
dc
1
sL
f
(5.7)
PWM ((1, 1) Pad´e
approximation of a
T
s
/2 delay)
H
pwm
(s) =
1 −
T
s
4
s
1 +
T
s
4
s
(5.8)
AC current to
AC voltage (incl.
resistive load P,
inductive load Q
L
and capacitive
load Q
C
)
H
load
(s) =
1
sC
f
+Y
load
(5.9)
with
Y
load
=
1
V
2
ac
(P +
Q
L
· 100π
s
+s
Q
C
100π
) (5.10)
Active power to
DC bus voltage
H
dc
(s) =
V
2
dc
P
=
1
sC
dc
(5.11)
PR AC current
controller
H
PR
cc
(s) = K
p
cc
+
2K
i
cc
ω
c
cc
s
s
2
+ 2ω
c
cc
s +ω
2
1
(5.12)
PR AC voltage
controller
H
PR
vac
(s) = K
p
vac
+
2K
i
vac
ω
c
vac
s
s
2
+ 2ω
c
vac
s +ω
2
1
(5.13)
PI DC voltage
controller
H
PI
vdc
(s) = K
p
vdc
+
K
i
vdc
s
(5.14)
88 Chapter 5
f (Hz)
G
a
i
n
(
d
B
)
H
PI
(s)
Tustin transformation
f (Hz)
A
n
g
l
e
(
d
e
g
r
e
e
s
)
H
PI
(s)
Tustin transformation
10
−2
10
0
10
2
10
−2
10
0
10
2
-80
-60
-40
-20
0
-20
-10
0
10
20
30
40
Figure 5.6: Transfer function DC voltage controller.
5.2.1 Voltage dip mitigation by injecting reactive
power
When the power system is in normal operation conditions and the ap-
plicable converters are in PQ control mode, the IN controls the power
flow according to centrally determined P and Q set-points. During a
short-circuit, and the resulting voltage dip, the IN must no longer follow
these set-points, but inject reactive power to mitigate the voltage dip,
as described in paragraph 4.3. In order to change the PQ controller
set-points, the residual voltage must be determined. In the following
paragraph the speed of different methods to do so is compared. Subse-
quently, the reactive power control method is described.
5.2.1.1 Speed comparison of methods to determine residual
voltage
An important performance criterion for the determination of the residual
voltage is its speed. Below, three methods are described and compared.
The speed of each of the methods is characterized by determining the
Intelligent Node control and protection 89
time delay between the start of the voltage dip and the moment that
the calculated residual voltage amplitude falls below 0.9 p.u. This delay
is calculated for synthetic dips with different amplitudes, starting at
different phase angles and with different phase angle jumps.
Single-phase half-cycle r.m.s. calculation This calculation method
calculates a single-phase r.m.s. voltage in a sliding time window with a
length of a half-cycle for a sampled signal [130]:
V
rms
[n] =

1
N
N
¸
i=1
(v[n −N +i])
2
(5.15)
with N =
f
s
2f
0
, f
s
the sampling frequency of the digitization, f
0
the
grid frequency of 50 Hz and n the moment for which the r.m.s. value
is calculated. Calculations were performed for different voltage dips
and Figure 5.7 shows the resulting delay. The delay for shallow dips
R
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
v
o
l
t
a
g
e
(
p
.
u
.
)
Detection delay (ms)
-90

-70

-50

-30

-10

10

30

50

70

90

PAJ
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
0 2 4 6 8 10
Figure 5.7: Calculation delay for single-phase r.m.s. detection method
for voltage dips of different residual voltage, starting at different phase
angles. The thick line indicates the extreme values for phase angle jumps
(PAJ) between −90° and 90°.
lasts up to 10 ms, while for deeper dips this value decreases to 5 ms.
For voltage dips that are only 0.01 p.u. deeper than the threshold, the
delay can increase up to 18 ms, depending on the phase angle jump
90 Chapter 5
during the dip. Depending on the angle at which the dip starts and the
magnitude of the phase angle jump, the detection delay can be smaller.
This method can be applied to each phase, resulting in three separate
amplitude signals, one per phase. Although this method is not fast
enough to allow the IN to control the voltage fast enough to eliminate
any voltage dip completely (after 10 ms a voltage lower than 0.9 p.u.
is called a voltage dip), it is a method that provides a stable voltage
amplitude signal.
Three-phase voltage rectification In this method, the three-phase
voltages are mathematically rectified, and subsequently filtered to re-
move the rectification ripple. The resulting signal is an indicator for
the amplitude of the voltage dip residual voltage. Figure 5.8 shows the
PSfrag replacemen
R
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
v
o
l
t
a
g
e
(
p
.
u
.
)
Detection delay (ms)
0

10

20

30

40

50

PAJ
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
0 2 4 6 8 10
Figure 5.8: Calculation delay for three-phase rectification method for
voltage dips of different residual voltage, starting at different phase an-
gles. The thick line indicates the extreme values for phase angle jumps
(PAJ) between −90° and 90°.
calculated delay, for similar conditions as above, except here the dip
is simultaneously applied to three phases. The calculations were per-
formed for starting angles in a smaller range, because of the three-phase
symmetry. The calculated delay is less dependent on the angle at which
the dip starts and is also smaller, when compared to the single-phase
r.m.s. method. The method results in one amplitude signal for all three
phases. During unbalanced voltage sags, the resulting amplitude signal
Intelligent Node control and protection 91
contains stronger harmonics and has an amplitude intermittently ex-
ceeding 0.9 p.u. or even 1 p.u. during dips with a residual single-phase
r.m.s. voltage a little lower than 0.9 p.u. The increased harmonic con-
tent can be filtered out, but makes the method too slow for adequate
calculation of the residual voltage. This method is rejected given the un-
balanced nature of around 75 % of the voltage dips that originate from
medium voltage networks [131].
Three-phase αβ domain calculation This method uses a transfor-
mation of the three-phase voltages into an orthogonal system defined by
the α and β vectors (and a zero sequence component in case of ground
or neutral referenced voltage systems). This transformation, the Clarke
transformation, is often used in electrical machines and power electronics
control, and described in, for example, Chapter 3 of [128]. A character-
istic of this transformation is that a balanced three-phase voltage system
results in α and β signals that describe a circle in the αβ plane with an
amplitude equal to

V
2
α
+V
2
β
. Evaluating this amplitude during a volt-
age dip and comparing it with a value of 0.9 p.u. results in the calculation
delay times as shown in Figure 5.9. The resulting delay is negligible for
R
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
v
o
l
t
a
g
e
(
p
.
u
.
)
Detection delay (ms)
-90

-70

-50

-30

-10

10

30

50

70

90

0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
0 2 4 6 8 10
Figure 5.9: Calculation delay for αβ domain detection method for bal-
anced three-phase voltages dips of different residual voltage, starting at
different phase angles.
voltage dips deeper than 0.85 p.u. residual voltage and very small for
92 Chapter 5
voltage dips between 0.85 p.u. and 0.9 p.u. In other words, this method
allows an almost instantaneous determination of the residual voltage of
a balanced voltage dip. The method is, for balanced dips, insensitive to
phase angle jumps. Similar to the three-phase rectification method, an
unbalanced voltage dip causes harmonics in the calculated signal, also
here intermittently exceeding 0.9 p.u. or even 1.0 p.u. during dips with
a residual single-phase r.m.s. voltage a little lower than 0.9 p.u. Strong
filtering would be required to remove these harmonics, rendering the
method too slow for adequate detection and mitigation of unbalanced
voltage dips. Also this method is rejected given the unbalanced nature
of many voltage dips.
To allow the IN to control reactive power injection during a voltage
dip it needs an adequate residual voltage magnitude signal. Since many
voltage dips are unbalanced, the αβ domain method and the three-phase
rectification method are unsuitable. In order to be able to mitigate both
unbalanced and unbalanced dips, the per-phase r.m.s. method is most
suited to determine the voltage amplitude and detect voltage dips.
5.2.1.2 Reactive power support
If the calculated residual voltage is smaller than the defined threshold of
0.9 p.u., the applicable converter must inject reactive power to mitigate
the voltage dip. The provision of reactive power can be controlled in
different ways. The method that is normally implemented in SVC and
STATCOM applications, see also paragraphs 3.3.1.1 and 3.3.1.2, consists
of a proportional (P) voltage feedback controller, and a constant refer-
ence voltage. The characteristic of the resulting Q − V droop function
is based on the error that exists between the reference voltage V

and
the actual grid voltage. Also, the full rating of the converter can only
be used when the voltage deviates largely from the reference voltage, as
can be seen in Figure 5.10a. An alternative method uses a proportional-
integral (PI) voltage feedback controller. This controller eliminates, in
steady state conditions, the error between the reference voltage and the
grid voltage, as far as converter power ratings allow. The proposed PI
controller, which adds an offset to the reactive power set-point Q

, has a
deadband and is only active when the voltage is lower than the minimum
voltage V
min
(during a voltage dip) or higher than V
max
(during a volt-
age swell). When the converter voltage is between V
min
and V
max
, the
centrally determined reference value Q

is used. When the grid voltage
is lower or equal to V
min
, the PI controller can only add a negative offset
to Q

, and when the voltage is higher than or equal to V
max
it can only
add a positive offset. The proposed reactive power control topology is
shown in Figure 5.11 and the resulting Q−V characteristic is shown in
Intelligent Node control and protection 93
V V
Q (inductive) Q (inductive) Q (capacitive) Q (capacitive)
Q

V

V

max
V

min
Freely
Adjustable
(a) P feedback
(b) PI feedback with deadband
Figure 5.10: Comparison of proportional and proportional-integral volt-
age control methods.
Q

V
ac
V

max
V

min
to PQ Controller
PI
V
ac,error
Figure 5.11: Proposed PI controller with deadband, for voltage dip and
swell mitigation.
Figure 5.10b. When comparing the two control types, the PI controller
with a deadband has the advantage that it allows the IN to freely control
P and Q when there is no need for local voltage control, while it offers
the most accurate voltage reference tracking. For this reason, the PI
controller with deadband is implemented in the practical set-up of this
thesis. The voltage reference values V

min
and V

max
are set to 0.9 p.u.
and 1.1 p.u. respectively, which ensures maximum voltage dip and swell
mitigation. The control speed of the feedback loop, which is defined by
the PI controller constants, must be not too high because of the limited
speed at which the voltage amplitude is determined. When using the
0.5 cycle r.m.s. method, the typical delay time is 10 ms.
The proposed reactive power support method is implemented in the
practical set-up of this thesis. In the practical tests only balanced dips
are used. To mitigate unbalanced voltage dips, the reactive power injec-
tion must be controlled per phase, which is not further examined in this
research. For unbalanced reactive power support the reader is referred
to research results from simultaneously performed research at Eindhoven
94 Chapter 5
University of Technology, for example reported in [129, 132].
5.2.2 IN protection concept
To protect the IN primary components, i.e. the converters and the DC
bus capacitors, and at the same time allow the IN to perform its func-
tions, the design of the protection must be very dedicated. Especially
during temporary grid faults and during intentional opening and clos-
ing of load-break switches, the IN must continue to operate and must
provide the required support to the grid in the form of reactive power in-
jection or making a change between voltage and power flow control and
should not disconnect from the grid. On the other hand, in case of a
permanent fault or during unintended islanding, the IN must disconnect
the corresponding converters from the power system. In the following
paragraphs, the proposed IN protection concept is described.
5.2.2.1 DC bus protection
The DC bus is connected to each of the converters through thermal DC
fuses, disconnecting the capacitors in case of over-current. Further, the
DC bus voltage is measured and, after initial charging, compared to over-
and under-voltage threshold values, resulting in an instantaneous trip of
all converters if any of the thresholds is exceeded. When a converter is
tripped, all valves are instantaneously switched to the non-conducting
state. Subsequently, the breaker, connecting the converter to the grid,
is opened.
5.2.2.2 AC over-voltage protection
Power electronic valves are sensitive to over-voltages and can easily be
damaged due to this. To mitigate transient over-voltages, an adequate
insulation coordination philosophy needs to be implemented, which in-
cludes surge-mitigation devices on all AC connections of the converters.
To protect against voltage swells, the grid voltages are expressed in r.m.s.
values and compared to a time independent threshold value. When the
threshold value is exceeded, the applicable converters are tripped instan-
taneously as described in the paragraph on DC bus protection.
5.2.2.3 AC under-voltage protection
An AC under-voltage can occur due to a short-circuit in the grid or the
connection of a large inductive load. The IN converters are in principle
not damaged or negatively influenced directly by a low AC voltage,
although it may cause a lowered or increased DC bus voltage, due to the
resulting reduced power exchange capability of the affected converter.
Intelligent Node control and protection 95
This can, in its turn, trip all converters, and thus the entire IN. During
a temporary AC under-voltage, i.e. a voltage dip, the function of the IN,
when in PQ control mode, is to mitigate the under-voltage by injecting
reactive power into the grid. If an under-voltage occurs due to a fault
that is located on the network that the IN converter is connected to,
the inverter is tripped. This situation can be recognized because the
under-voltage lasts longer than the normal fault clearing time of the
power system and because of exceeding the fault ride-through curve that
the IN must respect. If the converter is in V control mode, supplying
a radial grid area, an under-voltage indicates the presence of a short-
circuit. Since the IN converters are current controlled and the output
currents are limited, the IN only feeds a limited amount of short-circuit
current into the fault. The detection of a fault is therefore not based on
over-current, but on under-voltage lasting longer than a certain time.
After this time, the applicable converter is tripped and a power outage
occurs on the radial network. As an alterative method, which allows the
continuation of the currently implemented philosophy of short-circuit
detection by over-current, an additional device can be used, which has
as its sole purpose to supply the fault current, and thus trip the relevant
protection devices. A prototype of such a device was presented in [133].
A more elaborate discussion of networks that can become an island and
on the different adaptive protection system settings for islanded and
grid-connected operation can be found in [134].
5.2.2.4 AC over-current protection
The IN converters are current controlled, with the controllers limiting
the current amplitude. Due to this, over-current is not likely to happen
due to events in the power system and the IN output current is, therefore,
a poor indicator for faults in the power system. Should the mentioned
current controllers fail to limit the current within certain limits, all valves
are instantaneously switched to the non-conducting state by a separate
protection system. An internal short-circuit in the IN does however
result in large short-circuit currents fed from the power system. To
disconnect the converter in these conditions, fuses are installed. When
connected to a radial network and in V control mode, an internal fault
results in an AC under-voltage and a DC over-current, both causing the
applicable converter to be tripped.
5.2.2.5 AC over- and under-frequency protection
Unintentional islanding occurs when the opening of a circuit breaker
causes a certain part of the network to be without a galvanic, syn-
chronous connection to the ’central grid’, in other words, to become an
96 Chapter 5
island. This can, for example, occur after a permanent fault in one
of the IN-connected feeders. If the technical means to control voltage
amplitude and frequency are available within the resulting island, and
the role of system operator, who is responsible for the balance of load
and generation, is defined within the resulting island, the island could
remain energized. Here we assume that, in case of unplanned islanding,
de-energization of the island is required. In paragraph 5.3.2 the situ-
ation is treated where the network must stay energized after planned
islanding. In Chapter 4, these two possibilities were discussed in more
detail. For the protection against unintentional islanding the network
frequency is measured. An over- or under-frequency indicates a situation
of islanding, since the power system frequency becomes arbitrary after
it is no longer defined by the power system. This is a characteristic from
the PQ controller, which calculates the current wave shape from the
voltage wave shape. If the voltage wave shape is no longer defined, the
IN output current has no longer the normal grid frequency, causing the
converter output voltage to further deviate from 50 Hz. When islanding
is unintentional, the IN is tripped and disconnected from the power sys-
tem. In case of intentional islanding, the converter needs to change its
operating mode and must start controlling the voltage, instead of the
power flow.
5.3 IN role in planned power system events
Several planned mode transitions occur during the operation of an IN.
In the following, it is first described how the IN is energized and de-
energized. Then a description is given of the role of the IN in the in-
tentional and controlled transition process from controlling power flow
in a meshed power system to supplying a radial network area, after the
opening of a load-break switch. Finally, the role of the IN during the
opposite process is described: the (re)connection of a radial network
area to the rest of the grid. During both events the load-break switch
is assumed to operate either simultaneously for all three phases or on
a phase-by-phase basis, the latter being normal practice in the Dutch
distribution systems.
5.3.1 Energization and de-energization
Firstly, the not-energized IN must be connected to the grid. Connect-
ing a converter to the grid with a de-charged DC bus would damage
the power electronics valves, so first the DC bus is charged to a suffi-
ciently high voltage using a separate, controlled rectifier. After initial
charging, the PQ controller receives set-points of 0 MW and 0 MVA re-
spectively, resulting in reference currents equal to zero. The voltage
Intelligent Node control and protection 97
feed forward of the PQ controller, as shown in Figure 5.2, ensures that
the converter output voltage is equal to the grid voltage, which allows
the safe connection of the converter to the grid. After connecting the
first converter, the DC bus voltage is regulated by that converter by
importing or exporting active power, superimposed on the active power
set-point, which still equals zero. The charging rectifier is disconnected
now. The connected converter can immediately inject or consume re-
active power. Now also the other converters, having the same control
topology with voltage feed forward, can be connected to their respective
feeders. Then, active power can be exchanged amongst the connected
feeders. The converter(s) in V control mode are now also connected to
the grid.
Before de-energizing the IN, all of the converters must stop injecting
or consuming power. To this end, any converter in V control mode must
be disconnected from the grid using load-break switches, and receive a
zero-voltage set-point. The P and Q set-points of all converters in PQ
mode are ramped to zero. Now, the switching pulses to the converters
are stopped, and mechanical switches or separators are opened. The DC
bus can now be decharged using decharging resistors.
5.3.2 Disconnecting grid areas
In normal system operating conditions, the IN controls the power flow
in a meshed network. In order to perform maintenance or repair work,
it can be necessary to isolate part of the network by opening the load-
break switches on each of its sides, as shown in Figure 5.12. Then, the IN
must control the voltage on the resulting radial network. The switchgear
can be of the type that closes or opens all phases simultaneously or of
the type that is operated manually per phase. The Magnefix switchgear
is an example of the latter category and is widely deployed in medium
voltage systems in the Netherlands. To maintain supply to load L
2
after
Intelligent Node
L
1
L
2
LB1 LB2 Area 1 Area 2 F
1
F
2
Figure 5.12: Grid configuration during transition from meshed to radial
operation.
opening of the load-break switch LB2, it is desirable that the applicable
98 Chapter 5
converter can change from PQ control mode to V control mode without
disconnecting from the grid and without excessive voltage disturbances.
In the following it is described how the IN is prepared for this transition
and how the transition from PQ to V control takes place.
5.3.2.1 Three-phase load-break switch opening
Detection of three-phase load-break switch opening The load-
break switch opening is a controlled action, which is announced in ad-
vance to the IN, and to which the IN reacts by enabling the here de-
scribed detection algorithm. By only activating this detection mech-
anism during a limited amount of time preceding a planned network
configuration manoeuvre, the risk of an unintentional detection and the
resulting mode transition of the converter, is minimized. For simplicity
reasons, the detection process is chosen to not have communication with
remote load-break switches, since there can be many along a feeder, but
to only use local measurements and the mentioned communication with
a central control room. It depends on the PQ control scheme of the
converter and on the loading situation how voltages and current change
after load-break switch opening. The implemented PQ controller, which
is described in paragraph 5.1.4, calculates the current reference signal
from the measured grid voltage amplitude and wave shape. When the
voltage is no longer defined by the grid, it becomes, if not zero, arbi-
trary due to coincidental resonances between capacitive and inductive
grid elements and loads. The calculated current reference thus becomes
arbitrary too, creating a situation that should only exist for a short
time. The arbitrary voltage has a large deviation from nominal val-
ues, making it relatively easily to detect the opening of the load-break
switch. Several parameters of the grid voltage are candidates to be used
for detection, such as the r.m.s. values or frequency of the voltage, or
their time derivatives. The amplitude of the grid voltage is a parameter
that has a rather broad band of values in normal operation conditions.
The standard EN50160 [64] that describes the voltage characteristics in
public medium and low voltage distribution networks states that 95 %
of the 10 minute average voltage amplitude values are between plus and
minus 10 % of the nominal value, and that all 10 minute values are be-
tween −15 % and +10 %. To prevent false detection, this would imply
relatively wide detection threshold values, if the voltage amplitude was
used as a triggering parameter, making the detection slow. On top of
that, false detections would not be prevented, since occasionally, the
voltages can be out of the mentioned bands even in normal operation.
This also remains true if the expected future restriction of the limits, as
discussed in Chapter 2, becomes effective.
To determine whether the grid frequency in normal conditions is
Intelligent Node control and protection 99
stable enough to be used as a parameter for load-break switch open-
ing detection, measurements of the grid frequency have been performed
over several periods. The resulting histograms are shown in Figure 5.13,
together with plots of the probability that the frequency deviates from
50 Hz more than ∆f Hz. The measurements show that in normal operat-
ing conditions the grid frequency stays firmly within 100 mHz around the
nominal value of 50 Hz. These measurements confirm the tight range in
which frequency variations normally occur [64], i.e. 99.5 % of all 10 sec-
ond values must be within ±1 %, and 100 % of them between −6 %
and +4 %. The large change of the frequency after load-break switch
opening, and the small deviations in normal operation make the grid fre-
quency a suitable parameter to detect load-break switch opening, with a
small chance of false detection. An over- and under-frequency detection
scheme is chosen for the detection of load-break switch opening. The
grid frequency is determined using a robust phase locked loop (PLL)
which is insensitive to voltage distortions and unbalance [135].
Change from PQ control to V control After detection of the load-
break switch opening, the converter switches from PQ control to V con-
trol, defining the voltage on the radial network area. To prevent loads
from experiencing excessive voltage amplitude, frequency or phase angle
jumps after the opening of the load-break switch, the voltage reference
for the V controller must be a continuation of the grid voltage after
opening of the load-break switch. The control topology as shown in
Figure 5.14 is proposed to ensure this. The amplitude, frequency and
phase angle of the locally measured grid voltage are calculated using
the same PLL that is mentioned before. From the obtained frequency,
together with the amplitude, a three-phase voltage reference oscillator is
constructed, which is running in parallel with the rest of the controller
functions. To synchronize this oscillator with the grid, the phase an-
gle of the oscillator is determined using a PLL, and compared with the
phase angle of the grid-PLL. The resulting angle difference ∆φ serves
as an input to a PI controller that modifies the phase angle of the os-
cillator, thus synchronizing the oscillator with the grid voltage. The PI
controller is relatively slow, and its response within the time between
opening of the load-break switch and the moment of detection is negli-
gible so that no phase shifting of the oscillator occurs. After detection
of the opening of the load-break switch, the operating mode of the con-
verter is instantaneously switched from PQ to V control by operating
the software switches S
1
and S
2
, which are shown in Figure 5.2. The
output of the oscillator is used as the reference signal V

ac
for the AC
voltage controller. The grid voltage amplitude and frequency, and the PI
controller output are sampled at the moment of detection and ramped
100 Chapter 5
f (Hz)
D
e
n
s
i
t
y
(
%
)
∆f (Hz)
P
(
|
f

f
0
|
>

f
)
0 0.05 0.1 49.9 49.95 50 50.05
0
0.5
1
0
20
40
Duration:
21:10h
Period:
Friday
20090207
16h02
until
Saturday
20090208
13h13
f (Hz)
D
e
n
s
i
t
y
(
%
)
∆f (Hz)
P
(
|
f

f
0
|
>

f
)
0 0.05 0.1 49.9 49.95 50 50.05
0
0.5
1
0
20
40
Duration:
1:36h
Period:
Monday
20090202
12h09
until
13h45
f (Hz)
D
e
n
s
i
t
y
(
%
)
∆f (Hz)
P
(
|
f

f
0
|
>

f
)
0 0.05 0.1 49.9 49.95 50 50.05
0
0.5
1
0
20
40
Duration:
1:58h
Period:
Monday
20090202
16h22
until
18h20
f (Hz)
D
e
n
s
i
t
y
(
%
)
∆f (Hz)
P
(
|
f

f
0
|
>

f
)
0 0.05 0.1 49.9 49.95 50 50.05
0
0.5
1
0
20
40
Duration:
8:24h
Period:
Wednesd.
20090204
9h56
until
17h30
f (Hz)
D
e
n
s
i
t
y
(
%
)
∆f (Hz)
P
(
|
f

f
0
|
>

f
)
0 0.05 0.1 49.9 49.95 50 50.05
0
0.5
1
0
20
40
Duration:
0:10h
Period:
Monday
20090209
7h26
until
7h36
Figure 5.13: Frequency density and probability plots of five frequency
logs. The bin width of the frequency density plots is 10 mHz.
Intelligent Node control and protection 101
V
ac
|V
nom
|
ω
nom
φ
nom
V

ac
to S
1
and S
2
PLL
PI
detect
LB
opening
ωt
|V |
ω
∆φ
|V | sin(ωt + φ)
t
tr
Figure 5.14: Control topology for detection of load-break switch opening
and transition from PQ control to V control.
towards nominal amplitude, frequency and phase angle values in a time
interval of t
tr
seconds. The time interval must be chosen long enough
to prevent flicker. Based on the power quality limits as elaborated in
paragraph 2.3, a value of 5 s is proposed.
5.3.2.2 Phase by phase load-break switch opening
Detection of opening of load-break switch in phase C In the
proposed concept it is assumed that, if the load-break switch is opened
in a controlled manner on a phase-by-phase basis, the order in which
the individual phases are opened is always the same: phase C is opened
first, followed by phase B and finally phase A. Prior to the announced
opening of phase C of load-break switch LB2 (LB2-C), the converter is in
PQ control mode. After opening of LB2-C, the voltage between phases
A and B, v
ab
, is still defined by the grid, but the voltages v
bc
and v
ca
are no longer defined, which results in an unbalance of the voltage. To
detect the opening of LB2-C, the negative-sequence component of the
voltage is calculated using the filter given in Figure 5.5. As a threshold
level, a value of 0.05 p.u. is used. Typical voltage unbalance in public
low and medium voltage networks does not exceed 3 % or 0.03 p.u.
Change from PQ control to voltage control of phase C After
detection of the opening of load-break switch LB2-C, the converter is
instantaneously switched from PQ to V control. The voltage between
phases A and B is defined by the grid and from this (measured) voltage,
an orthogonal reference voltage v

αβ
system is calculated using the or-
thogonal system generator (OSG) shown in Figure 5.15. This reference
voltage system is used as a feed forward signal to the PWM block and
forms the basis for the calculation of the phase C reference voltage v

c
,
as shown in Figure 5.16. The measured voltage of phase C is compared
with this reference signal and the error signal is used as the input to
a PR voltage controller with the same controller characteristics as the
102 Chapter 5
v
v

K
v

q
ω
0
ω
0
1
s
1
s
LPF
ǫ
Figure 5.15: Orthogonal system generator (OSG) [136].
controller used to control three-phase voltages. Both the measured and
reference phase C voltages are calculated with an artificial neutral volt-
age as reference. The PR-controller output is the reference value for the
v
α
v
β
v
αβ
to
v
ab
,v
bc
v

αβ
to
v

ab
,v

bc
a a b b
c c
v
ab
v
bc
OSG
OSG
PR f()
v

α
v

β
i

αβ i

c
i

c,q
v

ab
v

bc
v

c
v
c
0.5
0.5
2/3
2/3
Voltage Feed Forward
Figure 5.16: Voltage control two-wire grid connection.
phase C converter output current i

c
. Again, an OSG is used to derive
from this signal a balanced current reference system, thus obtaining a
balanced power supply from the converter. In case of balanced loads on
the converter side of LB2, a minimum current through phase A and B
of LB2 is obtained. In case of unbalanced loads, the current through
phases A and B of LB2 increases, proportional to the load unbalance.
Detection of opening of load-break switches in phases A and
B After the opening of LB2-B the voltage v
ab
is no longer defined
by the grid. A characteristic of the proposed single-phase voltage con-
troller, which is initially active at that moment, is that the calculated
reference current only has a positive-sequence component. Furthermore,
Intelligent Node control and protection 103
the OSGs, which are part of the controller, work as a band-pass filter
around 50 Hz, which ensures that the frequency of the reference current
is around that value. These controller characteristics make the positive-
sequence voltage amplitude the best parameter to detect the opening of
LB2-B. This signal is obtained from the measured voltages using the fil-
ter shown in Figure 5.17 and compared with threshold values of 0.9 p.u.
1
s
1
s
ω
b
ω
b
ω
1
ω
1
v
α
v
β
v
+
α
v
+
β
Figure 5.17: Positive-sequence filter αβ reference frame [137].
and 1.1 p.u. Since the power system is without a reference to earth
and without a neutral conductor, the opening of phase B also interrupts
the path for current through phase A (effects associated to parasitic
impedances to ground are neglected). Therefore, the subsequent open-
ing of phase A does not change the operating conditions for the converter
and no further converter mode change is required after opening of phase
A.
Change from voltage control of phase C to voltage control of
phase A, B and C After detection of the opening of LB2-B, the volt-
age control is switched from controlling v
c
to controlling the voltage on
all three phases. The reference voltage is a continuation of the mea-
sured three-phase voltage and after opening of LB2-B the amplitude,
frequency and phase angle are ramped towards nominal values.
5.3.3 Connecting grid areas
After the maintenance or repair work, as described in the previous sec-
tion, is finished, the radial part of the grid is to be reconnected to the
rest of grid by (re)closing load-break switches LB1 and LB2. In the
following it is assumed that LB1 has already been closed. Before clos-
ing LB2, the loads connected to the radial part of the grid are supplied
through the IN, with a supply voltage that not necessarily has the same
frequency, phase and amplitude as the grid voltage on the other side of
104 Chapter 5
Intelligent Node
L
1
L
2
LB1 LB2 Area 1 Area 2 F
1
F
2
Figure 5.18: Grid configuration during transition from radial to meshed
operation.
LB2. This situation is illustrated in Figure 5.18. During the reconnec-
tion excessive voltage amplitude or phase angle changes for the load L
2
,
or overloading of any of the grid elements or the IN is to be prevented.
The geographical distance between the load-break switch LB2 and the
IN can be many kilometers and communication across this distance is
not fast enough to synchronize the converter in real-time. To develop
a generic synchronization strategy, it is assumed that the network of
Area 2, as shown in Figure 5.18, is not synchronous with Area 1, i.e. the
frequency of Area 1 cannot be measured locally by the IN. Further, it is
assumed that information from a certain location in Area 1 is available.
The information (voltage amplitude, frequency, phase angle, power flow
situation) is assumed to have a random, but limited time delay. When
comparing this situation with a similar situation of closing a ring in a
meshed power system, this situation is different in that sense that there
can be a difference between the angles and amplitudes of the voltages
on both sides of the load-break switch, but also a frequency difference.
Different frequencies on both sides eliminates the usefulness of manual
synchronism verification before manual load-break switch closing: the
frequency difference would cause a phase angle difference within already
a short time after checking synchronism. To overcome this limitation, an
automatic synchronizer could be used, which verifies equal voltages on
both sides of the load-break switch before automatically closing it. How-
ever, in the proposed concept, it is considered undesirable to equip each
load-break switch along a feeder with such a device, and in combination
with manually operated switches, it is even impossible. Compared to
another similar situation, namely the closing of a circuit breaker during
synchronization of a single synchronous generator or an island grid [138],
the situation is different in that respect that the converter can react very
fast, faster than the mechanical inertia of one or more synchronous ma-
chines allows. This aspect will be used in the proposed mode transition
concept. Also, such situations use real-time measurements and a feed-
back loop to control the generator and to operate the switch [139]. Due
Intelligent Node control and protection 105
to distance, and only indirect measurements, this feedback loop is in
the IN concept non-real-time and the command to the switch cannot be
given since they are assumed to be manually operated. Based on the
above boundary conditions, the following control strategy is proposed,
which consists of the following three distinct steps:
• The grid operator announces the planned closing of the load-break
switch LB2 to the IN, upon which the IN synchronizes its output
voltage with the remote grid voltage, using periodically received,
remote measurements.
• The load-break switch is closed which is detected by the IN and
it changes instantaneously from V to PQ control, using the latest
measured P and Q values of the load on the radial network part,
as reference values P

and Q

.
• The IN ramps P

and Q

to system optimal values.
In the next paragraphs, first the synchronization of the IN with the
remote grid is discussed. Second, the proposed method for detection of
load-break switch closing is discussed, including the mode transition of
the converter and the change of active and reactive power set-points.
5.3.3.1 Synchronization: communication and control
In order to allow a smooth reconnection of the radial part to the rest of
the grid, the voltages on both sides of load-break switch LB2 must be
equal, or in other words, synchronized, before load-break switch closing.
The maximum allowed voltage changes during the reconnection process
are defined by power quality limits, which are described in paragraph 2.3.
Figure 5.19 shows the proposed control scheme for synchronizing the
voltages on both sides of the load-break switch. In a location in Area 1,
V
ac
P
Q
P
Q
GPS
GPS
remote
measurements
comm.
delay
∆φ
inv
|V |
inv
ωt
LB
sync. command
|V |
LB
φ
LB
t
meas.
|V
nom
|
ω
nom
φ
nom
V

ac
PLL
PI
ω
∆φ
|V | sin(ωt +φ)
t
tr
Figure 5.19: Control scheme to synchronize load-break switch voltages.
106 Chapter 5
measurements are performed of the power flow situation and voltage am-
plitude, frequency and phase, and provided with a time-stamp obtained
from a GPS (global positioning system) receiver. From these measure-
ments and using the network topology, the voltage amplitude and phase
angle at the location of LB2 are calculated. This information, which is
the target voltage on the IN side of LB2, is transmitted to the IN loca-
tion, where it is received with an arbitrary, but limited communication
delay. From the locally measured active and reactive power injection,
and the target voltage amplitude at the LB2 location, the required con-
verter voltage amplitude is calculated, as well as the phase shift across
the impedance between the converter and LB2. From the received fre-
quency and phase angle information, the measurement time-stamp and
a locally received GPS signal, a sawtooth signal is reconstructed that
represents the phase angle of the voltage on the grid side of LB2. After
receiving the synchronization command, which announces the planned
closing of LB2, the amplitude and frequency of the voltage reference sig-
nal are changed from the fixed nominal values, to the calculated values
that are described above, in t
tr
seconds. Subsequently, the phase angle
of the reference voltage is controlled with a PI controller, resulting in a
voltage at the IN side of LB2 that is equal to the voltage on the grid
side of LB2.
Synchronous frequency and angle The quality of the synchronism
depends on several factors:
1. The accuracy of the frequency and phase angle measurement on
the grid side.
2. The difference in clocks on grid side and on IN side.
3. The accuracy of the frequency and phase angle reproduction by
the IN.
4. Frequency variations in the grid and the interval between ’synchro-
nism updates’.
The interval between ’synchronism updates’ is defined as the sum of the
time between two remote measurements, the communication delay and
the time needed by the PI controller to synchronize the voltage. Each
of the factors influencing the synchronism quality will be discussed here
under.
Ad 1: Accuracy of frequency and phase angle measurement
The frequency and phase angle measurements are performed using the
mentioned robust PLLs, which are insensitive to waveform distortion or
Intelligent Node control and protection 107
unbalance. The accuracy of the PLL is considered to be very good, and
the associated error negligible in the synchronization process.
Ad 2: The difference in clocks on grid side and on converter
side To achieve an accurate voltage synchronization, it is essential that
the remote and local clocks are accurately synchronized. Phasor mea-
surement units (PMUs) are increasingly applied in power systems. The
development of PMUs started in the second half of the 1980s and fur-
ther matured in the late 1990s, while new applications of the technology
are being developed continuously. The availability of GPS technology
has made the time-synchronization of PMUs economically and practi-
cally feasible, making it possible to time-stamp measurements with an
accuracy of 0.5 µs, which corresponds to a maximum angle error due to
clock differences of 0.009° in a 50 Hz power system [34]. This error is
negligible, and error-free clock-synchronization is assumed in the pre-
sented synchronization strategy. Indeed, literature reports a successful
application of GPS time-stamped phase angle measurements in a similar
situation where the synchronism of two areas needed to be verified [140].
Ad 3: The accuracy of the frequency and phase angle repro-
duction by the converter Due to the high gain of both the current
and voltage controller at 50 Hz, the amplitude and phase angle differ-
ence between the controller reference signal and the actual voltage is
considered negligible.
Ad 4: Frequency variations in the grid and the interval be-
tween ’synchronism updates’ In the electrical power system, fre-
quency variations occur due to changes in the loading and generation
situation. The consequence for the synchronization process of the con-
verter with the remote grid is that some time after starting synchroniz-
ing, the synchronism may be lost and then, to restore the synchronism,
new measurement values of frequency and phase angle are needed. The
interval between two of these frequency and phase angle measurements
needs to be sufficiently small and depends on the characteristics of fre-
quency variations in the grid. In order to obtain practical values for fre-
quency variations in the network, measurements have been performed.
The power system frequency was measured every 100 ms during in total
33 hours, in 6 measurement sessions, of which the longest lasted longer
than 21 hours and the shortest 10 minutes. Of these measurements, the
following analysis is made:
• Sliding time windows of different durations are used on the mea-
sured frequency data. Based on the extrapolation of the mea-
sured frequency value at the beginning of the n
th
window, it is
108 Chapter 5
determined which, during the entire time window, is the maxi-
mum phase angle deviation ∆φ
n
between this extrapolation and
the actual angle. The actual angle is calculated from the series
of frequency measurements within the time window. The angle
deviation, in radians, after n samples is equal to
∆φ
n
= 2πT
s

n−1
¸
i=0
f
i
−nf
0

(5.16)
with the sample time T
s
=100 ms and f
i
the i
th
measured fre-
quency value. The maximum absolute angle deviation is deter-
mined for the entire time window. This time window is repeatedly
shifted one measurement sample, while the calculation is repeated,
until the end of the frequency measurement has been reached. The
100 ms sample time of the frequency measurements was chosen to
have negligible effect on the error on the calculation of the actual
angle.
• The analysis above is performed for different lengths of the sliding
time windows. From these results, for each window length, it is cal-
culated how big the chance is that a phase angle error of a certain
magnitude is exceeded. This analysis is repeated for several phase
angles and the results are plotted in Figure 5.20. One curve repre-
sents the probability (on the vertical axis) that the corresponding
phase angle threshold is exceeded if the synchronization input is
renewed after a certain interval (on the horizontal axis). By select-
ing an acceptable chance of exceeding the angle threshold, on the
horizontal axis the maximum interval can be read, which should
be used to update the synchronization. This interval includes the
communication delay and the time needed for the PI controller to
control the phase angle.
Interestingly, the curves of different measurements in Figure 5.20
are very similar, despite the different measurement session durations.
To explain this, a closer look is taken at the frequency control in the
UCTE (Union for the Co-ordination of Transmission of Electricity) grid
in which the measurements were performed. In this grid, the majority
of the electrical power is produced with the use of synchronous electri-
cal machines. The initial response of such synchronous generators to
a load variation or loss of a generation unit, is a change of their rota-
tional speed, and thus system voltage frequency. If the load increases
or a generation unit is disconnected, more electrical power is taken from
the generators, while the mechanical power from the turbines is initially
still the same. This results in a decrease of the generator speed and
Intelligent Node control and protection 109
Update interval (s)
P
r
o
b
a
b
i
l
i
t
y
o
f
e
x
c
e
e
d
i
n
g
a
n
g
l
e
d
i

e
r
e
n
c
e
2

5

10

20

45

90

0 5 10 15 20
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Figure 5.20: Measured probability of exceeding phase angle difference,
as function of sampling interval. Different traces represent different fre-
quency measurements.
grid frequency. In reaction to this speed reduction, the speed governor
of the turbine will increase the power output of the turbine according
to a negative droop function of the frequency (if such droop control is
installed): the active power injection is increased when the frequency
decreases. This results in a new equilibrium, at a lower grid frequency.
In ”Policy 1 Load-frequency Control and Performance” [80] of the Oper-
ation Handbook of UCTE, this is called primary frequency control. The
primary frequency control responds within seconds as a joint action of
all involved generators. The control that regulates the frequency back to
50 Hz (and restores cross-border power exchanges to their programmed
set-point values) is called secondary control and starts 15 to 30 s after
a frequency disturbance. So, for the synchronization of the converter,
with the remote grid, the only relevant control algorithm is the primary
frequency control. It is plausible that the parameters that define this re-
sponse, namely the amplitude of load and generation changes, the inertia
of the generators and the joint control action of all turbine governors,
are on the UCTE scale more or less constant parameters, which explains
why the curves of the different measurements are so similar. The other
forms of frequency control, tertiary control and time-control, are on a
longer time scale and no longer play a role for the synchronization of the
converter with a remote grid, and are therefore not discussed. From the
measurements it is concluded that, in order to not exceed a 10° phase
angle jump after closing LB2, as defined as a threshold in paragraph 2.3,
110 Chapter 5
the maximum interval between ’synchronism updates’ must be smaller
than 4 s.
Amplitude and angle of voltage at load-break switch location
Besides phase angle and frequency, also the voltage amplitudes on both
sides of LB2 must be made equal before closing. As shown in Figure 5.19
and described in the accompanying text, the voltage and power flow in
the remote grid is measured and from this, the voltage on the grid side of
LB2 is calculated. Similarly, the converter voltage amplitude and phase
angle is calculated to match the voltage amplitude and phase angle at
the location of LB2. If the grid only consists of radials, the mentioned
calculations can be done analytically, otherwise power flow calculations
need to be performed. Here, the analytical expressions are given for
the relationships between power and voltage amplitude and angle along
a feeder, as shown in Figure 5.21. The general relationship between
P
G
,Q
G
X
G
R
G
V
G
V
L
load
Figure 5.21: Generator supplying load through an impedance.
the complex voltages V
G
and V
L
on the two sides of the feeder with
impedance X
G
and R
G
and load with active and reactive power P
G
and
Q
G
is
V
L
= V
G

R
G
P
G
+X
G
Q
G
V
G
−j
X
G
P
G
+R
G
Q
G
V
G
(5.17)
For small amplitude differences, the imaginary part of Equation (5.17)
is a measure for the voltage angle difference between sending and re-
ceiving end, while the second term for small angles gives the amplitude
difference. The exact expressions for voltage amplitude and angle on the
grid side of the load-break switch are
|V
GLB
| = |V
L
| =

V
G

R
1
P
G
+X
1
Q
G
V
G

2
+

X
1
P
G
−R
1
Q
G
V
G

2
(5.18)
and
φ
GLB
= φ
L
= arctan

X
1
P
G
−R
1
Q
G
V
2
G
−(R
1
P
G
+X
1
Q
G
)

(5.19)
Intelligent Node control and protection 111
where R
1
, X
1
, V
G
, P
G
and Q
G
are the impedance and the voltage and
power values of the remote measurements. These values serve as target
values for the voltage V
ILB
, the voltage on the converter side of LB2.
To calculate the required converter voltage, again (5.18) and (5.19) are
used, now substituting P
G
and Q
G
with the locally measured active
and reactive power −P
I
and −Q
I
and substituting V
G
with the target
voltage amplitude V
ILB
, and further usin the impedances R
2
and X
2
of
the network elements between converter and LB2. The results are |V
I
|
and φ
X
. The converter reference values for amplitude and angle are |V
I
|
and φ
X

GLB
.
5.3.3.2 Three-phase load-break switch closing
Detection of three-phase load-break switch closing After re-
ceiving the announcement of the planned reconnection of the radial
network section to the rest of the grid, the described algorithm syn-
chronizes the voltages on both sides of LB2. The action of closing the
load-break switch parallels two voltage sources: the grid and the IN
converter. Perfect synchronization does not occur in practise and small
amplitude, angle or frequency differences will cause equalizing currents
to be exchanged between the two voltage sources, only limited by the
grid impedance, which is in general small. The occurrence of a resulting
large current is proposed for the detection of the closing of LB2. A detail
that plays a role here is the output current limitation of the converter.
The voltage controller, seeing the grid voltage that differs from its refer-
ence signal, will try to increase the current reference signal amplitude, in
order to make the converter voltage equal to the reference value. How-
ever, the output of the AC voltage controller is limited, so the current
reference signal saturates and approaches a square wave function. The
r.m.s. value of a square wave current is equal to its peak value
´
I (i.e.
1.41 p.u.), while in normal operating conditions, up to the nominal cur-
rent, this value does not exceed
´
I/

2 ≈ 0.707
´
I (i.e. 1 p.u.), which is the
r.m.s. value of a sinusoidal signal with the same peak value. This leaves
some margin for an adequate detection threshold setting that prevents
false detection. An r.m.s. current threshold level of 1.05 p.u. is proposed
and used in the practical set-up. In the theoretical situation that the
voltages on both sides are and stay perfectly equal, no detection takes
place. The drawback of this is that the IN cannot perform its task of
power flow control, but connected loads keep on being supplied. In the
unlikely event that no automatic detection has taken place, it is proposed
to change the converter operating mode manually after verification that
the load-break switch was closed.
A short-circuit in the power system in the time interval between an-
nounced LB2 closing and the actual closing also triggers the proposed
112 Chapter 5
over-current detection. This leads to the converter changing its operat-
ing mode from V control to PQ control. Since the network frequency
is no longer defined in this situation, after a short time, the under-
and over-frequency islanding detection protection will disconnect the
converter. In cable systems, this is the desired IN response, since short-
circuits are almost always permanent, and re-energization after a fault
is in general undesired. In overhead line systems, most faults are tempo-
rary and re-energization after a fault is more common. In the proposed
mode transition, this functionality is not supported.
Change from V control to PQ control After detection of the clos-
ing of LB2, the converter operating mode is instantaneously changed
from V control to PQ control by the operation of switches S
1
and S
2
of Figure 5.2. The latest measured values of the local load P and Q are
used as initial set-points for the PQ controller, and are ramped towards
the system optimal reference values, as shown in Figure 5.22. The pro-
PSfrag replacemen
V
ac
I
ac
I
rms
P

Q

P
Q
detect
LB
closing
t
tr
to PQ controller
Figure 5.22: Power control scheme after closing of load-break switch.
posed transition time is 5 seconds to avoid sudden changes in power flow
and the resulting sudden voltage changes in Areas 1, 2 and 3. The mode
transition block samples-and-holds the locally measured active and re-
active power P and Q at the moment of the detection and ramps these
values within a time t
tr
to the system optimal values P

and Q

, which
are, for example, calculated in a process as described in paragraph 4.2.
5.3.3.3 Phase-by-phase load-break switch closing
In distribution systems, not all load-break switches connect or discon-
nect all three phases simultaneously. Some medium voltage load-break
switches are operated on a phase-by-phase basis. In the following para-
graphs, the role of the IN during the phase-by-phase closing of LB2 is
described.
Intelligent Node control and protection 113
Detection of closing of load-break switches in phases A and
B Due to the floating network without reference to earth and without
neutral connection, the closing of LB2-A does not cause any change in
the power flow situation. By the subsequent closing of the load-break
switch of phase B, two three-phase voltage sources are interconnected
by two wires. Through these two wires, an equalizing current can flow.
This causes an unbalanced current delivered by the converter, which
is detected by extracting the negative-sequence component from the
measured converter currents by the application of the filter shown in
Figure 5.5. A threshold level of 0.4 p.u. is used, which is considered
a value high enough to not cause false detection by unbalance due to
load or generation in medium voltage systems. In case the converter is
fully loaded before load-break switch closing, the peak current limita-
tion prevents a large negative-sequence current. Therefore, additionally,
the r.m.s. converter currents are used as an additional signal to detect
load-break switch closing, with a detection level of 1.05 p.u.
Change from three-phase voltage control to control of phase
C voltage Before connection of any of the phases, the converter is
operating in V control mode to supply Area 2 and is synchronized with
the voltage of Area 1. After detection of the connection of phases A
and B, the converter stays in V control mode, but now only controls the
voltage of phase C, thus reconstructing a balanced three-phase voltage
from the measured voltage between phases A and B. The output of the
voltage controller controls the current in phase C. From this current, the
reference currents for phase A and B are determined in order to create a
balanced current system. In case of balanced loads, this minimizes the
current exchange through the two wires connecting Area 1 and Area 2.
Detection of closing of load-break switch in phase C Before the
closing of LB2-C, the converter controls the voltage of phase C, based on
the measured voltage between phases A and B. Closing LB2-C connects
the two voltage sources, resulting in an equalizing current due to small
voltage differences. The converter voltage controller structure is such
that the negative-sequence current injection is minimized, and only a
positive-sequence current occurs. The detection of closing of LB2-C is
based on the positive-sequence current exceeding the threshold level of
1.05 p.u. To ensure detection, the phase C voltage is controlled such
that a deliberate voltage difference with the network voltage exists.
Change from control of phase C voltage to PQ control After
automatic detection of closing of LB2-C or after receiving a manual
command, the converter changes instantaneously from phase C voltage
114 Chapter 5
control to PQ control. The active and reactive power reference settings
are initially made equal to the power that the converter was delivering
before closing of LB2-C and ramped towards the system optimal values.
The used transition time is 5 s.
5.4 Conclusion
In this chapter the basic IN converter controls are given, followed by a
description of the control and protection structures that allow the con-
verter to perform its task during unplanned and planned power system
events, without being damaged or damaging power system components.
The first category, unplanned events, includes the mitigation of voltage
dips. The second category, planned power system events, consists of the
energization and de-energization of the IN and the disconnection and
(re)connection of grid areas using the IN. To support the disconnection
and (re)connection of grid areas the IN detects the opening or closing
of a remote load-break switch by observing locally measured signals.
After detection of the load-break switch operation the applicable con-
verter control structure is changed. The proposed control algorithms
support both the phase-by-phase operation of load-break switches as
well as the simultaneous opening and closing of all three poles. For the
connection of grid areas an important characteristic is the synchroniza-
tion before load-break switch closing. Since remote voltage amplitude,
frequency and phase angle information is assumed to be only period-
ically available, the level of frequency variations in the ’central power
grid’ is important. By evaluating frequency measurements in the public
network, the maximum synchronization interval was determined.
Chapter 6
Laboratory-scale demonstration
To demonstrate the concept and controls as described in the previous
chapters, a three-phase laboratory-scale set-up is realized. In this set-up
experiments are carried out which focus on the innovative parts of the IN
concept, such as the synchronization between remote grid areas, detec-
tion of load-break switch operation and the transition between different
converter operating modes. The process to determine the optimum for
active and reactive power IN reference values is not experimentally ver-
ified, since this is a system optimization aspect, which is not related
to the functioning of the IN itself. In this chapter, first the hardware
and the control features of the set-up are described, followed by a brief
presentation of the measured converter response to load and reference
value variations. Next, the transition from radial to meshed operation
is discussed, as well as the reverse process, both for 3-phase and for
phase-by-phase load-break switch operation. Then, an implementation
is presented of the IN’s capability to mitigate voltage dips and swells.
Subsequently, it is discussed how the detection mechanisms change when
translating the concept to higher voltage and power ratings. Finally, the
conclusions from the experiments are presented. Throughout the chap-
ter, the most important experimental results that characterize the IN
behavior are presented, as well as the most important simulation results
of parameter variations, which were obtained using a software model of
the practical set-up. In Appendix B all measurement and simulation
results are given.
6.1 Experimental set-up
The set-up consists of two 3-phase 400 V IGBT Semikron SKiiP convert-
ers, connected on their DC sides to a common DC bus and to a rotating
DC generator. In most of the experiments, only one converter was used.
In one of the experiments, also the second converter was used. The AC
115
116 Chapter 6
connection of each converter is made through a star connected filter and
a 3-phase isolation transformer. Pictures and a single-line diagram of
the set-up are given in Figures 6.1 and 6.2. The three poles of load-break
Figure 6.1: Pictures of laboratory-scale set-up: converter cabinets, DSP
connections, user interface, isolation transformers and load.
switch LB2 can be operated simultaneously or on a phase-by-phase basis.
Area 1 is supplied either from the public low voltage network or from a
programmable voltage source, a Spitzenberger & Spies DM15000/PAS.
The nominal converter power is limited by the filter rating and is equal
to 5.2 kVA (=1 p.u.) at a phase-to-phase voltage of 400 V (= 1 p.u.),
which corresponds to a nominal current of 7.5 A. On the AC side of the
converter, a resistive load can be connected, which has a power rating
of 0.9 p.u. In Tables 6.1 and 6.2, an overview is given of the electrical
components of the set-up and converter controllers constants used in the
experiments.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 117
Public LV
Network
or
Programmable
Voltage Source
”Area 1” LB2 ”Area 2”
I
LB
V
GLB
V
CLB
0.9 p.u.
Load
Isolation
Transformer
Control
Measurements
Filter
Reactor
Converter 1
Converter 2
Rotating
DC Source
DC bus
Figure 6.2: Single-line diagram of laboratory-scale set-up.
Table 6.1: Electrical components practical set-up
Component Parameter [unit] Value
Converter Nominal power S
n
[VA] 5200
Nominal phase-to-phase voltage V
n
[V] 400
Filter Capacitor [µF] 10
Reactor [mH] 2
Isolation Transformer Nominal power S
n
[VA] 5200
Nominal phase-to-phase voltage V
n
[V] 400
Short-circuit voltage [%] 5
Reactor Nominal power S
n
[VA] 5200
Short-circuit voltage [%] 8.2
Public LV grid Short-circuit impedance [mH] 0.1
6.1.1 Converter control implementation
Converters 1 and 2 are controlled by a single digital signal processor
(DSP), of the type dSPACE DS1103. The controller functions, de-
118 Chapter 6
Table 6.2: Converter controller parameters practical set-up
Controller Parameter [unit] Value
AC current Proportional gain 0.01
Resonant gain 0.2
Center frequency [Hz] 50
Bandwidth [Hz] 0.8
AC voltage Proportional gain 0.01
Resonant gain 1.3
Center frequency [Hz] 50
Bandwidth [Hz] 1.1
DC voltage Proportional gain 0.25
Integral gain 2
scribed in the previous chapter, are discretized, implemented in MAT-
LAB Simulink and, after compilation, run on the DSP. In the software
tool ControlDesk a graphical user interface is implemented which allows
the adjustment of reference values and the converter operating mode, as
well as the monitoring of selected control and measurement signals in
real-time during the experiments. An example of this interface is shown
in Figure 6.3. Due to computational limitations of the DSP, the con-
troller functions only calculate a new PWM reference value every second
PWM cycle, which results in a discretization of the controller functions
with a sampling rate of half the PWM frequency, i.e. 5.7 kSa/s.
6.1.2 Modeling of experimental set-up
In order to develop and verify the controls, the experimental set-up was
modeled in MATLAB
®
R2007b with Simulink and the SimPowerSys-
tems Toolbox. This model is also used to assess the effect of those
parameter variations which were not experimentally determined. The
analog electrical components are modeled with a discrete sampling rate
of 60 times the PWM frequency, i.e. 684 kSa/s. The controller and de-
tection blocks in the DSP are simulated with a discrete sampling rate
equal to the PWM frequency, i.e. 11.4 kSa/s. This is different from the
experimental set-up in which the DSP controller and detection functions
operate at half the PWM frequency. This mainly impacts the effect of
delay times, which occur due to the discretization of analog signals. By
comparing the experimental results with the simulation results, which
are both presented, it is concluded that the basic control functions and
the hardware of the set-up are represented adequately in the computer
model.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 119
Figure 6.3: Example of interface implementation in ControlDesk soft-
ware.
6.2 Basic converter step responses
The response speed of the IN as a whole is limited by the dynamic
behavior of each of its converters, which in its turn is determined by
the controller functions and detection methods. To characterize the
individual converters in their different operating modes, the following
basic converter responses are experimentally verified:
• Step change of current amplitude while in PQ control mode
• Step change of voltage amplitude while in V control mode
• Connection of load while in V control mode
• Connection of load while one converter is in V control mode and
the other converter is in PQ control mode
120 Chapter 6
As described in the previous chapter, the heart of each converter con-
troller consists of the current controller which is always active. De-
pending on the operating mode of the converter, the current reference
signal is either provided by the PQ controller or by one of the voltage
controllers.
6.2.1 Changing power reference values
When LB2 is closed, the converter is in PQ control mode, and the
current reference signals are algebraically calculated from the measured
voltage and the active and reactive power reference values P

and Q

.
Therefore, determining the converter response to a step function of active
and reactive power reference values, is equal to determining the converter
response to a change of current reference. In Figures 6.4 and 6.5 the
t (s)
I
(
p
.
u
.
)
I

I
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(a) Simulation.
t (s)
I
(
p
.
u
.
)
I

I
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(b) Measurement.
Figure 6.4: Converter response to step function in active power reference
value from 0 to 1 p.u.
measured and simulated converter responses to step changes of P

and
Q

from 0 to 1 p.u. are shown. The shown signal is the current through
the filter reactor, with the PWM ripple removed from the signal using
a low pass filter. The converter reaches its steady state behavior within
around 30 ms after the change of active or reactive power reference value.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 121
t (s)
I
(
p
.
u
.
)
I

I
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(a) Simulation.
t (s)
I
(
p
.
u
.
)
I

I
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(b) Measurement.
Figure 6.5: Converter response to step function in reactive power refer-
ence value from 0 to 1 p.u.
6.2.2 Changing voltage reference value
When Converter 2 supplies a radial network section (LB2 is open), it
is in V control mode. During mode transitions, small changes in the
reference value for the voltage amplitude can occur. To assess the con-
verter response to such changes, the voltage reference signal is changed
from 0.9 to 1.1 p.u. while supplying a 0.9 p.u. load. Figure 6.6 shows
the simulated and measured converter response. The converter response
to a stepwise change of the voltage reference signal reaches steady state
within a few milliseconds.
6.2.3 Changing load
A converter in V control mode supplies or consumes the power to and
from connected loads and generators as needed. In the experimental
set-up, load-break switch LB2 is open. To assess the converter response
to load changes, a load is connected at t = 0. This test is performed to
verify the response of two controllers: the AC voltage controller and the
DC voltage controller.
AC voltage controller response After connection of the 0.9 p.u.
load, the AC voltage controller of Converter 2 changes the reference
current signal to maintain the voltage on the AC port of Converter 2. In
122 Chapter 6
t (s)
V
(
p
.
u
.
)
V

V
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(a) Simulation.
V
(
p
.
u
.
)
t (s)
V

V
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(b) Measurement.
Figure 6.6: Converter response to step function in voltage reference value
from 0.9 to 1.1 p.u. while supplying 0.9 p.u. load.
this test, the rotating DC generator supplies the DC bus. The simulated
and measured AC voltages responses are shown in Figure 6.7. The load
t (s)
V
(
p
.
u
.
)
V

V
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(a) Simulation.
V
(
p
.
u
.
)
t (s)
V

V
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
-1
0
1
(b) Measurement.
Figure 6.7: Converter response to load step from 0 to 0.9 p.u.
connection leads to a voltage dip of around 0.15 p.u. and the voltage is
Laboratory-scale demonstration 123
restored to the reference value within around 60 ms.
DC voltage controller response When a change occurs in the load-
ing situation in the network supplied by one of the converters in V con-
trol mode, the corresponding power change is taken from the DC bus. To
maintain the DC bus voltage, this power change must be compensated
by the other converter(s) connected to the DC bus. In order to do so,
the DC bus voltage controller changes the active power reference values
of the converter(s) which are operating in PQ mode. In the experimen-
tal set-up, this situation was reproduced by using both Converter 1 and
Converter 2. Converter 2 supplies a radial network area (island opera-
tion) with a switchable load and Converter 1 is connected to the public
low voltage grid, operates in PQ control mode and controls the DC bus
voltage. During this experiment, the rotating DC generator is discon-
nected from the DC bus. At t = 0 a 0.67 p.u. resistive load is connected
to the converter operating in V control mode. The DC controller active
power and voltage response is shown in Figure 6.8. Note that the active
t (s)
P
d
c
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(a) Active power (measurement).
t (s)
V
d
c
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35
0.98
1
1.02
1.04
(b) DC voltage (measurement).
Figure 6.8: DC controller response to load step from 0 to 0.67 p.u.
power necessary to maintain the DC bus voltage is not equal to zero
before t = 0 due to the energy losses of both converters. A smaller load
of 0.67 p.u. is used, to prevent overloading Converter 1. The DC voltage
controller maintains the DC bus voltage deviation within 0.015 p.u. and
within 0.3 s the voltage is restored to the reference value.
124 Chapter 6
6.3 Transition from radial to meshed operation
One of the functions of the IN is to facilitate the controlled transition
from radial to meshed network operation. During this transition, first
the two grid areas are synchronized and then connected. This connec-
tion is detected, the converter operating mode is changed and finally the
power exchange is controlled to the desired values, as described in the
previous chapter. In the following, first the performance of the synchro-
nization process is experimentally determined. Next, the experimental
results of the detection of load-break switch closing are presented, both
for 3-phase and for phase-by-phase load-break switch operation. Finally,
a discussion is given of scaling effects that have to be taken into account
when applying the concept in medium voltage networks.
6.3.1 Synchronization
The synchronization process consists of ensuring equal frequency, phase
angle and amplitude of the voltages on the grid side and on the converter
side of the load-break switch LB2, before closing it. Due to the varying
frequency of the public electricity network, a critical parameter of the
synchronization is the (constantness of the) phase angle difference be-
tween the two voltages. To minimize this parameter, a synchronization
concept was presented in the previous chapter. To verify the adequate-
ness of the proposed 4 s synchronization update interval and method, the
phase angle between the grid voltage and the reference voltage V

ac
of
Figure 5.19 was recorded every 10 ms during one hour while the synchro-
nization mechanism is activated. During the measurement, the network
frequency changes due to supply and demand balancing. The angle dif-
ference between the voltage reference signal and the actual voltage as
generated by the converter is considered to be negligible. During the
measurements, a remote frequency and phase angle measurement inter-
val of 2.5 s was used, and a communication delay of 1 s. Together with
the 0.5 s that it takes for the PI controller to reach steady state, this re-
sults in the proposed ’synchronism update’ interval of 4 s. A histogram
of the measured phase angle difference is shown in Figure 6.9, which
confirms that the use of a ’synchronism update’ interval of 4 s results in
a phase angle error smaller than 10°.
6.3.2 Three-phase load-break switch closing
After closing of LB2, the converter has to change from V to PQ con-
trol mode. Until this change, two voltage sources (the network and the
converter) are interconnected, which results in equalizing currents be-
tween them. The time between load-break switch closing and the control
Laboratory-scale demonstration 125

φ
(

)
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
a
g
e
(
%
)
-15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15
0
2
4
6
8
10
Figure 6.9: Angle deviation while synchronization algorithm is active
(measurement). The bin width of the histogram is 0.5°.
mode change must therefore be as short as possible. The adequacy of
the detection algorithms presented in the previous chapter is crucial for
this. Here, the detection speed is studied for the situation of 3-phase
load-break switch operation.
The equalizing current between network and converter is determined
by the impedance between them. In the practical set-up, the impedance
consists of the isolation transformer impedance, the reactor, plus the grid
impedance. The r.m.s. values of the converter currents are used to de-
tect load-break switch closing, and a 1.05 p.u. threshold level is used. To
exceed this threshold current through the mentioned impedance, which
is dominated by the reactor, an angle shift of 5° is required between the
voltages on both sides of the load-break switch. As can be seen in Fig-
ure 6.9, such an angle shift (either positive or negative) only occurs in a
very limited percentage of the time when a ’synchronism update interval’
of 4 s is used. This means that it can take some time before the required
5° angle occurs, but also that the angle, and thus the current, can be in
the wrong direction, or that no detection takes place at all. To ensure
adequate detection, a deliberate phase angle difference of 5° between
the two sides of the load-break switch is used during the measurements,
effectively shifting the histogram of Figure 6.9 by 5°. In paragraph 6.3.4
this deliberate phase angle difference is analyzed in more detail.
The resulting converter currents and the voltage and current wave
shapes at the location of the load-break switch are shown in Figure 6.10
for an unloaded Area 2. The horizontal and vertical dashed lines in this
and other figures represent the detection threshold levels, the moments of
load-break switch closing and detection. The time until detection is not
constant among different experiments due to the varying angle error and
126 Chapter 6
the different point-on-wave of load-break switch operation. In this figure
and in many other figure that follow, the differences between individual
signal traces cannot be distinguished, since they are very similar, which
is the desired situation. The scale of this figure and the other figures
that follow is chosen such that only relevant differences between signals
are visible.
t (s)
I
a
b
c
,
r
m
s
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0
0.5
1
(a) R.m.s. converter currents (measurement).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
a
b
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Phase-to-phase voltages V
ab
on both sides of load-break
switch LB2 (measurement).
I
(
A
)
t (s)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
0
1
(c) Current phase A load-break switch LB2 (measurement).
Figure 6.10: Three-phase closing of LB2, Area 2 without load.
In Figure 6.11a the converter current is shown for the situation that
a 0.9 p.u. load is connected in Area 2. In Figure 6.11b the results are
shown for the same network conditions, but on a larger time scale, illus-
trating the gradual change of the power reference value after load-break
switch closing. The experimentally observed detection times for the
loaded Area 2 are shorter or similar to those found for an unloaded net-
work. Detection takes place within a few cycles, without visible voltage
disturbances.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 127
t (s)
I
a
b
c
,
r
m
s
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0
0.5
1
(a) R.m.s. converter currents (measurement).
t (s)
I
a
b
c
,
r
m
s
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
0
0.5
1
(b) Transition to zero power exchange (measurement).
Figure 6.11: Three-phase closing of LB2, Area 2 has 0.9 p.u. load.
6.3.3 Phase-by-phase load-break switch closing
In the following paragraphs the controls that are used during the connec-
tion of two grid areas using phase-by-phase operated load-break switches
are verified. Before closing any of the phases, the synchronization mech-
anism is activated, and a deliberate phase angle of 5° is used.
6.3.3.1 Closing of phases A and B
The closing of LB2-A connects the Area 2 network by one phase only
to the public low voltage network, which has no effect, since there is
no reference to ground. The subsequent closing of LB2-B introduces a
circulating current in phases A and B, causing current unbalance. This
parameter, the negative-sequence current, is used for detection with a
threshold level of 0.4 p.u., as was discussed in paragraph 5.3.3.3. After
detection, the converter control is changed from 3-phase voltage control
to 1-phase voltage control, only controlling the voltage of phase C. Fig-
ure 6.12 shows the measured signals for the connection of an unloaded
Area 2. If Area 2 has connected loads, detection based on the negative-
sequence current only can take a long time, or even not take place at
all due to the current limitation of the converter. To also ensure ade-
quate detection in loaded network conditions the converter r.m.s. phase
currents are used as additional detection signals, with a threshold level
of 1.05 p.u. Simulation results for both the loaded and unloaded situ-
128 Chapter 6
t (s)
I

(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
(a) Negative-sequence converter current (measurement).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
b
c
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Phase-to-phase voltages V
ab
on both sides of load-break
switch LB2 (measurement).
t (s)
I
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(c) Current phase A load-break switch LB2 (measurement).
Figure 6.12: Closing of LB2-B, Area 2 without load.
ation are shown in Figure 6.13. The simulation results illustrate that
both detection signals are needed: in the unloaded network the negative-
sequence current reaches its theshold first, while in the loaded network
the r.m.s. phase currents reach the threshold value first. As a further
illustration of this, Figure 6.14 shows the results of an experiment where
only the negative-sequence current is used for detection in a loaded net-
work: the resulting detection time exceeds 2 s. The time until detection
is influenced by the frequency fluctuations in the low voltage network
and by the activated synchronization mechanism that tries to maintain
the deliberate 5° phase angle, using periodically received frequency and
phase angle information.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 129
t (s)
I
(
p
.
u
.
)
I

I
abc,rms
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0
0.5
1
(a) Converter currents unloaded Area 2 (simulation).
t (s)
I
(
p
.
u
.
)
I

I
abc,rms
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0
0.5
1
(b) Converter currents loaded Area 2 (simulation).
Figure 6.13: Detection of LB2-B closing based on I

and I
abc,rms
.
t (s)
I

(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
Figure 6.14: Detection of LB2-B closing based on only I

. Area 2 has
0.9 p.u. load (measurement).
6.3.3.2 Closing of phase C
Before closing of LB2-C, the converter controls the voltage of phase
C, based on the measured phase-to-phase voltage V
ab
. This allows an
accurate voltage reconstruction by the converter, and only a minimal
voltage across LB2-C. Closing LB2-C in this situation would result in
only minimal voltage or current changes, hampering detection. There-
fore, to ensure adequate detection of LB2-C closing, a deliberate voltage
difference is introduced by rotating the vector V

C
(Figure 5.16, para-
graph 5.3.2.2) by 5°. Figures 6.15 and 6.16 show the simulation results
for Area 2 without and with load. The presence of a load in Area 2
causes faster detection, and detection times vary between 0.5 and 4 pe-
riods. In the next paragraph, where scaling aspects are discussed, it is
130 Chapter 6
t (s)
I
r
m
s
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0
0.5
1
(a) Converter phase currents (simulation).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
b
c
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Load-break switch phase-to-phase voltage (simulation).
Figure 6.15: Closing LB2-C, island without load.
t (s)
I
r
m
s
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0
0.5
1
(a) Converter phase currents (simulation).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
b
c
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Load-break switch phase-to-phase voltage (simulation).
Figure 6.16: Closing LB2-C, island with load.
described how the required angle and amplitude of the deliberate volt-
age difference is determined. As an illustration of the importance of this
voltage difference, Figure 6.17 shows the measured converter currents
when no deliberate voltage angle is applied. The detection time is more
Laboratory-scale demonstration 131
t (s)
I
r
m
s
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
0
0.5
1
Figure 6.17: R.m.s. converter currents after closing of LB2-C, island
without load (measurement). No deliberate phase angle voltage C.
than 0.7 s, which is more than 35 periods.
6.3.4 Ensuring load-break switch closing detection
In the experiments an additional voltage phase angle of 5° is introduced
to ensure that the equalizing current after load-break switch closing is
large enough to be detected. The amplitude of the resulting equalizing
current depends on the magnitude of the impedance between the two
voltage sources and on the amplitude of the (deliberate or accidental)
voltage across the load-break switch before closing. The direction or
angle of the equalizing current depends on the angle of the voltage ’er-
ror’ and on the R/X ratio of the network impedance. To achieve the
maximum converter current with a certain voltage error, the equalizing
current must be in phase with the load current as is illustrated in Fig-
ure 6.18. Since the converter current amplitude is limited, over-currents
in the network are prevented. To achieve the proper voltage difference,
knowledge is required of the P/Q ratio of the load, which is measured
locally, and the R/X ratio of the network, which is also a known value.
In case of a resistive load and an inductive network impedance, as in the
experiments, the required voltage difference has a 90° angle, i.e. only a
phase angle shift is required, and no voltage amplitude difference. In
the experiments, a 5° angle difference was used. To obtain an indication
of the required magnitude of this angle in a medium voltage network,
we consider the example network shown in Figure 6.18. We assume that
Equalizing Current
Load Current
Intelligent Node
150/10kV
66MVA, 18%
Figure 6.18: Required current directions to ensure detection.
132 Chapter 6
in this network, the short-circuit impedance of the transformer is the
dominant network impedance, and that the cable impedances are neg-
ligible. Both the IN converter and the cables between the transformer
and the IN converter have a rating of 5 MVA. On this voltage level, a
phase angle deviation of 1° corresponds to 183 V and this would result
in an equalizing current of 2.2 times the cable and converter ratings, if
no current limitation would be active in the converter. This example
illustrates that for higher voltage levels, a small voltage angle deviation
results in a large equalizing current after load-break switch closing. It
is therefore expected that the detection speed increases for higher volt-
age levels. Since the network frequency is constantly changing, this 1°
voltage angle across the load-break switch is easily reached within one
synchronization interval, see Figure 6.9. However, the sign of the volt-
age angle difference due to changes of the frequency can be both positive
and negative, and thus the direction of the resulting equalizing current
can well be the opposite of the load current, which would prevent de-
tection. To ensure an equalizing current which is in phase with the load
current, a deliberate voltage angle must be introduced which is larger
than the one which can occur due to frequency changes. For low and
medium voltage applications a value of 5° is proposed, as was used in the
experiments. This results effectively in a 5° shift of the histogram shown
in Figure 6.9 and phase angle jumps during closing of LB2 are limited
between 0 and 10°. If only smaller phase angle jumps can be allowed, for
example because of load sensitivity, the ’synchronism update interval’
must be reduced, i.e. the remote measurements need to be transmitted
more frequently and/or with a shorter communication delay, resulting
in a histogram that is narrower than the one shown in Figure 6.9. This
makes it possible to use of a smaller deliberate phase angle, while still
ensuring that the occurring phase angle has the required sign.
In networks with resistive impedances, together with the angle, the
amplitude needs to be varied also, in order to reach an equalizing current
which is in phase with the load current. Note that the current limitation
of the converter is essential to prevent over-currents in the network.
6.4 Transition from meshed to radial operation
After the opening of load-break switch LB2, the converter must stop
controlling power flow, and start controlling the voltage on the resulting
radial network. In order to minimize power flow changes and the re-
sulting voltage changes in all associated networks, the current through
the opening load-break switch must be minimized before opening. Or,
in other words, the power demand in Area 2 must be supplied by the
converter.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 133
6.4.1 Three-phase load-break switch opening
The opening of LB2, causes the voltage on the radial network to be no
longer defined. The frequency is used to detect the load-break switch
opening, with threshold values of 49.5 Hz and 50.5 Hz. Figure 6.19 shows
t (s)
f
(
H
z
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
49
49.5
50
50.5
51
(a) Area 2 without load, P

= Q

= 0 (simulation).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
a
b
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Area 2 without load, P

= Q

= 0 (measurement).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
a
b
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(c) Area 2 with 0.9 p.u. load, P

= Q

= 0 (measurement).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
a
b
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(d) Area 2 with 0.9 p.u. load, P

= 0.9 p.u., Q

= 0 (mea-
surement).
Figure 6.19: Frequency and phase-to-phase voltages LB2 after three-
phase opening LB2.
134 Chapter 6
simulated and measurement results for three situations. In the first
situation, Area 2 is without load. In the second situation a 0.9 p.u. load
is connected to Area 2, but the converter does not inject any power,
while in the third situation the 0.9 p.u. power consumption in Area 2
is matched by the converter power injection. In the second situation, a
voltage dip is observed with a residual voltage of around 0.5 p.u. This
voltage dip exceeds the ITIC curve as presented in Chapter 2, and this
situation should therefore be prevented as much as possible. In order
to do so, it is essential that a proper estimation of the loading situation
in Area 2 is made. In all conditions, detection takes place within a few
cycles.
6.4.2 Phase-by-phase load-break switch opening
In the following paragraphs the controls that are used during the dis-
connection of two grid areas using phase-by-phase operated load-break
switches are verified.
6.4.2.1 Opening of phase C
After the opening of LB2-C, the voltage of phase C in Area 2 is unde-
fined, resulting in voltage unbalance. The negative-sequence component
of the converter voltage is therefore used for detection, with a threshold
of 0.05 p.u., as was discussed in paragraph 5.3.2.2. Figure 6.20 shows
t (s)
V

(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
0
0.05
0.1
(a) Negative-sequence voltage (measurement).
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
b
c
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Load-break switch phase-to-phase voltages (no load,
measurement).
Figure 6.20: Opening of LB2-C.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 135
the measured negative-sequence converter voltage and the voltages at
the location of the load-break switch. Detection takes place within a
few periods, independent of the loading situation in Area 2 or the power
delivered by the converter before load-break switch opening. The ob-
served voltage dip at the load-break switch location is a characteristic
of the voltage controller, see also Figure 6.7.
6.4.2.2 Opening of phases A and B
A characteristic of the single-phase voltage controller is that it ensures
a balanced output current, around the nominal power frequency. There-
fore, after the subsequent opening of LB2-B, the voltage in Area 2 re-
mains at 50 Hz and stays more or less balanced, depending on how bal-
anced the connected loads are. The voltage V
ab
is no longer defined by
the grid however, which causes the voltage amplitude to change. The
positive-sequence component of the voltage is used to detect the opening
of LB2-B. Figure 6.21 shows the measured positive-sequence converter
PSfrag replacemen
t (s)
V
+
C
(
p
.
u
.
)
No Load
0.94 p.u.
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
0.8
0.9
1
1.1
(a) Positive-sequence converter voltage (measurement).
t (s)
V
b
c
(
p
.
u
.
)
Grid-side
Converter-side
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Load-break switch phase-to-phase voltages (no load,
measurement).
Figure 6.21: Disconnecting phases A and B.
voltage and the voltages at the location of the load-break switch. Again,
the observed voltage dip is a characteristic of the voltage controller.
Detection takes place within around 0.5 s. The subsequent opening of
LB2-A has no effect.
136 Chapter 6
6.5 Voltage dip and swell mitigation
To illustrate the capability of the IN to mitigate voltage dips and swells,
in the practical set-up the connection to the public low voltage network
is replaced by a connection to a programmable voltage source. This
voltage source is used to expose the IN to balanced voltage dips and
swells of various amplitudes. The phase angle and frequency of the
output voltage are kept constant during the experiments. Figures 6.22
and 6.23 show the resulting voltage dip and the amount of reactive
t (s)
V
(
p
.
u
.
)
No Mitigation
Mitigation
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
(a) Voltage amplitude (measurement).
t (s)
Q
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Reactive power injection (measurement).
Figure 6.22: Mitigation of 20 % balanced voltage dip.
power injected by the converter for voltage dips of 20 % and 50 %. Due
to the maximum current rating of the converter, the deeper the dip,
the smaller the maximum reactive power output, as can be seen when
comparing the reactive power injection in the two presented cases. This
also means, that with a higher voltage, e.g. during a voltage swell, a
larger reactive power output can be achieved, larger than the nominal
converter power, as illustrated in Figure 6.24.
As it was already indicated in the previous chapter, the experiments
confirm that the typical impedances of a cable network only allow the
IN to achieve limited voltage dip or swell mitigation. In the experiments
the achieved voltage dip or swell mitigation is around 0.04 p.u.
Laboratory-scale demonstration 137
t (s)
V
(
p
.
u
.
)
No Mitigation
Mitigation
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
(a) Voltage amplitude (measurement).
t (s)
Q
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Reactive power injection (measurement).
Figure 6.23: Mitigation of 50 % balanced voltage dip.
t (s)
V
(
p
.
u
.
)
No Mitigation
Mitigation
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
(a) Voltage amplitude (measurement).
t (s)
Q
(
p
.
u
.
)
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
(b) Reactive power injection (measurement).
Figure 6.24: Mitigation of 17 % balanced voltage swell.
6.6 Conclusion
In this chapter, the Intelligent Node concept and controls, which were
described in the previous chapters, are demonstrated using experiments
in a laboratory-scale set-up. After a brief description of the set-up, the
138 Chapter 6
converter response to changes of reference signals and load changes are
assessed. The current controller reaches steady state within 30 ms af-
ter step-wise changes in the active or reactive power reference values.
A step-wise change of the amplitude of the voltage reference signal is
tracked within a couple of milliseconds. The connection of a 0.9 p.u.
load causes a voltage disturbance of around 0.15 p.u. and the voltage is
restored to the reference value within around 60 ms. This voltage dis-
turbance is too small to be considered a voltage dip. A step-wise change
in the loading situation of a converter in V control mode causes a dis-
turbance of the DC bus voltage, which is smaller than 1.5 % and lasts
shorter than 0.3 s. Before changing from radial to meshed network op-
eration, the IN converter synchronizes the voltages on both sides of the
applicable load-break switch. The quality of the synchronization is as-
sessed by measuring the phase angle ’error’ across the load-break switch
while the synchronization process is active. The measured phase angle
error fluctuates around zero and is always smaller than ±10°. The change
from radial to meshed network operation and vice versa is achieved by
closing and opening a load-break switch. The three poles of the load-
break switch are either operated simultaneously or on a phase-by-phase
basis. The experimental results show that in the case of three-phase
load-break switch the detection of opening and closing of the load-break
switch takes place within a few cycles. Going from radial to meshed net-
work operation is possible without any significant voltage disturbances.
For the opposite process it is beneficial that the load in the created ra-
dial network area is, before load-break switch opening, supplied by the
IN. This allows the opening of the load-break switch without significant
voltage disturbances.
The phase-by-phase transition to meshed network operation is de-
tected within 100 ms and no significant voltage disturbances are ob-
served. During the phase-by-phase transition from meshed to radial
network operation the same voltage disturbance is observed as during
connection of a large load, which is a characteristic of the voltage con-
troller.
In order to ensure adequate detection of the load-break switch clos-
ing, and to prevent overloading in the network, it is essential that a
controlled voltage difference across the load-break switch exists before
closing. It is described how this aspect is implemented in the demon-
stration set-up and how this translates to higher voltage networks.
Finally, the IN’s capability to mitigate voltage dips and swells is
demonstrated. The measurements confirm that the mitigation concept
can be implemented successfully. As expected, the amount of mitiga-
tion is limited due to the relatively low network impedance, which is
characteristic for cable networks.
Chapter 7
Conclusions, thesis contribution
and recommendations
7.1 Conclusions
Background. Nowadays society is more than ever dependent on en-
ergy, and thus demands a high reliability of its energy supply. At the
same time environmental concerns stimulate the reduced and more sus-
tainable use of energy. Together with the concern over the increasing
scarcity of fossil energy sources and the wish to not be politically depen-
dent for energy needs, this leads to an increased use of renewable energy
resources, which are often dispersed by nature. In electrical power sys-
tems such distributed generation units influence the operation of existing
protection and voltage regulation systems, power quality, stability and
safety. Up to a level of about 20 % of the maximum load it is generally
possible to absorb energy from DG units in the electricity distribution
network without major costs. The penetration level in many networks
is still below this limit, but this will change.
Simultaneously with the changing generation mix, in recent years
the tasks of generation, transmission, distribution and delivery of elec-
trical energy were unbundled and the roles of network operator, supplier,
producer and trader were defined. This has resulted in increasing com-
plexity and uncertainty in the planning and operation of power systems.
Distribution systems. In the current regulatory environment the
distribution system network operator is faced with contradictory respon-
sibilities.
On one side, the DNO must provide and operate a network of suf-
ficient capacity in an economical way. This is generally achieved by
loading the network to only a certain percentage of the components’
ratings. This way, in case of maintenance of, or a fault in one of the
139
140 Chapter 7
network components, the network can be reconfigured and supply can
be maintained. Thus a reasonable balance is found between network
costs and reliability and availability of supply.
On the other side, the DNO must provide new connections at very
short notice. Anticipating these connections by strengthening the net-
work in advance, brings uncertainty in the return on investments. Fur-
thermore, the expected control of load and DG units for balancing supply
and demand, and thus reducing generation costs, stresses the distribu-
tion system, but is out of the DNO’s sphere of control. This stimulates
the DNO to consider other, more flexible, solutions, as an alternative to
traditional network reinforcements.
The academic and industrial efforts to provide such solutions have
resulted in a wide range of possible methods. These methods can be
divided into two categories. The first category is based only on the use
of communication and automation technology to control the network and
the connected load and generation. The second category uses, besides
the technologies from the first category, also electrical power equipment
with the ability to influence the power flow.
Distribution systems already have some flexibility to respond to
changes in the power flow situation. The most widely deployed tech-
nique is the use of on- and off-load tap changers. More advanced methods
include the use of power electronic devices, which are, when applied to
transmission systems, also called FACTS devices (Flexible AC Transmis-
sion Systems). When applied to distribution systems, these devices are
referred to as D-FACTS devices. The Intelligent Node concept, which is
presented in this thesis, is a D-FACTS device.
The Intelligent Node can influence some power quality parameters,
such as flicker, voltage dips and phase angle jumps. Currently, for many
of these parameters no binding compatibility levels exist, but steps are
made towards this. For each of the relevant PQ indicators the limits,
which are used in this thesis to assess the influence of the IN, are de-
fined. The power quality parameters steady state voltage amplitude and
power frequency are discussed as they are input for the development and
implementation of the IN concept.
FACTS in distribution systems. FACTS and distribution system
FACTS (D-FACTS) devices are used to influence voltage and loading
levels in the electrical network that they are part of. The effect that such
devices can achieve is significantly different for cable networks when com-
pared to overhead line networks. In an overhead line network reactive
power injection leads to an increased voltage, while in a cable network it
(also) causes a phase angle difference. Similarly, a series voltage source
that inserts a quadrature voltage causes a circulating active power flow
Conclusions, thesis contribution and recommendations 141
in a meshed overhead line network, while in a meshed cable network, it
(also) causes a circulating reactive power flow.
The application of solid-state switches is the enabling technology for
FACTS and D-FACTS devices and brings the economic application of
such devices in distribution networks within reach.
FACTS and D-FACTS devices exist in a wide variety of topologies
and functions. Of the existing topologies, the UPFC, IPFC and the
back-to-back converter can effectively control active power flow in ca-
ble networks. This thesis concerns the extension of the back-to-back
topology and of its operational concept.
Functional concept of the IN. The IN concept concerns a device
that can couple and decouple distribution network areas and control the
power flow between these areas. This way the IN adds flexibility to
the network. The IN can be applied to facilitate increased loading of a
network by controlled sharing of redundancy or by the controlled power
exchange between grid areas. Also the integration of distributed gener-
ation can be enabled by controlling voltage profiles. Finally, the IN can
improve power quality levels, for example by mitigating voltage dips.
It is concluded that facilitating increased loading is the most impor-
tant IN application and that the control of voltage profiles and voltage
dip mitigation only offer limited benefits when compared with alterative
solutions. From the mentioned applications the following functional re-
quirements were formulated:
• Inject or consume an adjustable amount of active and/or reactive
power through each of its AC ports when connected in a meshed
network.
• Supply a radial network from any of its AC ports.
• Detect a permanent short-circuit and de-energize the appropriate
feeder.
• Ride through a voltage dip, which occurs due to a permanent fault
on a nearby feeder.
• Detect the opening of the load-break switches which isolate a net-
work part and change from controlling power flow in a meshed
network to supplying a radial network part.
• Synchronize the voltages on both sides of a remote opened load-
break switch.
• Detect the closing of the load-break switch which restores meshed
network operation and change from supplying a radial network
section to controlling power flow in a meshed network.
142 Chapter 7
• Support the above also for the phase-by-phase operation of the
load-break switches.
• Optionally: improve the power quality of the connected networks.
• Optionally: store energy.
To provide these abilities, the IN can have several internal topologies.
If a certain IN application only uses a subset of the mentioned re-
quirements, these can, for example, be realized by using a number of
power electronics controlled auto transformers and PE-controlled series
impedances. In this thesis, to provide all abilities, the versatile topology
of multiple back-to-back converters is used.
IN control and protection. The IN must be able to perform its
tasks during normal and steady state operation and during planned and
unplanned power system events, without being damaged or damaging
power system components.
The control system which is proposed to achieve this has a central
current controller, which is always active and inherently provides current
limitation capabilities. In normal operation, each of the IN converters is
either connected to a radial network section or forms part of a meshed
network. To supply a radial network, an outer control loop controls the
voltage on this network. To control power flow in a meshed network,
the injected current is imposed directly.
To handle short-circuits on connected feeders and to detect uninten-
tional network disconnections that result in a radial network section, a
protection system was developed. This protection philosophy takes into
account the current limiting capabilities of the IN. In radial network
operation, this means that short-circuits are recognized by detecting
under-voltage instead of over-current. Also for other system events the
specific controller responses are used to detect changing conditions, such
as, for example, the unintentional creation of a radial network.
To mitigate voltage dips and swells a controller was implemented
that controls the IN reactive power output depending on the network
voltage. This controller only operates outside the steady state voltage
band, and does not affect the power flow control in normal power system
conditions.
The planned power system events consist of the energization and de-
energization of the IN and the disconnection and (re)connection of grid
areas using the IN. To support the disconnection and (re)connection of
grid areas an algorithm was developed to detect the opening or closing of
a remote load-break switch by observing locally measured signals. After
detection of the load-break switch operation the applicable converter
Conclusions, thesis contribution and recommendations 143
control structure is changed. The algorithms support both the phase-
by-phase operation of load-break switches and the simultaneous opening
and closing of all three phase contacts.
For the connection of grid areas an important characteristic is the
synchronization before load-break switch closing. Since remote voltage
amplitude, frequency and phase angle information is assumed to be only
periodically available, the level of frequency variations in the ’central
power grid’ is important. By evaluating frequency measurements in the
public low voltage network, the maximum synchronization interval was
determined as a function of allowable phase angle jump.
Laboratory-scale demonstration. The Intelligent Node controls we-
re implemented in a low voltage laboratory-scale set-up consisting of
two back-to-back connected converters of 5 kVA each, with a rotating
DC generator connected to the DC bus. Connections to the public low
voltage grid and to a programmable voltage source are used. Further
resistive loads can be connected to the converters.
The performed experiments focus on verification of the proposed IN
control and detection methods and not on optimization processes on
distribution system level. The experiments have confirmed that the
control and detection methods allow the connection and disconnection
of network areas without interrupting supply, and with an acceptable
power quality level.
In order to ensure adequate detection of the load-break switch clos-
ing, and to prevent overloading in the network, it is ensured that a
controlled voltage difference across the load-break switch exists before
closing it. It is described how this aspect is implemented in the demon-
stration set-up and how this translates to higher voltage networks.
Finally, the IN’s capability to mitigate voltage dips and swells was
demonstrated. The experiments confirm that the mitigation concept
can be implemented successfully. As expected, the amount of mitiga-
tion is limited due to the relatively low network impedance, which is
characteristic for cable networks.
7.2 Thesis contribution
The scientific contribution of this thesis to the current state of the art of
D-FACTS applications in distribution systems is in the following topics.
Definition of the operational benefits of multi back-to-back con-
verter topology. The multi back-to-back converter topology is an
extension of the existing back-to-back topology. This thesis defines the
additional power system benefits that can be achieved when more than
144 Chapter 7
two converters are connected on their DC sides. By sharing redundancy,
circuit reinforcements can be prevented or deferred. If the IN is prepared
as a relocatable installation, it can enable the DNO to fulfill its duties
of maintaining enough spare capacity and connecting clients in a timely
fashion.
Enabling uninterrupted supply during the transitions between
radial and meshed network operation. Existing back-to-back ap-
plications allow both the control of power flow in meshed operation and
the supply of a radial network. However, the transitions between these
two modes require supply interruptions. In this thesis an additional
functionality is proposed that prevents supply interruption during the
mentioned transition. The proposed method is experimentally verified.
Determination of maximum measurement interval to ensure
adequate network synchronization. Synchronizing a radial net-
work area with a remote network area requires information about the
remote power frequency, phase angle and voltage amplitude. The power
frequency of the public electricity network varies due to the continuous
process of balancing supply and demand. In this thesis, the maximum
time is determined that can be allowed between two receptions of remote
information, as a function of acceptable phase angle difference between
the networks. This knowledge is an eye-opener and opens the possibility
to use non-realtime communication methods for synchronization.
7.3 Recommendations
Scaling effects. Back-to-back applications in medium and high volt-
age networks already exist, so only those aspects that are exclusive to the
IN concept require practical verification. In this thesis this verification
was performed using a low voltage laboratory-scale model. A theoreti-
cal analysis was made of the scale-effect that occurs for applications at
higher voltage levels. Before application in public medium voltage net-
works, further experimental verification is needed in a controlled medium
voltage laboratory environment. The focus of such experiments must be
on power quality effects and quality of detection.
Storage. In this thesis, the IN concept was developed without includ-
ing energy storage. Connecting energy storage to the DC bus of the IN
would, as a first benefit, increase the flexibility of the IN to optimize the
power flow control, since then the instantaneous power balance among
the various AC ports of the IN would no longer be required. As a second
benefit, energy storage would allow the IN to supply (part of) the fault
Conclusions, thesis contribution and recommendations 145
current in case of a network short-circuit. To supply the fault current
in a cable network involves mainly active power, as apposed to overhead
line networks where the fault current requires mainly reactive power.
For the same reason, the use of active power is expected to improve the
voltage dip mitigation capabilities of the IN. It is recommended to fur-
ther quantify the benefits and required size of storage when applied in
the IN concept.
Economical analysis. The scope of this thesis is limited to the tech-
nical and operational aspects of the Intelligent Node. To support the
development of the business case of the IN concept, also the financial
costs and benefits of the IN concept need to be quantified, so that it can
be compared with, for example, traditional network reinforcements.
Effect of inability to supply short over-current peaks. With
the use of power electronics converters to supply a radial network,
the parameter ’short-circuit power’ no longer adequately describes the
’strength’ of the network. A radial network sees a relatively ’hard’ volt-
age source up to the nominal converter current. Beyond that point, the
output current of the converter is limited. Some connected equipment,
such as, for example, large motors, may be impacted by this. Induc-
tion machines are characterized by a large inrush current when starting.
If this inrush current causes the converter to reach its current thresh-
old, the network voltage is reduced. The impact of this effect on such
equipment itself and on other connected equipment is a topic that needs
further research.
Protection systems for converter based networks. The same
current limitation requires a rethinking of power system protection con-
cepts. In this thesis, the basic ideas to develop such a new concept
have been discussed, but the actual implementation and interaction with
other protection systems require further investigation.
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Abbreviations, symbols and
notations
Abbreviation Meaning
AC alternating current
B2B back-to-back
CHP combined heat and power
DC direct current
DG distributed generation
DNO distribution network operator
DSM demand side management
DSP digital signal processor
D-FACTS distribution system FACTS
D-SSSC distributed static synchronous series compensator
DVR dynamic voltage restorer
EMC electromagnetic compatibility
EMVT elektromagnetische vermogenstechniek
(electromagnetic power technology)
ENTSO-E European Network of Transmission System
Operators for Electricity
ETP European Technology Platform
EU European Union
FACTS flexible AC transmission systems
FPGL Flexible Power Grid Lab
GPS global positioning system
GTO gate turn-off thyristor
HTS hybrid transfer switch
HV high voltage
HVDC high voltage direct current
IGBT insulated gate bipolar transistor
IGCT integrated gate commutated thyristor
IN intelligent node
Continued on next page
159
160 Abbreviations, symbols and notations
Abbreviation Meaning
IOP innovatiegerichte onderzoeksprogramma’s
(innovation oriented research programmes)
IPFC inter-line power flow controller
ITIC Information Technology Industry Council
LB load-break switch
LDC line drop compensation
LV low voltage
MCT MOS controlled thyristor
MOS metal oxide semiconductor
MOSFET MOS field-effect transistor
MV medium voltage
OHL overhead line
OLTC on-load tap changer
OSG orthogonal system generator
P proportional
PE power electronic
PI proportional integral
PLL phase locked loop
PMU phasor measurement unit
PR proportional resonant
PQ power quality
PST phase shifting transformer
PV photovoltaic
PWM pulse width modulation
QB quadrature booster (transformer)
RES renewable energy source
r.m.s. root mean square
SiC silicon carbide
SSLTC solid-state load tap-changer
SSSC static synchronous series compensator
STATCOM static synchronous compensator
STATCON static condensor
STS static transfer switch
SVC static var compensator
TCSC thyristor controlled series capacitor
TSO transmission system operator
UCTE Union for the Co-ordination of
Transmission of Electricity
UPFC unified power flow controller
Abbreviations, symbols and notations 161
Symbol Meaning
δ angle between sending and receiving end voltages (rad)
φ angle between active and apparent power vectors (rad)
ω frequency (rad/s)
C capacitance (F)
f frequency (Hz)
i time domain current (A or p.u.)
I current amplitude (A or p.u.)
I complex current (A or p.u.)
K
i
integral gain
K
p
proportional gain
L inductance (H)
P active power (W or p.u.)
P
st
short-term flicker
Q reactive power (var or p.u.)
R resistance (Ω)
S complex apparent power (VA or p.u.)
S
k
short circuit power (VA)
v time domain voltage (V or p.u.)
V voltage amplitude (V or p.u.)
V complex voltage (V or p.u.)
x distance, length (m)
Z impedance (Ω)
Notation Meaning
α,β α or β axis of stationary αβ reference frame
a,b,c phase a, b or c
ac alternating current
cc current controller
dc direct current
rms root mean square
vac ac voltage controller
0
zero sequence

negative sequence
+
positive sequence

reference value

complex conjugate
Appendix A
DC current of AC/DC converter
To assess the impact of active and reactive power exchange on the AC
side of the converter on the DC bus voltage, an analysis is made of the
current on the DC side due to current on the AC side. First, the analysis
is made for a single-phase converter, followed by the same analysis for a
three-phase converter, in which both the balanced and the unbalanced
situation are treated. In the analysis it is assumed that the DC bus
voltage v
dc
(t) of the DC bus is constant and equal to V
dc
, and that the
switching frequency of the converter is high enough and the converter
control good enough so that the currents and voltages on the AC side
are sinusoidal.
A.1 DC link current in single phase voltage source
converter
Since the converter switching elements themselves do not have any en-
ergy storage components, there is an instantaneous power and energy
balance between the AC and DC side:
v
dc
(t)i
dc
(t) = v
1
(t)i
1
(t) (A.1)
which results, for a sinusoidal voltage and a load with power factor
cos(φ), in a DC current equal to
i
dc
(t) =
1
V
dc

2V
1
sin(ωt)

2I
1
sin(ωt −φ)
=
V
1
I
1
V
dc
(cos(φ) −cos(2ωt −φ))
(A.2)
The DC current consists of a constant part, corresponding to the amount
of active power taken on the AC side, and a pulsating component with
a frequency that is twice the AC system power frequency.
163
164 Appendix A
A.2 DC link current in three-phase voltage source
converter
We repeat the same analysis for a three-phase converter, for which with
the instantaneous power balance expressed as
v
dc
(t)i
dc
(t) = v
1
(t)i
1
(t) +v
2
(t)i
2
(t) +v
3
(t)i
3
(t) (A.3)
In the following paragraphs Equation (A.3) is evaluated for the AC cur-
rent consisting of positive, negative and zero sequence components.
Positive sequence current In case of a balanced three-phase current,
only a positive sequence current exists on the AC side of the converter,
and the DC current is written as
i
dc
(t) =
1
V
dc

¸

2V
1
sin(ωt)

2I
1
sin(ωt −φ)
+

2V
2
sin(ωt −120

)

2I
2
sin(ωt −120

−φ)
+

2V
3
sin(ωt −240

)

2I
3
sin(ωt −240

−φ)
¸

=
1
V
dc

¸
V
1
I
1
(cos(φ) −cos(2ωt −φ))
+V
2
I
2
(cos(φ) −cos(2(ωt −120

) −φ))
+V
3
I
3
(cos(φ) −cos(2(ωt −240

) −φ))
¸

=
V
ac
I
+
V
dc

¸
3 cos(φ) −cos(2ωt −φ)
−cos(2ωt −240

−φ)
−cos(2ωt −120

−φ)
¸

=
V
ac
I
+
V
dc
3 cos(φ)
(A.4)
with V
ac
and I
+
the r.m.s. values of the balanced phase-to-ground volt-
age and positive sequence phase current. Substituting cos(φ) = 0 (only
reactive power supply or consumption) in Equation (A.4) results in zero
current taken from the DC bus. With the mentioned assumptions, re-
active power supply or consumption does not affect the DC bus voltage
and can be controlled independently for each converter. Active power
exchange results in a constant current in the DC bus.
Negative sequence current In the unbalanced situation where the
AC current contains a negative sequence component, the DC current is
DC current of AC/DC converter 165
equal to
i
dc
(t) =
1
V
dc

¸

2V
1
sin(ωt)

2I
1
sin(ωt −φ)
+

2V
2
sin(ωt −120

)

2I
2
sin(ωt −240

−φ)
+

2V
3
sin(ωt −240

)

2I
3
sin(ωt −120

−φ)
¸

=
1
V
dc

¸
V
1
I
1
(cos(φ) −cos(2ωt −φ))
+V
2
I
2
(cos(120

+φ) −cos(2ωt −φ))
+V
3
I
3
(cos(240

+φ) −cos(2ωt −φ))
¸

=
V
ac
I

V
dc

¸
cos(φ) −cos(2ωt −φ)
+cos(120

+φ) −cos(2ωt −φ)
+cos(240

+φ) −cos(2ωt −φ)
¸

=
−V
ac
I

V
dc
3 cos(2ωt −φ)
(A.5)
with V
ac
and I

the r.m.s. values of the balanced phase-to-ground volt-
age and negative sequence phase current. The DC current consists only
of a pulsating component with a frequency that is twice the AC system
power frequency.
Zero sequence current For the unbalanced situation where the AC
current consists of only a zero sequence component the DC current is
equal to
i
dc
(t) =
1
V
dc

¸

2V
1
sin(ωt)

2I
1
sin(ωt −φ)
+

2V
2
sin(ωt −120

)

2I
2
sin(ωt −φ)
+

2V
3
sin(ωt −240

)

2I
3
sin(ωt −φ)
¸

=
1
V
dc

¸
V
1
I
1
(cos(φ) −cos(2ωt −φ))
+V
2
I
2
(cos(−120

+φ) −cos(2ωt −120

−φ))
+V
3
I
3
(cos(−240

+φ) −cos(2ωt −240

−φ))
¸

=
V
ac
I
0
V
dc

¸
cos(φ) −cos(2ωt −φ)
+cos(−120

+φ) −cos(2ωt −120

−φ)
+cos(−240

+φ) −cos(2ωt −240

−φ)
¸

= 0
(A.6)
with V
ac
and I
0
the r.m.s. values of the balanced phase-to-ground voltage
and zero sequence phase current. A zero sequence component in the AC
current does not affect the DC bus: the DC current due to this current
is equal to zero.
Appendix B
Simulations and experimental
results practical set-up
Figures
B.1 AC current and AC voltage controller responses. . . . 168
B.2 AC and DC voltage controller responses. . . . . . . . 169
B.3 Three-phase connection of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . 170
B.4 Three-phase connection of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . 171
B.5 Connection of phase B of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . 172
B.6 Connection of phase B of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . 173
B.7 Connection of phase C of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . . 174
B.8 Connection of phase C of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . . 175
B.9 Three-phase disconnection of unloaded Area 2. . . . . 176
B.10 Three-phase disconnection of loaded Area 2. . . . . . 177
B.11 Disconnection of phase C of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . 178
B.12 Disconnection of phase C of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . 179
B.13 Disconnection of phase B of unloaded Area 2. . . . . . 180
B.14 Disconnection of phase B of loaded Area 2. . . . . . . 181
B.15 Mitigation of 12, 15 and 20 % voltage dips. . . . . . . 182
B.16 Mitigation of 30 and 50 % voltage dips and 17 % swell. 183
167
168 Appendix B
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Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 169
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170 Appendix B
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Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 171
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172 Appendix B
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Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 173
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0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
0
.
1
5
0
.
2
-
1
-
0
.
5 0
0
.
5 1
(
d
)
L
o
a
d
-
b
r
e
a
k
s
w
i
t
c
h
v
o
l
t
a
g
e
s
(
m
e
a
s
u
r
e
m
e
n
t
)
.
F
i
g
u
r
e
B
.
6
:
C
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
o
n
o
f
p
h
a
s
e
B
o
f
l
o
a
d
e
d
A
r
e
a
2
w
i
t
h
p
u
b
l
i
c
L
V
n
e
t
w
o
r
k
.
174 Appendix B
t
(
s
)
I
r m s
( p . u . )
0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
0
.
1
5
0
.
2
0
0
.
5 1
(
a
)
C
o
n
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t
(
s
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a
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.
t
(
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r m s
( p . u . )
0
0
.
5
1
1
.
5
2
0
0
.
5 1
(
b
)
C
o
n
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c
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(
m
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a
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.
P
S
f
r
a
g
r
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p
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a
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(
s
)
V
b c
( p . u . )
G
r
i
d
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s
i
d
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n
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r
t
e
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-
s
i
d
e
0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
0
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5
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2
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1
-
0
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5 0
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5 1
(
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b
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a
k
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c
h
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l
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a
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.
t
(
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b c
( p . u . )
G
r
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d
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s
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C
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r
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s
i
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0
0
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0
5
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1
0
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1
5
0
.
2
0
.
2
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0
.
3
0
.
3
5
0
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4
0
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4
5
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1
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0
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5 0
0
.
5 1
(
d
)
L
o
a
d
-
b
r
e
a
k
s
w
i
t
c
h
v
o
l
t
a
g
e
s
(
m
e
a
s
u
r
e
m
e
n
t
)
.
F
i
g
u
r
e
B
.
7
:
C
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
o
n
o
f
p
h
a
s
e
C
o
f
u
n
l
o
a
d
e
d
A
r
e
a
2
w
i
t
h
p
u
b
l
i
c
L
V
n
e
t
w
o
r
k
.
Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 175
t
(
s
)
I
r m s
( p . u . )
0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
0
.
1
5
0
.
2
0
0
.
5 1
(
a
)
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r
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t
(
s
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)
.
t
(
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I
a b c , r m s
( p . u . )
0
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.
5
1
1
.
5
2
0
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5 1
(
b
)
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o
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b c
( p . u . )
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3
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0
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4
5
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1
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5 0
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5 1
(
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.
t
(
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I ( p . u . )
0
0
.
0
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0
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1
0
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1
5
0
.
2
0
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2
5
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3
0
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3
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0
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4
0
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4
5
-
1
0 1
(
e
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o
a
d
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r
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a
k
s
w
i
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c
h
c
u
r
r
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n
t
(
m
e
a
s
u
r
e
m
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)
.
F
i
g
u
r
e
B
.
8
:
C
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
o
n
o
f
p
h
a
s
e
C
o
f
l
o
a
d
e
d
A
r
e
a
2
w
i
t
h
p
u
b
l
i
c
L
V
n
e
t
w
o
r
k
.
176 Appendix B
t
(
s
)
f ( H z )
0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
0
.
1
5
0
.
2
4
9
4
9
.
5
5
0
5
0
.
5
5
1 (
a
)
P
o
w
e
r
f
r
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q
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c
y
A
r
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a
2
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s
i
m
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a
t
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o
n
)
.
P
S
f
r
a
g
r
e
p
l
a
c
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m
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t
(
s
)
V
b c
( p . u . )
G
r
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d
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5 1
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a
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.
P
S
f
r
a
g
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p
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a
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(
s
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V
a b
( p . u . )
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r
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s
(
m
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a
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m
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t
)
.
F
i
g
u
r
e
B
.
9
:
T
h
r
e
e
-
p
h
a
s
e
d
i
s
c
o
n
n
e
c
t
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f
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a
d
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d
A
r
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a
2
f
r
o
m
p
u
b
l
i
c
L
V
n
e
t
w
o
r
k
.
Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 177
t
(
s
)
f ( H z )
0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
0
.
1
5
0
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2
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9
4
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1 (
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a b
( p . u . )
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.
F
i
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B
.
1
0
:
T
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p
h
a
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r
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g
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s
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a
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a
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d
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m
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r
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n

g
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s
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)
,
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)
a
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)
.
178 Appendix B
t
(
s
)
V

( p . u . )
0
0
.
5
1
1
.
5
2
0
0
.
0
5
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1
(
a
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.
P
S
f
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a
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p
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a
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(
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b c
( p . u . )
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1
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0
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(
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(
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b c
( p . u . )
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(
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m
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)
.
F
i
g
u
r
e
B
.
1
1
:
D
i
s
c
o
n
n
e
c
t
i
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n
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f
p
h
a
s
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C
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A
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2
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r
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m
p
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b
l
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c
L
V
n
e
t
w
o
r
k
.
Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 179
t
(
s
)
V

( p . u . )
0
0
.
5
1
1
.
5
2
0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
(
a
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(
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.
t
(
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)
V

( p . u . )
0
0
.
5
1
1
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5
2
0
0
.
0
5
0
.
1
(
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)
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180 Appendix B
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Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 181
t
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182 Appendix B
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Simulations and experimental results practical set-up 183
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.
Acknowledgements
Now that I am at the end of this PhD project, I have the pleasure to
write some words of gratitude. Many people were involved directly or
indirectly in my research. I am grateful to all of them; here I want to
address some in particular, realizing it is impossible to be complete.
The theoretical part of the work leading to this thesis was performed
at the Electrical Energy Systems research group, while the practical
part took place at the Electromechanics and Power Electronics research
group of Eindhoven University of Technology. I thank my promotor Wil
Kling for the trust he gave me to find my own way in the research,
for his scrutiny when reviewing this thesis and the papers we published
together. I want to thank my copromotor Jorge Duarte for his vital
support when starting and performing the practical part of this research
and for reviewing all my work. Thanks to Johanna Myrzik for her efforts
in the beginning of this research project. Also thanks to Jan Blom for
his support when it was most needed. I am grateful for the practical
assistance of Wim Thirion, who helped turning my ideas into a working
set-up. Thanks also to all the other colleagues of the EES and EPE
groups for the help, discussions and the pleasant working atmosphere.
I thank the students Daniel Persson, Wouter Bos and Frank van den
Bergh for helping me with the theoretical and practical work and for
the pleasant cooperation. Parts of their work have been included in this
thesis.
This project was part of the IOP-EMVT project ’Intelligent Power
Systems’. I thank all members of the IOP-EMVT supervisory committee
for the discussions and valuable feedback during the half year meetings.
I appreciated the cooperation with all the other PhD students from
Eindhoven and Delft University, and I thank them for sharing their
experiences, for the fruitful discussions and for the pleasant company.
I am grateful to all members of the PhD committee for being pre-
pared to take upon them that role and for their valuable comments and
questions which improved this thesis, and for participating in my defense
ceremony.
I thank Hans Overbeek from KEMA for challenging me to take upon
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186 Acknowledgements
me this research project and for providing me with the time to do so.
Thanks also to Andr´e Zeijseink for continuing this support which made
it possible to finish the work. Also I want to thank all my colleagues at
KEMA for the discussions and help, and for their flexibility in dealing
with my limited availability to do ’normal work’. Especially, I thank my
coach Peter Vaessen for his valuable support, review of this thesis and
our papers and for his participation in the committee, and Johan Enslin
for being my coach in the beginning of this work.
Although less directly involved in this research project, I want to
thank my family and friends for their interest in (the progress of) my
PhD work. I do not know whether I was able to explain what it was all
about, but they remained interested anyhow, thanks for that.
Finally, a big ’thank you’ to Susana for her continuous support, en-
couragement, patience and love.
Curriculum vitae
Roald A.A. de Graaff was born in Waalwijk, the Netherlands, in 1975.
He attended secondary school at Dr. Mollercollege in Waalwijk, where
he graduated on Gymnasium B in 1993. He received the M.Sc. degree
in Electrical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology, the
Netherlands, in 1998. During his education, he joined Chalmers Univer-
sity of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, for an internship concerning
voltage dip immunity of electrical drives. After graduating, he worked
at Eindhoven University of Technology as a research assistant in the field
of electromagnetic compatibility in railway systems and public electri-
cal power systems. Since 2001 he has been with KEMA in Arnhem,
the Netherlands, where he is a consultant in electrical power systems
and electromagnetic compatibility. In the end of 2004 he started as a
PhD student in a part-time collaboration with Eindhoven University of
Technology on the subject of flexible distribution systems through the
application of multi back-to-back converters. This research project has
led to this dissertation.
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