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Matlab/Simulink implementation & simulation

of islanding detection using passive methods


DOI: 10.1109/IEEEGCC.2013.6705797


1 423


L. Ben-Brahim Adel Gastli

Qatar University Qatar University


Nasser A. Al-Emadi
Qatar University


Available from: Adel Gastli

Retrieved on: 20 December 2015
2013 IEEE GCC Conference and exhibition, November 17-20, Doha, Qatar

Matlab/Simulink Implementation & Simulation of

Islanding Detection using Passive Methods
Marwa Ashour, Lazhar Ben-Brahim, Adel Gastli, Nasser Al-Emadi, Yara Fayyad

Qatar University, Department of Electrical Engineering

Doha, Qatar

Abstract The extensive use of Distributed Generators in passive techniques seems to be sufficient in detecting an
Electrical and power systems made it a must to explore its islanding case. However, when the mismatch is very small, it is
functionality and the issues related to their connection to the difficult to detect the islanding state because the variations in
grid. One of the main issues is unintentional islanding, which has voltage or frequency at the PCC are also very small. The area
been considered and studied for many years since it has serious where the mismatch percentage is small to reach a specific
consequences on electric systems and line workers safety. level islanding is not detectable by passive methods is called
Therefore, islanding detection methods is a motivating topic to be None Detection Zone (NDZ). The NDZ limits are defined
discussed by many scientists and engineers. Islanding detection according to particular values of voltages amplitude and
methods can be divided into two main categories, remote
frequency which are considered as the maximum/minimum
methods and local methods; the later method is classified into
allowable limits that voltages amplitude and frequency should
passive techniques and active techniques. This paper represents
two methods of the passive islanding techniques and a simple not exceed. The passive islanding detection methods are known
comparison between both of them. The selected two methods are to be inefficient in the NDZ. That is why they were replaced
the over/under voltage and over/under frequency detection with active methods which are based on injecting small
method and the wavelet based method. These two were disturbances to the network at the PCC and watching the
implemented and simulated using Matlab/Simulink toolboxes. response of the system accordingly. Even though most of
The simulation results proved that the two studied methods have active method has almost zero NDZ, they have the
a good performance for parallel RLC loads having quality factor disadvantage of being more complex and also they may affect
of 2.5. The simulated passive techniques have no negative impact the delivered power quality. While the passive methods are
on the power quality. usually simpler and do not disturb the network.
This paper presents and discusses two passive methods
Keywords- Distributed generator, Islanding detection, passive which are Over/Under voltage, over/ under frequency and
methods, over under voltage/frequency, Wavelet transform. wavelet based. The paper is organized as follows: section 2
I. INTRODUCTION presents the two algorithms, section 3 describes the
Matlab/Simulink modeling and simulation blocks, section 4
Distributed Generation (DG) is an electric power source presents and discusses the simulation results and finally
placed in the distribution network in a direct manner or in the section 5 concludes the paper.
customer side of the meter. It may be understood in simple
term as small-scale electricity generation. It can be defined also II. ALGORITHMS
as a generating resource, other than standalone generating Fig.1 shows the system model was used to test the
power plants. DG and load that consumes the power generated performance of the proposed islanding detection technique.
by them are usually connected close to each other. The increase The modeled circuit is the same as the anti-islanding testing
usage of DG in distribution systems has many advantages as circuit defined in UL 1741 (Standard for Inverters, Converters,
they can avoid transmission and distribution (T&D) capacity Controllers and Interconnection System Equipment for Use
upgrades, reduce transmission and distribution line losses, with Distributed Energy Resources) and IEEE 929 [3].The
improve power quality, improve voltage profile of the system, testing procedure requires that the active and reactive power
etc [1]. supplied from the DG match the power required by the test
Energy exhaustion and the recent environmental issues load. Because the load is very close to the DG compared with
forced many countries to introduce DG in different distribution the grid, almost all the power required by the load is taken
systems. There are some known types of distributed generation from the DG. Therefore, when islanding takes place, the
systems such as wind power generation, photovoltaic power detection is difficult.
generation, fuel cell power generation, and micro-turbine
power generation. Islanding detection is a key issue when a DG
works in connection with the power grid. A passive method 1. OUV/OUF passive islanding technique
which can be defined as monitoring the output parameters of The first discussed passive method is the Over/under voltage
the DG such as the variation of voltage and frequency at the and over/ under frequency (OUV/OUF), which is one of the
PCC (point of common connection) [2]. When the mismatch most used passive anti-islanding detection technique. These
between the generated power and the size of the load is large,

978-1-4799-0724-3/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE 320

2013 IEEE GCC Conference and exhibition, November 17-20, Doha, Qatar

techniques basically monitor the systems voltage and

frequency in order to decide whether or not an islanding has
taken a place [4].

L Ipcc jQload

P + jQ
Pload +
Vpv Vpcc

Figure 2: None- detection zone for UOV and UOF passive techniques

Va Vb Vc The shaded area in Fig. 2 is defined as the NDZ where

the islanding is not detectable. In fact the efficiency of
islanding detection methods are categorized according to
signals PLL
Id* the area of the non-detective zone (NDZ), defined in
power mismatch space (P versus Q) at the Point of
Va* Vd* + Ia Common Coupling (PCC). P is the real power output of
Sin-PWM dq - Id abc
the grid, Q is the reactive power output of the grid, PDG
modulation Vb* Ib and QDG are the real output power and reactive output
Vc* abc Vq*
- dq Ic power of the distributed generation respectively. Pload and
+ Qload are the real output power and reactive output power of
load respectively.
Pload=PDG + P
OUV/OUF islanding technique
Fault Qload=QDG + Q
Voltage and
OUV/OUF frequency The behavior of the system at the time of utility
Islanding Relay measurement disconnection will depend on P and Q at the instant
before the breaker open to form island. Active power is

Wavelet based islanding technique directly proportional to the voltage. After the disconnection
of the grid, the active power of the load is forced to be the
Compare Calculate the same with the power generated by the distributed
with the Standard One cycle
Wavelet generation; hence the grid voltage changes. The change in
deviation of the Transform window
operation details
reactive power corresponds to the change in frequency and
the amplitude of the voltage. The worst case for islanding
detection is represented by a condition of balance of the
Figure 1: Circuit diagram of designed circuit
active and reactive power in which there is no change in
Thresholds for UOV and UOF can be calculated as follows: amplitude and frequency, i.e. P=0 and Q=0 [5].

( )2 1 ( )2 1 (1)
As the islanding occurred the change in active power and
)2 )

)2 ) (2) reactive power leads to changes in voltage and frequency.
. (1 ( . (1 (
Considering the proportional relationship between the active
Where Vmax, Vmin, fmax and fmin are the UOV and UOF power and voltage and the reactive power and frequency
thresholds. Typically, Vmax=110% and Vmin=88% of the respectively; a large mismatch in power results a drift in
nominal voltage. fmax= 60.5 Hz and fmin=95.3 Hz voltage and frequency to exceed the limits of the NDZ and to
detect an islanding.
2. Wavelet based passive Islanding technique
Then for Qf= 2.5:
2.1 Wavelet transform

17.36% 23.46% (3) Wavelet transform (WT) is an effective mathematical tool
which has been widely used in many engineering applications
4.22% 4.12% (4) such as speech and image processing. WT has found many
numerous applications in the power systems field some of the
These limits define the non detection zone shown in Fig1. applications are power system protection, power quality, and
partial discharge.

Unlike Fourier transform (FT) which transforms the signal

from the time domain to the frequency domain. The WT

2013 IEEE GCC Conference and exhibition, November 17-20, Doha, Qatar

extract the frequency components of the signal while 9]. In the this paper , db1 wavelet (with two filter coefficients)
preserving the time domain properties [6]. has been used as the mother wavelet to extract the standard
Similar to FT which breaks the signal into sinusoidal deviation of the detail coefficient of voltage waveforms. db1 is
waves of different frequencies; WT breaks the signal into a short wavelet and therefore it can efficiently detect
shifted and dilated version of a short term waveform called transients. The signal was decomposed for 12 wavelet levels.
mother wavelet. Mathematically, the continuous wavelet Table 1 gives the frequency band information of the wavelet
transform (CWT) of a signal can be represented by (5): analysis. The sampling frequency is 100 kHz.

( ) 1 Table 1: Frequency bands of Wavelet Details

( , )= ( ). ( ) (5)

Wavelet Frequency Wavelet Frequency
level Band (Hz) level Band (Hz)
Where: a is the scale, b is the translation or position,
( )is the analyzed signal, and is the mother wavelet 1 D1 25000-50000 7 D7 390.625-781.25
described in (6). 2 D2 12500-25000 8-D8 195.3-390.625
3 D3 6250-12500 9 D9 97.65-195.3
1 4 D4 3125-6250 10-D10 48.825-97.65
, ( )= (6)
5 D5 1562.5-3125 11-D11 24.4125-48.825

The definition of CWT shows that the wavelet analysis is 6 D6 781.25-1562.5 12-D12 Dc- 24.4125
a measure of the resemblance between the wavelet and the
original signal. The calculated coefficient refers to the
correlation or similarity between the function and the wavelet The standard deviation of the details of the measured
at the current scale. If the coefficient is relatively large then voltage signal at the point of common coupling were used to
the signal is similar to the wavelet at this point in time-scale differentiate between the normal operation - the grid is
plane. In practical implementation of CWT there will be connected- and the islanded situation [10].
redundant information. Therefore, for the ease of III. MATLAB/SIMULINK MODELING
computational purposes the scale and translation variables are
discretized. The discrete wavelet transform is described in (7). The software design of the circuit implemented using
MATLAB/Simulink toolboxes as shown on Fig. 3.
( , )= ( ) ( )
, (7)

Where, , is the discretized mother wavelet given by (8):

1 0 0
, ( )= (8)
0 0

Where ao > 1 and bo > 0 are fixed real values, m is the scale
and n is the translation are positive integers.

2.2 Feature extraction

Figure 3: Simulink model of system

Transients in power systems are usually aperiodic, short

The model in Fig. 3 represents the grid to inverter
term, and nonstationary waveforms. Since Wavelet transform connection and the load is an RLC load, it is shown that the
is capable of extracting the frequency components of a signal opening the circuit breaker would form an island consisting of
without affecting the time domain properties it can be defined the inverter and the load. The load parameters are determined
as an efficient tool in islanding detection [7-8]. A transient to maintain a quality factor of 2.5. The model consists of three
signal can be fully decomposed into smoothed signals and parts; the grid and the circuit breaker side, the RLC load and
detailed signals for L wavelet levels. Islanding conditions the three phase inverter representing the DG side. The
were detected with the help of wavelet transform. Using the parameters of the system are presented in Table. 2.
properties of WT, Important features can be extracted from the
decomposed waveforms [9]. A standard deviation curve at Parameter Value
different resolution levels was introduced as a feature to Grid voltage 600 V
classify the occurrence of islanding. This feature can be used Nominal frequency 60 Hz
to detect the occurrence of islanding [10]. Vdc 900 V
In fact, using a proper wavelet mother has a significant role Rload 1.6
Lload 1.69 mH
in the analysis. Daubechies wavelet family is commonly used
Cload 4.14 mF
in analyzing power system transients as investigated in [6, 7,

2013 IEEE GCC Conference and exhibition, November 17-20, Doha, Qatar

In the grid side a circuit breaker is attached to it and

opening of this breaker would form the islanding case. The
RLC load is connected to the grid and the DG where a circuit
breaker is added to stop feeding power to the load in the case of
islanding. The three phase inverter is controlled and
synchronized to the grid using a Phase Locked-Loop (PLL).
The input of the PLL Vabc is the sensed grid voltage which
is converted in to DC components using transformation block
build in Simulink abc-dq0 transformation and the PLL gets
locked by setting Vd* to zero. The loop filter PI is a low pass Figure 4: Output voltage at PCC in case of Under Voltage
filter. It is used to suppress high frequency component and
provide DC controlled signal to voltage controlled oscillator
(VCO) which acts as an integrator. The output of the PI
controller is the inverter output frequency that is integrated to
obtain inverter phase angle . When the difference between
grid phase angle and inverter phase angle is reduced to zero
PLL becomes active which results in synchronously rotating
voltages Vd= 0 and Vq gives magnitude of grid voltage [11].
The control unit consists of voltage and frequency
measurement blocks which compare the output values to a pre
determined standards. As a result if any measurement exceeds
the limit, a control signal is generated to open the circuit
breaker connected to the load. Figure 5: Output frequency at PCC in case of over frequency


In this section, three cases corresponding to OUV/OUF are
demonstrated according to the value of P and Q. It should be
noted that in simulation the islanding occurs at 0.1 s.
A. Case 1: P > Plimit and Q > Qlimit (under voltage and
over frequency)
x Figure 4 illustrate the case of under voltage where P
>Plimit. . The islanding occurs at 0.1s and the trip
signal is generated at 0.116 s to shut down the inverter
at 0.15s.
x Figure 5illustrate the case of over frequency where Q
>Qlimit. . The islanding occurs at 0.1s and the trip
signal is generated at 0.148s.
Figure 6: Output frequency at PCC in case of under frequency
B. Case 2: P > Plimit and Q > Qlimit (over voltage and
under frequency)
x Figure 6 illustrate the case of over voltage where. . P
> Plimit. The islanding occurs at 0.1s and the trip
signal is generated at 0.13 s to shut down the inverter
at 0.15s.
x Figure 7 illustrate the case of under frequency where
Q > Qlimit. . The islanding occurs at 0.1s and the trip
signal is generated at 0.148s.

Figure 7: Output voltage at PCC in case of Over Voltage

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C. Case 3: P Plimit and Q Qlimit

In this case islanding occurs at 0.1 s; however this case is
included in the None-detective zone and there is no change in
the amplitude of neither the voltage nor the frequency.

Figure 11: Islanding situation voltage signal

Fig. 10 and fig.11 shows an example of the acquired

voltage system for both non-islanding normal operation- and
islanding condition. The islanding occurs at t=0.01 sec. Fig. 12
Figure 8: Output voltage at PCC in case of non-detection zone and fig. 13 gives an example of the first two details (D1 and
D2) for both non-islanding and islanding situations. It is
illustrated from both fig.12 and fig. 13 that some differences
can be noticed between the two events when analyzing the
voltage waveforms using DWT.

Figure 9: Output frequency at PCC in case of non-detection zone

Regarding the wavelet based technique; one power cycle

of the voltage signal was measured from the PCC. Then WT
was carried on and the standard deviation of the details was
calculated and compared to the non-islanding situation.
Figure 12: Detail 1 for both non-islanding and islanding situation

Figure 10: Non-islanding situation voltage signal

Figure 13: Detail 2 for both non-islanding and islanding situation

2013 IEEE GCC Conference and exhibition, November 17-20, Doha, Qatar

The Standard deviations of the 12 details are then V. CONCLUSION

calculated. Fig. 14 shows the standard deviation curve for both This paper discussed two passive islanding techniques;
non-islanding (normal) and islanding operation. OUV/OUF and the wavelet based islanding detection, these
Fig. 15 shows the standard deviation curve for three techniques have shown no effect on power quality. Though,
different cases: non-islanding, islanding, and an islanding OUV/OUF is easy and simple to implement it has the
event in case of power mismatch. It is shown in the graph that disadvantage of having large NDZ. In contrast, the wavelet
the standard deviation curve differs in the cases of power based technique showed potential in detecting islanding even
mismatch and power match. if the power mismatch is smaller.

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Figure 15: Standard deviation curve for non-islanding, operation when

power match, and islanding operation when power mismatch