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Manchester Centre for Electrical Energy, UMIST

Manchester M60 lQD, UK

Abstract Capability

Generator reactive power limit is a key factor in volt- For a given generator shaft power, its reactive output

age instability. When the field or armature current is limited by either field or armature winding heat-

limit becomes active, the generator reactive power ing. These thermal capabilities impose limitations

limit becomes voltage dependent. These operational on the generator reactive power capability, which is

limits and the shifting between field limit and ar- normally represented by synchronous generator ca-

mature limit, are fully investigated. Further, careful pability curves, as shown in figure 1.

examination of generator reactive power character-

istics, reveals the effect of generator reactive power

capability on system voltage stability. It is shown

that a generator can be active or passive in support-

ing voltage stability, even when its reactive power

is limited. An indicator is proposed for identifying

critical generators, based on this observation.

Voltage stability has become a major concern for

both power systems operation and planning [l].For The basic function of a generator Automatic i*olt-

static or quasi-static analysis, the power flow prob- age Regulator(AVR) is t o control the generator ter-

lem is particularly closely associated with voltage minal voltage, through adjustment of its field cur-

stability assessment. However, since voltage stability rent or, effectively, reactive power output. Thus: for

problems are usually associated with stressed oper- normal operation conditions, a generator can be rep-

ation conditions, conventional models, such as the resented as a P\bus. However, field current is lim-

PV-PQ bus transition for modelling generator reac- ited by thermal considerations and generator reac-

tive power limits, are deemed t o be inadequate for tive power output must observe the limitation as de-

voltage stability analysis. Generator reactive power fined by the capability curves. If the reactive power

capability plays a crucial role in maintaining system demand rises above the generator reactive capabil-

voltage stability and, therefore, better modelling of ity, after a short time delay, overexcitation protec-

this has attracted some research attention [a, 3, 4, 51. tion will reset the field current to a preset value and

This paper investigates further the operational thereafter the generator will operate under constant

limits of generator reactive power capability and field current.

their effect on power system voltage stability. A The generator reactive power capability as limited

weighted least square error method is suggested t o by the field thermal constraints can be approximated

identify the parameters for modelling generator re- through the equivalent circuit shown in Figure 2.

active power limit. It is shown t h a t a generator can Here V is generator terminal v-oltage, P is generator

be active or passive in supporting voltage stability, real power output, Q is the corresponding reactive

even when its reactive power is limited, depending on power limit and E , is an equivalent EMF behind an

the system operation state. An indicator for identi- equivalent reactance X , . This equivalent circuit is

fying critical generators, based on this observation, is similar in form t o the steady state equivalent circuit

proposed. Moreover, t o illustrate the significance of for a round rotor generator, under constant excita-

the improved modelling, voltage stability margins for tion. Therefore, it represents the trend of generator

different representations of generator reactive power reactive power production well under such conditions

capability, are evaluated and compared, using a sam- and is thus physically suitable for modelling gener-

ple system. ator reactive power capability under rotor current

Power System Control and Management, 16-18April 1996, Conference Publication No. 421, 0 IEE, 1996

197

voltage 1 have much influence on its reactive power

capability.

The heating resulting from I ' R in the armature

imposes another limit on generator operation. that

is. generator armature current must be kept within

a. Schematic b Equivalent Circuit

its maximum. From figure 2.

Figure 2 : Generator equivalent circuit

limit. This equivalent circuit leads to the following t o the generator maximum hIT7-4 capaciti if I,, cor-

relationship: responds to its maximum armature current. H o w

ever, if generator teiminal voltage is reduced sub-

stantially, t o ensure armature thermal stability, ei-

When field current exceeds its limit, the generator ther the generator active poner output should be

is switched t o constant excitation operation. The reduced through generator redispatch. or the reac-

restrained reactive power output becomes tive power output should be reduced through field

current reduction. In the latter case, the available

reactive output is

Q = 1-2 -p2

(3

Ill

This reactive power capability also varies with sys-

ture reaction, generator capability curves can not be

tem operation state when generator terminal voltage

directly derived from synchronous machine steady

control is lost.

state equations and are obtained through experi-

For longer term voltage stability analysis, equa-

ments. Therefore X , in the equivalent circuit of fig-

tions 2 and 5 form the basic limits of the reactive

ure 2 and in equations 1and 2 , is not the synchronous

power capability of a generator. It is clear that foi

reactance. Although the equivalent circuit in figure

a given P , when either field or armature current is

2 has been recommended for modelling generator re-

limited, the available reactii e power of a generator

active power limit [2, 3 , 51,the determination of X,

is a function of its terminal voltage. LVe refer to this

and E , have not yet been adequately addressed.

function as the generator (2-1- curve, shown in figure

Generator capability curves are normally available

3.

at the nominal terminal voltage 16, 71, but their di-

rect inclusion in the evaluation process would incur

a heavy computational burden. Thus, approximate

analytical expressions are preferred. To best sim-

ulate the generator capability curve, X , and E,

should be identified such that each Q k , correspond-

ing t o a Pk from equation 2 , is as close t o the cor-

responding Q k O from measurement (i.e., on the ca-

pability curve) as possible. A weighted least square

error method is proposed here t o serve this purpose.

The objective function is

Min.Err = z w k ( Q k 0 -

k

(3) Note that other constraints, namely armature core

Where Vo corresponds t o generator nominal terminal end heating and angular stability consideration, ex-

voltage, wk is the weighting factor for the k-th point. ert further limitations on generator reactive power

The closer Pk is t o the generator normal real power capability in underexcitecl conditions. But voltage

output, the bigger the W k . instability occurs when a system is reactive power

With the identified values of E, and X,, equation deficient, therefore underexcited conditions will not

2 represents t h e effect of the field thermal limit on "PP1 Y .

generator reactive power capability. It can be seen The active limit in figure 3 represents the reac-

that this reactive capability varies with the system tive power capability of a generator. It can be seen

operation state, especially when generator terminal that the field current limit or the armature current

- control is lost. which is very likely to oc-

voltaffe limit may be the effective limit of generator reactive

cur when voltage instability is approaching. In other nower canabilitv. The Doint where this change " over

198

equations 2 and 5, i.e., we have x,P2

Qx--

E& (12)

will normally not operate in an underexcited condi-

tion when a voltage stability problem is impending,

and long before this, the armature limit comes into

Thus, when V > Vc,field current limit is in force Play.

and the generator reactive power capability is given When armature current limit is active, from equa-

by equation 2 ; when V 5 Ifc, armature current limit tion 5, we have

comes into play, the maximum reactive power should

be determined by equation 5 .

3 Effect of Generator Reactive Therefore, the generator can only passively con-

Power Capability on System tribute t o system voltage stability and the worst sit-

uation corresponding t o % = 00 happens when

Voltage Stability

When generator reactive capability is constrained by

field or armature current limit, the reactive output

becomes voltage dependent. The derivative of reac- and

tive generation with respect t o terminal voltage pro- Q = 0. (15)

vides further insight into the effect of a generator in

supporting system voltage stability.

From this point of view, 3 is a good indicator

for identifying critical generators in terms of voltage

When field current limit is active, from equation

2, we can obtain

stability. The bigger the 3, the weaker the gener-

ator. For normal operation, a generator has minus

infinite derivative of reactive output with respect t o

its terminal voltage, and thus provides robust volt-

age support. When a generator reactive output is

This equation suggests that there exists a special limited, this derivative becomes larger. When this

voltage k,, indicator changes its sign from negative t o positive,

the role of the generator in supporting voltage sta-

when V = V,, =0

bility also changes from active t o passive.

when V > Ifs, 3< 0 The above discussion also reveals two possible

when V < V,, >0 mechanisms for reducing voltage instability.

These bands clearly demonstrate that when V > V,, Exploiting generator overload capability can be

a. generator is actively supporting system voltage sta- very useful in preventing voltage collapse, be-

bility in spite of the fact that its reactive power out-

put is limited by the field current, because the reac-

cause that helps t o maintain% near minus in-

finity.

tive output can still increase when required, as in-

dicated by the system voltage decrease. However, 0 Reducing active power outputs of generators at

when terminal voltage drops beyond V,, generator or near a load centre can, t o some extend, pro-

reactive output decreases with system voltage, thus, vide more reactive power support, thus improv-

only passively supporting system voltage stability. ing voltage profile and decreasing $$$.

This is a very severe situation and the special volt-

dge is

4 Applications t o Voltage Sta-

(9) bility Analysis

and the corresponding reactive power output is The IEEE 30 bus system [8] was chosen as an ex-

Q -%--

x,P2 ample to demonstrate the effects of generator re-

' - 4X, E& (lo) active capability representations on system voltage

profiles and voltage stability. The data for represent-

The most serious condition corresponds t o % aP- ing generator reactive power limits are coordinated

proaching infinity, where so that field limit, armature limit and the conven-

tional reactive power limit coincide at rated condi-

v=-x,p (11) tions. X s = 1.5 is assumed for all generators.

Em

199

reactive power limits is violated and all the generator Stress level I 1.

terminal voltages are kept at their reference values.

When all the system loads and real power genera-

tions are uniformly stressed, the limiting conditions G5 0.8427

are shon-n in table 1, where C denotes conventional G8 0.5638

constant Q limit, F denotes field limit and A denotes GI1 0.4998

armature limit G13 1 0.6015 1 -0.099 I 0.6014 I 0.008 I

Table 2: Severity of generator reactive limits

G5 C. C C limit, it can still actively or passiveIy assist system

voltage stability, depending on the system operation

state. When a generator reactive power is limited

by the armature capacity, it can only passively con-

tribute to power system voltage voltage stability The

difference in voltage stability margins can be signif-

icant for the conventionad and the improved repre-

sentations of generator capabilities.

In table 1 above, stress level 1.795 corresponds tjo [1] IEEE Committee Report. Voltage stability of

system maximum loading limit when generator reac- power systems: Concepts, analytical tools and in-

tive power capabilities are modelled by the conven- dustry experience. IEEE publication 90TH0358-

tional constant Q limits, i.e., the system loads can in- Z-PWR, 1990.

crease up to 1.795 times the base loading. However,

it can be seen that, when generator capabilities are [a] P.Borremans, A.J.Cizlvaer, J.-P. De Reuck,

fully represented, generators G2, G5, G8 and G13 J.Goossens, E.Van Geert, J.Van Hecke, and

come under field limitations, but generator G11 is A.Van Ranst. Voltage stability - fundamental

not limited at all. This is because the generator ac- aspects and comparison of practical criteria. CI-

tive outputs are below their ratings, therefore their GRE Report 38-11, 1984.

reactive capabilities are more than the rated values. [3] T.Van Cutsem. A method t o compute reactive

The true loading limit corresponds to stress level power margins with respect t o voltage collapse.

1.8826, where generators G2 and G8 are under a.rma- IEEE Tran. on PWRS, 6(1):145-156, Feb. 1991.

ture limitations while G5, G11 and G13 are limited

by field capability. This amounts t o a difference in [4] P.A.Lof, G.Andersson, and D.J.Hil1. Voltage de-

system loadability as 24.826MWfj11.58WIVar. The pendent reactive power limits for voltage stability

severity of generator reactive power limits is shown studies. IEEE Tran. on PWRS, 10(1):220-228,

in table 2. At stress level 1.795, generator G13 is still Feb. 1995.

actively supporting system voltage stability though [5] R.D.Youssef. Implicit generator and SVC mod-

its reactive output is limited by the field capability. elling for contingency scheduling of reactive

On the other, generators G2, G5 and G8 are only power dispatch. IEE R o c . C: Generation, Trans-

passively contributing to t,he system voltage profile. mission and Distribution, 142(5):527-534, Sept.

At st.ress level 1.8826, generator G11 is still posi- 1995.

tively regulating system voltage whereas generators

G2, G5, G8 and G13 play only a passive role. [6] A.Capasso and E.Mariani. Influence of generator

capability curves representation on system volt-

age and reactive power control studies. IEEE

5 Conclusion Tran. on PAS, 97(4):1036-1041, July/Aug. 1978.

Generator reactive power capability represerltdtion [71 A Panvini and J YOhn Field assessment of

is very important for power system voltage stability generators reactive capability. IEEE Tran. on

studies. An improved method is suggested for mod- PWRS, 10(1):288-296, Feb. 1995.

elling of this capability and the effect of field as well computer

[8] M . A . J J ~ ~ . ~~~h~~~~~~zn powersystem

as armature thermal limits, on system voltage sta- Analyszs. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill, 1979.

bility is investigated. It is shown that, even when a

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