Electric Power Systems Research 81 (2011) 967–973
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Electric Power Systems Research
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/epsr
A proposal for standard VSC HVDC dynamic models in power system stability studies
S. Cole ^{a}^{,}^{∗} , R. Belmans ^{a}^{,}^{b}
^{a} Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, ESAT/ELECTA, Kasteelpark Arenberg 10, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium ^{b} Elia, Keizerslaan 20, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
article
info
Article history:
Received 4 January 2010
Received in revised form 24 October 2010 Accepted 30 November 2010
Available online 3 January 2011
HVDC converters HVDC transmission HVDC transmission control Power system modelling Power system simulation
abstract
In this paper, two standard VSC HVDC dynamic models are proposed. The full system model, consisting of the converter and its controllers, DC circuit equations, and coupling equations, is derived mathematically. Special attention is given to the ﬁlter and phaselocked loop (PLL), often neglected in VSC HVC modelling. A reduced order model is then derived from the full model by neglecting the smallest time constants, resulting in a reduced set of differential equations that can be integrated with a larger time step. The
models are implemented in MatDyn, a Matlab based stability program. Simulations validate the proposed models.
© 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Power system stability studies require phasor models of the var ious equipments present in the modern power system, such as generators and their controls, FACTS devices, and loads. In most power system software, the user can select models from a stan dard models library or specify his own, userdeﬁned models. Using standard models for power system equipment has certain advan tages. Data exchange between utilities, and the transition to new software packages proves much more convenient if standard mod els are used. Furthermore, standard models can be used for a wide range of studies. In the planning stage, when the details of the equipment are not yet known, standard models can be used. In order to obtain acceptable results, the generic models should be quite detailed. We call such models ‘full models’. If the equip ment is located far away from the part of the system under study, the equipment can be modelled with less detail; we refer to such models as ‘reduced’ models. Only for a detailed study of a part of the system where the equipment plays a prominent role, standard models should not be used. A model that very closely mimics the behaviour of the actual system is needed. Such a ‘detailed model’ is usually delivered by the manufacturer. An example of this approach are stability studies in the early days of computer simulation of power systems when it was common practice to represent all gen
^{∗} Corresponding author. Email addresses: stijn.cole@esat.kuleuven.be, stijn.cole@gmail.com (S. Cole).
03787796/$ – see front matter © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.epsr.2010.11.032
erators by the classic generator model, and only a few generators of interest by detailed models of the generators and their con trols. Standard models exist for numerous power system equipment, such as excitation systems [1], and steam and hydro turbines [2]. However, to the authors’ best knowledge, no standard mod els for VSC HVDC have been proposed in literature. We believe there is a need for generic, standard models for VSC HVDC sys tems. VSC HVDC has an increasingly wide range of application in the power system [3]. Hence, it is clearly an area of inter est and receives a lot of attention. Quite some research papers are dedicated to the subject of modelling VSC HVDC systems [4–7]. However, most of these models are not generic, e.g. the model in [6] is derived explicitly for twelve pulse converters [4,7] are only valid for systems using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This paper proposes two standard VSC HVDC dynamic mod els for power system stability studies, that are generic, i.e. valid regardless of power electronics topologies. The phasor modelling approach is used in this paper, as is customary in transient stabil ity studies. First, a full model will be constructed: the converter equations, equations of the DC circuit and coupling equations are derived in Section 2. In Section 3, the controller equations are appended to the system of equations to get the complete sys tem of equations for the full model. Next, a reduced order model is derived in a mathematically rigorous way in Section 4. Lastly, simulations validate and compare the proposed models (Section
5).
Q
968 S. Cole, R. Belmans / Electric Power Systems Research 81 (2011) 967–973
2. VSC HVDC model
2.1. 
Converter 

equations of this circuit, 

di 
pr 
+ R _{p}_{r} i _{p}_{r} , 

u _{c} − u _{f} = 
L _{p}_{r} dt 

di 
tr + R _{t}_{r} i _{t}_{r} , 

u _{f} − u _{s} = L _{t}_{r} dt 

i _{p}_{r} = i _{t}_{r} + C _{f} du _{f} 

dt 
, 

di 
d 

pr dt di q 
= − L 
R pr pr d i _{p}_{r} + ωi q pr ^{+} 1 L pr 
(u ^{d} − u c d f 

pr dt di ^{d} tr dt 
= − R pr L pr q i _{p}_{r} − ωi d pr ^{+} 1 L pr = − R tr L i _{t}_{r} ^{d} + ωi ^{q} tr ^{+} 1 L (u 
(u ^{q} − u c q f d f − u d s ), 

tr 
tr 

di ^{q} tr dt 
R = − L 
tr i _{t}_{r} ^{q} − ωi ^{d} tr ^{+} 1 L (u 
q f − u 
q s 
), 

tr 
tr 

du d 

f dt 
d = −ωu f + 
1 C f 
(i d pr ^{−} ^{i} ^{d} _{t}_{r} ), 

du q 

f dt 
= ωu 
q f + 1 C 
f (i 
pr ^{−} ^{i} ^{q} q _{t}_{r} ). 

2.2. 
Phaselocked loop 
VSC HVDC converters are connected to the system through a
phase reactor and a transformer. A ﬁlter is connected between the
phase reactor and the transformer (Fig. 1). It was shown in [8], that
the ﬁlter behaves as a pure capacitor at system frequency. The basic
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4a)
(4b)
(5a)
(5b)
(6a)
(6b)
are transformed to a rotating reference frame:
),
),
The angle ωt is provided by the phaselocked loop (PLL), arbi
trarily assumed here to align system voltage with the qaxis.
In general, a PLL is “a circuit synchronizing an output signal (gen
erated by an oscillator) with a reference or input signal in frequency
as well as in phase.” [9, p. 1]. It is a control system that acts on
the phase difference between the reference signal and the output,
such that the phase of the output is locked to the phase of the ref
erence [9, p. 1]. All PLLs consist of three basic components: a phase
detector (PD), a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), and a loop ﬁl
ter (LF). The phase detector compares the phase of the input or
reference signal with the phase of the output signal, produced by
the voltage controlled oscillator. The voltage controlled oscillator
produces an oscillating signal with a frequency determined by the
output signal of the loop ﬁlter. The loop ﬁlter removes noise and
high frequency signals, and is responsible for the control of the PLL.
Here the circuit of Fig. 2 is used. It is a type 2 loop, most prevalent
Time [s]
Fig. 3. Converter reactive power without PLL (close up).
in phaselocked loops [10, p. 16]. The differential equations of the
system are: 

x˙ = bK _{p}_{d} ( _{i} − _{o} ), 
(7) 
˙ _{o} = K _{v}_{c}_{o} (bK _{p}_{d} ( _{i} − _{o} ) + ax). 
(8) 
The design of the PLL can have a large inﬂuence on the dynamic
behaviour of the system. Therefore, it is now common practice
to include a detailed PLL model in electromagnetic programs. A
problem that can occur is that during or immediately after abnor
mal system conditions such as faults, the PLL is not able to lock,
and consequently does not produce a correct phase signal. Another
problem is the operation in weak AC grids: the angle settling time
after disturbances is slow, while the current loop is fast. To cor
rectly study this kind of behaviour and interactions, a phasor model
is not sufﬁcient, as it can not capture the behaviour of the PLL in
abnormal system conditions and weak AC grids. A detailed electro
magnetic model needs to be used. In phasor models it is therefore
less common to include the PLL. However, it has been shown in
some contributions that the PLL has an inﬂuence on stability. A PLL
introduces a small delay which is here in the order of 1 ms. In [11],
it has been shown that the PLL delay can cause undesired power
exchange. To investigate the inﬂuence of the PLL on power system
stability, we perform simulations with and without PLL, using mod
iﬁed versions of MATPOWER [12] and MatDyn [13]. At t = 0.2, a large
load with P and Q component is switched in. Fig. 3 shows a close up
around t = 0.2 of the converter’s reactive power output when no PLL
is included in the model. If a PLL is modelled, its time delay causes
the reactive power output to drop ﬁrst (Fig. 4), in accordance with
the results obtained in [11]. When looking at overal reactive power
output (Figs. 5 and 6), it can be seen that the difference is very small
and does not signiﬁcantly impact the other state variables, and thus
can be safely neglected in power system stability studies.
2.3. Filter
Many models proposed in literature do not take into account
the ﬁlter bus, e.g.: [4–6,14]. The oneline diagram is then simpliﬁed
Q
Q
Q
S. Cole, R. Belmans / Electric Power Systems Research 81 (2011) 967–973
969
Time [s]
Fig. 4. Converter reactive power with PLL (close up).
Time [s]
Fig. 5. Converter reactive power without PLL.
Time [s]
Fig. 8. dAxis converter voltage for different values of ﬁlter capacitance in p.u.
Time [s]
Fig. 9. qAxis converter voltage for different values of ﬁlter capacitance in p.u.
Time [s]
Fig. 10. Converter active power for different values of ﬁlter capacitance in p.u.
Time [s]
Fig. 7. Oneline diagram of the AC circuit without ﬁlter.
(Fig. 7), and Eqs. (4a)–(6b) reduce to:
Time [s]
di
^{d}
dt
di
^{q}
dt
= −
R eq
L
eq
i ^{d} + ωi ^{q} +
= −
R
eq
L
eq
i ^{q} − ωi ^{d} +
Fig. 11. Converter reactive power for different values of ﬁlter capacitance in p.u.
1
L
eq
(u ^{d} − u
c
1
L
eq
(u ^{q} − u
c
d 
), 
(9a) 

s 

2.4. 
DC circuit modelling 

q 
). 
(9b) 

s 
The DC circuit of a VSC HVDC is represented in Fig. 12[15]. The 
In Figs. 8 and 9 the response of converter voltage to a step in
daxis reference current is shown for different values of ﬁlter capac
itance. A slightly higher or lower value of the ﬁlter capacitance
has a large inﬂuence on the magnitude of the converter voltage.
The effect on active and reactive power output is less pronounced
(Figs. 10 and 11).
basic differential equations are:
^{C}
dc
du dc _{1}
dt
^{C}
dc
du dc _{2}
dt
= i _{d}_{c} _{1} − i _{c}_{c} , 
(10) 
= i _{d}_{c} _{2} + i _{c}_{c} , 
(11) 
970 S. Cole, R. Belmans / Electric Power Systems Research 81 (2011) 967–973
Fig. 12. DC circuit.
^{L} dc
di cc
dt
= u _{d}_{c} _{1} − u _{d}_{c} _{2} − R _{d}_{c} i _{c}_{c} .
(12)
These equations can represent overhead lines, underground
cables or backtoback installations by an appropriate selection of
parameters.
2.5. Coupling equations
The AC and DC circuit equations have to be coupled. As men
tioned in Section 1, some models proposed in the literature
explicitly rely on PWM to derive the model. In that case, the mod
ulation index can be used to provide a relation between AC and DC
side. Here we aim to develop a generic model, also valid for VSC
HVDC systems that do not use PWM. AC and DC side are related
by the active power balance, that allow to calculate the qaxis ref
erence current of the slack converter, ^{1} and the DC currents of the
other converters:
^{q}
i =
pr
ref
n
2i _{d}_{c} _{n} · u _{d}_{c} _{n} − i
d
pr _{n}
· u ^{d}
c
n
u ^{q}
c
n
,
^{i} =
dc _{i}
u ^{d} _{i} · i
c
d
pr _{i} ^{+} ^{u} c ^{q}
_{i}
·
i
q
pr _{i}
2u dc _{i}
,
∀i ≤ n − 1.
(13)
(14)
The factor two in the denominator is present because a bipolar
conﬁguration is assumed. For amonopolar conﬁguration, this factor
needs to be removed.
3. Control systems Control strategies is one of the most popular research topics in
the ﬁeld of VSC HVDC. A variety of controllers have been proposed
in literature: internal model control in [16], H _{∞} controllers are pro
posed in [16,17], a control strategy based on Lyapunov functions in
[18], and optimal coordinated control of VSC and AC line in par
allel [19]. While it is commendable to try to improve VSC HVDC
systems’ performance by innovative control strategies, these new
control strategies are often very speciﬁc and therefore not very suit
able for a generic standard model. Furthermore, more conservative
control strategies are used in real applications. The control strategy
that is most used is vector control [17], which will be adopted here
too, in conjunction with PI controllers.
^{1} We call the converter that controls DC voltage the ‘slack converter’ because it compensates for the losses in the DC system.
3.1.
Current controllers
The converter equations with ﬁlter, (4a)–(6b), or without ﬁlter,
(9a) and (9b), are controlled using vector control. The reference
voltage in d and q components are expressed as:
u ^{d}
c
ref
^{=} ^{u}
d
s
+ u ^{d}
c
+ K p1
+ ^{K} ^{i}^{1}
s
(i
d
_{p}_{r} ref
^{−} ^{i}
d
_{p}_{r} ),
u ^{q}
c
ref
^{=} ^{u}
q
s
+ u ^{q} + K _{p}_{1}
c
+ ^{K} ^{i}^{1} (i
s
q
_{p}_{r} ref
^{−} ^{i}
q
_{p}_{r} ),
with
u ^{d} =
c
q
ωL _{p}_{r} i _{p}_{r} ,
d
u ^{q} = −ωL _{p}_{r} i _{p}_{r} ,
c
(15a)
(15b)
(16)
(17)
the crosscoupling terms, that compensate for the cross coupling
between the two control loops.
We introduce two additional state variables, M _{d} and M _{q} , such
that:
dM _{d}
dt
=
−K _{i}_{1} i
d
_{p}_{r} +
K _{i}_{1} i
d
_{p}_{r} _{r}_{e}_{f}
,
dM _{q}
dt
=
−K _{i}_{1} i
q
_{p}_{r} +
K _{i}_{1} i
q
_{p}_{r} _{r}_{e}_{f}
.
(18a)
(18b)
The reference voltage can now be expressed as an algebraic
equation:
u ^{d}
c
ref
^{=} ^{u}
d
s
+ u ^{d} + K _{p}_{1} (i
c
d
_{p}_{r} ref
^{−} ^{i}
d
_{p}_{r} ) + M _{d} ,
u ^{q}
c
ref
^{=} ^{u}
q
s
+ u ^{q} + K _{p}_{1} (i
c
q
_{p}_{r} ref
^{−} ^{i}
q
_{p}_{r} ) + M _{q} .
(19a)
(19b)
The actual value of the voltage lags the reference due to the
timelag of the converter. The relation between the actual value
and the reference value can be represented by a time delay with
time constant T _{} [20]:
du ^{d}
c
dt
= −
1
T
u ^{d} +
c
1
T
u ^{d} _{r}_{e}_{f} ,
c
du ^{q}
c
dt
= −
1
T
u ^{q} +
c
1
T
u ^{q} _{r}_{e}_{f} .
c
(20a)
(20b)
Combining the timelag equations and the equations of the cur
rent controllers yields:
du ^{d}
c
dt
= −
^{K} p1
T
i
d
pr ^{−}
^{ω} L pr
T
i
q
pr
−
1
T
u ^{d} +
c
1
T
M _{d} + ^{K} ^{p}^{1} i
T
d
_{p}_{r} ref
^{+}
1
T
u
d
s ^{,}
(21a)
du ^{q}
c
dt
= −
^{K} p1
T
i
pr ^{+} ^{ω} L pr
q
T
i
d
pr
−
1
T
u ^{q} +
c
1
T
M _{q} + ^{K} ^{p}^{1} i
T
q
_{p}_{r} ref ^{+}
1 q
T
u
s .
(21b)
3.2.
Outer controllers
3.2.1.
Reactive power control and voltage control
Every converter can control its reactive power injection. When
the system voltage is aligned with the qaxis, the reactive power Q
can be calculated as:
Q = u
q
s
d
i _{p}_{r} .
(22)
d
The daxis current setpoint, i _{p}_{r} _{r}_{e}_{f} , is thus calculated from the
reactive power setpoint Q _{r}_{e}_{f} . A combination of an open loop and a
PI controller is used, leading to the equation [21]:
i
d
_{p}_{r} ref ^{=}
^{Q} ref
u
q
s
+ K _{p}_{2} + ^{K} ^{i}^{2} (Q _{r}_{e}_{f} − Q ).
s
(23)
S. Cole, R. Belmans / Electric Power Systems Research 81 (2011) 967–973
971
We ﬁnally introduce state variable N ^{d} , resulting in an additional
differential equation for the PI controller,
dN
d
_{d}_{t}
= K _{i}_{2} (Q _{r}_{e}_{f} − u
q
s
d
i _{p}_{r} ),
(24)
such that substitution of (22) and (24) in (23) leads to an algebraic
expression for the daxis current reference:
i
d
_{p}_{r} ref ^{=}
^{Q} ref
u
q
s
+ N ^{d} + K _{p}_{2} (Q _{r}_{e}_{f} − u
q
s
d
i _{p}_{r} ),
which can be substituted in (21a).
(25)
Instead of reactive power, AC system voltage can be controlled.
The daxis current reference can be calculated using a PI controller:
i
_{p}_{r} ref ^{=} ^{K} p3 ^{+} K ^{i}^{3}
d
s
(U _{s} _{r}_{e}_{f} − u
q
s
).
3.2.2. Active power control
(26)
The qaxis reference current can be calculated in a similar way
as the daxis reference current. It must be noted that only n − 1
converters of a general n converter VSC HVDC system can set the
active power reference.
i
q
_{p}_{r} ref ^{=}
^{P} ref
u
q
s
+ K p4 + ^{K} ^{i}^{4}
s
(P _{r}_{e}_{f} − u
q
s
q
i _{p}_{r} ).
3.2.3. DC voltage control
(27)
The remaining qaxis reference current can be obtained from
the DC voltage control equation of the slack converter:
^{i}
dc
ref
n
=
K _{p}_{5} + ^{K} ^{i}^{5} · (u _{d}_{c}_{r}_{e}_{f} − u _{d}_{c} _{n} ).
s
(28)
The dynamics of the DC circuit are approximated by a time con
stant T _{d}_{c} :
di
dc _{n}
dt
= −
1
^{T} dc
i dc _{n} +
1
^{T} dc i ^{d}^{c}
ref
n
.
(29)
All equations are now derived. The full model consists of the AC
side equations with ﬁlters ((4)–(6)) or without (9), DC circuit equa
tions ((10)–(12)), coupling equations ((13) and (14)), and current
(() and outer controllers ((24), (25) and (27)–(29)). It is explained in
[15] how these equations can be generalized to account for multi
terminal VSC HVDC systems.
4. Simpliﬁed models In Section 1 it was explained that reduced order, or simpliﬁed,
models can be useful in power system analysis. In this section, a
set of new models is now derived that are simpliﬁcations of the full
model. A correct way of deriving simpliﬁed models is eliminating
very small time constants. This is equivalent to making the assump
tion that very fast dynamics are inﬁnitely fast compared to slower
phenomena. The full model has ﬁve time constants. For the AC side:
T _{} , the time constant of the power electronics, and the time con
stant associated with the phase reactor. For the DC circuit: the time
constant T _{d}_{c} , and the time constants related to L _{d}_{c} , and C _{d}_{c} . Each of
the time constants are analysed now.
• AC current dynamics
By removing the phase reactor from the AC circuit (L _{p}_{r} = 0), the
AC current responds instantaneously to variations in the voltage
difference between the AC system and the converter. The dif
ferential equations describing the current dynamics (4a)–(6b) or
(9a) and (9b) disappear. This simpliﬁcation is only of theoretical
interest, as the phase reactor is the most important element of
the converters AC side.
• AC voltage dynamics
The AC voltage dynamics can be neglected formally by assum
ing that the voltage is equal to the voltage reference, or T _{} = 0.
The equations describing the voltage dynamics (21a) and (21b)
disappear.
• DC line current (i _{c}_{c} ) dynamics
By removing the inductor from the DC circuit, L _{d}_{c} is set to zero
and the dynamics of the DC line currents disappear from the
model.
• DC voltage dynamics
By removing the capacitors from the DC circuit, C _{d}_{c} is set to zero
and the dynamics of the DC voltage disappear from the model.
This is also of theoretical interest only, as the DC capacitors are
the most important element in the DC circuit.
• DC current (i _{d}_{c} ) dynamics
Lastly, the assumption T _{d}_{c} = 0, removes the DC current dynam
ics. It assumes that the DC current required by the DC voltage
controller is provided by the converter without delay.
The ﬁve simpliﬁcations can be implemented separately or can
be combined with each other. In total, 31 simpliﬁed models can
be constructed, corresponding to 2 ^{5} − 1 = 31 possible combinations.
The advantage of the simpliﬁcations is a reduction of the number
of differential equations. Furthermore, less data is needed which
can be hard to collect. Even more advantageous is the possibility
to speed up calculation signiﬁcantly by using a larger integration
step size, if the overal systems dominant time constant is removed.
An intelligent way to simplify the full model is thus to remove one
or more of the smallest time constants. The difﬁculty in proposing
a standard simpliﬁed model lies in the fact that the smallest time
constants are dependent on the parameters, which can vary con
siderably between different systems. The following generalities can
nevertheless be agreed upon:
• the DC capacitors is the dominant element in the DC circuit and
its corresponding time constant should be maintained;
• the phase reactor is the dominant element in the converter AC
side and its corresponding time constant should be maintained.
The three time constants that can be removed, are: T _{} , T _{d}_{c} , and
the time constant related to L _{p}_{r} . The remaining dynamics are those
associated with the outer controllers, the phase reactor and the DC
capacitors. Compared to the full model, the order of the model is
reduced with 2n + m + 1, for a n converter system with m DC lines.
Furthermore, a larger step size can be selected.
5. Simulations
The step response of two models are compared. The ﬁrst model
is a full model, without ﬁlter or PLL. The second model is a reduced
order model that neglects time constants T _{} , T _{e}_{q} , and the time con
stant related to L _{p}_{r} , as explained in Section 4. The VSC HVDC system
is connected between two inﬁnite buses. The response to a step in
DC voltage reference is shown in Figs. 13–16. All simulations are
performed in a modiﬁed version of MatDyn [13,22]. For this simula
tions operating limits are not taken into account. It can be observed
in all ﬁgures that the full model responds satisfactorily to the step
input in DC voltage. The reduced order model, while not as accu
rate as the full model, reproduces the overal dynamic phenomena.
q
Especially for the variables U
c
and I _{c}_{c} , shown in Figs. 14 and 16,
it can be observed that the initial response of the reduced order
model is more abrupt than for the full order model. This conforms
to the mathematical derivation of the simpliﬁed models: the time
constants associated to these variables are eliminated. Mathemat
ically, this means that the variables can change instantaneously. In
Fig. 15, it can be clearly seen that the current dynamics are elimi
972 S. Cole, R. Belmans / Electric Power Systems Research 81 (2011) 967–973
Time [s]
Fig. 13. Converter daxis voltage.
Time [s]
Fig. 14. Converter qaxis voltage.
Time [s]
Fig. 15. DC voltage.
Time [s]
Fig. 16. DC current.
nated from the reduced order model: the remaining dynamics are
those associated with the charging of the DC capacitors.
6. Conclusion
Two standard dynamic models for VSC HVDC systems have been
proposed in this paper. The full model is constructed by combin
ing AC side equations, DC system equations, control systems and
coupling equations. The inﬂuence of the AC ﬁlter and PLL, often
neglected, has been investigated. It is veriﬁed by simulations that
the inﬂuence of PLL on stability can be safely neglected. Neglect
ing the ﬁlter bus results in a small error. A reduced model was
derived mathematically by neglecting three small time constants.
The advantages are a reduced set of differential equations, and the
possibility to increase the integration step size. Simulation of a
change in DC voltage reference has been simulated. It showed that
the full model responds satisfactorily and that the reduced model
simulates the lower order dynamics.
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