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ICSET 2008

Stability Analysis of Microgrids with Constant Power Loads
Duminda P. Ariyasinghe and D. Mahinda Vilathgamuwa, Senior Member, IEEE

Abstract— In this paper, thorough analysis is carried out expansion of these solid state devices has led to the
on a microgrid system with a constant power load. Constant improvement in performance and flexibility of the power
power loads make the system to be unstable due to their system loads that they are connected to, but they have a
negative impedance characteristics and this is proved for the drawback as tightly regulated power electronic converters
microgrid system by deriving the small signal state space
model for the system and then observing the location of the
tend to show negative impedance characteristics because
system poles. Subsequently, a sensitivity analysis is carried of their characteristics similar to a constant power load
out to check whether it is possible to eliminate the instability (CPL) [3, 4]. Due to these unique characteristics, there are
of the system by tuning the voltage and current controller issues of instability when CPLs are connected to the
gain values of the microgrid inverter system. Also by system.
transforming small signal state space model to Laplace Since distributed generation is gaining popularity and
domain, stability conditions are derived for the microgrid
with a constant power load connected parallel with other
for certain it will be used extensively in near future, it is
loads. From these conditions, the loading limit of the constant important to analyze what happens when CPL is connected
power load for making the system stable is obtained. These to the microgrid system. Therefore, in this paper, a small
theoretical loading limits obtained are proven using a model signal state-space model is derived for the microgrid
of microgrid simulated in Matlab/Simulink platform. system to determine the eigen-values of the system and
stability. Subsequently, a sensitivity analysis on controller
I. INTRODUCTION parameters is conducted to observe how closely they are

E ver increasing energy demand has led to generating
power locally using small power generators mostly by
renewable form of energy due to their environmental
related to system poles that governs the stability of the
system. Finally, an assessment is done when CPL and
constant impedance load (CIL) are connected to a DG
friendly nature. These generators are usually known as system. Intentionally, throughout the study, the microgrid
distributed generators (DG) and are gaining popularity. is assumed to be operating in the islanding mode as the
With the proliferation of critical loads, the necessity for dynamics of the microgrid is more apparent when it is in
reliable power supply systems increased dramatically. The this mode than in the grid connected mode.
reliability of the power supply can be improved
substantially by introducing parallel connection of two or II. EIGEN-VALUES AND SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS FOR THE
more DG units as can be seen in [5], [7]. This concept MICROGRID
further extended to a concept called microgrid. A
microgrid is a cluster of loads and microsources operating The microgrid considered for this analysis consists of
under a unified controller within a certain local area [6]. two DG units connected to a CPL via two separate
Several approaches of parallel connection of DG units transmission lines. Each DG has a LC filter at the output to
have been proposed but to increase the system reliability it filter out high frequency noise introduced by the switching
needs to minimize communication with each other and of IGBTs’ in the inverter. These filter parameters
avoid master-slave relationship between the units by considered equal for both DG units and are represented by
making all units identical. These requirements are satisfied Lf and Cf.
by using a control scheme for parallel connected inverters In order to model the CPL, considering small
that is based on frequency and voltage droops where the perturbations in voltage and current since average power
controller uses only locally measurable variables [1]. Since drawn is constant by the load as in [3], the following
they have their own control strategy these parallel DG expressions can be obtained.
units can provide uninterruptible power to critical loads ΔVmax V (1)
= − max = − R
during a fault in the utility by disconnecting itself from the ΔI max I max
CPL

utility and operating in islanded mode. After utility fault is The small-signal behavior of the load can be defined as
restored microgrid is connected back to the utility 2
Vmax Vrms
RCPL = = (2)
smoothly after synchronization.
I max P
A modern day utilization subsystem extensively uses
The absolute value of the load is equal to the
power electronic converters and motor drives. The
impedance of the CPL at its operating point. If there is a
phase difference between the voltage and fundamental
Duminda P. Ariyasinghe is with CB&I Lummus Pte Ltd, 2 Ayer component of the current which is the case for constant
Rajah Crescent, Singapore 139935. (email: ariy0001@ntu.edu.sg) power loads with controlled rectifier at the front stage,
D. Mahinda Vilathgamuwa is with the School of Electrical and
Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50, Nanyang
then the small signal model will have an inductive
Avenue, Singapore 639798. (email: emahinda@ntu.edu.sg) component in addition to the resistive component. Then,

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978-1-4244-1888-6/08/$25.00 
c 2008 IEEE

3 to show the complete controlling principle used in refers to the control of the PWM inverter. vref dt iref rCPL = − RCPL cos α vO i v LCPL = − RCPL sin α i (3) v Throughout this section. In this figure. be written as in (7) controllers are used for controlling the three-phase PWM • ω ω (7) Δi load = Δv − Δi voltage source inverter [1]. 2. Δ x = [ A]Δx + [B ]Δu (4) Lf In this expression Δx is the vector of the state variables and Δu is the vector of independent sources. Each DG unit in the microgrid is comprised of a DC source. • Fig. 1 for a small perturbation in the The microgrid is represented in schematic form as in current can be expressed as in (6). The inner written as in (10) and (11) respectively by looking at the current loop is included to stabilize the system by rapidly control block diagram shown in Fig. 2. The control of the microgrid mainly Fig. a PWM voltage source inverter The voltage and current controller can be expanded as in (VSI) and a LC filter. The system state variables Δx can be written as in (5). [Δx]T = [ΔQinv Δvref1 Δvref 2 Δv1 Δv2 Δiref1 Δiref 2 Δi1 Δi2 ΔiO1 ΔiO2 Δiload ] (5) 280 . Complete block schematic representation of the distributed RCPL cos α tan α generator A proportional controller with gain of Gv is used in the Similarly output voltage v2 can be derived in terms of v1 outer voltage compensator which is used to force the and transmission line parameters which give (9) voltage v measured across the filter capacitor to track its • Δv1 Δv2 Rtx (9) reference sinusoidal waveforms vref. The control strategy used in each DG has been developed as in [1] and is represented in Fig. bus Considering the voltage across the filter capacitor of inverter 1 shown in Fig. voltage law the small signal model of load current iload can As shown in Fig. only the output inverter of each DG is 1 (6) Δv = Δi 1 1 shown for clarity and they are marked as inverter 1 and Cf inverter 2. (− RCPL cos α ) 1 tan α load iref vO* vO L f vref Cf Since iO1 and iO2 are currents going to the load following v i v (8) can be deduced iO • ω ω • (8) Δi O1 = − Δv1 − Δiload − Δi O 2 Fig. 1 can be represented in small PWM signals to drive the IGBT switches of the inverter signal state space model in the form of such that desired voltage and power level of the load are • met. 3. The output of the Δ iO2 = − + − ΔiO 2 voltage controller generates the reference current iref which Ltx Ltx Ltx is compared with the measured capacitor current i before A small perturbation in output voltage v01 of inverter 1 feeding them to the current controller which uses a and current reference value iref1 of current controller can be proportional controller with a magnitude of Gi. compensating for sudden changes in the load voltages. inner current and outer voltage. The microgrid with distributed generators connected to a common system poles which indicate the stability of the system. 1. 3. individual DG system. 1. the CPL is considered to be having a controlled rectifier at the front end to make the Fig. This designed controller would generate the required The whole system in Fig.the CPL is described as given in (3) where is the delay d iload angle of the controlled rectifier. Ltx Lf The following equations show the procedure of derivation of state space model for the microgrid system. 2 in block Since the load bus voltage is v1 using Kirchhoff’s schematic form. A and B Cf Rtx represents the respective system matrices. Using the state space model it is possible to determine the Cf system characteristic equation and thereby determine the Fig. Controller block diagram of each distributed generator analysis more complete.

001 resistance of the line.Δv1 + sin δ 1 . eigen vectors are in LHP for a given Gv controller values current controller gain value (Gi) is changed to see the vO1 v1 vO 1v1 behavior of the RHP poles. 4(b) shows the loci of the eigen-values. ΔPinv1 = sin δ 1 . constant active power throughout. -1000 Imaginary values can be calculated and plotted them in complex 0 5th Eigen value plane. vO1v1 (13) Pinv1 = sin δ 1 To see what is the bearing on RHP eigen values when ωL f Gv is reduced is shown in the loci shown in Fig. vref2 220 V v1 .2 1 and Pinv2 is the active power contribution from inverter 2. Real Firstly. how the eigen-values react to voltage controller (b) gain Gv is checked when it is increased from 2 to 50. iref2 15A i1 .Δδ 1 (14) ωL f ωL f ωL f 600 Equation (15) shows the Linearized reactive power 400 flowing from inverter 1. ΔvO1 = GV G I ( Δv ref 1 − Δv1 ) + G I ( Δi ref 1 − Δi1 ) (10) Parameter Value Parameter Value • 1 (11) vref1.v2 220V Δ v ref 1 = Δiref 1 G iref1. the system eigen.11A Active power taken by the load is always constant as load being a constant power load. 4(c). Therefore ∆Pinv1=0 in Since it is not possible to find a situation where all the (14).4Ω δ 0.ΔvO1 + cos δ 1 .218 RCPL 30 Ω Where Pinv1 the active power contribution from inverter GV 2.0 GI 0. Even though now the 5th eigen-vector moves towards the RHP After linearizing above will give (14) and since load is certain other eigen vectors which are in LHP move constant power type the individual inverter will also supply towards RHP before the 5th vector move towards the LHP. -2000 For the parameters given in Table I. It could be power contribution from DG1 (Pinv1) is given as noticed that the 5th eigen vector move further into the RHP making it more unstable. It was noticed that the 5th eigen-value lie in the 1000 RHP as shown in Fig. TABLE I PARAMETER VALUES OF THE MICROGRID SYSTEM 281 .85 ω 314 drawn by this constant power load can be written as 5mH 20μF Lf Cf P = Pinv1 + Pinv 2 − Ptx losses (12) Ltx 3mH Rtx 3. Notice that a stable (a) microgrid model is initially developed with non-CPL load -5000 to derive the gain values of controllers GV. Since active Fig. But transmission line losses can be neglected because line resistance is negligible. Total active power cosα (PF) 0. To see the stability of the system an example -500 0 500 1000 1500 scenario is created which has the following system Real parameter values given in Table 1. 4(a) thus making the system 2000 unstable. 4000 values to observe how they react to the controller gain 5000 -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 values so that the RHP eigen values can be moved to LHP.i2 10A.Δδ 1 0 ⎜ ωL ωL f ⎟ ωL f ωL f ⎝ f ⎠ -200 -400 Rearranging the above equations the state space model for the microgrid system can be derived which is in the -600 form of (4). The -4000 same values are used in the microgrid system connected to -3000 CPL. 3000 Then a sensitivity analysis was performed on the eigen. GI and G. 200 RHP eigen value Imaginary ⎛ 2v v ⎞ v v v (15) ΔQinv1 = ⎜ O1 − 1 cos δ 1 ⎟ΔvO1 − O1 cos δ 1 Δv1 + O1 1 sin δ 1 . Ptxlosses is the transmission line power losses due to the G 0.

4(d) shows the loci of eigen- values when Gi is increased from 0. Applying Kirchhoff’s current law to node A (20) can be derived and using superposition theorem (21) and (22) can be derived. It is observed that even the current controller Gi cannot make the system stable.2 to 50. Therefore need to think given by (16) and (17). Proceeding section gives a new approach and getting the impedance seen by the load side as given in to see whether it is possible to make the system stable. LOADING LIMIT OF THE MICROGRID 1 sCeq1 ΔVth1 = ΔVac . III. 7. Therefore. Then the small signal equivalent circuit can be shown as in Fig. Fig.1 (17) Req 2 + sLeq 2 + 1 sCeq 2 would be possible to see whether we can compensate the effects of negative impedance that is modeled as the CPL. Fig. 6 and CIL is represented as RCIL.signal analysis as given in [3]. Thevenin equivalent impedances about a different strategy to make the microgrid system can be obtained by short circuiting all the voltage sources with CPL stable. the CPL is considered to be a load that consists of diode rectifier at the front end. where two DG units are connected to the Req1 + sLeq1 + (1 sCeq1 ) load bus via separate feeder lines. 4. 800 600 400 200 Imaginary 0 -200 -400 -600 Fig. Loci of eigen-values closer to RHP when Gv is decreased from 2 to 0. 6. Then the Z th 2 = (1 sC )( R eq 2 eq 2 + sLeq 2 ) (19) CPL can be modeled as simple negative resistor (-RCPL) in Req 2 + sLeq 2 + (1 sCeq 2 ) small. 7 can be deduced. the microgrid model is considered to be as Z th1 = (1 sC )( R eq1 eq1 + sLeq1 ) (18) shown in Fig. For simplicity of analysis. Loci of eigen values close to RHP when Gv is increased from 2 to 50 (c). 600 400 200 5th Eigen value Imaginary 0 -200 Fig. This way it ΔVth 2 = ΔVac . 5.1 (16) Req1 + sLeq1 + 1 sCeq1 Since CPLs have negative impedance characteristic it is worthwhile to see what happens when it is connected in 1 sCeq 2 parallel with constant impedance load (CIL). (d) Loci of eigen-values closer to RHP when Gi is increased from 0. Fig. Circuit diagram of DG system connected to CIL and CPL via -400 transmission lines -600 To compensate the negative resistance of CPL. the CIL -600 -400 -200 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Real that need to be connected also can be considered to be a (c) resistive load. (a) Location of poles in the complex plane (b).2 to 50. 5. for this case. 282 . (18) and (19). stable by individually tuning Thevenin equivalent voltages seen from the load side is the current and voltage controllers. a small signal equivalent (d) circuit as shown in Fig.002. Small signal equivalent circuit of the DG system -800 -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000 4000 6000 Then applying Thevenin’s theorem to get the equivalent Real circuit looking from the load side. Thevenin equivalent circuit the DG system It can be concluded that it is not possible to make the microgrid system with CPL.

4 0.46 0. connected to the microgrid and it is disconnected from it after 0.54 0.2 0. rms > PCPL (25) 6000 Leq1 Leq 2 4000 2000 There are few ways to stabilize the system based on 0 0 0. In the simulation.V 0 IV. 5. SIMULATION RESULTS -200 -400 The microgrid model shown in Fig. 5.42 0. s environment in order to verify the conditions derived in (c) (23). CPL considered draws 2kW Req1 Req 2 + RCIL RCPL >0 (23) of power while the CIL draws roughly around 7kW of power. rms ⎣ ⎦ >P (24) ( Leq1 Req 2 + Leq 2 Req1 ) CPL 12000 10000 (C + Ceq 2 )( Leq1 Req 2 + Leq 2 Req1 ) 8000 P ower.4 0. S 0. ⎡ Leq1 + Leq 2 + Req1 Req 2 ( Ceq1 + Ceq 2 ) ⎤ PCIL + VO2. This (b) makes the microgrid system configuration to be 600 changed therefore found to be not feasible.56 0.58 Time.48 0. distribution level feeders have higher R/L value 1000 compared to that of transmission level feeders.5 0. (a) • By having a higher R/L ratio for the feeder impedance linking loads and DGs.6 Time. This is -1000 not possible without transferring the whole system 0. 500 Voltage.8 1 1. Simulations ΔVo ⎝ th 2 ⎠ Req 2 + sLeq 2 + 1 sC eq 2 ⎟ = ⎝ ⎠ have been done for different combinations of loading to ΔVac 2 1 − 1 + 1 + 1 RCIL RCPL Z th1 Z th 2 verify the conditions derived in (23) to (25).4 (25). -500 • By increasing the operating voltage V0. Therefore. Active power of the resistive load can be ΔVac1 1 − 1 + 1 + 1 varied from 0 to 10 kW and that of the constant power load RCIL RCPL Z th1 Z th 2 can be varied from 0 to 5 kW. Both the feeder lines have per km operate in parallel and the DG units are connected to these parameters as given in Table II.2 1. Parameters shown in Table II are used in the MATLAB/Simulink simulation setup. 5 including all the -600 controlling blocks are developed in Matlab/Simulink 0.44 0.rms. The microgrid consists of CIL and CPL connected to two DG systems through a feeder line as shown in schematic form in Fig. 400 200 Voltage.5 s. S 0. The CIL is initially loads as shown in Fig.2 1. line for small signal stability are determined by the conditions lengths are made to be as small as 1 km to show the CPL obtained in (23). TABLE II PARAMETERS OF THE MICROGRID SIMULATION MODEL 283 . V • By increasing Ceq of the two feeder lines. (24) and (25).8 1 1. The two feeder lines are selected such that the DG By expanding the above equation and applying Routh system 1 is connected to the load bus with a 1 km long Hurwitz criterion.6 pF/km 230V ⎛ 1 ⎞⎛ 1 sC eq1 ⎞ ⎜ Z ⎟⎜⎜ ⎟ (21) The load is a combination of conventional resistive load ΔVo ⎝ th1 ⎠ R eq1 + sLeq1 + 1 sC eq1 ⎟ = ⎝ ⎠ (CIL) and a CPL. W eq1 PCIL + V 2 O . The CPL implemented is a chopper fed DC motor drive and power drawn by it is ⎛ 1 ⎞⎛ 1 sC eq 2 ⎞ ⎜ Z ⎟⎜⎜ ⎟ (22) varied by changing the motor load torque. ⎛ 1 1 1 1 ⎞ ΔVth1 ΔVth 2 (20) Req Leq C eq V0.52 0. In this case. necessary and sufficient condition bus via again a 1 km long feeder line. This is 0 quite easily done by adding a filter capacitor. (24) and (25) when the CPL and CIL effect on the microgrid.4 0. Usually.2 0. the stability conditions (23) to (25) can feeder line and DG system 2 is also connected to the load be obtained.rms ΔVo ⎜⎜ − + + ⎟⎟ = + ⎝ RCIL RCPL Z th1 Z th 2 ⎠ Z th1 Z th 2 235mΩ/km 2mH /km 8.4 to operate at higher base voltage range.6 Time.

Therefore.. As expected since the condition given in (25) is not satisfied after 0. A 10 No. Eigen-value analysis is done after getting the small signal state space model of the system. S 1 1. No. College Station. Higashino. Vol. Vol.5 Time. Lasseter.5 s. Zoom-in view shown in Fig. 148-152. Eng. 1991. Van der Frans and K. “Modeling. 2004. As variations of gain values cannot make the system stable. Elect. The spikes appearing in the voltage waveform before and after 0. From these results it can be found that it is always necessary to carefully select the loads that are to be connected to the microgrid at the designing stage especially if they are to be operated in the islanding mode when there is a grid fault. (d) [6] R.. Note that again the CPL is modeled as chopper fed DC motor drive. -40 [5] A.” IEEE transactions on Industrial Electronics.” IEEE Trans. 24.” Ph. [3] Ali Emadi. Ind.D. a detailed analysis is carried out to investigate the effect of CPL on a microgrid system when it operates in stand alone mode. the active power supplied by the microgrid becomes zero after the voltage collapse has occurred after 1 s. 2000. 20 Current. pp 281- 287. Texas A&M University. Applications. W. REFERENCES [1] Y. [2] T. pp. “ Parallel operation of voltage source inverters. voltage at the load bus becomes unstable. “Power Management Strategies for a waveform. Winter Meeting. Katiraei and M. Fig.R.19. pp 992-1000. Iravani. (c) The zoom up view of voltage at 0. Mar/ Apr. analysis and stability assessment of multi- -10 -20 converter power electronic systems. vol. -30 Dept.” IEEE Trans. 8. (a) Active power drawn by the loads. Bouwknegt. V. A sensitivity analysis is carried out to determine whether it is possible to move RHP poles to LHP by changing the current and voltage controller gain values. dissertation. an investigation is carried out to determine whether the system could be made stable with CPL by paralleling it with CIL. 27-31. analysis and real-time testing of controllers for multibus microgrid system. Kawabata and S.305-308. 8(c) shows how the voltage becomes unstable after 0. For initial 0. 4. D.5. Tx. “Design. Soc. M. The loading limits that would keep the system stable when there is CIL and CPL connected in parallel is obtained. Voltage collapses soon after 1 s and microgrid starts to malfunction as it cannot supply the power requirement of the CPL anymore.” IEEE waveform at load bus Transaction on Power Systems. It is advisable to have CIL with CPL to avoid instability by selecting the loads according to the conditions derived previously.” in Proc. Emadi. ‘Microgrids. pp. Vilathgamuwa and P. (b) three phase voltage [7] F. November 2006.5s and (d) current Microgrid With Multiple Distributed Generation Units. “A control strategy for the -50 0 0.5 s.5 s are due to the converter switching noises of CPL and since CPL remains same throughout the simulation one can safely say that these switching noises don’t have any bearing on the voltage instability occurring after 0. CONCLUSION In this paper.1195-1204.C. 51. Sep. 2002.. 2004 0 [4] A. Power Electron. pp.5 redundant parallel operation of an ensemble of static ups systems of the parallel type.” in Proc Power Eng. the condition given in (25) is satisfied and voltage remains stable apart from the initial transient occurred due to sudden connection of CIL and CPL. 21. Jan. “Modeling of power Electronic Loads in AC 50 40 Distribution Systems using the generalized State-Space averaging 30 method. Loh.5 s. Li. vol. EPE Firenze. 284 . 1988.5 s.