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2006

Frequency Generating

System for Small Hydro

Student: K. Fogarty

Supervisors: Dr. M.A. Kashem

Mr. S. Buckland (Tyco Tamar)

Mr. R. Page (Tyco Tamar)

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

ABSTRACT

Hydro energy conversion systems are used all over the world for the supply of clean and

renewable power. With virtually no emissions and quick startup times, hydropower is still a

preferred option in many regions. Some regions however are unable to effectively make use

of some cheaper turbine options, like reversible pumps, since they must operate at a fixed

speed for a given supplied head of water in order to efficiently transfer energy from the water

to the generator. Variable speed constant frequency (VSCF) systems using power electronics

and doubly fed induction generators are able to overcome this problem. The concept has been

used in larger (over 1MW) wind turbines for many years with much success, and has slowly

become accepted into hydroelectric systems recently so as to effectively supply power to

areas that had previously been ignored commercially. In this report, a variety of VSCF

systems, both wind and hydro, are reviewed and a model is developed for use in grid-

connected small hydro generating applications. This model is simulated and tested for

suitability, viability and efficiency for a commercial market under a variety of speeds. This

system is proposed in response to a need presented by the project’s sponsor, Tyco Tamar, to

fill a niche market. The proposed system uses a wound rotor induction generator with the

rotor circuit supplied by torque and speed from a reversible pump, as well as a back-to-back

PWM inverter for the purpose of governing stator frequency and the control of reactive power

to the load. Methods for mitigating harmonic distortion introduced by the inverter

components are also discussed. Also included in the discussions are potential avenues for

further research as a result of the findings from this project.

Kyron Fogarty 1

Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract ...................................................................................................................................... 1

1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 4

2. Literature Review ................................................................................................................... 6

3. General System Overview ...................................................................................................... 8

4. Available Technology .......................................................................................................... 12

4.1 Turbines .......................................................................................................................... 12

4.1.1 Reversible Pump Selection...................................................................................... 14

4.2 Generators ...................................................................................................................... 15

4.2.1 DC Generators ......................................................................................................... 15

4.2.2 Synchronous Generators ......................................................................................... 16

4.2.3 Induction Generators ............................................................................................... 16

4.2.3.1 Squirrel Cage Induction Generators ..................................................................... 17

4.2.3.2 Doubly-fed Wound Rotor Induction Generators .................................................. 17

4.3 Frequency Control .......................................................................................................... 18

4.3.1 Governors ................................................................................................................ 18

4.3.2 Frequency Converters ............................................................................................. 19

4.4 Harmonic Effects............................................................................................................ 21

5. Results & Discussions .......................................................................................................... 23

5.1 Design Outline................................................................................................................ 23

5.2 Baseline Comparison...................................................................................................... 24

5.3 Doubly Fed Connection ................................................................................................. 26

5.3.1 Model Description ................................................................................................... 26

5.3.2 Initial Results at Various Flow Rates ...................................................................... 28

5.3.3 Reactive Power Generation ..................................................................................... 30

5.3.4 Sub-Synchronous Operation ................................................................................... 31

5.3.5 Model Shortcomings & Improvements ................................................................... 32

5.4 Harmonic Considerations ............................................................................................... 33

5.4.1 Theoretical Design and Simulation ......................................................................... 34

5.4.2 Harmonic Analysis of Real Data ............................................................................. 37

5.4.3. Harmonic Distortion Mitigation Optimisation ....................................................... 39

5.5 Difficulties Faced ........................................................................................................... 40

6. Further Research ................................................................................................................. 41

Kyron Fogarty 2

Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

6.2 DFIG control system (mechatronics, electronic & communications) ............................ 41

6.3 DFIG practical machine tests (power) ........................................................................... 42

6.3.1 Synchronisation ....................................................................................................... 42

6.3.2 Efficiency ................................................................................................................ 42

6.3.3 Transient Stability ................................................................................................... 42

6.4 Harmonic mitigation and frequency domain analysis (power/electronics) .................... 43

6. Conclusions .......................................................................................................................... 44

7. Acknowledgments ................................................................................................................ 45

Appendix A: Experimental Test Equipment Specifications .................................................... 46

Appendix B: MATLAB® Simulation Models .......................................................................... 47

Baseline Model ................................................................................................................. 47

Doubly-Fed Induction Generator Model .......................................................................... 48

MATLAB® Variable Specifications File ......................................................................... 53

Appendix C: Component Price List ......................................................................................... 54

Appendix D: Pump Efficiency Dynamics ................................................................................ 56

Bibliography ............................................................................................................................. 58

Kyron Fogarty 3

Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

1. INTRODUCTION

Hydropower is widely used throughout the world as a source of electrical energy. Tyco

Tamar is a Tasmanian business specializing in the production of mini-hydro power stations

(generation of between 100kW and 5MW) [1], which has an interest in filling a niche by

providing variable speed constant frequency systems using reversible pumps as turbines. To

this end, Tyco Tamar has put forward this concept to determine the feasibility of such a

venture when implemented in hydro sites delivering electrical power up to approximately

500kW.

Electrical energy is sourced in many different ways. However, with a large focus globally on

reducing greenhouse emissions and pollution, renewable and environmentally friendly

energies are being increasingly sought after to supply an ever increasing population. Energy

sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal are politically correct and popular

choices, but hydro power is still a strong and common option [1-3]. The choice of energy

conversion is mainly determined by the energy sources available at the location of the

proposed power plant. As such, with many potential plant locations still in existence, hydro

power remains and will continue to remain a firm option in the future for the supply of

electrical energy [2].

Hydro energy is converted to electrical energy by water flowing through a turbine, which

drives the rotor of an electrical generator [4, 5]. The amount of energy available is

determined by the rate of water flow and the head of water upstream [5], and the turbine

driving power is given by the equation:

Pwater = ρgHQ (1.1)

For the most part, the water density, ρ, and the acceleration factor, g, are constant and are

accepted as unchangeable. Thus, the variable factors that affect the amount of available

power are head, H, and flow rate, Q. From this result, the power supplied by the system is

equal to the power applied to the turbine less the losses incurred by the turbine and the

generator. The system efficiency, then, is [4, 6]:

Pout P − Pturbine _ loss − Pgen _ loss

η system = = water (1.2)

Pwater Pwater

Kyron Fogarty 4

Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

The key to maximizing system efficiency is to minimize the losses in both the turbine and the

generator.

Under normal circumstances, the power provided to the network or loads is varied by

adjusting Q appropriately, since the stored head is usually unchanging, and cannot be

controlled (except when using pumped-storage) [5, 7]. However, circumstances exist where

head can vary sufficiently to affect the performance of the chosen turbine [4, 7], since turbines

are designed to operate at maximum efficiency when the generator is delivering a constant

frequency supply. The resulting inefficiency can be mitigated, however, by adjusting the

rotational speed of the turbine [7-9]. Unfortunately, this can cause problems with power

quality in islanded power systems and is simply not possible with grid-connected systems due

to the high inertia of the infinite bus [6, 8, 10]. The use of variable speed constant frequency

systems has been successfully used to overcome this problem.

This report examines research performed into this area, a general overview of the system, and

the technology available to achieve the desired goals. Simulations and practical experiments

are outlined in chapter 5, and the results are discussed. These results highlight both the

normal operation of the generator systems modeled, as well as the issues encountered with

harmonic distortion of the outputs from the use of power electronics. Chapter 6 reviews some

of the problems encountered during this project, and provides some potential avenues for

further research as a result.

Kyron Fogarty 5

Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

Before examining the research performed into variable speed constant frequency (VSCF)

systems using electronic devices, it should be pointed out that mechanical systems that

convert variable speed rotation to constant speed rotation have been used for some time, and

in some cases continue to be used and developed upon. However, since this project is

electrically focused, these mechanical systems are discussed purely for comparative purposes.

Constant speed gear systems [11] have been used in ships to control the supplied speed to the

ship’s generator while the engine speed changes as required. These systems use a

combination of epicyclic gear systems and hydraulic variable transmissions to provide a

continuously variable transmission (CVT) coupled between the engine drive shaft and the

generator rotor [11]. Wartsila Switzerland Ltd still uses this system (called ConSpeed) for the

Sulzer RTA series of engines. Variations on the CVT continue to be implemented. The

NuVinci gear system [12] uses a series of balls spaced around a shaft to transfer torque at

high efficiency between an input disc and an output disc. The transferred speed to the output

disc is changed by adjusting the relative diameter of the rolling balls, controlled by rotating a

shaft in the centre of the mechanism. While the basic concept of this design is aimed at the

bicycle and automotive market, it has been proposed for wind energy conversion systems in

the 1.5MW range [12, 13], showing that it may be feasible for lower power applications as

well. The automotive industry is also exploring CVT, with Audi [14] using another variation

involving moving conical gears and chains to vary the transmission ratio.

Pena et al. [15], demonstrated the capability of using back-to-back PWM inverters with a

doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG) for supplying isolated resistive loads to extend the

operating speed range of the generator, with a 7.5kW experimental test rig. They determined

the feasibility of the system, but did not test machine losses and efficiencies, the optimum

operating reactive power supply capability, nor methods of harmonic mitigation. In [3], a

VSCF DFIG system is proposed for hydro power applications to enhance the turbine

efficiency and reduce friction losses. Tang and Xu were able to minimize the harmonic

content injected to the load while providing adaptive control of both active and reactive

power, demonstrating this through simulations. An alternative approach was shown in [16],

by adding an exciting machine to the generator shaft, much like a synchronous generator.

Both MATLAB® simulations and experimental results showed that under sub-synchronous

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Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

operation the exciter generated power for the DFIG rotor, while under super-synchronous

operation it became a motor, recovering torque onto the shaft. However, it was found that the

stator frequency was more stable under sub-synchronous operation than at super-synchronous

speeds. Kastha and Isha [17, 18] obtained good voltage and frequency regulation on

computer simulations of an isolated load. It was also observed that PWM inverter-fed DFIG

could exceed the rated power of the generator without thermal problems. Kawabata et al [19,

20] showed that the inverter-fed DFIG is suitable for either aiding or replacing mechanical

speed governors in regulating output frequency in response to step-changes in isolated loads.

However, they did not test the system’s behaviour when connected to non-linear and

capacitive loads.

Methods for detecting rotor position typically use sensors, which are subject to sampling

problems and RFI. However, Datta and Ranganathan showed experimentally in [22] that an

increased reliability could be obtained using mathematical transform methods within the

controller, using a 3kW 415V DFIG. They also speculated that super-synchronous operation

was achievable by reversing the phase sequence of the rotor-side inverter. Sensorless position

estimation was supported in [23] experiments, showing excellent voltage and frequency

regulation to an isolated load under step-changes to both speed and load. Lin et al. [24]

determined a suitable design methodology for an excitation system for DFIG, which was

modeled mathematically and simulated. It was found that the active and reactive power at the

stator was adjustable via changes to rotor voltage magnitude, frequency and phase angle for

specific values of slip.

Grid-connected applications of VSCF systems have been found to improve power system

stability margins in Norway and Sweden [9], as well as improve generator efficiencies and

starting times. Sporild et al also showed that VSCF hydro systems operate with reduced

mechanical stresses such as vibration and cavitation, demonstrating advantages other than

those explored within the scope of this project. Other hydro system applications, such as

those shown in [25] and [7] support the general findings that VSCF systems using PWM

inverter-fed DFIG produce active and reactive power at increased efficiency to conventional

constant speed constant frequency systems.

Kyron Fogarty 7

Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Just as the name suggests, variable speed constant frequency (VSCF) systems can maintain a

constant frequency to the load [18] (50Hz in Australia), even though the generators rotate at

speeds other than the synchronous speed1. The most common VSCF method is by the use of

power electronic switching devices, which “chop” the varying frequency waveform into a DC

voltage, and then invert the DC voltage to a constant frequency waveform. Such devices are

commonly placed in series between the generator and the load [16, 26, 27], but can also be

used to transfer power between the machine stator and rotor [3, 20]. Both of these methods

and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed shortly. By far, the majority of research

conducted recently into VSCF systems uses the latter.

When a portion of power is to be fed back into the machine to control frequency at the stator,

a particular type of generator must be used. Wound rotor induction generators are frequently

used for this purpose in wind energy conversion systems [18, 28], which require rapid control

of stator terminal frequency in response to changes in wind speed. These machines have also

been used similarly in hydro energy conversion systems [3]. The basic principle is that an

induction generator may be driven at any speed [6, 8], which will excite the frequency output

at the stator to be:

NP

fS = (3.1)

120

where P is the number of poles on the stator. When power is fed into the rotor terminals,

which are normally connected to a rheostat for torque control, at a different frequency, f R , the

stator frequency is increased by the same frequency:

NP

fS = + fR (3.2)

120

The key result of this is that adjusting the frequency of the injected power into the rotor may

compensate any change in rotating speed. Equation (3.2) applies directly for rotating speeds

less than the synchronous speed, called sub-synchronous operation. However, for speeds

greater than synchronous speed, or super-synchronous operation, the equation still applies [6].

So in order to maintain a constant f S , the injected power needs to be at a negative frequency.

1

The synchronous speed is the speed at which the generated frequency is equal to the rated frequency, eg 50Hz.

It is also proportional to the number of poles on the stator.

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Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

This is commonly achieved by extracting power from the rotor at the required frequency.

Equation (3.2) now becomes two equations, for sub-synchronous and super-synchronous

operations respectively:

NP

f S , sub = + fR (3.3)

120

NP

f S ,sup er = − fR (3.4)

120

Synchronous speed is determined by rearranging equation (3.1):

120 f

NS = (3.5)

P

Typically, the power injected or extracted at the rotor is connected to the stator supply so as to

minimize losses [29]. This is demonstrated in figures (3.1) and (3.2) for sub- and super-

synchronous operations respectively.

Fig. 3.1: Wound Rotor Induction Generator operating in Sub-synchronous mode. PL is the power delivered by

the turbine; f2 is the injected power frequency to the rotor; f is the stator frequency. Adapted from [6]

In figure 3.1, the turbine delivers power PL through the shaft to the rotor, less friction losses in

the shaft, PV. The power seen by the rotor, Pm, is transferred across the air gap, with some

power lost in the rotor windings as heat (Pjr) as well as losses due to rotor slip. The power

seen by the stator, Pr, is then made available to the load, after accounting for iron and heat

losses in the stator circuit (Pf & Pjs), as Pe. In this arrangement, the losses due to rotor slip are

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Sup.: Dr M. Kashem, Mr. S. Buckland, Mr. R Page

Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

synchronous speed respectively. In figure 3.1, power is fed back from the stator/load circuit

through a frequency converter to the rotor at frequency f2. While an extra power loss

component is introduced (Pc) in the converter, Per is equal to the previous slip power loss plus

rotor heat loss, therefore increasing the generator’s efficiency by reducing its losses. The slip

f2

energy lost previously is sPr = Pr , which is proportional to the air gap power, Pr, and f2.

f

Thus the converter power required is given by equation 3.6:

Pconverter = Pc + Pjr + sPr (3.6)

Fig. 3.2: Wound Rotor Induction Generator operating in Super-synchronous mode. PL is the power delivered by

the turbine; f2 is the extracted power frequency from the rotor; f is the stator frequency. Adapted from [6].

Figure 3.2 illustrates the system behaviour under super synchronous operation. The main

difference here compared with sub-synchronous mode is the flow of power in the rotor

circuit. Converter power requirements can be determined again by equation 3.6. The key

advantage of this method is that much smaller frequency converters are required (typically

30% of machine rating) compared with series-connected VSCF systems as not all of the

generated energy is transferred through the converter. In fact, only a small amount of power

needs to be passed through the frequency converter to deliver adequate overall frequency

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

control. This means that lower ratings are required for the converter components: insulated

gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), heatsinks, and DC voltage storage components; thus

reducing the overall cost of the converter. The construction and operation of the converter is

explained in chapter 4.2.

Power factor is controlled through the use of current control on the rotor [3, 30], in particular

the control of the direct axis and quadrature axis current components ( id and iq ) of the three-

phase currents, iA , iB and iC . Currents id and iq are found by applying Park’s transformation

id , s =

2

3

[

ia cos ωst + ib cos(ωst − 120o ) + ic cos(ωst + 120o ) ] (3.7)

iq , s = −

2

3

[

ia sin ωst + ib sin(ωst − 120o ) + ic sin(ωst + 120o ) ] (3.8)

id , r =

2

3

[

iA cos θ r + iB cos(θ r − 120o ) + iC cos(θ r + 120o ) ] (3.9)

iq , r = −

2

3

[

iA sin θ r + iB sin(θ r − 120o ) + iC sin(θ r + 120o ) ] (3.10)

d

vd , s = Rsid , s − ωsψ q , s + ψ d ,s (3.11)

dt

d

vq , s = Rsiq , s − ωsψ d , s + ψ q,s (3.12)

dt

d

vd , r = Rr id , r − sωsψ q , r + ψ d ,r (3.13)

dt

d

vq , r = Rsiq , r − sωsψ d , r + ψ q ,r (3.14)

dt

Where:

• iA, iB, iC are rotor phase currents;

• ia, ib, ic are stator phase currents;

• ωs is the angular velocity of the stator field in electrical r/s;

• θr is the angle by which the rotor phase A lags the d-axis (synchronous axis);

• ψ is the flux linkage; and

• Rs, Rr are the stator phase and rotor phase resistances respectively.

Also [3]:

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

3Pturbine

Ps = ωrψ d , siq , s (3.15)

4

3

Qs = (vq , sid , s − vd , siq , s )

2 (3.16)

3P

= turbine ωrψ d , sid , s

4

Where Pturbine is the power delivered to the rotor from the turbine, and ωr is the angular

velocity of the rotor field in mechanical r/s. From equation 3.16, injecting or extracting more

id through the converter increases the amount of reactive power supplied by the stator,

reducing the power factor supplied by the generator [33]. Thus, even though the nature of

induction machines requires that they are reactive power sinks (explained in chapter 4.2), a

wound rotor induction generator connected and operated in this fashion is able to

independently supply reactive power [22]. As such, it can be operated connected to a grid or

in stand-alone mode.

4. AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY

4.1 Turbines

It is important to discuss the different types of turbine technologies available for hydro energy

conversion systems so as to obtain an appropriate context for this project. In most hydro

power plants, the major types of turbines used are as follows [4, 5]:

• Reaction Type:

o Francis;

o Kaplan;

o Deriaz;

o Reversible Pump;

• Impulse Type:

o Pelton;

o Turgo;

o Banki/crossflow.

Impulse turbines develop torque by converting the kinetic energy, or velocity head, of the

water supplied by jets aimed at the turbine’s buckets [4]. These types of turbines are typically

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

used for high head applications. Reaction turbines operate with the runner case flooded, with

torque being supplied by the reaction forces of the water flowing through the runner from a

high-pressure area to a low-pressure area. This type of turbine is usually used for lower head

applications, up to approximately 150m gross head. Bernoulli’s equation (4.1) shows the

relationship between water height, pressure and velocity with respect to total available head:

p v2

H =h+ + (4.1)

ρg 2 g

Typically a reaction turbine is positioned such that h ≈ 0m , and since the casing construction

and turbine itself causes the velocity to reduce to 0 m/s, the total head is essentially related to

the water pressure [4]. Thus, a reversible pump is acted on by pressure head, since it is

classified as a reaction turbine.

Turbine torque and speed characteristics need to be known in order to appropriately design a

hydro generating system. It is known that turbine power is related to torque acting on the

turbine and the rotating speed [6], as shown in equation (4.2):

NT

Pturbine = (4.2)

9.55

The proportionality constant 9.55 is included to account for units. Thus, an inversely

proportional relationship exists between torque and speed if power is to remain constant.

Equation (4.2) also shows that increases in electrical load (proportional to power extracted

from the water by the system’s efficiency) require increases in either speed or torque to

maintain stability. This is the realm of governors and power control, which is discussed

briefly in chapter 4.3. However, it is important to note that by combining equations (1.1) and

(4.2), for a fixed speed and turbine power, torque is proportional to head and flow rate, shown

by equation (4.3).

9.55ηturbine ρgHQ

T P = cons tan t

= (4.3)

N

Turbine efficiency is another characteristic that should not be ignored in calculations. In an

ideal world, power in is equal to power out. In the real world though, losses are encountered

through the turbine, generator, penstock pipes, valves, gates, and switchgear that reduced the

power available for transmission [4-6, 10]. As mentioned previously, efficiency is the ratio of

output to input power. Hydro turbines, due to their relatively low operating speeds compared

with steam turbines, are reasonably efficient, with reaction turbine efficiencies often in the

range of 80% to approximately 99.1% [4]. However, the efficiency of a turbine for a fixed

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

head changes with the speed of rotation; conversely, the efficiency for a given speed changes

proportionally to head variations. Many reaction turbines have methods of adjusting flow and

torque to the turbine to maximize the turbine efficiency: Kaplan turbines vary the angle of the

blades2, while Francis turbines alter the position of the guide vanes. Unfortunately, fixed

blade-fixed gate turbines such as reversible pumps become subject to large efficiency changes

when head is changed. This effect is illustrated in figure (4.1).

Fig. 4.1: Chart of efficiency vs. flow for different reaction turbines. Adapted from [5]

Note that for a substantial change in flow for Kaplan and Francis turbines the efficiency is

largely unaffected, such that further action is unnecessary. However, a narrow spike is seen

for the reversible pump curve. This means that if this type of system is to be used, the head

and flow should remain fixed and unchanging, or else the turbine must be allowed to change

speed with flow to maximize the efficiency range. As mentioned previously, many sites exist

that exhibit significant head changes over time, and so the use of variable speed reversible

pumps is an attractive option.

The reasons for selecting a reversible pump [4, 5] for a hydro site are as follows:

1. Cost/Simplicity. Most turbines are manufactured to precise specifications, and are

usually constructed on a job-by-job basis. Pumps, on the other hand, are often mass-

2

True Kaplan turbines vary both blade angle and guide vane position, semi-Kaplan turbines change only blade

angle.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

produced, and can be purchased “off the shelf” as it were. This method of acquisition

is conducive to reducing the costs involved. The cost of a particular pump design is

written off over a large number of units produced, while a turbine’s design cost must

be factored in to the specific project budget. As a result, reversible pumps can be used

on sites where the cost of manufacturing makes the viability of other turbines

unsuitable or undesirable.

2. Robustness. Runner casings must be constructed specifically for a given turbine, but

usually do not physically support the weight of the runner. Under normal

circumstances, the runner weight is loaded onto generator bearings, where the turbine

is directly coupled. Pumps, on the other hand, are often supplied with their own

casing, which includes bearings. This allows pumps to be given a more flexible

coupling, and also reduces the bearing load specifications for the generator. The

manufacturing process also is different between pumps and conventional turbines.

Turbines are usually machined, welded and balanced manually, while pumps are

typically cast from a mold. This means that pumps are formed as one piece of metal,

while turbines are built from a number of components.

4.2 Generators

Hydro energy conversion systems require the use of rotating field generators to convert the

mechanical energy of the rotating turbine into electrical energy [4]. Depending on the

application, different types of generator can be used. Most generators operate in basically the

same fashion, however, with a rotating magnetic field inducing an electrical current in the

stator windings. The terminal voltage is generated by the changing current in the stator

windings [6, 10]. However, the method of generating the rotating magnetic field varies from

machine to machine.

4.2.1 DC Generators

DC generators were a popular choice for variable speed generator systems for several reasons.

Firstly, the output frequency is fixed (DC, or 0 Hz), allowing for more simple inverting

systems and variable speed operation [6, 10]. Secondly, they don’t require any external

excitation, making them suitable for stand-alone operation [8, 10]. However, since rotating

field generators inherently produce AC stator voltages, the output is rectified using a

commutator and brushes. These require regular maintenance, which can become a costly

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

exercise. Also, the output voltage is also proportional to the rotating speed [6, 34]. As such,

DC machines are not used as widely in generating applications.

By far, the most common generator choice for hydro application is the synchronous machine

[4, 25, 35, 36]. The main reason for this is that stator terminal voltage and reactive power

control is actively controllable through the use of DC excitation of the rotor [34]. However,

synchronous generators need to be considerably derated if operated contrary to machine

ratings [37, 38]; varying rotor speed or connected through an inverter, for example.

Synchronous machines have been used in VSCF wind energy conversion systems, but

movement has been made in the direction of more versatile generators due to the usually

remote locations of wind farms, such as permanent magnet generators and induction

generators, unless used in conjunction with constant speed gearing systems.

Induction machines are the most common machine used for industrial purposes [6, 8, 29],

such as pumping. The key advantage with such machines is that they don’t require any DC

field excitation [10, 34]. However, the stator does require AC excitation in order to induce a

rotating field – essential in the production of AC power. Nevertheless, induction machines

require less maintenance than synchronous machines, and so are less costly to operate. To

this end, two types of induction generator are available – squirrel cage rotor-type and wound

rotor-type [6, 29]. Figure 4.2 shows the method of connection for both a squirrel cage

induction generator and a synchronous generator for VSCF application.

Fig. 4.2: Synchronous Generator or Squirrel Cage Induction Generator connected through back-to-back PWM

converters to a grid or local load

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Squirrel cage induction machines are the most widely used of all grid connected rotating

devices [10, 28]. This is mainly due to their relatively low costs, both initially and on going,

and due to the simplicity of machine construction. Squirrel cage stators are similar to other

types of generators, in that they consist of wires wound around the stator poles.

Squirrel cage induction generators are able to generate active power by absorbing reactive

power from another source [10, 35], such as a capacitor bank or a grid supply [40], for field

excitation; essentially they operate as lagging power factor generators. As such, squirrel

cage generators are not able to independently supply reactive power, which may be a problem

for an isolated load situation with rotating machines or other inductive loads. It can also be

problematic when faced with localized short circuit faults [35], as it may lead to field voltage

collapse. However, induction generators are quite simple in their construction, and are

reasonably tolerant of large variations in operating speeds [6].

Fig. 4.4: Wound Rotor Induction Generator connected in a doubly fed arrangement through back-to-back PWM

converters on the rotor circuit to a grid or local load

Figure 4.4 shows the basic VSCF connectivity of a doubly fed wound rotor induction

generator (DFIG). As explained in chapters 2 and 3, this type of arrangement allows the

control system to regulate the magnitude, frequency, and phase of the rotor current, thus

providing sufficient excitation to self-induce an output at the stator terminals. It also allows

the power factor of the generator to be controlled in a similar fashion to a synchronous

generator, with the DFIG able to supply reactive power while squirrel cage induction

generators cannot. The inherent tolerance of squirrel cage induction generators to variable

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

speed operation is also found in wound rotor induction generators, with speed variations

allowable up to ±30% of synchronous speed [28, 41].

DFIG is often used in high power (>5MW) wind turbine systems, mainly due to their cost,

and the comparative cost of frequency converters in using squirrel cage generators. However,

they have been successfully prototyped at lower power ratings. Since they are of more

versatile than synchronous generators, and frequency control is achieved with much smaller

converters, DFIG is the most widely used VSCF system. Such use involves both grid-

connected systems and stand-alone generation in both wind and hydro energy conversion

applications.

A key element of this project is the capability of converting a varying frequency into a fixed

frequency, it is important to identify the equipment capable of achieving this goal. This is

done through the use of input speed controlling governors and output frequency converters.

4.3.1 Governors

Put simply, a governor is a system that maintains the rotating speed of a generator/turbine

under changing load conditions [4, 30]. For hydro energy conversion systems, speed is

controlled by adjusting the flow of water [4, 5]. Most mechanical governors sense only

mechanical speed changes [5], but many modern systems use electronic sensors and complex

PID controllers3 [42]. Electronic governors are more flexible as they may be tuned more

precisely or specifically, while mechanical governors are tuned quite easily for single set

point systems, but become increasingly more complicated if multiple speed set points are

required.

3

Proportional, Integral, Derivative Controllers are commonly used in electronic control systems.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

4.3.2.1 Inverters

Whenever a change in transmission frequency is required, some form of inverter technology

and power electronics devices is needed. Most commonly, inverters are constructed using

three stages [43]:

• A rectifier stage takes the AC voltage whose frequency is to be changed and converts

it into a DC voltage with a ripple component (as shown in figure 4.5).

Fig. 4.5: DC and ripple voltage associated with a three-phase rectifier circuit. Sourced from [44]

• A DC link stage filters out the ripple voltage, and provides temporary energy storage.

This is usually achieved through the use of a large capacitor, or bank of capacitors;

• A Pulse-Width Modulated (PWM) inverter circuit converts the DC voltage into an AC

voltage at the required frequency. Frequency control is achieved by changing the

PWM switching signal carrier, which allows the inverter output frequency to be totally

independent of the original signal. This stage consists of a series of IGBTs being

activated by the PWM switching signal applied to the transistor base, operated as

on/off switches. Alternative systems use MOSFETs, bipolar junction transistors, or

thyristors, depending on power requirements. However, IGBTs are used

predominantly in high power applications due to their large current-handling

capabilities and high carrier frequencies.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

In some cases, particularly where the input signal is increasing or decreasing in frequency, the

DC link voltage may rise or fall in sympathy. In these cases, an additional stage is required

prior to inverting. Buck-Boost converters are essentially DC transformers, in that they change

a DC voltage from one level to another [29].

A simple Buck-Boost converter is shown in figure 4.6, where it can be seen that thyristor

switching techniques are used in conjunction with other passive components to either increase

or decrease the secondary voltage as required. The mathematical equations [28, 45] for the

conversion process are given in equations 4.5 to 4.7 (D is the duty cycle of the thyristor

switching):

D

Vout = Vin (4.5)

1− D

D

I in = I out (4.6)

1− D

Vin I in = Vout I out (4.7)

A point of note is that the power relationship is the same as for a transformer (eqn. 4.7).

Variable speed drives (VSDs) are commonly used in motor control applications [43], such as

variable flow pumping, conveyers, etc. They are sometimes referred to as variable frequency

drives (VFDs) since they control the speed of the motors by varying the frequency of the

applied voltage [46]. In effect, VSDs are a working example of an inverter described above:

they rectify the grid voltage to DC, which is then PWM inverted to whatever frequency is

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

required. There are a number of VSD manufacturers, such as Allen Bradley, Danfoss, NHP,

and ABB. While most VSDs only change frequency in one direction, many can be

programmed using their own internal logic controller, complete with sensor inputs and

outputs. With this in mind, a control system program may be implemented on the VSD’s

internal controller allowing it to independently monitor and control the frequency and current

flow to the generator rotor.

One particular side effect of PWM inverters is that the output voltage is not sinusoidal: it is in

fact a series of square waves. According to Fourier theory, a square wave is composed of the

infinite weighted sum of the fundamental signal and all of the odd harmonics of that

fundamental signal [34, 47, 48].

Fig. 4.7: Typical PWM output waveform and the simulated sinusoidal waveform

In reality, a typical PWM waveform (figure 4.7), simulating a 50Hz signal modulated with a

carrier frequency of 1kHz, can be analysed in the frequency domain by using Fourier

transform methods to give the result shown in figure 4.8.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

The carrier frequency component is quite significant in the transmission of power, and this

needs to be reduced significantly in order to comply with IEEE std. 519, which identifies the

maximum allowable total harmonic distortion limits (THD) that can be returned to a grid

supply. THD is the ratio of harmonic content to fundamental content, given by the formula

[44]:

THD =

∑I 2

Harmonic

(4.8)

I Fundamental

In the case of PWM inverters, THD can be greater than 100%, approaching 150%. The

requirements of IEEE std. 519, however, are that grid-side THD is to be no more than 2.5%

for current distortion and 5% for voltage distortion when generating LV power for distributed

systems.

Compliance of IEEE std. 519 is achieved using filters [47, 49] to attenuate the harmonic

frequency components, and also by increasing the carrier frequency to maximize the filter’s

attenuation effects. The techniques used for this are detailed in chapter 5.4, but

predominantly are composed of shunt capacitances for voltage filtering and series inductive

chokes for the smoothing of line currents [27, 46].

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

The system developed in simulations was based on a water storage facility delivering a net

head of 30 m to the generator turbine. The turbine used as a baseline was a TKL Super Titan

450x500-375 (450 mm diameter inlet, 500 mm diameter discharge, and 375 mm diameter

impeller4), which develops 170 kW at 1246 RPM with 89.0% efficiency. This results in a net

generator shaft power of 151.3 kW. A flow rate of 649.9 m3/s is required to achieve this.

Calculations for water velocity for this pump are shown below5:

8Q 8.650

ω= = = 17655.6[rad / s ] (5.1)

πd ' di (π )(0.5) 2 (0.375)

2

For the model used, this was converted into a p.u. value of 1, and compared against the actual

turbine mechanical speed to determine the torque delivered to the turbine. For simplicity, the

torque model was developed using a modified wind turbine model with a restricted operating

range. This was due to the absence of more specific and accurate torque-speed data for

reversible pumps, which is discussed in chapter 6.1. Appendix D contains a comparison of

head and flow rate against the most efficient turbine operating speed. The generator used was

a 6 pole 150 kW induction machine wound rotor type. Using a torque input from the turbine

model and the load power requirements, the generator model determined the output power

and resulting relative rotor speed. A phase-locked loop (PLL) circuit was included to extract

the frequency being provided to the load and send it to the governing equipment. From there

the method of governing depended on the model used, as described in the following

subchapters.

Finally, the load model used is a resistive load. Steady state analysis was performed using

load values of 50%, 75% and 100% of full generator capacity. The tabulated results are

presented in the following chapters, along with more specific characteristics of the different

models developed. Diagrams of the Simulink models implemented are shown in Appendix B.

4

For a reversible pump turbine, the penstock is coupled to the discharge flange, with the tail water flowing out

of the inlet.

5

Derivation for ω is given in Appendix D, equation D.1.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

The purpose of the initial model was to establish the shortcomings of an uncontrolled

approach to induction generator use. Fig. 5.1 shows the single line diagram of the system

implemented in Simulink while a modified approach was taken for the practical test.

Fig. 5.1: Single line diagram of uncontrolled squirrel-cage induction generator model

For this section of the experiment, the turbine speed was maintained constant at 1400, 1450,

1500, 1550, and 1600 RPM. The applied torque, power output and power factor of the

simulated generator are provided in table 5.1.

Table 5.1: Results from simulations of various speeds for SCIG with no frequency control

Tested Resultant Pout (kW) pf

Speed (RPM) Torque (Nm)

1400 147.16 61.4 0.9897

1450 167.69 54.3 0.9868

1500 197.74 47.63 0.9884

1550 230.1 42.21 0.9781

1600 248.36 39.14 0.9587

These results were evaluated against an actual generator (using the same configuration and

parameters6), and these results are provided in table 5.2.

6

In fact, the details of the generator and load parameters, shown in appendices A & B, for the simulator were

taken from components used for the practical test.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Table 5.2: Results from practical experiments at various speeds for SCIG with no frequency control

Tested Resultant Pout (W) η pf

Speed (RPM) Torque (Nm) %

1493 -1.36 -193.05 91 0.1

1513 5.42 213.9 24.9 0.11

1530 12.61 948.6 46.9 0.4

1550 20.34 1634.1 49.5 0.58

From these results, it is clear that the Simulink model didn’t adequately represent the real-

world data. This was likely due to the use of a speed input to the model generator rather than

a driving torque, or rather a combined torque/speed input from a simulated turbine. Torque

was too high, as was the power factor. Also, no change was seen in direction of power flow

when speed transitioned from sub-synchronous speed to super-synchronous speed. However,

examining the practical data, machine power flow is seen as being positive when generating.

Torque is also much lower, representing the machine efficiency more accurately. In this case,

the machine was most efficient when motoring rather than generating. However, efficiency

when generating increased with rotor speed, as did power factor.

Even though the Simulink model using a speed input provided erratic results, the basic

concept of a standard induction machine with no frequency control shows, from practical

experiments, that the system experiences low efficiencies and low lagging power factors.

This result in itself is sufficient to warrant further investigation of alternative VSCF

techniques.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Once the baseline model had been completed and evaluated, a DFIG model was developed,

again using Simulink. This model was adapted from a wind turbine simulation model already

existing in MATLAB®’s database. The following adaptations were made:

• Wind turbine-related components were changed or adjusted (where possible) to hydro

turbine components. This involved altering the yaw and pitch controls to provide

fixed (or as close to fixed as possible) outputs, and to accept a flow rate input (in L/s

compared with m/s) instead of wind speed;

• Once alterations on the model had begun, the original accompanying initialization file

failed to work. Since attempts to reset the initialization file resulted in frustration,

machine initialization was removed from the model. This resulted in a period (of

approximately 0.5s) where the voltages, currents, torque, and rotor speed of the

machine fluctuated before settling to a steady state. Since this project’s scope focused

on the application of a VSCF model to hydro situations under steady state conditions,

these results were acknowledged as a potential problem in transient stability, but

otherwise discarded unless the simulation did not achieve steady state from a dead

start;

• The original wind model consisted of a 9MW wind farm with multiple generating

units. However, the scope of this project required only up to a 500kW output. As

such, generator and local load parameters were changed to reflect this. The

parameters used were based on the components priced in appendix C, with the actual

parameters shown in appendix B. These components were selected as a comparison

with a known configuration implemented by Tyco Tamar.

The block diagrams of the model employed in Simulink and the accompanying parameters

file is provided in appendix B.

The model developed for this project comprises a 150 kW DFIG feeding a local resistive load

and a connection with a 33 kV distribution network. The load was changed for different

simulation runs, testing 50%, 75% & 100% generating capacity of the DFIG. The distribution

network connection comprised of a 415V/33kV step-up transformer, transmission lines, and a

utility generator, among other earthing and transmission components. The design of the

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

distribution network was not included in the initial project scope, and so a generic model from

another Simulink model file was used. Simple alterations were made, such as voltages and

frequency, to match it to the developed system.

The DFIG block in the model receives an input in the form of hydraulic flow rate, in L/s. The

flow rate input connects directly to the hydro turbine block internal to the DFIG block. The

turbine model compares flow rate with the turbine speed to produce the torque reference to be

applied to the rotor of the generator.

The DFIG block is constructed as shown in figs. 3.1 & 3.2 with one additional component. A

line choke is introduced between the frequency converter and the network. This is designed

to reduce the effects of harmonic currents and voltages on the loads, explained in chapter 5.4.

In this model, the two PWM IGBT converters are controlled independently for three main

reasons:

1. To provide synchronism between the line-side converter (LSC) output and the stator

output;

2. To enable greater control over the DC link voltage; and

3. To independently control the voltage and current flow in the rotor windings from the

rotor-side converter (RSC).

The use of independent converters requires a controller capable of dual control outputs from

common inputs. Initially, inputs are filtered to remove measurement noise before being

passed through to the controller. The controller extracts frequency and phase angle

information, which it passes through to the LSC controller and RSC controller with other

electrical and mechanical information.

The LSC controller’s task is simpler than the RSC controller’s. Its key objective is to regulate

the frequency and magnitude of output power flow, which is done through the control of d-

axis and q-axis voltage magnitudes. The corresponding reference voltage is sampled,

discretised, and a set of pulses are generated for the control of the LSC. The RSC controller’s

objectives are to control the rotor torque and speed, and the amount of reactive power

generated, by regulating the flow of and frequency of current in the rotor windings. Another

reference voltage is sampled, discretised, and another set of pulses is generated to control the

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

RSC. The modulated frequency of the RSC controller output is determined according to the

machine’s apparent slip, as shown in chapter 37.

Fig. 5.2: Generated power output for various flow rates to a 50% load and distribution network

Simple simulations were performed using variation in flow rate (50%, 100%, and 150%) and

local load (50%, 75%, and 100%). Fig. 5.2 provides a comparison between the different flow

rates for a 50% load case as they affect output power. The bottom line represents a flow rate

of 325 L/s, or 50% of nominal flow. Here it can be seen that power is being generated by the

DFIG, but not enough to independently supply the full load. The 50% load case represents a

load of 75 kW, and so 26 kW from the distribution network is supplementing the generated 49

kW. Increasing the rate of flow to 650 L/s resulted in the middle line. This flow rate allowed

the DFIG to produce nearly 68 kW of power, which like the 50% flow rate case, was

insufficient to independently supply the load. Thus the load is importing approximately 7 kW

from the distribution network. The final line in fig. 5.2 illustrates the power produced when a

flow rate of 975 L/s is employed. From this line, it can be seen that the power produced by

the generator exceeds the load requirements, resulting in approximately 8-10 kW being

exported to the distribution network.

Np s

7

f R = sf = . Also, the RSC current is controlled proportional to sPr, the slip multiplied by the air-

120 1 − s

gap power.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Fig. 5.3: Per-unit operating speed for various flow rates when connected to a 50% load and distribution network

Fig. 5.3 shows how the turbine speed relates to the rate of hydraulic flow. When the turbine

receives 50% of rated flow, the DFIG controller regulates the generator speed to 94% of rated

speed. In the model developed, this equates to a speed of approximately 940 RPM. In

conjunction with fig. 5.2, this flow rate results in sub-synchronous power being produced.

Thus, power is being diverted from the output of the generator through the inverter to supply

a modulated frequency of f R = sf Hz = 3 Hz to the rotor windings, where:

Ns − N 60

s= = = 6% (5.2)

Ns 1000

Therefore, approximately sPr=3 kW at 3 Hz is modulated by the RSC. This shows that a

smaller converter is capable of being implemented in DFIG than is required in a series-

connected configuration.

When the flow rate increases to rated flow (650 L/s), the turbine speed settles at

approximately 1.035 pu (1035 RPM). This results in a super-synchronous slip of 3.5%,

leading to slip energy being drawn from the rotor windings at a frequency of approximately

1.75 Hz. The amount of power recovered from the slip energy is approximately 2.3 kW.

Similarly, increasing the flow rate to 975 L/s (150% flow) results in a turbine speed of 1.12

pu (1120 RPM, also super-synchronous speed). This leads to a slip of 12% and a power flow

of approximately 10 kW at 6 Hz.

Two primary problems arise from the data collected. Firstly, a constant flow rate and load are

used, but fluctuations are observed in the power produced in the simulation. The main cause

of this response behaviour is due to the method of regulating rotor torque. Whilst mechanical

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

torque is regulated through proportional control, the electromagnetic torque is regulated using

PI control in the RSC controller. This control is also affected by responses to other

parameters such as gate opening, DC link voltage fluctuations, and machine inertia, resulting

in a number of persistent and subtle adjustments to the flow of current in the rotor. The

second main problem is that the power output and range of speeds appear to be smaller than

expected. The reasons for this and the suggested improvements are explained in chapter

5.3.5.

Fig. 5.4 shows a magnified portion of the control system block. The second input is used to

control the set point for the power factor of the generator. As described in earlier chapters,

the DFIG is capable of generating both leading and lagging power factors for the purpose of

network bus voltage support. Within the model itself, the Q_ref input can receive a constant

or a range of values (e.g. a ramp, step, multiple steps, etc.) to be implemented during

simulation. These values are on a per-unit scale (corresponding to the machine’s kVA rating),

between –1 and 1, with negative reference values indicating lagging power factor. This

capability is important for two key reasons:

1. The ability to generate power at unity or leading power factor enables DFIG to begin

operation, or remain operating, without the presence of an external reactive power

source (such as a capacitor bank or distribution network); and

2. Power system security is enhanced since the controller set point can be independently

regulated to maintain the local bus voltage to within AS1359.101 limits. If this set

point is regulated by a central SCADA system, the DFIG may be used to aid overall

power system security, rather than simply local security.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Table. 5.3: Generated power factor by DFIG for zero, positive, and

negative Q_ref controller inputs(50% load, 50% flow)

Q_ref (pu) Power Factor (average)

+0.5 0.6257 (lead)

0 1 (unity)

-0.5 0.6524 (lag)

Table 5.3 shows the system steady-state power factor for a zero, leading (positive), and

lagging (negative) Q_ref set point. As can be clearly seen from this table, the ability of the

DFIG to respond to a power factor set point to source or sink reactive power can be

independently controlled.

As shown in fig. 5.3, for a given flow rate threshold, the DFIG system is capable of

generating power even while mechanically rotating at sub-synchronous speeds. This ability

significantly increases the operating speed range of the system compared with a conventional

induction generator, which acts as a motor when the rotating speed drops below synchronous

speed. For a 50% flow rate, the active and reactive power of the DFIG system can be

controlled as shown in figs. 5.5 & 5.6.

Fig. 5.5: Active power for various Q_ref set points at sub-synchronous

operation (50% load, 50% flow)

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

operation (50% load, 50% flow)

Clearly, though the reactive power component increases relatively linearly with the set point,

active power decreases non-linearly. As such, a reasonable range of reactive power set points

can be implemented without significantly adversely affecting the supply of active power.

Relatively simple but time consuming improvements can be made to the DFIG simulation in

order to more closely approximate the real system being modeled. Firstly, as demonstrated in

chapter 5.3.2, the current model does not seem to provide enough power. At rated flow, the

generator should be producing close to the rated output power of the generator, or at least it is

expected to produce more than it is. The cause of this can be found in the turbine block of the

model. Since this model was adapted from a wind turbine block, the method for converting

wind speed to wind power was assumed to be similar for flow rate and hydraulic power.

However, the data found in appendix D, along with equation 1.1, demonstrates that the

behaviour of hydraulic power also depends on head. Thus the model requires an alteration to

include the supplied head as an input, to which it should compare flow rate to determine the

hydraulic power supplied to the turbine. Then, it needs to utilize data that identifies the most

efficient operating speed for the head and flow rate combination. This will then provide the

reference torque output to the generator block. From this simple analysis, it can be seen that

the process itself is relatively straightforward, but the implementation requires a significant

allocation of resources to obtain the efficient speed data for given flow rates that is needed for

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Final Report and Thesis

this improvement. It also introduces an order of complexity to the operation of the turbine

model itself, with two hydraulic set points required as inputs to the model. An independent

input for head is only required if the flow rate is being controlled, as might be the case when

the DFIG system is used primarily in islanded mode, and power output needs to be controlled

in order to reduce energy losses through dump loads. If no flow control is used, known

relationships between the most efficient operating point and the hydraulic flow rate can be

used instead, either as a function or as a look-up table. This would be a much simpler model

to produce, but still requires the use of real data.

This leads into the gate-opening variable of the turbine. Strictly speaking, a reversible pump

is a fixed gate turbine, and so this variable should be set to 100% constantly. Once again, due

to the adaptation of the turbine from the wind model, this variable was altered from the pitch

angle of the wind turbine blade. However, the data provided from the model suggests that

this was causing problems with supplied power due to the controller attempting to manipulate

the variable’s value. The results of this can be seen in the steady-state variations in power

output and the slope of the turbine speed measurement. The controller uses proportional gain

control to manipulate the variable, with limitations placed on the maximum rate of change of

the gate angle based on the speed of the turbine. This explains why the turbine speed step

change is much smaller in magnitude than is expected (see appendix D). The model can be

improved to more closely resemble the real system’s behaviour by removing this variable,

replacing it with a constant that reflects the greatest effect of flow on speed.

The use of power electronics in the power converters introduces harmonic frequencies that

can cause problems with both local loads and network security8, depending on the overall

total harmonic distortion at the point of common connection. In order to comply with IEEE

std.519, the system harmonic output requires filtering. The following chapters examine the

theoretical design of the filter and its specifications, and the harmonic analysis of

experimental data.

8

Harmonic currents can cause higher power losses in conductors and transformers than would be otherwise

expected resulting in overheating and component failure, even though instruments indicate no danger. This is

because most measuring instruments are sensitive to the fundamental frequency voltages and currents only.

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Final Report and Thesis

Three types of filter design were explored:

1. A simple LC 2nd-order low pass filter;

2. A T-filter (LCL 3rd-order low pass filter); and

3. A two-stage LC low pass filter (4th-order).

Two main types of filter design method were considered for this project to implement the

above filters: Butterworth and Chebychev. Before determining any circuit values, the order

of the filter required needed to be determined. For a Butterworth filter, this was determined

by the following equation, given that at 1kHz, the filter needs to attenuate the output by

approximately 60dB, and the -3dB frequency is approximately 70Hz, and at 50Hz the gain

must be close to unity.

1

= −60dB

2n

ω

1 +

ω0

∴ n = 0.5 log 1000 999999 (5.3)

70

∴ nactual = 1.3

1

= −1dB

2n

ω

1 +

ω0

∴ n = 0.5 log 50 10 −0.05 − 1 (5.4)

70

∴ nactual = 2.01

From these equations, it can be seen that at least a 2nd order filter is required to ensure suitable

attenuation of carrier harmonics with minimal attenuation of the fundamental. The alternative

design approach is using a Chebychev filter. This design calls for a small passband ripple,

which was specified as –1dB (ε=0.891). The same magnitude of attenuation at 1kHz was

used as with the Butterworth filter, and this was fed into the following equation to identify the

required Chebychev filter order:

Kyron Fogarty 34

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

1

= −60dB

ω

1 + ε 2Cn2

ω0

999999

cosh −1

∴n = 0.8912 (5.5)

1000

cosh −1

70

∴ nactual = 2 .3

It is clear that, comparing this result (3rd order minimum) with that of the Butterworth filter,

there is no distinct advantage in selecting a Chebychev filter in this case.

The Butterworth filter pole locations, for 2nd order, 3rd order and 4th order are given by the

following equations:

1+ j 1+ j

s 2 + 2ω n s + ω n2 = ( s + ω n )( s + ωn ) (5.6)

2 2

1+ j 3 1− j 3

s 3 + 2ω n s 2 + 2ω n2 s + ω n3 = ( s + ω n )( s + ω n )( s + ωn ) (5.7)

2 2

s 4 + 2.613ω n s 3 + 3.414ω n2 s 2 + 2.613ω n3 s + ω n4

= ( s 2 + 0.7654ω n s + ω n2 )( s 2 + 1.8478ω n s + ω n2 ) (5.8)

0.7654 ± j1.8477 1.8477 ± j 0.7654

= (s + ω n )( s + ωn )

2 2

By selecting a corner frequency of 70Hz, it is hoped to avoid harmonic resonance issues in

the network.

The next stage in the design process was the component value selection process, using

resistors, capacitors and inductors (resistors are shunted across the capacitor terminals). Once

values were selected, they could be implemented in PSPICE simulations, as shown in chapter

5.2.2.2. For a simple L-C filter, shown in figure 5.7, the transfer function is:

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

1

LC ω n2

T (s) = = 2 (5.9)

1 1 s + 2ζω n s + ω n2

s2 + s+

RC LC

Values chosen were 0.45mH, 115µF, and 1.4Ω. A two-stage filter could be implemented for

the 4th order filter, with L and C values identical to the 2nd order filter. However, the resistor

values required would be 2.6Ω and 1.07Ω. Finally, the 3rd order filter implementation has a

transfer function of:

1 + RCs

L1C αω s + ω n

T (s) = = 2 n (5.10)

1 + RCs s + αω n s + ω n2

S2 +

L1C

Once again, the corner frequency is the same, thus the same L and C values can be used.

However, the resistor value is changed to be 2.8Ω.

The three filters were each tested using a white-noise voltage source, and the closed-loop gain

roll-off characteristics were simulated as shown in figure 5.8.

In these simulations, the load was modeled by the low-voltage side of a distribution

transformer (22/0.415 kV) using a simple RL network with a reactance of 22% and L/R ratio

of 15, shown in figure 5.9.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

It can be seen here that the optimum response is achieved using the two-stage, 4th-order filter,

as expected. However, the order of the filter is reduced due to the parallel inductance of the

load, accounting for the low stop-band roll-off rate. This can be considered a worst-case

situation, as the load is likely to be dominated by resistance, leading to the filter order to be

maximized. Thus, when the generator is isolated, the harmonics are more heavily attenuated,

while the high electrical inertia of the grid assists in reducing the effects of the harmonics in

that mode.

Practical data collected from the generator-supplied inverter circuit (fig. 4.2) was passed

through a fast-Fourier transform (FFT) method in MATLAB® and the resulting frequency-

domain signal was plotted. This plot is shown in figs. 5.10 & 5.11.

Fig. 5.10: Time domain analysis of inverter outputs with harmonic distortion

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Fig. 5.11: Frequency domain analysis of inverter outputs with harmonic distortion

It was immediately visible that the magnitudes of the harmonic components were much

smaller than was expected at the IGBT carrier frequencies (approximately 4.5kHz and

subsequent harmonics). This data was then passed through an algorithm designed to

determine the THD for both current and voltage. These results are presented in table 5.4.

Calculation of the order of filter required using MATLAB® resulted in a minimum of a first-

order filter having the capability of reducing each of the THD values to within 2.5% as

prescribed by IEEE std.519.

& Outputs before filtering

Source Fundamental Magnitude THD (%)

Input Voltage 477 Vp, l-l 662

Input Current 3.22 Ap 2682

Output Voltage 285 Vp, l-n 1859

Output Current 4.73 Ap 3030

This was less than the 3rd order filter required by calculation and the 4th order filter

demonstrated by the simulation previously. This result is significant, since no practically

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

realizable filter can maintain unity gain up to the cutoff frequency. Thus, some power losses

can be expected with any filter at frequencies of the pass-band close to the cutoff frequency,

and these losses increase with the order of the filter. As such, a low-order filter with a cutoff

frequency as high as possible is optimal in order to maximize the power output and minimize

power losses through the converter.

Harmonic filtering and power loss minimization is of greatest importance when using a

series-connected inverter, such as might be used with the system shown in fig. 4.2. This is

due to the fact that the inverter transfers the full amount of generated power. Power losses in

the order of –0.5 to –1dB may be tolerated, but for a 300 kW generator, this means that only

79.4% of the maximum generated power is available to the load. However, DFIG systems

used a reduced rating inverter, resulting in a maximum of 30% of rated power flowing

through the inverter. Thus, for the same generator capacity, the losses are reduced by as much

as 70% (21 kW loss for super-synchronous DFIG compared with a 61.7 kW loss for series-

connected inverter).

As explained in chapter 4.4, PWM-controlled power electronic devices generate significant

harmonic distortion into the current and voltage waveforms. The harmonic frequencies

influencing these waveforms are dominated by multiples of the PWM carrier frequency.

However, from the figures shown above, simple low-order harmonic filters can reduce these

effects significantly. Some harmonic distortion will still be present after filtering that may

cause problems in particularly sensitive equipment.

Two methods exist to improve the attenuation performance of the filter. The first is to

increase the filter order form a 1st order to a 2nd or 3rd order. Using this method returns the

problems encountered in the simulated results, in that the power supplied through the inverter

at the fundamental frequency is also attenuated up to 70-80%. A simple method of

maximizing the harmonic attenuation whilst minimizing fundamental power attenuation is to

increase the carrier frequency. The carrier frequency used in the simulation was 1 kHz, while

the practical test used a carrier frequency of 4.5 kHz. Further increases in the carrier

frequency can result in both an increased attenuation of the carrier as well as an increase in

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

the filter cutoff frequency. This will also help to reduce the filtering effects on the

fundamental power.

Some problems encountered during the practical testing phase of the project were relatively

minor, while others were severe. Instrumentation problems hampered data collection.

Analogue meters used to measure power flow and RMS line currents and voltages were

susceptible to harmonic distortion, leading to inflated measurements. In some tests, the

system efficiency (load power: “turbine” power) exceeded 150%. Fourier analysis of the

voltage and current waveforms showed that the presence of harmonics injected by the inverter

contributed significantly to this phenomenon, and so the readings obtained from these meters

was discounted as no more than a reference. Radio-frequency noise from the inverter PWM

switching circuit also caused some interference on signal leads from the voltage and current

transducers to the LabView data interface module when signals were low enough. This was

overcome using software filters during the data manipulation phase of the experiment due to

simplicity and expediency. The most restricting complication was caused by the data control

processing requirements. While a useful, even powerful tool for data collection &

manipulation, it was not capable of performing closed-loop control of the system within the

required timeframe. Further research uncovered that digital signal processors (DSP’s) or

microcontrollers would be needed, as even dedicated PLCs were not able to meet the

necessary speeds. This essentially halted any further practical experimentation, since even

though the DSP was a relatively low cost item, coding and interfacing would require

significant time and effort that was no longer available.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

6. FURTHER RESEARCH

Because of time restraints, only a certain fraction of the desired tests were performed during

the course of the project. However, a number of potential avenues for further research and

practical implementation were revealed for a variety of engineering fields, and these are

discussed below.

Since this project’s industrial focus was on VSCF applied in hydroelectric systems using

reversible pumps, it would have been useful in simulations and practical tests to be able to

make use of real data, rather than a set of equations. This is mainly due to the differences in

behaviour of hydraulic turbines depending on their flow control characteristics. Since

reversible pumps are largely ungoverned, such information would be very helpful in more

effectively modeling similar systems in the future. Such data includes the dynamic effects of

varying head and flow on a centrifugal pump in reverse, energy extraction capabilities

(turbine efficiency), rotational speeds, and torque measurements. The main outcome from

this type of research would be the formulation of a meaningful, real-world practical model

that can be used in turbine simulations, and as a reference for more advanced practical

experiments using generators.

In order to be able to practically implement a DFIG system in the power laboratory here at the

University, the control strategy needs to be realized using microcontrollers or digital signal

processors (DSPs). While the hardware cost is relatively low (approximately $500 from

Texas Instruments), the control strategy complexity requires significant time and effort in

developing an interface between a user and the DFIG. Such involvedness lends itself to a

full-year student project, such as honours, or to a masters or PhD candidate majoring in

electronics or computer systems engineering.

Further research could be performed into interfacing the DSP with SCADA systems as well as

phase-locked loops required in grid synchronisation. Mechatronics or communications

engineering students could undertake this.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Implementing the above control system on a DFIG in the power lab to test practically the

following:

6.3.1 Synchronisation

Grid connection of any generator creates a number of issues that require consideration.

Induction machines cause significant inrush current when the interconnecting circuit breaker

is closed, even when the machine is spinning at speed. Synchronisation of synchronous

machines requires a process of equalizing voltage magnitude, frequency, and phase angle on

both sides of the circuit breaker. Governing the turbine and controlling the generator

excitation control this. However DFIG machines, which are by nature induction and thus can

be connected at any point of the phase cycle, are also effectively synchronous machines and

so can be synchronized using the rotor-side PWM converter in conjunction with any control

over the turbine. Since inrush current can cause disturbances on the utility network, it would

be of great interest to network service providers to determine whether DFIG systems can

reduce or eliminate current inrush if a synchronization process is used. This would also be of

interest when reconnecting an islanded distribution system supported by a DFIG.

6.3.2 Efficiency

A system’s efficiency is important in assessing its viability as an option for practical

consideration. Induction generators sacrifice energy through slip when directly connected to

a grid system. Further practical study into the system’s slip-energy recovery capability and

inverter losses by either honours students or project students majoring in power engineering

would be of significance and would aid in assessing the practical benefits or downfalls of

DFIG systems in comparison with conventional generating systems.

Analysis of a generator’s ability to respond to sudden changes in driving or loading conditions

is an important study in machine operations [33]. The main interest in transient stability

analysis is the performance of generators when presented with disturbances in loads, such as

load shedding, loss of other generators in the power system, and faults. Since the system

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

proposed in this project is implemented using an induction machine, sudden loss of line

voltage can cause problems with generator voltage field collapse [35]. Thus, further studies

into this aspect would be of great importance when considering practical implementation.

Another factor that should also be considered is the effects of dynamics in flow to the turbine,

which in the proposed system is completely ungoverned. The potential for frequency and

voltage instability as a result is worth investigation, and can have consequences in relation to

other ungoverned systems (fixed gate, uncontrolled flow, such as diesel-hydrogen hybrid

engines, currently being researched at the University of Tasmania) and under-governed

systems, such as wind turbines.

The use of power electronics for the frequency control component of the proposed system

leads to the introduction of harmonic currents and voltages that may impact on the system’s

IEEE-519 compliance. While during this project basic passive harmonic filtering

requirements were investigated, the specific filter characteristics like power losses and

component values were not considered. However, the possibility of resonance frequencies

caused by the filter components, transmission-line characteristics, and nearby reactive loads

(induction motors, refrigeration compressors, etc) in combination may cause problems with

such loads. Further study into this possibility may be helpful in determining whether it may

be a problem.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

6. CONCLUSIONS

Variable speed constant frequency systems are achievable using wound rotor induction

machines connected in a doubly fed arrangement. This configuration is capable of producing

both active and reactive power, as well as being able to spontaneously excite a rotating

electromagnetic field in the machine’s stator circuit allowing both grid-connected and stand-

alone operation. While variable speed systems are often synonymous with wind energy

conversion systems, it has also been used in hydro energy systems as a method of increasing

or improving turbine efficiencies. Simulations of the proposed DFIG model demonstrated a

capability of generating power at a large range of hydraulic flow rates for speeds both above

and below the machine’s synchronous speed. The model also showed a capacity for

generating power at a leading and lagging power factor, likening it to a synchronous machine

in this sense. This flexibility in power factor enables the DFIG system to provide support to a

low bus voltage or a high bus voltage as required by either generating at leading or lagging

power factor respectively. The main disadvantage with the Simulink model developed in this

project was the inability to support the theoretical findings with practical data. However,

future engineering student projects should be able to confirm these findings in the lab once a

DSP control system can be developed. Also, frequency analysis showed a tendency for an

inverter-featured system to introduce significant harmonic currents and voltages into a

network. These harmonics can be satisfactorily filtered to comply with IEEE 519 limits

whilst maintaining a maximum transfer of power from the inverter by implementing a 1st

order filter and increasing the PWM carrier frequency in the inverter stage.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

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7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

A number of people have provided assistance and advice to me over the course of this project,

and I would like to thank them for their help. In particular, I would like to thank Steve

Buckland, Rayner Page, Nick Wynwood, Michael Lemon, and the rest of the engineering

team at Tyco Tamar for their continued technical support and comprehensive advice. My

academic supervisors, Dr. Mohammed Kashem and Mr. David Edwards (first semester, and

work on harmonics and their mitigation), also deserve special thanks for their guidance and

expertise. Others who have contributed to the success of this project have been workshop

supervisor Steve Avery, John McCulloch, UTAS engineering PhD candidate Aktar Uj Jaman,

Brian Dabner from Power and Automation, and Graeme Hanna from Teco. I also would like

to thank my wife Rebecca for her patience and encouragement.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

SPECIFICATIONS

Electric Generator

7.5HP Crompton Parkinson Induction Machine, Wound Rotor type

4 Pole | 1400RPM

Stator Ratings: Voltage – 415Volts | Current – 11.5Amps | ∆-connected

Rotor Ratings: Current – 35Amps

Machine Equivalent Circuit

ES = 415 Vrms

RS = 1.115 Ω

LS = 5.974 mH

RR` = 1.083 Ω

LR` = 5.974 mH

LM = 203.7 mH

Prime Mover

10HP MacFarlane DC motor

1200/2400RPM

Danfoss 22kW VSD Model NO. VLT6000 HVAC

Induction Generator Magnetising Inductance = 203.7mH

For complete VAr compensation, QReq’d = QSupp’d:

V2 V2

∴ QSupp 'd = = = QRe q 'd

XC XL

1

∴ XC = XL ⇒ = 2πfLm

2πfC

1

∴C = ≈ 49.74 µF

(2πf ) 2 Lm

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Baseline Model

Model Data:

%%Initialisation

V_base = 415; %Base Voltage

P_base = 5e3; %Base VA

I_base = P_base/(sqrt(3)*V_base); %Base Current

Z_base = V_base^2/P_base; %Base Impedance

F_base = 50; %Base Frequency

Pnom = 5e3; %Nominal power (VA)

Vnom = 415; %Line-Line voltage (Vrms)

Fnom = 50; %Hz

Rs = 1.115; %Ohms

Lls = 0.005974; %Henries

Rr = 1.083; %Ohms

Llr = 0.005974; %Henries

Lm = 0.2037; %Henries

H = 0.089; %Inertia constant (kg.m^2)

F = 0.00; %Friction factor (N.m.s)

p = 2; %Number of pole pairs

V_load = Vnom; %Load nominal voltage (V)

F_load = Fnom; %Load nominal frequency (Hz)

P_load = 3e3; %Load active Power (W)

Ql_load = 0; %Load Inductive Reactive Power (+VArs)

Qc_load = 0; %Load Capacitive Reactive Power (-VArs)

Vnom_m = 33e3; %grid Line-to-line voltage

F_g = 50; %grid frequency (Hz)

Pnom_t = 10e6; %Distribution transformer VA rating

t_prim_param = [Vnom_m 0.067466 2.7343e-005]; %Transformer Primary parameters

t_sec_param = [Vnom 9.4917e-010 3.8469e-013]; %Transformer Secondary parameters

%% END OF FILE

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% Asynchronous machine data

Pnom=150e3; % Nominal power (VA)

Vnom=415; % Line-Line voltage (Vrms)

Fnom=50; %Hz

Rs=0.00706; %pu

Lls=0.171; %pu

Rr=0.005; %pu

Llr=0.156; %pu

Lm=2.9; %pu

H=5.04; %Inertia constant (s)

F=0.01; %Friction factor (pu)

p=3; %Number of pairs of poles

%PWM data

PWM_freq=27*Fnom;

%DC link

Vdc_nom=1200; %Volts

C_DClink=10000e-6; %Farads

%Choke data

R_RL=0.30/100; %pu

L_RL=0.30; %pu

%Turbine data

Pmec=150e3/0.9; % Nominal power (W)

power_C=0.93; %pu

speed_C=1.2; %pu

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

The prices below are an estimation of market value current at the time of writing this report.

A comparison is made on materials only (except known turbine manufacturing costs) for a

system using the proposed DFIG strategy and a reversible pump and casing, and a

synchronous generator system using a Kaplan turbine including casing. For simplicity, only a

single size system is compared (100kW). Costs are broken down into separate components

where possible, and do not include protection equipment, installation costs, pipe work, or

other components common to both systems. Where possible, make and part numbers are also

shown. Prices are exclusive of GST.

155kVA/140kW Synchronous Generator (Marelli $29500

Motori, Italy, 6 pole)

Programmable Logic Controller & Electronic $9800

Speed Governor (Allen Bradley Compact

Logix 1769-series)

Kaplan Turbine Runner & Casing (Tyco) $185000

Total $224300

132kW Wound Rotor Induction Machine ~$74000

(Seimens 6 Pole 6S/46142 Slip-ring Motor,

from Elektro-Maschinen-Zentrale GmbH, Germany)9

30kW Inverter Power Electronics Components $16000

2x Line Choke/filter (Allen Bradley, 1321-3R160B) $2000

Microcontroller (Texas Instruments, includes $2600

programming board)

9

Elektro-Maschinen-Zentrale GmbH offer new and used rotating machines on an auction-style basis. Customers

make an offer for items, which are either accepted or rejected. EMZ would not reply to email queries, and so the

price shown is three times the price for an equivalent cage rotor machine. This seemed to be a reasonable cost

assumption as shown ahead.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

& Lewis, Super Titan 450x500-375, 980RPM)

Total $121582

For a 150 kW system, it is clearly advantageous (cost-wise) to utilize the VSCF technology

on the proviso that an equivalent wound rotor induction machine is less than $176718 (the

price difference shown + the estimated price of the Seimens WRIG). Significant cost savings

can be initially channeled into R&D, thereafter flowing into business profits.

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

The data used in the turbine models was based on the information contained in table D.1 and

figures D.1 & D.2. The data relates to the pump selected for this project, indicated in

Appendix C. Torque applied by the hydrodynamic force to the generator is determined by the

equations D.1 & D2.

Q = av

d

v= iω

2

πd '2 d i

∴Q = ω (D.1)

8

8Q

∴ω =

πd '2 d i

60ω 240Q

∴ Nη = =

2π (πd ')2 d i

9.55Pt

T= (D.2)

Nη

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

Fig. D.2: Relationship between flow rate & applied turbine speed & torque

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] "Tyco Flow Control Pacific", Available online: www.tamar.com.au Accessed 15

Jun 2006 2006

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Kyron Fogarty 58

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Variable Speed Constant Frequency Small Hydro Generating System

Final Report and Thesis

variable speed constant frequency generation system," presented at Proceedings

of IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology 2000, 2000.

[19] Y. Kawabata, Y. Morine, T. Oka, E. Ejiogu, and T. Kawabata, "New stand-alone

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