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Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

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Grid-connected converter active and reactive power production T

maximization with respect to current limitations during grid faults

Ivan Todorović , Stevan Grabić, Zoran Ivanović
Department of Power, Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Trg Dositeja Obradovica 6, Novi Sad, Serbia


Keywords: During the grid disturbances, particularly voltage sags, if the grid-connected converter’s (GCC’s) power refer-
Grid connected converter ences are kept at the pre-fault level, the excessive currents would flow. This could force the inverter dis-
Current limitation connection, which is in conflict with the grid codes and the tendency to keep the GCC system connected to the
Current references grid as long as possible. Keeping the system connected for a prolonged periods of time offers a possibility of a
Power maximization
more effective grid support, better exploitation of available energy resources and generally more reliable power
supply. The aim of this paper is to address the utilization of active and reactive power production capacities
during unbalanced voltage sags with respect to the current limits. First proposed algorithm gives the grid op-
erator the opportunity to choose whether active or reactive power production is prioritized during voltage
disturbance, with the curtailment done only to the extent that the current limits are not surpassed. Second
approach allows for the power factor to stay the same before and during the sag. Selected hardware-in-the-loop
experiments are presented to validate the developed theoretical background and implemented algorithm.

1. Introduction Furthermore, keeping the same power references as before the fault will
cause excessive currents that will lead to triggering of the unit’s pro-
Grid-connected converters are affected by grid disturbances, parti- tection and disconnection from the grid - trait especially pronounced in
cularly when connected to the distribution power grids and microgrids, cases of asymmetrical voltage dips. Therefore, flexible GCC control al-
as they tend to be less stiff and prone to irregularities. With further gorithms that secure safe and maximized power production are of great
proliferation of distributed energy sources based on GCCs, the asso- importance for future power systems.
ciated grid interconnection problems will be amplified if not addressed A number of control strategies with flexible current and power
properly [1]. On the other hand, the grid codes demand ever increasing production have been developed. Still, safe production, with respect to
grid support from these units, even in cases of pronounced grid faults the current limitations, imposed by the converter switching elements’
[2]. characteristics, has seldom been discussed.
Voltage sags are particularly important disturbances to be ad- Until recently, the grid codes did not require photovoltaic based
dressed, as they are the most frequent and can have the most adverse distribution generation units to offer grid support and, consequently,
effects on the GCCs’ operation. The main reasons for the unbalanced generate reactive power during voltage sags, but were expected to
voltages occurrences are short-circuit faults, connection of the big loads produce active power. As a consequence, safe power production stra-
and unbalanced loads [3]. The first two often result in a transient, tegies were proposed, but only with respect to the active power [4–7].
short-lasting, still more serious dips. The load unbalances, intrinsic Some grid codes now demand a grid support feature from PV applica-
characteristic of the distribution networks, usually result in less pro- tions and thus the previous references become obsolete [8]. Unlike in
nounced, but significantly longer-lasting dips. In any case, the longer PV applications, in wind farm and static compensator applications, only
the converter can safely stay connected to the grid the better. If the reactive power is of interest during deep voltage sags [9–11]. The ap-
voltage sag is serious, the grid support realized by the production of proach proposed in [12,13] addresses not only current amplitudes, but
reactive power could have strong palliative influence during and post- also comprehensively examines safe power production possibility con-
fault. On the other hand, if the voltage dips last longer, inadequate sidering the AC and DC side voltage limits. Furthermore, load balancing
control strategies could lead to poor utilization of available energy feature is introduced. Still, this algorithm also takes into account only
supplied by the primary energy sources, to load shedding etc. the reactive power. Again, dedicated solutions could become outdated

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (I. Todorović).
Received 17 September 2017; Received in revised form 29 January 2018; Accepted 26 March 2018
0142-0615/ © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

and would not suffice if the grid codes are changed [14]. Having the 2. Grid-connected converter control algorithm
possibility of fluid change in power production at disposal would be in
the accordance to the tendency to make the grid more flexible and The connection of renewable energy sources to the existing power
responsive to different fault scenarios. Also, the fact that one-sided grid has become an interesting and challenging task for researchers in
approach was assumed limits the number of applications in which the recent years, especially when the disturbances are taken into account.
proposed solutions can be applied. As a result, a number of inverter control strategies that ensure safe and
The paper [15] does offer the simultaneous active and reactive reliable power production even with the perturbation in the grid have
power production, but it does not account for the negative sequence been developed. Most of the strategies are based on symmetrical com-
current components. Thus, this oversimplified solution results in non- ponents extraction [19–21]. Those based on direct power control
sinusoidal currents and uncontrolled oscillations in active and reactive [22,23] and sliding mode control [24] have also been examined and
power. The solution proposed in [14] gives general approach to the successfully validated. A thorough overview of these control strategies
problem of the power references calculation in the stationary reference and other less common approaches can be found in [25–27].
frame. This should be the base for the flexible peak current limitation Algorithms based on symmetrical sequences extraction employ ei-
solution for different power curtailment scenarios. Still, final algorithm ther the proportional-integral (PI) or the proportional-resonant (PR)
output manages only average components of active and reactive controllers. PI current regulators face the existence of the ripple at
powers. Oscillating components were not taken into account. Also, in double the grid frequency caused by inversely rotating current and
order to function properly, the proposed algorithm necessitates usage of voltage components [28]. This poses fundamental constraint upon the
the sag detector. The sag detector’s dynamics certainly has a degrading attainable control bandwidth. On the other hand, the ability of a PR
effect on transient processes. Furthermore, for the reactive power re- controller to control oscillating variables in their original form obviates
ference calculation, active power reference, that is the output of the the need for filtering and simplifies the design of the loop dynamic
higher-layer control loop, is used (and vice versa). It could happen that characteristics [29]. Still, it is less intuitive and harder to analyze the
this active power reference alone would result in currents that are alternating variables in stationary reference frame and the process of
above the limits. This situation was not addressed and thus the ex- references calculation is a more straightforward task in synchronous
pressions for the references would become unsolvable. A similar remark reference frame.
can be made for the approaches given in [16,17]. The appropriate As both aspects - control dynamics and handling the references - are
curtailment of the power reference that comes from the higher-layer crucial for attaining control goal, the approach taken here was to
level loop was not considered. The results supplied in [18] suggest that combine the control methods - PR regulators were used for the current
the current capacities are not fully used as currents’ amplitudes are well control, with the references calculated in the synchronous reference
under the limit. Also, the currents have highly non-sinusoidal wave- frame. The outlook of the plant and control algorithm is illustrated in
forms. Fig. 1. Measured three-phase grid currents, iabc, and grid voltages, uabc,
This paper proposes contemporary calculation frame that yields are first transformed to the two-phase stationary αβ system by using
maximized converter utilization both in regular and irregular grid Clarke transformation. The transformed voltages, uαβ, are fed to the-
states, taking into account different grid support strategies, currently sequence extractor and phase-locked-loop (PLL) unit that calculates
valid and beyond standards. The algorithm shown here offers two synchronous frame grid voltage components, udp, uqp, udn and uqn, es-
paradigms with total of six possible scenarios for safe simultaneous timated grid angle, θ, and frequency, ω. This stage is based on the dual
control of active and reactive power flow with certain distinctive fea- second order generalized integrator [30]. Active power reference, Pr, is
tures. The first paradigm corresponds to the scheme of output power usually produced by the DC-link voltage controller. According to the
maximization while giving production priority to the active power or [31,32], the reactive power reference is generated by either grid vol-
reactive power. The second paradigm corresponds to the scheme of tage control loop, can be specifically defined by the grid operator in
output power factor control, again with maximized total power output. VAr or can be calculated using defined cosφ and available active power.
In both paradigms, active or reactive power oscillating components at Power references, grid voltage sequences and angle are used in the
double the grid frequency are optionally minimized. Minimized active process of current references calculation. The transformation of positive
power oscillations would lead to minimized oscillations in the DC link (p) and negative (n), direct (d) and quadrature (q) current reference
voltage, while minimized reactive power oscillation could be of primary components, idpr, iqpr, idnr and iqnr, into the stationary reference frame is
interest because of AC side voltage stability. Next, the algorithm does done according to inverse Park transformation (1) [33].
not require a sag detector. Thus, during algorithm execution, there is no r r r
need for the code structure change. The transition from nominal con- ⎡iα ⎤ = ⎡ cosθ − sinθ ⎤ ⎡idp ⎤ + ⎡ cos(−θ) − sin(−θ) ⎤ ⎡idn ⎤
dition to the fault-ride-through regime progresses seamlessly, implying ⎢ iβ ⎥ ⎣ sinθ cosθ ⎦ ⎢iqp ⎥ ⎢ sin(−θ) cos(−θ) ⎥ ⎢iqn
r r r ⎥
⎣ ⎦ ⎣ ⎦ ⎣ ⎦⎣ ⎦ (1)
the best possible transient behavior. Furthermore, the produced grid
currents have sinusoidal shape and are limited at exactly the set max- After the expression (1) is reorganized, the expressions for stationary
imal value. This guarantees, on the one side, maximal power produc- reference frame components, iαr and iβr, are obtained.
tion, and, on the other side, safe operation of the converter and pre- iαr = (idp
r r
+ idn r
)·cosθ−(iqp r
−iqn )·sinθ (2)
vention of overcurrent tripping. The above stated features apply all
down to the complete voltage collapse. Finally, the algorithm was set iβr = (idp
r r
−idn r
)·sinθ + (iqp r
+ iqn )·cosθ (3)
up to suit practical implementation on a dedicated microcontroller re-
garding structural and computational burden. Finally, according to the current references, PR regulators control the
The paper documents all theoretical and implementation aspects of actual currents by providing corresponding inputs to the space-vector
the algorithm structure and is organized as follows. Section 2 describes modulator.
the underlying current control algorithm.
In Section 3, the current references calculation scheme that fulfills 3. Current references calculation scheme
respective control and functional objectives is introduced. Section 4
presents selected HIL experimental results obtained on the hardware-in- The grid current references can be calculated using the system of
the-loop experimental laboratory setup and provides discussion on equations that stem from the expression for the apparent power ex-
feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed control strategies. Finally, pressed in complex notation:
Section 5 gives concluding remarks and proposes possibilities for future ∗
S ̂ = P + iQ = (eiωt udq
p n p n ∗
+ e−iωt udq )·(e−iωt idq + eiωt Udq ) (4)

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Fig. 1. Control algorithm outline.

with the superscript ‘∗’ noting complex conjugate. Eq. (4) can be de- shown in Table 1. Expressions (t1) are used when the oscillation in
composed in six components forming the system of Eqs. (5)–(10): active power is to be minimized and (t2) when oscillation in the re-
r r r r active power should be minimized.
P r = idp ·udp + iqp ·uqp + idn ·udn + iqn ·uqn (5) The depicted equations provide references that are not limited by
r r r r any means. Grid voltage sag combined with unaltered, pre-fault active
Qr = idp ·uqp−iqp ·udp + idn ·uqn + iqn ·udn (6)
and reactive power set values would lead to excessive current refer-
ΔP1 = iqn r
·uqn−iqp r
·udn−idn r
·uqp + iqn ·udp ences. The proposed implementation of the “Reference calculation and
limitation” block is based on the approach in which power components’
ΔP2 = idp r
·udn + iqp r
·uqn + idn r
·udp + iqn ·uqp (8) reference values are modified, at the same time attaining following
r r r r
ΔQ1 = idp ·uqn−iqp ·udn + idn ·uqp−iqn ·udp (9)
- Phase currents are bound to maximum permissible values, Imax,
r r r r
ΔQ2 = −idp ·udn−iqp ·uqn + idn ·udp + iqn ·uqp (10) thereby maximizing grid support effect of the plant,
- The frame of the reference components’ calculation is kept the same
with Pr and Qr being average and ΔP1, ΔP2 and ΔQ1, ΔQ2 being oscil- as in regular mode, making practical implementation rather simple,
lating components of active and reactive power, respectively. Super- - Selection of the preferred grid support methodology is para-
script ‘r’ indicates reference value. meterized.
As there are four controlled variables, i.e. grid current components,
idpr, iqpr, idnr and iqnr, only four of these equations can be used as con- The prerequisite for both control paradigms to function properly is
stituents of a solvable system. Two most commonly used systems con- that the highest phase current that would appear is identified. This can
sist of Eqs. (5)–(8) and (5), (6), (9) and (10)}, with (7)–(10) being be done using simple transformation of the current references from
equated with zero. The first system yields active power with minimized synchronous reference frame to the natural abc frame, that is, obtaining
oscillations and the second gives response with reactive power with maximum of the phase currents by executing inverse Park and inverse,
minimized oscillations. Once the active and reactive power references power invariant, Clarke transformations on the calculated current re-
and grid voltage sequences are fed to the references calculation block ferences values.
and the system is solved, four grid current references are obtained, as

Table 1
Current references expressions for the two strategies.
r r r r
idp iqp idn iqn

ΔP = 0 Pr ·udp Qr ·uqp Pr ·uqp Qr ·udp Pr ·udn Qr ·uqn Pr ·uqn Qr ·udn (t1)

+ − − + − −
D1 D2 D1 D2 D1 D2 D1 D2

ΔQ = 0 Pr ·udp Qr ·uqp Pr ·uqp Qr ·udp Pr ·udn Qr ·uqn Pr ·uqn Qr ·udn (t2)

+ − − +
D2 D1 D2 D1 D2 D1 D2 D1

2 2 2 2
D1 = udp + uqp−udn −uqn .
2 2 2 2
D2 = udp + uqp + udn + uqn .

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Table 2 Once φa = 0 is used in expressions (11)–(14), expressions (16) are

New references for the powers. obtained. Expression (16a) should be used as the supplementary
iamax ⩾ Imax ibmax ⩾ Imax i cmax ⩾ Imax equation, if it is identified that the phase a current would be the
highest, that is if iamax ≥ Imax. Similarly, (16b) should be used if
ΔP = 0 r
Pnew K·


D1 (t3) ibmax ≥ Imax and so forth.
udp − udn 2·udp + udn + 3 ·uqn 2·udp + udn + 3 ·uqn

r D2 D2 D2 (t4)
Qnew K· K· K· ·(idp + idn ) = Imax
udp − udn 2·udp + udn + 3 ·uqn 2·udp + udn + 3 ·uqn 3 (16a)
ΔQ = 0 r D2 D2 D2 (t5)
Pnew K· K· K·
udp + udn 2·udp − udn − 3 ·uqn 2·udp − udn + 3 ·uqn 2
·0.5·(2·idp−idn− 3 ·iqn ) = Imax
3 (16b)
Qnew K·


D1 (t6)
udp + udn 2·udp − udn − 3 ·uqn 2·udp − udn + 3 ·uqn
·0.5·(2·idp−idn + 3 ·iqn ) = Imax
D1 = udp2
+ uqp 2 2
−udn 2
−uqn . 3 (16c)
2 2 2 2
D2 = udp + uqp + udn + uqn .
Eq. (17) are obtained when φa = pi/2 is used. One of these should
K= ·Imax . be used when the reactive power maximization is desired.

·(−iqp + iqn ) = Imax
The following equations are used: 3 (17a)
r r r r
iαx = idp ·cos(φx )−iqp ·sin(φx ) + idn ·cos(−φx )−iqn ·sin(−φx ) (11) 2
·0.5·(−2·iqp + 3 ·idn−iqn ) = Imax
r r r r 3 (17b)
iβx = idp ·sin(φx ) + iqp ·cos(φx ) + idn ·sin(−φx ) + iqn ·cos(−φx ) (12)
with x = a, b, c and φx being ·0.5·(−2·iqp− 3 ·idn−iqn ) = Imax
3 (17c)
φa = atan(Qr / P r )
The new system of equations has five equations. For example, if
φb = φa−2·pi/3 active power maximization is necessary, with minimized oscillations in
φc = φa + 2·pi/3 (13) active power and if it is concluded that iamax ≥ Imax, the new system of
equations would consist of Eqs. (5)–(8) and (16a). Eqs. (6)–(8) should
Now the maximum of phase currents can be calculated using inverse
be equal to zero in this example so that all of the current capacities are
Clarke transformation,
used for active power production and to minimize the oscillations in
active power.
⎡1 0 ⎤
⎡iamax ⎤ 2 ⎢ 0.5 3 ⎥ i αx Accordingly, there are five unknowns, namely four reference cur-
⎢ ibmax ⎥ = 2 ⎥·
⎡ ⎤,
⎢ icmax ⎥ 3⎢ ⎢ iβx ⎥ rents (idprnew, iqprnew, idnrnew and iqnrnew) and a new, redefined power re-
⎢ 0.5 − 3 ⎥ ⎣ ⎦
⎣ ⎦
⎣ 2 ⎦ (14) ference (Prnew or Qrnew). In order words, it is taken that the power re-
ferences are also unknown and are to be calculated, not passed from the
that is, by using the expressions (15a)–(15c): outer loops (DC-link voltage and grid voltage control loops or operator).
2 Once the system is solved offline, new power and current references
iamax = ·iαa expressions are obtained and can be readily used in the specific sce-
3 (15a)
narios. The corresponding expressions are shown in Table 2. It should
2 ⎛ 3 be noted that it is computationally less demanding to calculate only the
ibmax = ·⎜0.5·i αb + ·iβb⎞⎟ new power reference and use it in the original equations shown in
3 ⎝ 2 ⎠ (15b)
Table 1 than to calculate new power and use new expressions for the
2 ⎛ 3 current references. Thus, only new power references are shown in
icmax = · 0.5·i αc−
⎜ ·iβc ⎞ ⎟
Table 2. For the observed example, the first term in expression (t3) in
3 ⎝ 2 ⎠ (15c)
Table 2 should be used to calculate new active power reference.
There is an additional aspect that is crucial for practical im-
A. Active and reactive power production maximization with respect to plementation, but hasn’t been addressed before in the literature. It can
prioritization scheme and power oscillations happen that the selected grid supporting routine has issued active
power production (Prnew) which is larger than the available (or required)
The algorithm developed in this chapter has a goal of maximizing power capacity in the GCC’s DC bus, Pr. The reason is that computed
active and reactive power production when the references are gener- Prnew depends solely on the value of the remaining grid voltage (see
ated by DC-link voltage control (Pr) and grid side voltage control or Table 2), but the primary cause of the current limitation could be re-
defined directly by the operator (Qr). latively high reactive power reference issued prior to the fault, Qr, with
The objective of power maximization during voltage dips is a small Pr (e.g. GCC works in grid voltage regulation mode and the
equivalent to bounding the highest phase currents to the maximum primary energy source is low). If the remaining grid voltage provide-
permissible values. This can be accomplished by appending an addi- shigher margin for the active power production than Pr, it follows that
tional equation to four equations taken form (5)-(10), from which the Prnew > Pr. In this case, in order to insure integrity of the DC bus voltage
current references were originally calculated. This additional equation regulation, the algorithm needs to respond by canceling the new power
ensures that the amplitudes of the phase currents do not surpass and reference and retain original, Pr. At the same time reactive power re-
stay exactly at the defined limit Imax. ference would be unnecessarily brought to zero, as Qr was set to zero
The additional equation can be found by again using expressions previously. In order to utilize full current capacity of the plant and
(11)–(14), but in this case with different φx. If maximization of active enhance its effectiveness in the grid supporting mode of operation,
power production is desired, φa should be set to zero, as currents that reactive power carrying current component ixq, of the phase current
are not phase shifted to the voltages produce only active power. Simi- bounded to Imax (x = a, b or c), has to be recalculated according to the
larly, if reactive power production should be maximized, the φa should (18), where ixp is maximal value of the current that corresponds to Pr;
be set to pi/2. since Pr < Prnew, follows that ixp < Imax and this margin is used to inject

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Fig. 3. Current limitation algorithm (constant cosφ).

Fig. 2. Current limitation algorithm (active power production prioritized).

of Eqs. (20) and (21). The ixp and ixq expressions are generated by the
ixq. appropriate expressions from Table 2. Power factor is defined by grid
2 2 operator. It should be noted that Eq. (21) has to be solved only once,
i xq = Imax −i xp . (18) when there is a change in cosφ demanded by the grid operator.
Value of ixp can be obtained according to Table 2 where P is used in- Otherwise, it is not recalculated.
stead of Prnew and ixp instead of Imax. For the case in which phase-a
2 2
current has the highest value and ΔP = 0, first form of expression (t3) Imax = i xp + i xq (20)
yields expression (19).
−1 r
2 2 2 2 Qnew
⎛ 3 1 udp + uqp−udn−uqn ⎞ = tan(acos(cos(φ)))
iap = ⎜ · r ⎟
Pnew (21)
⎝ 2 P udp−udn ⎠ (19)

The ixq is now used in the first expression (t4) in Table 2, instead of the For example, if the phase-a current would be the highest one and the
Imax so that the new reactive power reference can be calculated, and minimized active power oscillations are desired, the expression (20)
also used in equations in Table 1. The process would be analogous to becomes:
the one shown above, if the reactive power maximization power is
2 2
desired. In this case new reactive power reference would be calculated ⎛ 2 udp−udn r ⎞ ⎛ 2 udp−udn r ⎞
Imax = ⎜ 3 · u 2 + u 2 −u 2 −u 2 ·Pnew ⎟ + ⎜ 3 · u 2 + u 2 + u 2 + u 2 ·Qnew ⎟
and compared to the old one, and then new active power would be ⎝ dp qp dn qn ⎠ ⎝ dp qp dn qn ⎠
calculated, if there are some current capacities left for it. Other com- (22)
binations are possible and can be developed accordingly.Fig. 2 offers
the depiction of the algorithm and implies its simplicity. The case when Once the system of Eqs. (21) and (22) is solved for the observed ex-
the active power production maximization is required is shown, but the ample, new active and reactive power references are calculated (Eq.
algorithm when the reactive power production is prioritized, would be (23)). These power references are used to calculate new current refer-
completely analogous. ences, using Table 1, that will result in safe maximization active and
reactive power production, with power factor being at the defined level,
B. Active and reactive power maximization with respect to constant cosφ both before and during the fault. Similarly, if phase-b current would be
and power oscillations the highest one and if ΔQ = 0 is desired, Eq. (24) should be used. The
rest of the expressions are developed accordingly. The signal flow of
In order to attain control over the system dynamics during the this part of the algorithm is depicted in Fig. 3.
disturbance period, such as adjusting its relative damping coefficient or
stability margin, the algorithm is provided with the functionality to r Imax
Pnew =
2 2
output power references according to the set value of power factor, cosφ ⎛ udp − udn ⎞ udp − udn

· 2 2 2 ⎟ + ⎜⎛ 2
· 2 2 2 ·tan(acos(cos(φ))) ⎟⎞
[34]. Again, in order to maximize the unit’s impact on the system, the ⎝
3 u + uqp − u − uqn
dp dn ⎠ ⎝ dp
3 u + uqp + u + uqn
dn ⎠
algorithm will seek for the solution with maximized Prnew and Qrnew va-
lues. Alongside, it can be selected to minimize active power oscillations
or reactive power oscillations. This can be achieved by solving system

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Table 4
Power stage data.
Parameter Symbol Value

Filter and equivalent grid resistance Ra, Rb, Rc 0.2 Ω

Filter and equivalent grid inductance La, Lb, Lc 0.01H
Nominal line voltage Ua , U b , U c 230 V
Nominal current Ia, Ib, Ic 6.7 A
DC-link voltage Udc 360 V
Grid frequency F 50 Hz
Braking and precharge resistance Rbr, Rpa, Rpb, Rpc 100 Ω
Breaking chopper turn on voltage 650 V
Breaking chopper turn off voltage 600 V

Fig. 4. HIL experimental setup. operational states and its structural and computational burden. For the
controller, Texas Instruments TMS320F28335 was used. The control
code was developed using Matlab/Simulink code generation toolbox,
Table 3 while the debugging was done using Code Composer Studio. Perun
Controller relevant data. Power Desk was used for scoping functionalities [35]. The micro-
controller implements the complete reference and calculation algo-
Parameter Symbol Value
rithm, covering all grid support strategies, at the PWM frequency
Switching and current loop frequency Tpwm and Ti 10 kHz (Tpwm) and only the DC-link voltage control is executed at the slower
DC-link voltage control frequency Tdc 200 Hz rate (Tdc). Table 3 gives important control code parameters.
Base current Ib ( 3 In) 11.6 A Power stage was emulated on the Typhoon HIL 600 unit. Emulation
Base voltage Ub (Unline) 230 V time step was one microsecond, which is sufficiently low for the PWM
Current controller proportional gain Kpi 7.9
frequency of 10 kHz. Fig. 5 shows the outlook of the power stage used
Current controller resonant gain Kri 3900
Voltage controller proportional gain Kpdc 81.2 for the HIL experimentation, which was developed using Typhoon HIL
Voltage controller integral gain Kidc 14 schematic editor.
The inverter depicted in Fig. 5 is a three phase, two level voltage
source converter. Its model is a hybrid of continuous time dynamics
Pnew = model (continuous-time state-space) and discrete, finite automaton
2 2
⎛ 2 2·udp − udn − 3 ·uqn ⎞
· 2 + ⎜⎛ 2 2·udp − udn − 3 ·uqn
· 2 ·tan(acos(cos(φ))) ⎟⎞
based, model. This modeling framework is based on generalized hybrid
⎜ 2 2 2 ⎟ 2 2 2
3 u + uqp − u − uqn 3 u + uqp + u + uqn
⎝ dp dn ⎠ ⎝ dp dn ⎠ automaton (GHA) with piecewise linear continuous dynamics. The
(24) emulator used here was validated as an experimenting tool [36] and as
such was used for the control algorithm testing both by the academia
and the industry [5,35]. Also, it allows for a variety of testing scenarios
4. Results and discussion to be carried out easily at a reduced cost. Further details about the
mentioned power stage modeling and emulation can also be found in
This section is dedicated to the feasibility and effectiveness ex- [5,36].
amination of the proposed algorithm. It will be shown through selected Table 4 gives the important circuit parameters.
tests that defined power production strategies are realized while phase The breaking chopper (switch S2 and Rbr in Fig. 5), was used as a
currents are not surpassing the limit during the faults. means for managing the DC-link energy surplus during the active power
All the tests were executed in the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) en- curtailment. The blade pitch angle control mechanism in wind power
vironment shown in Fig. 4. The setup consists of an interface board with plant, or analogous mechanism in other applications, could help with
the controller (1), emulator unit (2) and the PC (3). the excessive energy accumulated during the fault, depending on its
The HIL experimental setup employs real controller which, in con- dynamics, but this mechanism has not been considered. The controlled
junction with the emulator, runs the control algorithm in real time. This current source is used as a primary source of energy. Constant DC-link
enables thorough testing of the algorithm effectiveness in all

Fig. 5. Power stage used for the HIL experiments.

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Fig. 6. Converter response during fault without limitation.

current is set so that constant active power production is realized. Si- Fig. 6 depicts the results that are obtained during the phase-to-
milarly, for the sake of clarity, the reactive power production is set to be ground fault on the primary side of the transformer (type C fault on the
constant. In power prioritization scenario, the prefault and postfault secondary side) without current references limitation and is included
values of both powers are 1500 W and 1500 V-ampere reactive, re- for the sake of comparison with the algorithm.with the limited currents.
spectively. Following the remarks in [33] on which types of sags are the The currents reach 17.1 A during the fault which is almost double the
most frequent, the inverter was exposed to four types of faults. nominal maximum value. Considering that the overcurrent limits are
The algorithm was tested against symmetrical voltage drop on the usually set to 50% higher values than the nominal value, or less, this
primary side of the transformer. This is manifested as also symmetrical fault would result in the GCC’s disconnection from the grid.
voltage sag at the secondary of the transformer (type A), after the delta/ Fig. 7 shows the results obtained using the first strategy during the
wye transformer. Next, the test with two-phase-to-ground on the pri- abrupt appearance of one phase voltage collapse on the secondary side
mary side of the transformer was executed. This fault manifests as (type of the transformer (type B sag). It can be seen that the active power
F) on the secondary side. The third test was single-phase-to-ground on production was lowered to 750 W, while the reactive power is left un-
the primary side of the transformer. This fault manifests as (type C) on changed, which is in accordance to the power production prioritization
the secondary side. The fourth fault was the complete collapse of one scheme. Furthermore, it is apparent that the oscillations in active power
phase voltage on the secondary side (type B). The closing of the con- are negligible, while oscillations in reactive power are significant. This
tactor S1, shown in Fig. 4, results in the direct connection of one sec- also suggests that the converter behaves expectedly. After the fault, the
ondary side phase to the ground. This would certainly trigger the pro- active power has increased above the pre-fault value so that the excess
tection devices in normal conditions, but the inverter behaves properly, of energy accumulated during the fault in the DC-link capacitor can be
even during this serious fault. released and so that the voltage can be returned to the reference value.
The behavior during other types of faults is not shown in the paper Fig. 8 depicts the results obtained using the second strategy during
as they are similar to the observed ones. continuously changed voltage conditions. Firstly, one phase voltage on
Six strategies are tested: the primary of the transformer is changed from nominal value to zero.
Afterwards, the second phase voltage is lowered from nominal value to
- The first produces minimized oscillations in active power, with close to zero value. It can be seen that active power production is de-
prioritization of reactive power production. creased first, which is in accordance to the second strategy. Once the
- The second produces minimized oscillations in reactive power and active power production has ceased, the curtailment of reactive power
in prioritization of reactive power production. occurred.
- The third again produces minimized oscillations in active power, but Fig. 9 illustrates the use of the third strategy, as oscillations in active
this time with prioritization of active power production. power are minimized. The sag (type C) occurred at the secondary side
- The fourth strategy results in minimized oscillations in reactive of the transformer.
power and active power production being maximized. It can be seen that the oscillations in active power are significantly
- The fifth operating condition ensures minimized oscillations in ac- smaller than those of the reactive power. Also, as defined, reactive
tive power with constant cosφ (in the averaged sense - powers power curtailment happens as the sag occurs, with the active power
averaged over 0.01 s were used for depicting cosφ during the fault). being at the pre-fault level, that is, Prnew = Pr. The currents are at the
- The sixth operating condition results in minimized oscillations in defined maximum level, which suggests that all of the producing cap-
reactive power with constant cosφ. abilities are exploited.
Fig. 10 presents the response when the fourth strategy was used.
The current limit Imax is set to be 11.6 A. This implies that the During the testing, the two phase-to-ground fault was executed, (type F)
current limit is 3 times higher than nominal value, as nominal value is fault at the secondary side, and as a result both active and reactive
6.7 A. power were reduced. The figure suggests that the reactive power

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Fig. 7. Oscillating reactive power, active power curtailed first (abrupt change).

production completely ceased and active power diminished only par- currents are at the limit and no noticeable instabilities occur, this test
tially, in accordance with the power production requirements. Currents shows that the algorithm meets the requirements of even the most
are again limited at one relative unit, that is, at 11.6 A. As the active stringent grid codes [31].
power production was lowered only to 1400 W, the DC-link voltage has Resilience to complete loss of grid voltages was not reported in any
not reached the 650 V limit during the fault. of the cited references.
In Fig. 11 one can see the behavior of the converter when the In Fig. 12, response to the transformer secondary side (type C) fault
complete grid collapse occurs, that is, when all of the phases sag to zero can be seen. The fifth operating condition was executed on the DSP. Low
voltage (type A fault). The first strategy was used, which suggests that value cosφ was defined (cosφ = 0.1). The active power production was
reactive currents are produced. Oscillations in reactive power do not set to be such that the active power production with reactive power pro-
exist, as the dip is symmetrical. According to the [31], converter must duction (calculated using cosφ) would demand maximum currents before
stay connected to the grid for 150 ms when the voltage sags to the 45% fault. It can be seen from the figure that both powers were simultaneously
of the nominal value in all of three phases. Also, this grid code demands reduced during the fault so that the current limits are not surpassed. The
that the converter stays connected to the grid even when complete power factor was calculated using averaged active power and its value
collapse of the grid voltages occurs, although in this case short dis- remains the same to the defined value, i.e. to the pre-fault value (only a
connection for two seconds is allowed if instabilities occur. Thus, as the small drop to 0.089 can be seen). This proves that the algorithm allows

Fig. 8. Oscillating active power, active power curtailed first (cont. change).

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Fig. 9. Oscillating reactive power, reactive power reduced first.

different reactive power reference generation strategies to be im- It should be emphasized that the currents do not surpass the limits -
plemented, that are defined by the grid codes [31,37]. not even transiently. The absence of the sag detector in the algorithm
Similarly to the previous test, in Fig. 13 can be seen the variables’ largely contributes to great transient responses. Also, the currents are
responses when the algorithm that can ensure constant power factor always exactly at the limit throughout the fault conditions. This sug-
when oscillations in reactive power are allowed (sixth strategy) is used. gests maximum possible and safe production, unlike in [18] where the
This time, high cosφ was set (cosφ = 0.9). Again, it can be seen that the currents are under the limits and production capabilities are not met.
power factor remains roughly the same before the fault and during the A great feature of the proposed algorithm is the possibility of the
fault. simultaneous production of active and reactive power even during the
Through the shown tests, proper functioning of the proposed algo- fault - feature that many of the proposed algorithms lack. This implies
rithm becomes evident, even during the faults that would certainly that the proposed algorithm can be used in conjunction with any dis-
trigger the protection and would disconnect the converter from the tributed generation sources that uses the three phase inverter. Even if
grid. The sags are set to last for 500 ms. Thus, the algorithm allows the the production of certain power is not demanded by the grid codes,
longer connection of the GCC, even during the permanent unbalances having the possibility of doing so gives this algorithm the advantage. It
and serious faults than those defined by the existing grid codes. is plausible that the future grid codes will allow more fluid power flow

Fig. 10. Oscillating active power, reactive power decreased first.

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Fig. 11. Oscillating reactive power, active power reduced first.

rules, influenced by local grid characteristics. calculation frame used in this paper utilizing five equations system. If
Another useful feature of the proposed algorithm is that it considers so, every control algorithm that is based on symmetric components
the oscillations in powers and allows for the oscillations to be mini- could simply be upgraded with the functionalities shown in this paper.
mized, which is the main shortcoming of the approaches considered in Finally, it should be emphasized that, contrary to the [12], the AC
[14,11]. side voltage limits were not considered. It was assumed that the voltage
Different approach that considers positive and negative, active and limits control is a task for the outer control loops, namely, grid voltage
reactive power components [14] offers interesting grid support cap- control loop, and therefore that is a separate problem that is out of
abilities that could be utilized in future grid codes’ regulations. It is to scope of the paper. Properly set current loop and power maximization
be examined if the corresponding functionalities could be devised using procedures themselves cannot cause overvoltage, but can mitigate it (in
the approach shown in this paper. Arguably, as most approaches shown accordance to the voltage loop commands). The voltage control stra-
in the literature are based on controlling four grid current components, tegies shall be addressed in future studies.
it is reasonable to expect that these approaches could be adapted to the

Fig. 12. Oscillating active power, constant cosφ.

I. Todorović et al. Electrical Power and Energy Systems 101 (2018) 311–322

Fig. 13. Oscillating reactive power, constant cosφ.

5. Conclusions evaluation of power flow control strategies for energy storage connected to smart
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