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Experience with Testing and Modeling of Gas Turbines

M. Nagpal A. Moshref G.K. Morison P. Kundur

Member, IEEE Member, IEEE Fellow, IEEE

Powertech Labs Inc.

Surrey, B.C. V3W 7R7


The authors of this paper participated in testing and model

The North American western grid experienced two major power
validation of more than forty synchronous generators, several
disturbances on July 2 and August 10, 1996. The postmortem
of which were gas turbine units, for compliance with the
studies of the incidents indicated that some of the generating units
WSCC guidelines. The machine, excitation and turbine-
did not respond as predicted by system studies. Consequently, the
Western System Coordinating Council (WSCC) mandated that all govemor dynamic models, including reactive power
units (generator, excitation, governor and turbine systems) in the capabilities, of the machines were tested. However, this
western grid greater than 10 MVA be tested to verify the generator paper will focus on experience with model validation of
reactive power limits as well as the dynamic model data Im5ng used turbine-governor models for gas turbine units.
for system studies. This paper presents field experiences of the
authors in testing and modeling of gas turbines and their associated II. TURBINEGOVERNOR MODEL FOR GAS
governors during the WSCC recommended test program. TURBINE UNITS
Keywords: Dynamic Simulation, Transient Stability, Gas Turbine
There exist several dynamic models of turbine-governors
with varying degrees of complexity to represent different
makes and models of gas turbine units. The GAST model [3]
is one of the most commonly used dynamic model. The
model is simple and it is also WSCC compliant. Six of out
Dynamic models of power system components are used in
of the seven units, which were tested by the authors were
simulation programs to simulate the electro-mechanical
represented by this model. The seventh unit was represented
behavior of power systems when subjected to disturbances
using GAST2A model [4]. This model was developed by GE
such as faults, sudden loss of transmission paths, and loss of
Company of USA to represent machines of specific frame
generation or load. These types of simulations are used in
sizes built by them. The GE Company is now proposing to
system planning to design required system enhancements and
abandon this model in favor of a new and more general
are used in system operations to establish secure operating
purpose model referred to as GASP, which is currently under
limits. In addition, the results of simulations are used for
development. Meanwhile, the GE Company recommends
designing appropriate reme&al control and protection
using GAST model rather than GAST2A, which is also not a
schemes to improve the power system response to
WSCC compliant model. Therefore, the GAST model was
disturbances. Since the validity of simulations depends
also developed for the seventh unit tested by the authors
heavily on the data used for modeling the system, it is clear
based on the measurements made.
that the accuracy of the dynamic models used for
representing generators and their controls is vital.
Figure 1 shows the block diagram of the GAST model.
The part of the figure above the dotted line represents the
There were major disturbances on 2nd July and on 10*
impact of machine inertia and damping on dynamic behavior
August 1996 in the western part of North American power
of turbine-governor and is not an explicit part of the GAST
grid [1, 2]. The analysis report of the two incidents
model. Model parameters are described in Table 1.
concluded that some of the generators did not respond
dynamically or in the steady state as predicted by studies.
Based on recommendations from the report, WSCC
mandated that dynamic models (including the reactive limits)
of all synchronous machines above 10 MVA in the western
grid be tested and validated to provide accurate modeling
data for system studies. 1 A WSCC complaint model is one, which can be directly
used in specific corrunercial simulation programs.

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error input (speed reference junction as shown in Figure 1) if
1 an injection point is available. Some new digital governors
,. =-.-. ---. -----. -----,
even include a software feature to facilitate the step test
response measurements. In this test, the machine spins close
to synchronous speed but is not connected to the grid. It is a
simple test but it requires some degree of familiarity with the
governing electronics or software.

Device Under

Record the Step

Apply an electrical
+ step input of

--7%. .,.
aDDr0Dliiltf3 kd.

Field Measurement

Fig. 1: The GAST model to represent dynamic behavior of the gas

governor-torbine. Transfer Function of

Table 1: Parameters of the GAST modets

Apply a step irrput of Observe the response of

Parameter I Representation sam size as in Field &ansfer function.
R I Governor Droof3
T1 Fuel system lag time constant 1
Tz Fuel system lag time constant 2
T3 Load limiter time constant
L~w Load limit
K~ Temperature control loop gain Simulation

V~Ax Maximum value position Fig. 2: Model validation approach.

Vm Minimum value position
Dm I Turbine damping Alternately, a load reiection test can be performed. A load
rejection event is similar to a step change in P=c input of
III. VALIDATION APPROACH the model shown in Figure 1. In response to the change in
input, the PmcH output of the machine will change. This
In the new competitive environment of the power industry, change will depend on turbine-governor response, provided
generating plant operators are not only concerned about there is no interference from non-linear devices, (such as
safety of their machines during the testing (which is not of shunt down, preset or over speed relays) as these devices are
routine maintenance nature) but also are very sensitive about not included in the model representation. Since the
the downtime of the machine. Therefore, it was necessary to measurement of the change in PWCH requires installation of
keep number of tests to minimum to avoid unnecessary special instrumentation, an alternative is to measure the
production loss yet obtain sufficient test data to validate the machine speed. The machine speed and power relationship is
model. given by swing equation as shown in Equation 1 and also by
the part of the model above the dotted line in Figure 1:
Comprehensive validation of the model shown in Figure 1
would require measurements of most of the parameters as ~H da
shown in Table 1. Measurements of some parameters may ~ = (hfECH – %mc) + Do (1)
even require special equipment, dismantling of fuel systems,
and a person highly trained with the specific turbine-governor
under test. It can be time consuming and can result in The load rejection also provides an estimate of the
combined inertia of generator-turbine system. In this work,
unacceptable machine downtime. Therefore, in this work, a
rather simple approach was used. It is based on the load rejection testa were used.
philosophy that the transfer function of a control system can
be validated by applying a step input and recording the output IV. TESTING
as shown in Figure 2. The same step response of the transfer
fitnction can then be simulated on computer and the function Gas turbine units have relatively low inertia compared to
hydraulic units. They generally spin at higher speeds and the
parameters can be adjusted to match the simulated and
generators are of the round rotor type with one or two pole
measured responses.
pairs. Following a sudden load rejection event, a low inertia
machine can experience excessive over-speed, which can be
For the units under test, which are equipped with electronic
harmful if over-speed protection fails to operate. If over
governors, a step response can be applied to the governor

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speed protection does operate to arrest the speed, it will V. VALIDATION
introduce non-linearity in the frequent y versus time
characteristic. As discussed above, these types of non- Figure 3 shows frequency versus time characteristic for a
linearities are not represented in the dynamic model as shown 98 MVA gas turbine unit under a 13.7 MW load rejection. A
in Figure 1. Therefore, the amount of load rejected should be tangent to the initial part of the curve gives machine
low (generally less than 20% of machine rating) to limit over- acceleration immediately after the load rejection, which was
speed and therefore the possible impact of non-linearities. A used in calculating the combined turbine-generator inertia.
pre-test simulation is recommended for estimating over-speed Although this unit was originally represented using the
on load rejection. Results should be reviewed with the plant GAST2A model, this load rejection event was simulated
operators to ensure that the machine will not trip following using GAST model because of reasons discussed in Section
the load rejection and to ensure that there will be no 2. Any dynamic simulation program, such as PSS/E [3],
operation of protective relays introducing non-linearity in the PSAPAC [5], PSLF [6] etc. can be used. In this work,
frequency versus time characteristic. however, Simulink Toolbox of Matlab [7] was used. Since
the GAST model parameters were not available, they were
To begin the test, the MW output of the unit is adjusted determined by curve fitting i.e. matching the simulated and
below 20% of the rated value. Once the output of machine the measured responses as shown in Figure 2. Table 2 gives
becomes steady, the unit circuit breaker is opened to reject combined inertia, generator darnping and turbine-governor
the load. Generally, the unit breaker’s auxiliary contact is parameters calculated from this test. A negative value of low
used as an input to the governor control system. As soon as limit (V~m) of fuel value was required to replicate the
the unit breaker opens, the governor control switches from oscillations around the final settling speed as seen in the
power regulator to speed regulator mode. In speed regulator frequency versus time curve. The use of negative value for
mode, the transfer function of the turbine-governor, as shown low limit represents negative mechanical power, which
in Figure 1, is not valid. The governor system forces the final allows the model to represent the hunting phenomenon.
steady-state speed of the machine to go to a pre-set level to
prepare for re-synchronization, irrespective of the level of the On 13.7 MW (or 0.144 pu) load rejection, the final steady-
MW load rejected. To avoid this problem, the circuit breaker state frequency rise was approximately 0.365 Hz (0.0061 pu).
input to governor is blocked. The ratio of frequency rise to the rejected load provides the
droop value of 4.2% (=100x0.0061/O. 144) or 23.7 gain.
In power regulation mode, the final settling frequency Figure 4 shows A4W versus speed reference and frequency
depends on two factors: governor droop setting R (or gain versus speed reference characteristics obtained for this unit
l/R) and amount of load rejected. However, for the governor using the procedure discussed in Section 4. The frequency
systems which use fuel value opening as an indication of characteristic is linear and has slope of 0.01 pu/percent3,
power (MW) output of machine, the final settling frequency whereas the MW characteristic is linear up to 0.76 pu (or 75
can be effected by dead-band or hystersis in the turbine value MW) and has a slope of 0.0218 pu/percent. Again, the ratio
controls2. It can introduce significant error in the estimation of the two slopes ( 100xO.01/O.2 18) gives the droop of the
of the governor droop, particularly when a small amount of machine from minimum to 75 MW range as 4.6Y0. This
load is rejected. value is close to droop obtained from load rejection as
governor system for thki unit uses MW as input and did not
A simple procedure was devised to estimate accurate suffer from dead-band or hystersis errors. However, the
governor droop over a wide range of load level. In this recommended value is 4.6% as it is based on several
procedure, two tests are done: one with machine connected to measurements whereas 4.270 is from a single load rejection
grid and the other with machine spinning but not connected event.
to grid. In the first test, the machine MW output is adjusted
from minimum load to the rated value using the governor In Figure 4, the MW characteristic changes its slope
speed set point. A calibration curve between the MW output beyond 75 MW. At high loading levels, the high exhaust
and the governor speed set point is obtained. In the second temperatures can damage the turbine blades. Therefore,
test, the machine speed is then adjusted from 59 to 61 Hz when the exhaust temperature exceeds a set temperature, gas
using governor speed set points. This test provides a turbine output transfers to temperature control. The GAST
calibration curve between the machine speed (frequency) and model cannot give an adequate representation of the
the governor speed set point. Using these two curves, the temperature control loop.
MW versus speed characteristic is obtained for use in
estimating the governor droop. Figure 5 shows results from a load rejection test on another
32 MVA machine. A 5 MW load was rejected. This turbine
was originally represented using the GAST model with
parameters marked as existing in Table 3. When the event
was simulated using the existing parameters, there was a

2 New digital governors use MW measurement as input and

do suffer from this disadvantage. 3 Percentage change in speed reference setting.

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significant difference between the measured and simulated 0.9-
outputs. The fuel valve time constant (Tl) was then increased
from 0.4 to 5.0 seconds to match first frequency peak after
the load rejection. Low limit (V~m) of fuel value was 0.7-

reduced from to O to -0.1 to simulate oscillations observed in 0.6-

the frequency versus time curve after load rejection. The ~o,5
simulation results are shown in Figure 5 using the new values $.,4-
of T1 and VMm. However, the model parameters could not be
adjusted to replicate exactly the hunting phenomenon around 0.3-

the final settling frequency. 0.2-

Table 3: Cornblne-inertia, generator damping and turbke-govemor 0.1-

parameters of the 95 MVA machhse

100 101 101 102 102 103 103 104 104 105
Parameters Spssd Refersnes (%)
H I 6.5
Dm 1
R 0.042 1.014
TI 1.5
Tz 0.1 1.012

T3 3
LMAX 1 1.010

K~ 1
v- 1
vMJf.J -0.02
Dm 0


TabIe 4 Combked-inertia, generator damping and Tmbhe-govemor 1.002

parameters of the 32 MVA machine.
Existing From Tests 1 .X0
H 7.0 12.6 Iwo le0,2 le04 100.6 lCO.8 lof.o 101.2 101.4
D gm 0.50 0.50 Spesd Reference (%)
R 0.05 0.032
T1 0.4 5.0 (b)
T* 0.1 0.1
T, 3 3 13g. 4 (a) MW versus speed reference characteristic (b) Frequency versus
LMAX 1 1 speed characteristic of the 95 MVA machine.
Kr 1 1
v- 1 1
vmN o -0.1
D,u 0.15 0.15




@ 80.5
~ EQ.4 -
g 80.3- { I I I t
59.8 ~ 1
BJ.2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Time (s)

EJJ.o 4 Fig. 5: Comparison of measurement and simulated response on 5 MW load

rejection on 32 MVA gas tnrbhe unit.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30

Time (s)
Fig. 3; Comparison of measurement and simuIated response on 13.7 MW
load rejection on 95 MVA gas turhhe unit.
Validation of in-service gas-turbine models with field
measurements is a challenging task. In addition to safety
issues, there are time constraints due to loss of production
caused by field measurements. Therefore, the tests

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performed should be simple and expedient yet must provide VIII. BIOGRAPHIES
sufficient data for model validation. A low level load
rejection is simple and provides reasonable information to Mukesh Nafmal obtained his M. SC. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of
Saskatchewan, Cartada in 1986 and 1990, respectively. He has been working
determine or validate model parameters.
at Powertech Labs Inc. (B.C. Hydro Research and Development arm) for the
tast nine years. He is responsible for performing short circuit, power flow,
The GAST model is the widely used model for stability and protection studies. He has special expertise in the design and
representing the dynamic behavior of gas powered turbine- testing of microprocessor-based protection systems, and has authored many
tectilcal papers on the subject. He is also very familiar with protection
governor systems. Field measurements obtained from units
problems on distribution systems, especially with high impedance faults that
indicated two main deficiencies in the model: cannot be detected by conventional relays. Prior to joining Powertech, he
worked for approximately four years as a power system protection engineer
● The model does not represent gas turbine operations with consulting engineering companies in India and Canada.

accurately at higher load levels when the power control

Dr. NagPal is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and
is done based on the exhaust gas temperature rather than a professional engineer in the province of British Columbia.
the machine speed.
Ali Mosbref Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with over 20 years of
● The model parameters could not be adjusted to
experience in consulting, research and software development. He is a senior
accurately replicate oscillations around the final settling engineer at Powertech Labs. Jnc. His techrical activities include power
frequency. system planning and operation, development of operating guidelines, microc-
omputer applications in power system analysis, provide training as well as
tectilcal advise in software applications to utilities, industrial and consulting

[1] Western System Coordinating CounciI, Z“d July 1996 Disturbance KiD Morison received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the
Report, Prepared by Dkmrrbance Report Task Force, Chahm, University of Toronto and worked in the System Planning Division of
Vernon Porter, www. wscc.corn. Ontario Hydro from 1980 to 1993. As a Senior Engineer in the Analytical
[2] Western System Coordinating Council, 10ti August 1996 Disturbance Methods and Special Stndles Department he was responsible for studies
Report, Prepared by Disturbance Report Task Force, Cbahnarr Don retated to power system stabitity and control problems in the North
Watkins, American Eastern Interconnected System.
[3] Power System Simulator - PSS/E, Program Operation Manual, Power
Technologies, hrc., Schenectady, New York, USA. In 1993 he joined Powertech Labs Inc, the Research & Technology
[4] W.I. Rowen, “Simplified Mathematical Representation of Heavy Duty subsidiary of BC Hydro, where he is currently the Dkctor of the Power
Gas Turbines”, Transaction of ASME, Vol. 105 (l), 1983, pp. 865-869. System Stndles Group. Hk staff provides international consulting services
[5] P. Kundur, G.K. Morison, and N.J. Balu, “A Comprehensive Approach in the field of power system stability analysis and are involved in the
to Power System Analysis”, CIGRE Paper 38-106. development of special analytical techniques and software tools.
[6] GE-PSLW, GE Power Systems Energy Consulting, Schenectady, New
York, USA. P. Kundur received the M.A. Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of
[7] Simutirrk - Dynamic System Simulation for MATLAB”, The Toronto, Canada in 1965 and 1967, respectively. He taught at Mysore and
MathWorks, hrc., Natick, MA, USA. Bangalore Universities during 1967-1969. In 1969 he joined Ontario Hydro
where he was Manager of the Analytical Methods & Speciatised Studies
Department in the Power System Planning Division. He left Ontario Hydro
in 1993 to join Powertech Labs hrc. in Surrey, B.C., Canada, where he is
currently the President and CEO. He atso holds the positions of Adjunct
Professor at the Universities of Toronto, Western Ontario, and British
Columbla. Dr. Kundur was elected a Fellow of IEEE in 1985 and is a
member of several IEEE working groups and task forces. He is also a
member of CIGRE study committee 38 and several of its task forces.

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