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Improvement of Subsynchronous Torsional Damping Using VSC HVDC

Ying Jiang-Häfner, Hugo Duchén, Kerstin Lindén, Mats Hyttinen Paulo Fischer de Toledo, Thomas Tulkiewicz, Anna-Karin Skytt, Hans Björklund

Abstract—This paper presents a study of SSTI related to VSC HVDC. The study was conducted with well established methods, which have been used in the design of SSDC and evaluation of SSTI in classic HVDC. Identical control systems for VSC HVDC as in the real plant are included in the study. The paper will show how the VSC and its control contribute to the electrical damping on subsynchronous oscillations. Different operation modes, load levels, control modes and AC network conditions have been considered in the study.

Index Terms-- HVDC, VSC, transmission, SSTI, subsynchronous oscillation
I. INTRODUCTION ubsynchronous oscillations in power system can be amplified and sustained due to the interaction between major transmission system devices and the torsional modes of vibration on turbine-generator shafts. This phenomenon is called subsynchronous torsonal interaction (SSTI). The first time that the classic HVDC converter experienced SSTI was in 1977 at Square Butte. Since then, extensive research was conducted and it led to the following principal conclusions: A) the classic HVDC converter increases the electrical damping when it works as an inverter and it decreases the electrical damping when it works as a rectifier; B) There is a potential risk of interaction only if the AC network configuration with an unit interaction factor (UIF) larger than 0.1 and the converter working as a rectifier; C) The potential risk of interaction can be eliminated completely with a properly designed subsynchronous damping controller (SSDC) [1]. The experiences from all the installations delivered by ABB demonstrate convincingly that adverse subsynchronous interactions can be avoided completely with the classic HVDC. The new HVDC systems, known as HVDC Light [2, 3, 4], are built up with voltage source converters (VSC), instead of current source converters (CSC) used in classic HVDC. The fundamental difference between a voltage source and a current source converter makes the performances of the new HVDC transmission systems differing from that of the classic HVDC


transmissions. In general, the VSC HVDC has the following advantages compared with classic HVDC: • Active and reactive power exchange can be controlled flexibly and independently. • The power quality and system stability can be improved via continuously adjustable reactive power support with AC voltage feedback control. • Possible to feed AC systems with low short circuit power or even passive networks with no local power generation. • Power flow direction can be easily changed without changing the polarity of DC link. However, not much work has been published regarding the subsynchronous torsional interaction with VSC HVDC. This paper presents a study of SSTI related to VSC HVDC. The study was conducted with well established methods, which have been used in the design of SSDC and evaluation of SSTI in classic HVDC [5] and Thyristor-Controlled Series Capacitor (TCSC) [6]. Identical control systems for HVDC Light as in the real plant were included in the study. The paper will show how the VSC and its control contribute to the electrical damping of subsynchronous oscillations. Different operation modes, load levels, control modes and AC network conditions have been considered in the study. II. THE INHERENT DAMPING CHARACTERISTIC OF VSC The VSC is controlled by a desired AC reference voltage in accordance with the demand of active and reactive power flow between the AC network and the converter. The desired AC reference voltage is resulted from the control process, which includes active power (or DC voltage) control, reactive (or AC voltage) control and AC current control. Using the PulseWidth modulation, the converter will produce an AC side voltage which contains a fundamental component equal to the AC reference voltage. Basically, the active and reactive power flow between the AC network and converter, see Fig. 1, is determined by the following equations: U ⋅ U ⋅ sin(δ ) P= L v (1) X U ⋅ (U − U v ⋅ cos(δ )) L Q= L (2) X These equations show clearly that the active power is mainly affected by the phase shift angle between the AC bus

The authors are with ABB Utilities AB, Power System, Ludvika, Sweden

voltage and the AC side output voltage of the converter, and that reactive power depends on the amplitude difference of the two voltages. When the AC network frequency is increased, the actual phase of the AC bus voltage will move in advance. Before the converter control reacts so that the reference voltage is changed, the actual phase shift angle δ will be increased if the converter is operating as a rectifier, and it will be decreased if the converter is operating as an inverter. This is demonstrated with phasor diagrams in Fig. 1(b) and 1(c), respectively. As a result, more active power will be exported from AC side in the case of rectifier operation; less active power will be imported to the AC side in the case of inverter operation. In both cases, the tendency of frequency increase in the AC network will be abated. Inversely, if the AC network frequency is decreased, the phase shift angle δ will naturally decrease in the case of rectifier operation and it will increase in the case of inverter operation. This will also provide an immediate brake on the reduction of the AC network frequency, as the rectifier automatically exports less active power from the AC side and the inverter imports more active power to the AC side. In short, the VSC has an inherent damping capability on the subsynchronous oscillation, disregarding if it operates as a rectifier, or an inverter, or an STATCOM.

The generator is connected to the common AC bus via a transformer, and it is represented by using a single mass model.

DC cable VSC station 1 VSC station 2

G1 Fig. 2. Studied system.



(a): Simplified block diagram of converter station with VSC
’ U L - actual AC bus voltage when frequency of network increases ’ U L - actual AC bus voltage when frequency of network increases

B. Methods Used in the Study The study has been performed with the digital computer simulation program EMTDC and a real time simulator. In the EMTDC simulation, the main circuit of the VSC HVDC transmission system is modeled as real plant including DC cable, valves, filters, transformers, etc. In particular, the losses in the main circuit components are properly modeled. The discrete time domain control is implemented with Fortran program, which includes all linear and non-liner functions, such as time delay and limiters, as in the actual control systems of commercial installations. In contrast to the EMDC model, the real time simulator consists of a low power main circuit, which is a scaled down copy of a real installation, but the control and protection system and equipment are identical to real installations. The two methods complement each other, as the EMTDC has the advantage of properly modeling the main circuit losses and more complex AC networks whereas the real time simulator can reveal the precise control behavior of the real control system. C. Detailed Study and Results It is often considered to be difficult to quantify the mechanical damping of a machine for different machine loads and frequencies of interest. To be conservative, the mechanical damping is not taken into account in the study. Only the electrical damping has been evaluated. A small disturbance signal, which is continuously swept in frequency and amplitude, is injected in the speed order of the generator. The electrical torque and the resulting speed order is Fourier-analyzed and the damping for each frequency is calculated according to (3): ∆T De = Re( e ) (3) ∆ω e where ∆Te = change in electrical torque



δ′ δ



δ′ δ

(b): Rectifier operation

(c): Inverter operation

Fig. 1. Principle and phasor diagram for VSC used in HVDC

III. STUDY OF SSTI A. Studied System The study has been mainly focused on a simplified AC system as shown in Fig. 2. More complex AC networks with transmission lines, transformers and different loads have also been set up and tested in EMTDC. The AC networks are represented with an infinite source behind an impedance The strength of the AC network, as seen from the converter, can be changed by varying the impedance. Thereby, the unit interaction factor (UIF) can be changed, supposing that the rating of the machines is not changed.

∆ω e = change in electrical speed The damping is plotted against the frequency of the disturbance signal. Positive electrical damping at a certain frequency indicates that the corresponding oscillation of the

generator shaft will be damped out. Negative electrical damping indicates that rotor oscillations may be damped, or sustained, or amplified, depending of the available mechanical damping. In the following description, the damping is referred to the electrical damping, if nothing is specially pointed out. It should be noted that the load of machine unit is assumed to be low (0.104 pu) in all the simulation studies. 1) Screening study – Impact of UIF In an SSTI study associated with the classic HVDC, a relationship between the magnitude of the HVDC interaction with turbine-generator torsional vibration and the AC system strength has been established [1]. This relationship, as expressed in (4), has been often used as a quantitative screening tool to identify units and system contingencies requiring detailed studies. SC i MVAHVDC UIFi = (1 − )2 (4) MVAi SC tot where UIFi = Unit Interaction factor of the ith unit. = HVDC rating MVAHVDC MVAi = Rating of the ith unit = Short circuit capacity at HVDC SCi commutation bus excluding the ith unit = Short circuit capacity at HVDC SCtot commutation bus including the ith unit According to the related guideline [1], the classic HVDC will not have a significant interaction in a network configuration with an UIF less than about 0.1. It is of interest to find out how the UIF affects the interaction of VSC HVDC. By changing the short circuit ratio of the equivalent AC network, the variation of UIF is realized and the results for 4 different UIF are presented in Fig. 3. By comparing with the corresponding damping curve without HVDC in operation (namely disconnecting the converter station), it can be clearly seen that the VSC HVDC contributes a positive damping in all four cases. The higher the UIF, the more damping the VSC HVDC contributes. These results are further demonstrated in Fig. 5 (A). Due to the positive damping contribution, there will be no critical case for UIF up to 0.5, neither there will be any critical case for higher UIF with active and reactive power control modes, as the positive damping is increased with the increase of UIF. This damping effect has also been verified with the test in the real-time simulator. In the real time simulator, the machine is represented with a multi-mass model and torsional vibration modes locate at around 16 Hz, 20 Hz, 26 Hz and 32Hz. As shown in Fig. 4, the oscillation with those frequencies was initiated at the time of about 5 s by a disturbance. The magnitude of the oscillation is obviously reduced faster with the VSC HVDC than without the VSC HVDC in operation. 2) Impact of active power direction and level Fig. 5 (B) and (D) respectively show the damping characteristics under rectifier and inverter operation with different power levels. It is seen that both the rectifier and the inverter operation provides similar damping improvement.

These results correlate reasonably well with the inherent damping characteristic of the VSC, which has been discussed in preceding section. Fig. 5 (B) and (D) indicate that neither the power level nor the power direction has any significant impact on the damping characteristic, supposing that the VSC is at active power and reactive power control modes. 3) Impact of reactive power In addition to rectifier and inverter operation, each VSC can also operate as an independent STATOM with or without DC cable connected. Under STATCOM operation, the VSC also improves the damping for frequency up to 39 Hz, as can be seen in Fig. 5 (C). It can be also observed that the higher the reactive power produced the more damping improvements provided with the VSC. Under rectifier or inverter operation, the variation of the reactive power seems not affecting significantly on the damping behaviour of the VSC if it is at the active power control mode, this is illustrated in Fig. 5 (G). However, if the VSC is at the DC voltage control mode, the variation of reactive power will result in a significant change on the damping characteristic, which is demonstrated in Fig. 5 (E). 4) Impact of control mode Fig. 5 (F) gives a comparison between different control modes. It can be seen that, regarding the active power control, the two alternative control modes, i.e., DC voltage (UDC) and active power (P) control, seem to result in different damping behaviour. Regarding the reactive power control, the two alternative control modes, i.e., AC voltage (UAC) and active power (Q) control, gives similar results. The DC voltage control seems to be less beneficial from SSTI point of view. As will be discussed in the next section, the different damping due to different control modes depends also on how the control is built. 5) Impact of control The control system of a VSC is more complex compared with the control for a CSC used in the classic HVDC. This is not only because the VSC control is a multi-variable control, but also because it is a multi-layer structured system with both feedback and feed-forward control loops. The structure of the control system and the parameter settings are equally important regarding SSTI damping as well as the stability of the control. As an example, Fig. 5 (H) shows the SSTI damping curves resulted from three different types of control. It is seen from Fig 5 (H) that “Control Type I” improves the subsynchronous torsional damping over the all interesting frequency range; even the DC voltage control mode is enabled. “Control Type II” improves the damping in the frequency range from 9 Hz to 36 Hz, and “Control Type III” only improves the damping for frequency higher than 27 Hz. It should be noted that all the other results presented in this paper are based on “Control type II” 6) Impact of the AC network representation The AC network representation described in Fig. 2 is a very conservative assumption, as no loads are included. When more complex AC network model, which includes transmission lines, transformers and loads, is used, the damping curves for both with and without VSC HVDC are found to be slightly

different from what is obtained with the simple AC network equivalent shown in Fig. 2, supposing the short circuit ratio is the same. However, the difference between damping curves of with and without VSC HVDC seems to be similar as what is

obtained with simple AC network. Thereby, regarding the contribution of VSC HVDC to subsynchronous damping, the AC network model seems not so crucial.

Fig. 3..Damping characteristics (solid line: AC system alone; dashed line: with VSC HVDC (rectifier operation, P&Q control mode (P=90%, Q=0%).

Fig. 4. Results from the real-time simulator. Upper plot: without VSC HVDC; Lower plot: with VSC HVDC (UIF=0.33, P=90%, Q=0%).

Fig. 5 Damping characteristics.


IV. CONCLUSION The study leads to the following conclusions: • In general, the VSC HVDC can improve the electrical damping of subsynchronous torsional oscillations in the frequency range of interest for all the operation status from rectifier, STATCOM, to inverter. • Screening study seems to be less significant, as the damping increases with the increase of unit interaction factor. • Different control modes, particularly regarding the choice between the DC voltage and power control, may lead to different impact on the subsynchronous torsional oscillation damping. The active power control mode presents to be more beneficial to SSTI damping. • At the active power and reactive power (P&Q) control mode, the damping characteristic can be insensitive to the power direction and load level. • The structure of the control system and the parameter settings are equally important regarding to SSTI damping as well as the stability of the control.

Electric Power Research Institute, “HVDC Systems Control for Damping of Subsynchronous Oscillations”, EPRI EL-2708, Final Report, October 1982. G. Asplund, “Application of HVDC Light to Power System Enhancement”, presented at IEEE/PES Winter Meeting, Singapore, January 2000. K. Eriksson, J. Graham, “HVDC Light a Transmission Vehicle with Potential for Ancillary Services”, presented at VIISEPOPE Conference, Curitiba, Brazil, May 21-26, 2000. L. Weimers, “New Markets Need Technology”, presented at Powercon 2000, Perth, Australia, December 4-7, 2000. H. Björklund, K.-E. Johansson and G. Liss, ”Damping of Subsynchronous Oscillations in Systems Containing Turbine Generators and HVDC Link”, International Conference on Large High Voltage Electric Systems, Paris, 1980 Session, August 27 – September 4. R.J. Piwko, C.A. Wegner, S.J. Kinney, J.D. Eden, “Subsynchronous Resonance Performance Tests of the Slatt Thyristor-Controlled Series Capacitor”, Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on Volume: 11 Issue: 2, April 1996 , Page(s): 1112 –1119.



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