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Copyright © P. Kundur
This material should not be used without the author's consent

Excitation Systems


1. Functions and Performance

2. Elements of an Excitation System

3. Types of Excitation Systems

4. Control and Protection Functions

5. Modeling of Excitation Systems

ES- 2

Functions and Performance
Requirements of Excitation Systems

 The functions of an excitation system are
 to provide direct current to the synchronous
generator field winding, and
 to perform control and protective functions
essential to the satisfactory operation of the
power system

 The performance requirements of the excitation
system are determined by

a) Generator considerations:
 supply and adjust field current as the generator
output varies within its continuous capability
 respond to transient disturbances with field forcing
consistent with the generator short term capabilities:
- rotor insulation failure due to high field voltage
- rotor heating due to high field current
- stator heating due to high VAR loading
- heating due to excess flux (volts/Hz)

b) Power system considerations:
 contribute to effective control of system voltage and
improvement of system stability

ES- 3

Elements of an Excitation System  Exciter: provides dc power to the generator field winding  Regulator: processes and amplifies input control signals to a level and form appropriate for control of the exciter  Terminal voltage transducer and load compensator: senses generator terminal voltage.4 1539pk . rectifies and filters it to dc quantity and compares with a reference. load comp may be provided if desired to hold voltage at a remote point  Power system stabilizer: provides additional input signal to the regulator to damp power system oscillations  Limiters and protective circuits: ensure that the capability limits of exciter and generator are not exceeded ES.

driven by a motor or the shaft of main generator. DC Excitation Systems: • utilize dc generators as source of power. lost favor in the mid-1960s because of large size. superseded by ac exciters • voltage regulators range from the early non- continuous rheostatic type to the later system using magnetic rotating amplifiers ES.5 1539pk . self or separately excited • represent early systems (1920s to 1960s). Types of Excitation Systems Classified into three broad categories based on the excitation power source: • DC excitation systems • AC excitation systems • Static excitation systems 1.

most new systems use electronic amplifier regulators ES. AC Excitation Systems: • use ac machines (alternators) as source of power • usually. the exciter is on the same shaft as the turbine-generator • the ac output of exciter is rectified by either controlled or non-controlled rectifiers • rectifiers may be stationary or rotating • early systems used a combination of magnetic and rotating amplifiers as regulators. Figure 8-2 shows a simplified schematic of a typical dc excitation system with an amplidyne voltage regulator • self-excited dc exciter supplies current to the main generator field through slip rings • exciter field controlled by an amplidyne which provides incremental changes to the field in a buck- boost scheme • the exciter output provides rest of its own field by self-excitation 2.6 1539pk .

7 1539pk .2: DC excitation system with amplidyne voltage regulators ES.Figure 8.

2. 8. the regulator directly controls the dc output voltage of the exciter.1 Stationary rectifier systems: • dc output to the main generator field supplied through slip rings • when non-controlled rectifiers are used. the regulator controls the field of the ac exciter.4 shows such a system which is representative of GE-ALTHYREX system 2.3 shows such a system which is representative of GE-ALTERREX system • When controlled rectifiers are used. such systems are called brushless excitation systems • they were developed to avoid problems with the use of brushes perceived to exist when supplying the high field currents of large generators • they do not allow direct measurement of generator field current or voltage ES. Fig. Fig. 8.8 1539pk .2 Rotating rectifier systems: • the need for slip rings and brushes is eliminated.

Figure 8.9 1539pk .3: Field controlled alternator rectifier excitation system Figure 8.4: Alternator supplied controlled-rectifier excitation system ES.

10 1539pk .5: Brushless excitation system ES.Figure 8.

3. during system faults the available ceiling voltage is reduced Figure 8.11 1539pk .1 Potential-source controlled rectifier system: • excitation power is supplied through a transformer from the main generator terminals • regulated by a controlled rectifier • commonly known as bus-fed or transformer-fed static excitation system • very small inherent time constant • maximum exciter output voltage is dependent on input ac voltage. Static Excitation Systems: • all components are static or stationary • supply dc directly to the field of the main generator through slip rings • the power supply to the rectifiers is from the main generator or the station auxiliary bus 3.6: Potential-source controlled-rectifier excitation system ES.

3.2 Compound-source rectifier system: • power to the exciter is formed by utilizing current as well as voltage of the main generator • achieved through a power potential transformer (PPT) and a saturable current transformer (SCT) • the regulator controls the exciter output through controlled saturation of excitation transformer • during a system fault. the current input enables the exciter to provide high field forcing capability An example is the GE SCT-PPT.3.12 1539pk . with depressed generator voltage.3 Compound-controlled rectifier system: • utilizes controlled rectifiers in the exciter output circuits and the compounding of voltage and current within the generator stator • result is a high initial response static system with full "fault-on" forcing capability An example is the GE GENERREX system. ES.

8: GENERREX compound-controlled rectifier excitation system ©IEEE1976 [16] ES.7: Compound-source rectifier excitation system Figure 8.13 1539pk .Fig. 8.

limiting and protective functions which assist in fulfilling the performance requirements identified earlier  Figure 8. Control and Protective Functions  A modern excitation control system is much more than a simple voltage regulator  It includes a number of control.14 illustrates the nature of these functions and the manner in which they interface with each other  any given system may include only some or all of these functions depending on the specific application and the type of exciter  control functions regulate specific quantities at the desired level  limiting functions prevent certain quantities from exceeding set limits  if any of the limiters fail.14 1539pk . then protective functions remove appropriate components or the unit from service ES.

14: Excitation system control and protective circuits ES.Figure 8.15 1539pk .

 AC Regulator:  basic function is to maintain generator stator voltage  in addition.15) Figure 8. and when ac regulator is faulty  Excitation System Stabilizing Circuits:  excitation systems with significant time delays have poor inherent dynamic performance  unless very low steady-state regulator gain is used.15: Derivative feedback excitation control system stabilization ES. other auxiliaries act through the ac regulator  DC Regulator:  holds constant generator field voltage (manual control)  used for testing and startup. the control action is unstable when generator is on open-circuit  series or feedback compensation is used to improve the dynamic response  most commonly used form of compensation is a derivative feedback (Figure 8.16 1539pk .

 Power System Stabilizer (PSS):  uses auxiliary stabilizing signals (such as shaft speed.17 1539pk . power) to modulate the generator field voltage so as to damp system oscillations  Load Compensator:  used to regulate a voltage at a point either within or external to the generator  achieved by building additional circuitry into the AVR loop (see Fig. the compensator regulates voltage at a point beyond the generator terminals  commonly used to compensate for voltage drop across step-up transformer when generators are connected through individual transformers ES. 8. the compensator regulates a voltage at a point within the generator.  used to ensure proper sharing VARs between generators bussed together at their terminals  commonly used with hydro units and cross-compound thermal units  with RC and XC negative. frequency.16)  with RC and XC positive.

which is fed to the AVR. is given by ~ ~ Vc  Et   R c  jX c  I t ES. Figure 8.18 1539pk .16: Schematic diagram of a load compensator The magnitude of the resulting compensated voltage (Vc).

8. trips the ac regulator. acts through the ac regulator to ramp down the excitation to about 110% of rated field current. the delay matches the thermal capability as shown in Figure 8.17)  Overexcitation Limiter (OXL)  purpose is to protect the generator from overheating due to prolonged field overcurrent  Fig. after a time delay.18 ES.18 shows thermal overload capability of the field winding  OXL detects the high field current condition and. and repositions the set point corresponding to rated value  two types of time delays used: (a) fixed time.19 1539pk . transfers to dc regulator. and (b) inverse time  with inverse time. Underexcitation Limiter (UEL):  intended to prevent reduction of generator excitation to a level where steady-state (small- signal) stability limit or stator core end-region heating limit is exceeded  control signal derived from a combination of either voltage and current or active and reactive power of the generator  a wide variety of forms used for implementation  should be coordinated with the loss-of-excitation protection (see Figure 8. if unsuccessful.

20 1539pk .18: Coordination of over-excitation limiting with field thermal capability ES.17: Coordination between UEL.Figure 8. LOE relay and stability limit Figure 8.

05 Damage Time in GEN 0.15 1.25 1.10 1. can cause overheating and damage the unit transformer and the generator core  Typical V/Hz limitations: V/Hz (p.) 1.0 5.0 6. Volts per Hertz Limiter and Protection:  used to protect generator and step-up transformer from damage due to excessive magnetic flux resulting from low frequency and/or overvoltage  excessive magnetic flux.2 1. if sustained.2 1.0 20.21 1539pk .0  Minutes XFMR 1.0 20.u.0    V/Hz limiter (or regulator) controls the field voltage so as to limit the generator voltage when V/Hz exceeds a preset value  V/Hz protection trips the generator when V/Hz exceeds the preset value for a specified time Note: The unit step-up transformer low voltage rating is frequently 5% below the generator voltage rating ES.

001 (too small) b) per unit system used for excitation system specifications  rated load filed voltage as one per unit  not convenient for system studies ES.22 1539pk . PSS and excitation control stabilization  the limiter and protective circuits normally need to be considered only for long-term and voltage stability studies  Per Unit System: Several choices available: a) per unit system used for the main generator field circuit  chosen to simplify machine equations but not considered suitable for exciter quantities. Modeling of Excitation Systems  Detail of the model required depends on the purpose of study:  the control and protective features that impact on transient and small-signal stability studies are the voltage regulator. under normal operating conditions field voltage in the order of 0.

but varies with the operating condition. is now equal to Ref/Rg-1 as compared to Ref/Rg for the separately excited case. magnetic. however.26 also applies to the self- excited dc exciter. ES. The value of KE.6.2 Modeling of Excitation System Components The basic elements which form different types of excitation systems are the dc exciters (self or separately excited). This is accounted for by selecting the value of KE so that the initial value of VR is equal to zero.26: Block diagram of a dc exciter Self-excited dc exciter The block diagram of Fig. or electronic amplifiers. The station operators usually track the voltage regulator by periodically adjusting the rheostat setpoint so as to make the voltage regulator output zero. rotating. rectifiers (controlled or non-controlled).8. excitation system stabilizing feedback circuits.23 1539pk . signal sensing and processing circuits Separately excited dc exciter Figure 8. ac exciters. 8. The parameter KE is therefore not fixed.

28: Block diagram of an ac exciter Figure 8.30: Rectifier regulation model ES.AC Exciter and Rectifier Figure 8.24 1539pk .

Windup and Non-Windup Limits Representation: System equation: Limiting action: Figure 8.34: (a) Integrator with windup limits Representation: System equation: Limiting action: Figure 8.34: (b) Integrator with non-windup limits ES.25 1539pk .

While this model structure has the advantage of retaining a direct relationship between model parameters and physical parameters. all significant nonlinearities that impact on system stability are accounted for. direct correspondence between the model parameters and the actual system parameters is generally lost.26 1539pk .39 depicts the general structure of a detailed excitation system model having a one-to-one correspondence with the physical equipment.39: Structure of a detailed excitation system model ES.8. Therefore.6. such detail is considered too great for general system studies. The parameters of the reduced model are selected such that the gain and phase characteristics of the reduced model match those of the detailed model over the frequency range of 0 to 3 Hz. With a reduced model.3 Modeling of Complete Excitation Systems Figure 8. model reduction techniques are used to simplify and obtain a practical model appropriate for the type of study for which it is intended. In addition. however. Figure 8.

43 show four examples ES. Standard IEEE Models  IEEE has standardized 12 model structures for representing the wide variety of excitation systems currently in use (see IEEE Standard 421.27 1539pk .5-1992):  these models are intended for use in transient and small-signal stability studies  Figures 8.40 to 8.

2. When self excited. representing operator action of tracking the voltage regulator by periodically trimming the shunt field rheostat set point. ©IEEE 1991[8] The type DC1A exciter model represents field controlled dc communtator exciters. The exciter field supplied by a pilot exciter. KE is selected so that initially VR=0. Figure 8. The diode rectifier characteristic imposes a lower limit of zero on the exciter output voltage. Type DC1A Exciter model Figure 8.40: IEEE type DC1A excitation system model. the latter type being more common.1. with continuously acting voltage regulators. ES. Type AC1A Exciter model The exciter may be separately excited or self excited. applicable to a brushless excitation system.28 1539pk .41: IEEE type AC1A excitation system model. and the voltage regulator power supply is not affected by external transients. ©IEEE 1991[8] The type AC1A exciter model represents a field controlled alternator excitation system with non-controlled rectifiers.

Figure 8. Type AC4A exciter model Figure 8. ES. The model provides flexibility to represent series lag-lead or rate feedback stabilization. the limit is defined by lLR and the gain by KLR. a field current limiter is sometimes employed. excitation Type ST1A system . the exciter ceiling voltage is directly proportional to generator terminal voltage. The effect of rectifier regulation on ceiling voltage is represented by KC. The rectifier operation is confined to mode 1 region. Because of very high field forcing capability of the system. The time constant associated with the regulator and firing of thyristors is represented by TA.3.42: IEEE type AC4A excitation system model © IEEE 1991 [8] The type AC4A exciter model represents an alternator supplied controlled rectifier 4.43: IEEE type ST1A excitation system model © IEEE 1991 [8] The type ST1A exciter model represents potential-source controlled-rectifier systems. therefore.a high initial response excitation system exciter model utilizing full wave thyristor bridge circuit. The excitation power is supplied through a transformer from generator terminals. The overall gain is represented by KA.29 1539pk . Excitation system stabilization is usually provided in the form of a series lag-lead network (transient gain reduction). Rectifier regulation effects on exciter output limits are accounted for by constant KC.

30 1539pk .47 shows as an example the model of a field current limiter ES. important for long-term and voltage stability studies  Implementation of these circuits varies widely  models have to be established on a case by case basis  Figure 8. Modeling of Limiters  Standard models do not include limiting circuits. these do not come into play under normal conditions  These are. however.

(a) Block diagram representation (b) Limiting characteristics Figure 8.47: Field-current limiter model ES.31 1539pk .