A study of small signal stability in power systems with converters

  • Alexander Giles

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Future power systems will source much of their electrical power from converter-based generation,be it a large scale HVDC link or a smaller system such as the back-to-back converter systems found in modern, variable-speed wind turbines. This is in stark contrast to the original AC power systems which used directly-coupled synchronous generation. The transition from the past power system to the future power system will produce power systems that have both low inertia, which compromises angular and frequency stability, and low short-circuit ratios, which compromises voltage stability.In this thesis, the modelling and control of converter-based generation in low short-circuit ratio systems are investigated.For the modelling of AC power systems and the controllers being applied to the converter(s), the unified linear state-space approach is proposed. In this approach, linear state-space models of the electrical system are combined with linear state-space models in a manner which is highly scalable and sufficiently flexible to allow multiple control algorithms acting in a system instantaneously to be considered with relative ease. Three control algorithms are considered in single converter systems: dq-axis vector current control,proportional resonant control, and power synchronization control. By adopting dq-axis vector current control, the system becomes ill-conditioned at the current level, primarily due to the dynamics of the phase-locked loop, which then causes stability issues for outer feedback loops (for example DC voltage and AC voltage controllers) which accompany the current controller. Proportional resonant control, also employing a phase-locked loop, exhibits poor dynamics in the low short-circuit ratio power system.By mimicking the basic synchronization process of a synchronous generator, power synchronization control is able to perform satisfactorily in a low short-circuit ratio system, much as a synchronous generator can. Two algorithms are considered in the multi-converter, low short-circuit ratio systems: dq-axis vector current control and power synchronization control. Performance issues observed in single converter systems when dq-axis vector current control is applied are observed in the multi-converter systems. Additional sources of undesirable coupling between control loops at the current control level are observed, potentially placing more demands on the design of the outer control loops. Power synchronization control performs satisfactorily in the multi-converter systems; however, oscillatory behaviour does arise, which requires careful tuning of the controllers. In addition, it is shown that the introduction of converters using power synchronization control enables other converters (in the same system) using dq-axis vector current control to exhibit improved performance. This is due to power synchronization control causing a converter to act as an effective voltage source/regulator,and dq-axis vector current control relying on electrical proximity to a strong voltage source. This produces systems with improved conditioning, which will reduce the complexity of the design of outer controllers for dq-axis vector current controlled converters. Keywords: control, modelling, HVDC, power systems, stability, voltage-source converter, weak ACsystems, multiple-converter systems, power system planning
Date of Award7 Feb 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorAndrew Roscoe (Supervisor) & Olimpo Anaya-Lara (Supervisor)

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