Handbook of Power Systems Engineering with Power Electronics Applications

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Thus, passive filters are required to mitigate the harmonic distortion and to supply, at least a part, of the reactive power requirements.

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It provides a nearly ideal sinusoidal-shaped waveform on the AC side. Therefore, there is only little —if any— need for high-frequency filtering and no need for low order harmonic filtering. The different configurations of power electronics devices, based on the above power electronic building blocks, can be classified according to its connection to the power grid.

Shunt, series, shunt-series and cascade connections are reviewed in the following subsections. The TCR consumes variable reactive power up to its design limit according to 1. The TCR, however, generates harmonic currents due to the phase control [ 3 ]. For this reason, the TCR is normally connected in delta to prevent the triple harmonics from reaching the power system. Basically, it behaves like a fast synchronous condenser without moving parts [ 1 , 5 ]. Therefore the STATCOM does not use bulky inductors and banks of capacitors to absorb and to generate reactive power, respectively [ 1 , 3 ].

The smoothing inductor is used between the VSC and the step-up transformer to eliminate the high-order harmonics. The DC capacitor is used to support and stabilize the DC voltage [ 1 ]. Therefore, it should be possible to adjust the reactance of the line to perform an effective regulation of the power flow through the series compensated transmission line.

Depending on the firing angle, the TCSC may operate in capacitive or inductive modes. However, there is little incentive for inductive operation since this would increase the electrical length of the transmission line, with adverse consequences on stability margins, and extra losses [ 3 ]. Note that in this case the TCR harmonic currents do not tend to escape towards the network; instead, the harmonics are trapped inside the TCSC because of the low impedance of the capacitor compared to the network equivalent impedance [ 10 ].

It seems that there is limited scope for using this technology in Europe, with the Nordic countries being the exception. Indeed, Fingrid Oyj, the Finish TSO, has shown recent interest in upgrading some of their series compensated transmission lines to include the dynamic characteristics afforded by the TCSC. It is capable of regulating, simultaneously, the voltage magnitude at the high-voltage node of the shunt connected VSC, the active power flow arriving at the receiving node of the series connected transformer opposite node to that where the shunt converter is connected along with the injection of reactive power at that node.

Regulation of these parameters is limited by the ratings of the shunt and series converters. Despite its operational flexibility and great expectations when it was first conceptualized, the UPFC has not been so far a commercial success. The bipolar link is composed of two mono-polar links, one at positive and one at negative polarity with respect to ground. Indeed, the ground path is a valuable resource but limited to emergency period, when one pole is out of service. The use of phase-controlled thyristors as shown in a previous section is characterized by reactive power consumption and low order harmonics.

Therefore, in this type of applications passive filtering on the AC and DC sides is required as well as local reactive power compensation to achieve a suitable operation of the link.


Notice that the current flow is from the rectifier towards the inverter and so is the power flow when the voltage polarity is positive. Alternatively, the power follows an opposite direction to the current when the voltage polarity reverses, an operational characteristic achieved through firing angle control. Hence, only serial, multi-terminal HVDC schemes seem to be realisable using this technology. Moreover, the two VSCs do not need to be connected back-to-back but, instead, linked by a cable to transport electrical power with less power loss than an AC transmission line of comparable rating and distance.

However, bipolar schemes are favored over the basic mono-polar link, on grounds of higher power throughputs and reliability [ 4 ]. In the last two decades, increasingly more powerful IGBT-based power converters have found a major application niche as suitable interfaces between the grid and the usually asynchronous and intermittent renewable sources [ 35 , 36 , 37 ].

This fruitful relationship started with the incorporation of STATCOMs into older generations of wind farms based on fixed-speed induction machines. The aim was to dynamically provide reactive power support so that those wind generators could satisfy the more stringent low-voltage ride through capability imposed by new grid codes. As renewable power displaces more and more conventional generation, electricity grids are losing inertia and synchronizing power, which is detrimental for system stability.


Consequently, the industry is currently involved in the development of more sophisticated controllers for renewable generators and storage systems, allowing them to contribute to short-term frequency support by providing synthetic inertia. This possibility is analyzed in [ 39 ] for the Nordic European system, where a huge number of DFIM-based wind farms can be retrofitted with this kind of controllers.

Transmission system to illustrate the applications of various flexible transmission system components. Reactive power and voltage regulation.

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The use of shunt compensation is pervasive in high-voltage AC power transmission; it is difficult to think of a transmission system that nowadays will not have one or more compensators installed. In spite of the performance of both devices being almost the same at rated voltage, it has to be remarked that huge differences appear in case of reduced voltages.

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This is because the SVC behaves as a controllable susceptance, leading to a low current in case of low voltages, while the STATCOM responds like a voltage source, which may control the injected current almost independently of the network voltage. Therefore, from the operational perspective, one of the main criticisms levelled at the SVC when compared to the STATCOM refers to its impaired ability to contribute reactive power in the presence of low system voltages — for instance, in cases of voltage collapse. Dynamic stability improvement: comparison of voltage evolution in a transmission line with and without shunt compensation at midpoint during a transient due to a load increase.

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Transient stability improvement: comparison of voltage evolution in a transmission line with and without shunt compensation at midpoint during a short-circuit. Loop flow control. The available solutions to contend with this undesirable phenomenon require the installation of new equipment considering that a trade-off between investment and operational functionality ought to be considered carefully. Conventional solutions range from the installation of new generating plants at the appropriate locations, the building of new transmission lines or the introduction of the electromechanical phase-shifting transformer.

This latter component is able to alter the phase angle difference, and thus controlling the power flow, but with the problems related to any electromechanical component [ 41 ]. To illustrate the free flow of power let us refer to the generic transmission system of Fig. It is assumed, for the purpose of this discussion, that Area 1 and Area 2 export power to Area 3 through the mesh of AC and DC transmission lines shown in the figure. It is further assumed that the power flows follow the transmission paths A-B, B-C, A-C and that the installation of the phase shifter SSPS in line A-C becomes necessary in order to limit the power flow through this transmission line, below its rated power capacity, which would otherwise become exceeded.

It is clear that transmission lines A-B and B-C would have spare rating capacity to carry the ensuing re-directed power flows. Distribution system for illustrating the applications of flexible power components. Load compensation. The individual loads connected to distribution systems are far from being ideal components drawing balanced sinusoidal currents.

They are characterized by having poor power factor, being unbalanced and introducing waveform distortion in the distribution system, degrading power quality [ 42 , 43 ]. In this respect, utilities have strict grid connection codes to limit the perturbations that certain loads may introduce into the system [ 44 , 45 , 46 ], and maintain high power quality standards [ 47 ]. When the goal is to compensate harmonics, it is referred to as an active power filter APF [ 50 , 51 ]. The principle of operation of both devices is based on the injection of a set of compensation currents, which turn the total current perfectly balanced and sinusoidal.

However, this is not a straightforward task because the unbalance and harmonic components of the load current need to be computed in real-time. That is the reason why accurate reference current computation methods are key to achieve an effective compensation [ 52 ].

Hence, it is important to use alternative calculation algorithms to the classical ones the instantaneous pq theory [ 51 ] or conventional dq. Dynamic voltage support. During the last decades, a steadily transformation of the load equipment has occurred. Classical electromechanical components are being replaced by electronic ones, providing higher functionalities and improved efficiency but also with a higher sensitiveness to the voltage power quality [ 55 ].

Voltage disturbances like voltage sags may have a catastrophic effect on industrial processes [ 56 , 57 , 58 ], causing production shutdowns leading to non-negligible economic costs [ 42 ]. Voltage sags experienced by a sensitive load connected to a distribution system are mainly produced by short-circuit faults [ 59 ] in adjacent feeders to the one where the load is connected to, as shown in Fig. Therefore, it is mandatory for those sensitive final users with critical processes to be protected against this type of disturbances. For this purpose, series compensation is quite effective as shown in Fig.

Different alternative topologies involving DC energy storage or additional shunt converters have been reported [ 60 ]. The dynamic compensation using these devices is challenging because of two main issues. First, the immunization degree strongly depends on the type of voltage sag but also on the selected topology and the implemented control algorithm [ 60 ]. Therefore, the selection of a cost-effective immunization technique is difficult.

Second, the detection technique for voltage sags requires advanced real-time algorithms able to quickly detect voltage phase-angle jumps and the different voltage sequences [ 61 ]. Flexible meshed operation of radial networks. Distribution systems are radially operated in spite of being structurally meshed, as shown in Fig. However, with the advent of distributed generation DG this traditional layout has to be reconsidered.

As a matter of fact, massive penetration of DG may generate problems to this radially operated system ranging from congestions to overvoltages. This device provides new supply points among adjacent feeders where the active and reactive power flows can be controlled adding flexibility to the system operation. On the one hand, the new active power transfer capability between the feeders may release congestions.

On the other hand, taking into account that the switching centers are usually located at the remote end of the feeders, the reactive power injection may contribute effectively to the voltage regulation. The flexible DC links can be operated considering different purposes: maximize DG penetration, maximize network loadability and minimize power losses [ 63 ].

However, it has to be mentioned that even in the case of the conventional back-to-back VSC, the investment is profitable when used for the massive integration of renewable energies [ 65 ]. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the flexible DC link includes a DC bus that can be used for integrating generation PV or loads such as electric vehicle recharging stations.

Taking into account the current state of the art of power electronic applications to power systems, it is possible to briefly outline the potential avenues of research in the near future.

Handbook of Power Systems Engineering with Power Electronics Applications

Achievement of a major in Power Engineering requires 48 credit points from this table including:. A ELEC A This unit of study assumes a competence in level MATH in particular, the ability to work with complex numbers , in elementary circuit theory and in basic electromagnetics. A Following concepts are assumed knowledge for this unit of study: familiarity with circuit theory, electronic devices, ac power, capacitors and inductors, and electric circuits such as three-phase circuits and circuits with switches, the use of basic laboratory equipment such as oscilloscope and power supply.

P ELEC A Specifically the following concepts are assumed knowledge for this unit: familiarity with basic Algebra, Differential and Integral Calculus, Physics; solution of linear differential equations, Matrix Theory, eigenvalues and eigenvectors; linear electrical circuits, ideal op-amps; continuous linear time-invariant systems and their time and frequency domain representations, Laplace transform, Fourier transform.

A The unit assumes basic knowledge of circuits, familiarity with basic mathematics, competence with basic circuit theory and an understanding of three phase systems, transformers, transmission lines and associated modeling and operation of such equipment.