Flexible operation of grid-interfacing converters in distribution networks : bottom-up solutions to voltage quality enhancement

F. Wang

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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Due to the emerging application of distributed generation (DG), large numbers of DG systems are expected to deliver electricity into the distribution network in the near future. For the most part these systems are not ready for riding through grid disturbances and cannot mitigate unwanted influences on the grid. On the one hand, with the increasing use of sensitive and critical equipment by customers, the electricity network is required to serve high voltage quality. On the other hand, more and more unbalanced and nonlinear equipment, including DG units, is negatively affecting the power quality of distribution networks. To adapt to the future distribution network, the tendency for grid-interfacing converters will be to integrate voltage quality enhancement with DG functionality. In this thesis, the flexible operation of grid-interfacing converters in distribution networks is investigated for the purpose of voltage quality enhancement at both the grid and user sides. The research is carried out in a bottom-up fashion, from the low-level power electronics control, through the realization of individual system functionality, finally arriving at system-level concepts and implementation. Being essential to the control of grid-interfacing converters, both stationaryframe techniques for voltage detection and synchronization in disturbed grids, and asymmetrical current regulation are investigated. Firstly, a group of high performance filters for the detection of fundamental symmetrical sequences and harmonics under various grid conditions is proposed. The robustness of the proposed filters to small grid-frequency variation and their adaptability to large frequency change are discussed. Secondly, multiple reference frame current regulation is explored for dealing with unbalanced grid conditions. As a complement to the existing proportional resonant (PR) controllers, sequence-decoupled resonant (SDR) controllers are proposed for regulating individual symmetric sequences. Based on the modeling of a four-leg grid-connected system in different reference frames, three types of controllers, i.e. PI, PR, and proportional plus SDR controllers are compared. Grid-interactive control of distributed power generation, i.e. voltage unbalance compensation, grid-fault ride-through control and flexible power transfer, as well as the modeling of harmonic interaction, are all investigated. The in-depth study and analysis of these grid interactions show the grid-support possibilities and potential negative impact on the grid of inverter-based DG units, beyond their primary goal of power delivery. In order to achieve a co-operative voltage unbalance compensation based on distributed DG systems, two control schemes, namely voltage unbalance factor based control and negative-sequence admittance control, are proposed. The negativesequence voltages at the grid connection point can be compensated and mitigated by regulating the negative-sequence currents flowing between the grid and DG converters. Flexible active and reactive power control during unbalanced voltage dips is proposed that enables DG systems to enhance grid-fault ride-through capability and to adapt to various requirements for grid voltage support. By changing adaptable weighting factors, the compensation of oscillating power and the regulation of grid currents can be easily implemented. Two joint strategies for the simultaneous control of active and reactive power are derived, which maintain the adaptive controllability that can cope with multiple constraints in practical applications. The contribution of zero-sequence currents to active power control is also analyzed as a complement to the proposed control, which is based on positive- and negative-sequence components. Harmonic interaction between DG inverters and the grid is modeled and analyzed with an impedance-based approach. In order to mitigate the harmonic distortion in a polluted grid, it is proposed to specify output impedance limits as a design constraint for DG inverters. Results obtained from modeling, analysis, and simulations of a distribution network with aggregated DG inverters, show that the proposed method is a simple and effective way for estimating harmonic quasi-resonance problems. By integrating these proposed control strategies in a modified conventional series-parallel structure, we arrived at a group of grid-interfacing system topologies that is suitable for DG applications, voltage quality improvement, and flexible power transfer. A concrete laboratory system details the proposed concepts and specifies the practical problems related to control design. The introduction of multi-level control objectives illustrates that the proposed system can ride through voltage disturbances, can enhance the grid locally, and can continue the power transfer to and from the grid while high voltage quality is maintained for the local loads within the system module. A dual-converter laboratory set-up was built, with which the proposed concepts and practical implementation have been fully demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Lomonova, Elena A., Promotor
  • Hendrix, Marcel A.M., Copromotor
  • Duarte, Jorge L. , Copromotor
Award date29 Nov 2010
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-386-2365-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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