01 November 2010

Compensation of Power Transmission Systems

The two major problems that the modern power systems are facing are voltage and angle stabilities. There are various approaches to overcome the problem of stability arising due to small signal oscillations in an interconnected power system. As mentioned in the previous chapter, installing power system stabilizers with generator excitation control system provides damping to these oscillations. However, with the advancement in the power electronic technology, various reactive power control equipment are increasingly used in power transmission systems.
A power network is mostly reactive. A synchronous generator usually generates active power that is specified by the mechanical power input. The reactive power supplied by the generator is dictated by the network and load requirements. A generator usually does not have any control over it. However the lack of reactive power can cause voltage collapse in a system. It is therefore important to supply/absorb excess reactive power to/from the network. Shunt compensation is one possible approach of providing reactive power support.
A device that is connected in parallel with a transmission line is called a shunt compensator , while a device that is connected in series with the transmission line is called a series compensator . These are referred to as compensators since they compensate for the reactive power in the ac system. We shall assume that the shunt compensator is always connected at the midpoint of transmission system, while the series compensator can be connected at any point in the line. We shall demonstrate that such connections in an SMIB power system improves
  • voltage profile
  • power-angle characteristics
  • stability margin
  • damping to power oscillations 
A static var compensator ( SVC ) is the first generation shunt compensator. 

It has been around since 1960s. In the beginning it was used for load compensation such as to provide var support for large industrial loads, for flicker mitigation etc. However with the advancement of semiconductor technology, the SVC started appearing in the transmission systems in 1970s. Today a large number of SVCs are connected to many transmission systems all over the world. An SVC is constructed using the thyristor technology and therefore does not have gate turn off capability.
With the advancement in the power electronic technology, the application of a gate turn off thyristor (GTO) to high power application became commercially feasible. With this the second generation shunt compensator device was conceptualized and constructed. These devices use synchronous voltage sources for generating or absorbing reactive power. A synchronous voltage source (SVS) is constructed using a voltage source converter (VSC). Such a shunt compensating device is called static compensator or STATCOM . A STATCOM usually contains an SVS that is driven from a dc storage capacitor and the SVS is connected to the ac system bus through an interface transformer. The transformer steps the ac system voltage down such that the voltage rating of the SVS switches are within specified limit. Furthermore, the leakage reactance of the transformer plays a very significant role in the operation of the STATCOM. 

Like the SVC, a thyristor controlled series compensator ( TCSC )

  is a thyristor based series compensator that connects a thyristor controlled reactor ( TCR ) in parallel with a fixed capacitor. By varying the firing angle of the anti-parallel thyristors that are connected in series with a reactor in the TCR, the fundamental frequency inductive reactance of the TCR can be changed. This effects a change in the reactance of the TCSC and it can be controlled to produce either inductive or capacitive reactance. 

Alternatively a static synchronous series compensator or SSSC can be used for series compensation. An SSSC is an SVS based all GTO based device which contains a VSC. The VSC is driven by a dc capacitor. The output of the VSC is connected to a three-phase transformer. The other end of the transformer is connected in series with the transmission line. Unlike the TCSC, which changes the impedance of the line, an SSSC injects a voltage in the line in quadrature with the line current. By making the SSSC voltage to lead or lag the line current by 90 ° , the SSSC can emulate the behavior of an inductance or capacitance.


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