Co-ordination of converter controls and an analysis of converter operating limits in VSC-HVdc grids

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Zhou, Zheng
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This thesis presents an investigation into the power transmission limitations imposed on a VSC-HVdc converter by ac system strength and ac system impedance characteristics, quantified by the short circuit ratio (SCR). An important result of this study is that the operation of the converter is not only affected by the SCR’s magnitude, but is also significantly affected by the ac system’s impedance angle at the fundamental frequency. As the ac impedance becomes more resistive, the minimum SCR required at the rectifier side increases from that required for ideally inductive ac impedance, but it decreases at the inverter side. The finite megavolt ampere (MVA) limit of the VSC imposes a further limitation on power transfer, requiring an increase in the value of the minimum SCR. This limitation can be mitigated if additional reactive power support is provided at the point-common-connection. A state-space VSC model was developed and validated with a fully detailed non-linear EMT model. The model showed that gains of the phased-locked-loop (PLL), particularly at low SCRs greatly affect the operation of the VSC-HVdc converter and that operation at low SCRs below about 1.6 is difficult. The model also shows that the theoretically calculated power-voltage stability limit is not attainable in practice, but can be approached if the PLL gains are reduced. The thesis shows that as the VSC-HVdc converter is subject to large signal excitation, a good controller design cannot rely on small signal analysis alone. The thesis therefore proposes the application of optimization tools to coordinate the controls of multiple converters in a dc grid. A new method, the "single converter relaxation method", is proposed and validated. The design procedure of control gains selection using the single converter relaxation method for a multi-converter system is developed. A new method for selecting robust control gains to permit operation over a range of operation conditions is presented. The coordination and interaction of control parameters of multi-terminal VSC are discussed. Using the SCR information at converter bus, the gain scheduling approach to optimal gains is possible. However, compared to robust control gains setting, this approach is more susceptible to system instability.
VSC-HVdc, Short circuit ratio, Phase Locked Loop, small signal analysis, Optimization, Power transfer limits