Local Dynamic Reactive Power for Correction of System Voltage Problems

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Distribution systems are experiencing outages due to a phenomenon known as local voltage collapse. Local voltage collapse is occurring in part because modern air conditioner compressor motors are much more susceptible to stalling during a voltage dip than older motors. These motors can stall in less than 3 cycles (.05s) when a fault, such as on the sub-transmission system, causes voltage to sag to 70 to 60%. The reasons for this susceptibility are discussed in the report. During the local voltage collapse, voltages are depressed for a period of perhaps one or two minutes. There is a concern that these ... continued below

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Kueck, John D; Rizy, D Tom; Li, Fangxing; Xu, Yan; Li, Huijuan; Adhikari, Sarina et al. December 1, 2008.

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Distribution systems are experiencing outages due to a phenomenon known as local voltage collapse. Local voltage collapse is occurring in part because modern air conditioner compressor motors are much more susceptible to stalling during a voltage dip than older motors. These motors can stall in less than 3 cycles (.05s) when a fault, such as on the sub-transmission system, causes voltage to sag to 70 to 60%. The reasons for this susceptibility are discussed in the report. During the local voltage collapse, voltages are depressed for a period of perhaps one or two minutes. There is a concern that these local events are interacting together over larger areas and may present a challenge to system reliability. An effective method of preventing local voltage collapse is the use of voltage regulation from Distributed Energy Resources (DER) that can supply or absorb reactive power. DER, when properly controlled, can provide a rapid correction to voltage dips and prevent motor stall. This report discusses the phenomenon and causes of local voltage collapse as well as the control methodology we have developed to counter voltage sag. The problem is growing because of the use of low inertia, high efficiency air conditioner (A/C) compressor motors and because the use of electric A/C is growing in use and becoming a larger percentage of system load. A method for local dynamic voltage regulation is discussed which uses reactive power injection or absorption from local DER. This method is independent, rapid, and will not interfere with conventional utility system voltage control. The results of simulations of this method are provided. The method has also been tested at the ORNL s Distributed Energy Communications and Control (DECC) Laboratory using our research inverter and synchronous condenser. These systems at the DECC Lab are interconnected to an actual distribution system, the ORNL distribution system, which is fed from TVA s 161kV sub-transmission backbone. The test results are also provided and discussed. The simulations and testing show that local voltage control from DER can prevent local voltage collapse. The results also show that the control can be provided so quickly, within 0.5 seconds, that is does not interfere with conventional utility methods.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2008/174
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/945348 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 945348
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc894489

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  • December 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 28, 2016, 2:41 p.m.

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Kueck, John D; Rizy, D Tom; Li, Fangxing; Xu, Yan; Li, Huijuan; Adhikari, Sarina et al. Local Dynamic Reactive Power for Correction of System Voltage Problems, report, December 1, 2008; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc894489/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.