Protection challenges in future converter-dominated power systems : investigation and quantification using a novel flexible modelling and hardware testing platform

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2023
Thesis identifier
  • T16651
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201374362
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • The research work presented in this thesis addresses anticipated (and documented) protection challenges that will be introduced by the domination of power electronics interfaces in future power systems. A flexible and programmable voltage source converter (VSC) model with controllable fault response has been developed and this is tested using realistic network data (including transmission lines and the corresponding power flow/fault level data) from the GB transmission network, provided by National Grid ESO (the research project sponsor). The results of tests, where a range of variations to the converter controllers’ fault-responses have been implemented (e.g. to reflect different detection and initial converter response delays, output current ramp rates and magnitudes), are presented and analysed. The simulated voltage and current waveforms are injected into actual protection relays using secondary injection amplifiers. The responses of the relays are recorded and a number of issues are highlighted, particularly with respect to the response of distance protection. It is shown that, when the system is dominated by converter-interfaced sources (especially where the sources are modelled as being unable to provide “fast” and “high” fault currents, which is typically the case for actual converter systems), the responses of traditional distance protection systems (and other systems relying on measurement of current magnitude) could be delayed, lose discrimination, e.g. by tripping with a zone 2 delay for a zone 1 fault, or may be completely unable to detect faults at certain locations within the system. Based on the test results, potential solutions are then presented relating to changes to relay algorithms and/or the requirements for converters in terms of behaviour during faults. The outcomes of the work will be of interest to grid code developers (publications arising from this work have already been referred to by ENTSO-E guidance document for national implementation for network codes on grid connection [1]), transmission network operators, other researchers and protection/converter manufacturers. An overview of future work, relating to comprehensive studies (using injection and the developed system/converter models) of a range of faults/ infeeds/ converter mixes with a wide range of protection relays including distance and unit-type, and development of a standard commissioning testing method of protection relays under future power system scenarios that are dominated by converters, is included in the concluding section. This will assist in the investigation and resolution of issues associated with protection performance in future converter-dominated power systems.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Roscoe, Andrew J.
  • Booth, Campbell
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2022