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A New Configuration for Uninterruptible Distribution Systems

F. Muzi, member, EEE

Department of Electrical Engineering
University of L Aquila
67040 Poggio di Roio, LAquila, Italy
Abstract: In this paper a new architecture for unintermptible
distribution systems is presented. The single ac-no-break systemis
operated at mediumvoltage and uses a double-looped configuration
made of two redundant underground cables. The systemis three-
phase with neutral ungrounded. An example of application
concerning a satellite telecommunication center is reported. ATP
simulation results of somesignificant transients are also shown. In
the numerical simulations carried out, original models of different
unconventional components have been used.
Keywords: Urintermptible power supply, no-break electric systems,
power quality, distribution systems.
Many powerful strategic centers, such as satellite
telecommunication centers, usually require high continuity
level of supply. Presently, the problem is solved using a large
number of spread UPS apparatuses. Nevertheless, when the
power of the center is relevant, this solution, besides being
expensive, does not enable to reach the high reliability levels
usually required. To overcome this problem, the use of a single
no-break-MV system is proposed. In such a system, the main
problem to solve is the elimination of voltage dips at the MV
level occurring when faults are present in the supplied LV
systems. Actually, a voltage sag in the MV system, due to a
faulted LV component, can cause disturbances also in LV
systems unaEected by fault. The problem has been solved
using unconventional devices such as a new-generation
rotating UPS able to sustain the voltage thanks to its kinetic
0-7803-4403-0/98/$10.00 0 1998 IEEE
To considerably improve the availability of the
system, all subsystems are duplicated (100% redundant). In
addition, to make the chance of fault occurrence directly in the
MV system negligible, the use of special MV underground
cables is proposed.
The uninterruptible distribution system uses two
threeghase-MV loops, each one supplied by a rotating UP S ,
equipped with a Diesel motor. The special UPS is able to
eliminate lsturbances on the voltage and to provide power
when normal supply is not workmg. It also enables to
eliminate batteries, considered to be bulky, expensive, and
above all costly to be kept in operation. Loads are supplied
through load centers connected to the two MV loops by means
of two separate connections and two redundant transformers.
In this way the loads are supplied by two independent sources
with 100% redundancy. In the case of satellite
telecommunications centers, the unintermptible loads
themselves (constituted by apparatuses for special antemas)
are 100% redundant.
The layout of the systeimis characterized by a double
voltage transfomtion: from LV to MV in correspondence of
the rotating UPS and from MV to LV at the load centers. The
proposed archtecture enables to reach high reliability
perfonnances and high flexibility capabilities as loads or
sources can be indifferently connected to the no-break system.
Often the load nodes are distinct from the generation nodes;
nevertlheless it is possible to have local loads directly supplied
by the rotating UPS as shown in Fig. 1. In the case of MV
external supply, it is necessary it0 transform the voltage to LV
The rotating UPS, which ensure an absolute continuity
level of supply, are constantly maintained in rotation. The
chosen rotating UPS consist of a common mechanical part
shared by the synchronous motor and the synchronous
generator. The stator is unique but the windings of the motor
are selparated from those of the generator. Also the rotor is
unique, DC-excited as a conventional generator. The energy
transfer occurs almost completely under electromagnetic form;
the only conversion from electric to mechanical energy is that
necessary for damping and ventilation. The rotating UPS can
be equipped with a primary Diesel motor, which can in this
case be considered as an independent and permanent power
. ..
r -"
I d
Fig. 1. Single-line scheme of a generation node
supplying also local loads.
From an electrical point of view, the machine can be
considered as a special transformer since:
- magnetic flux can be regulated and thus the secondary voltage
can be controlled;
- only the fundamental harmonic is present in the voltage
- a reserve of active energy is guaranteed (also without a Diesel
motor, due to mechanical inertia);
- a source of reactive power is always present.
The control system of the apparatus is completely
digitally operated and uses microprocessors to perform the
different capabilities, i.e. voltage regulation or power
regulation. Remote PC can control the whole system.
The Diesel motor version enables to eliminate
external batteries. In this case the primary motor must be kept
ready to start in-order to supply the total load in a very few
seconds. During transients energy is supplied by the inertia of
flywheels. In this situation, the electrical machine behaves as
an asynchronous generator, which operates an ACDC
converter supplying the static inverter, which transmits power
at rated frequency to the AC distribution system. The complete
rotating-UPS layout in the version equipped by both external
batteries and Diesel motor is shown in Fig. 2. In this case, the
DC converter supplies the batteries and the static inverter; for
high rated power, the rectifier is at 12 impulses to reduce the
amount of harmonics. The synchronous machine drives the
thyristors of the inverters; in this way neither power capacitors
nor driven circuits for the tyristors are required. This, added
to the auto-ventilation and the reduced number of components,
greatly improves the system reliability level. Furthermore, t\e
rotating UPS protects the power static circuits against any
disturbances coming form the load (short circuits, reactive
currents, voltage unbalances, harmonics). In Fig. 2, two
versions of the system are shown: the UB-R version and the
UB-RI3 version. In the former, the external distribution
network supplies the electric motor, whereas in the latter it
supplies the generator. This latter (usually not recommended)
solution has a slightly bigger efficiency but is incapable to
filter the harmonics towards the load. Both versions use a
static switch and a decoupling inductance.
Automatic Bypass
Extemal balteq
Fig. 2. Complete layout of the static-rotating
unintermptible power generator.
Owing to the innovative structure of the no-break
distribution system, a preliminary simulation study was
carried out. The analysis refers to a satellite
telecommunication center [3]. The simulations were carried
out by means of the ATP with the aim to verify the effects
caused on the system by transients, due to faults or important
changes in the system layout.
The presence in the system of both unconventional
devices and non-linear loads caused a number of problems in
developing accurate simulation models. As a matter of fact, for
some apparatuses such as rotating UPS, special limiter -fuses or
non-linear loads, original models not reported in literature
were developed 131.
The model used for simulating a rotating UPS uses two
EMTP basic elements: the synchronous TYPE 59 machine and
the three-phase transformer. This model cannot be used when
the UPS is working as an asynchronous machine. The rated
quantities of the simulated rotating UPS are reported in
TABLE 1, while the internal parameters are reported in
A, RVA] I I , [A] I Current distortion
X, X, X, X', X', XI', XI',
0.042 0.875 0.39 0.141 0.35 0.063 0.069
TIqO T''dO XO Rn Xn
400/231 I 1100 I 1588 I 2%
(The list of symbols is given in the appendix)
K=V,,/V,, An[kVA] Zc c % x m
1 1100 18% 1MQ
10.653 I 0.51 I 0.041 10.031 10.045 10.004 10.006 1
The simplified-ATP model used to simulate the rotating
UPS is shown in Fig. 3.
K=l / l I
Fig. 3. Simplified model of the rotating
UPS used in ATP simulations.
The values of the main quantities of the virtual
transformer in Fig. 3 are reported in TABLE 3.
The high number of system simulations carried out
enableld to evaluate the lsturbances and the consequences on
the system, due to all possible electromagnetic transients
caused by faults, component energizations or switching
The faults are supposed to occur in both LV and MV
systems; the main faults examined were the ground-single-
phase fault, the double-phase fault, and the three-phase fault.
The switching operations examined were the
energizations of both the transformers and the non-linear
loads; some changes in the system layout were also
An important test was carried out to evaluate voltage
dips, which occur in the MV no-break system when a fault is
present in one LV system. The aim was to evaluate the
disturbances caused in LV systems not afected by fault before
fault e:limination. By way of example, Figs. 4 and 5 show
simulation results when a phase-to-neutral fault occurs in an
LV system. In particular, Fig. 4 shows the currents calculated
in the LV system affected by fault, while Fig. 5 shows voltages
and currents in an LV system unaffected by fault.
t [ E l
Fig. 4. Plot of the currents calculated at the fault point; faulted
phase current is higher than those of other phases.
As shown in Fig. 5, during fault occurrence in an LV
system, disturbances do not si mcantl y affect the otheir LV
systems, due to the stabilizing effect of the rotating UPS.
Furthermore, Figs. 4 and 5 slhow that also in steady state
conditions the shapes of currents are non-sinusoidal. Ths is
due to the distorting effect of the non-linear load, whch was
already investigated in a previous study [3]. Fig. 4 shows that,
during fault occurrence, this distortion remains in the currents
of non-faulted phases whereas it does not appear in the ,short
circuit current of the faulted phase. This happens because
during fault occurrence the faulted phase supplies a linear
impedance (quasi-nil in value), whereas non-faulted phases
supply non-linear loads.
100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
t Imsl
i [AI
I ,
100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
t [ml
Fig. 5. Plot of voltages and currents in a three-phase-LV system
unaffected by fault. The disturbance is negligible since the
fault is in another LV system.
Another simulation performed was the energization
of an MViLV transformer with the aim to venfy both the
disturbances caused in the MV system and the possible
malfunctioning of the adopted protection devices. In the
simulation a value of 1.5 T was assumed for magnetic flux
density. With reference to a given phase, the worst instant was
chosen to close the breaker. The computed currents and
voltages in the MV side are shown in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7.
The simulation results show that during the
energization of $e chosen transformer, currents are lower
than the rated ones and voltages at MV level are not
particularly affected by this phenomenon.
In general, simulation results set the correct behavior
of the system both in steady state and transient conditions.
Nevertheless, to reduce the disturbance in the MV system
during transformer energizations, some precautions must be
adopted. Particularly careful should be the choice of the
MVLV transformers with respect to their inrush current,
whlch must be sufficiently low. On the other hand, to
attenuate voltage dips at MV level - caused by faults occurring
in an LV system - the internal impedance of MVLV
transformers should be sufficiently high (>6%).
i [AI
1 c
Fig. 6. Currents evaluated in the MV side
during a transformer energization.
In the case of satellite telecommunication centers, too,
the loads can cause troubles during energization, due to their
non-linear and high capacitive behavior. In these cases, the
entire load should be subdivided into small, gradually
energized loads to eliminate undesired trips [3].
0 20 4'0 60 80 100 120 140 160 180
t Cmsl
Fig. 7. Single-phase voltages calculated in the M Y side
during a transformer energization.
The multiple-phase faults, which may occur in an
M Y loop, usually lead to unacceptable situations. To
drastically reduce these occurrences, single-phase cables with
special mechanical protections are used; these cables are then
placed in separate concrete underground tubes.
In addition, in the very rare occurrence of a fault in
an MV cable, a particular computer relaying system based on
ISM (Intelligent Switching Module) apparatuses is used in
order to quickly eliminate the faulted line branch. An ISM
apparatus is a complete integrated module which is able to
operate control actions, breaker operations and protection
functions simultaneously and, at the same time, to
communicate directly with the supervision control center of
the power distribution system. The use of ISM apparatuses
enables to eliminate the faulted branch of the MV system
quickly and to drastically reduce the disturbance in the MV
Recent studies demonstrated the possibility to replace
the rotating UPS wi tha digitally controlled static power unit,
able to eliminate voltage dips in real time [l], [ 2] , [4]. The
same unit equipped with external batteries can be used for
removing sudden supply interruptions. Of course, to eliminate
long supply interruptions the use of traditional synchronous
generators is required.
The new architecture proposed for no-break
distribution systems is particularly suitable to be adopted in
important and powerful centers which require at the same time
very high levels of continuity, reliability, and flexibility. The
no-break system enables to eliminate spread static UPS and
batteries thanks to the use of rotating UPS of the new
generation. ATP simulations demonstrate the correct
performances of the no-break system both in steady state and
transient conditions.
The possible use of special digitally controlled
transformers is now under investigation.
List of symbols:
- R a =Armature resistance, in per unit;
- X :=Direct-axis (d-axis) subtransient reactance;
- X :=Quadrature-axis (q-axis) subtransient reactance;
- TIdO =Direct-axis open-circuit transient time constant;
- TIgO =Quadrature-axis open-circuit transient time constant;
- T qo = Quadrature-axis open-circuit subtransient time
- X, := Zero sequence reactance, in per unit;
- R := The real part of the neutral grounding impedance;
-X, = The imaginary p a of the neutral grounding
- Z cc 0% =Short-circuit impedance of the transformer in %;
- X, =Magnetization reactance of the transformer.
=Direct-axis open-circuit subtransient time constant;
[ l ] F. Muzi, R. Paggi, G. M. Veca, Transformer regulated by
means of flux shunt .- Proceedings of the AMSE
Conference It Modeling & Simulation Sorrento (Italy)
!Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 1986, Vol. 2.3 p. 17-27.
[2] A. DAngelo, F. Muzi, R. Paggi, A new finite-element
technique for simulating the voltage control of a
transformer MSC 1996 European Users Conference -
Munich (Germany), September 17-18, 1996.
[3] F. Muzi, ATP load model of an antenna for satellite
telecommunications, Proceedings of the ATP-l34TP
.Meeting 97 - Barcelona, Spain, November 9-1 1, 1397.
F. Muzi, F. Panone, Optimal arrangement of spread
automated centers for electrical distribution systems
1998 ICHQP- IEEE International Conference - October
14-16, 1998, Athens, Greece.
- X, =Armature leakage reactance, in per unit;
- X =Direct-axis (d-axis) synchronous reactance;
- X =Quadrature-axis (q-axis) synchronous reactance;
- X, =Direct-axis (d-axis) transient reactance;
- XIg =Quadrature-axis (q-axis) transient reactance;
Francesco Muzi (M90) was born in LAquila (Italy), on May 30,
1955. In 1981 he graduated in Electrical engineering kom the
University of LAquila (hons). In 1984 he was appointed Researcher in
Power Systems at the University of LAquila and in 1991 Assistant
Professor of Electrical Distribution Systems. His main research
interests are in the field of Power Systems Analysis, Power Systems
Reliability, Electromagnetic Analysis using the Finite Element Method
and Power Quality in distribution systems.