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Modeling, Control, and Stability Analysis of

an Islanded Microgrid

Aboutaleb Haddadi

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


McGill University
Montreal, Canada

August 2015

A thesis submitted to McGill University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


c 2015 Aboutaleb Haddadi

2015/08/03
i

Abstract

Economic, technical, and environmental incentives are deriving the energy sector towards
a new era of smart distribution networks where coordinated clusters of Distributed Energy
Resources (DERs) and local loads form a microgrid, which has a significant potential to
serve as the building block of the next generation power distribution networks. This thesis
focuses on modeling, control, and stability analysis of a microgrid which consists of multiple
electronically interfaced DER units. An important feature of a microgrid is its capability to
disconnect from the host power grid and operate in the islanded mode. In the islanded mode
of operation, undesirable dynamic interactions could occur between loads and electronically
interfaced DER units due to lack of rotational inertia; in the absence of appropriate controls,
these dynamic interactions may result in poor transient performance or even instability of
an islanded microgrid.
To address these challenges, this thesis proposes a control strategy to enhance transient
performance and stability of a droop-controlled microgrid and to enable it to ride through
transients caused by such system disturbances as load change, DER unit switching, and
change of network topology. The dependency of dynamics on the droop gains, steady-
state power flow, and network/load is studied in a droop-controlled DER unit. These
dependencies result in poor transient performance or even instability of the network in the
event of a disturbance in the system. To eliminate these dependencies, a gain-scheduled
decoupling control strategy is proposed which alters the dynamic coupling between the
DER unit and the rest of microgrid for better stability and transient performance. The
impact of the proposed control on the DER and network dynamics is studied by calculating
the eigenvalues of a test microgrid assuming the proposed control. The proposed control is
shown to stabilize the microgrid for a range of operating conditions.
Further, this thesis develops a stability analysis method to study dynamic interaction
of loads with a DER units and its impact on small-signal stability of an islanded microgrid.
The purpose of this study is to design controls that are insensitive to load dynamics. The
proposed stability analysis method: i) is a frequency-domain approach which models the
source-load dynamic interaction via a closed-loop system of impedances and admittances;
ii) provides a less conservative stability condition compared to existing methods, in the
sense of having less restriction on the control system; and iii) establishes a robust stability
margin in terms of perturbations in load parameters. The proposed method is used to
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examine small-signal stability of a test islanded microgrid. The findings of the frequency-
domain analysis are illustrated through time-domain simulations around the operating
point on the system under study. Next, based on the proposed stability analysis method,
a controller design methodology has been proposed for a DER unit to design a controller
which enhances robust stability against load dynamics.
Extensive case studies, based on time-domain simulations in the PSCAD/EMTDC soft-
ware environment, are conducted to evaluate performance of the proposed controllers when
the microgrid is subject to various disturbances such as load change, change in network
topology, and DER unit outage. Real-time case studies, using OPAL-RT, are also con-
ducted to demonstrate feasibility of hardware implementation and validate controller per-
formance against real-world implementation issues.
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Abrégé

Des incitatifs économiques, environnementaux, et techniques poussent le secteur énergétique


vers une nouvelle ère des “réseaux de distribution intelligents” où les grappes coordonnées
de ressources énergétiques distribuées (DER) ainsi que les charges locales forment un mi-
croréseau, qui a un potentiel important pour servir comme composante de base des réseaux
de distribution d’énergie de la prochaine génération. Cette thèse porte sur la modélisation,
le contrôle, et l’analyse de la stabilité d’un microréseau qui se compose de plusieurs unités
DER interfacées électroniquement. Une caractéristique importante d’un microréseau est
sa capacité à se déconnecter du réseau électrique hôte et fonctionner en mode de l’ı̂lotage.
En mode de l’ı̂lotage, des interactions dynamiques indésirables pourraient survenir entre
les charges et les unités de DER à cause du manque d’inertie de rotation; en l’absence de
contrôles appropriés, ces interactions dynamiques peuvent entraı̂ner de mauvaises perfor-
mances transitoires ou même l’instabilité du microréseau.
Pour relever ces défis, cette thèse propose une stratégie de contrôle pour améliorer
les performances transitoires et la stabilité d’un microréseau controlé par statisme. La
stratégie proposée permet au microréseau de passer à travers des transitoires causs par des
perturbations du systme comme un changement de charge, la commutation de DER, et un
changement de topologie du réseau. Nous étudions la dépendance de la dynamique sur les
gains de statisme, le flux d’énergie à l’état stationnaire, et la dynamique du réseau/charge
dans une unité de DER contrôlée par statisme. Ces dépendances entraı̂nent de mauvaises
performances transitoires ou même l’instabilité du réseau dans le cas d’une perturbation
dans le système. Pour éliminer ces dépendances dynamiques, nous proposons une stratégie
de contrôle par découplage et séquencement de gain qui modifie le couplage dynamique
entre l’unité de DER et le reste du microréseau pour une meilleure stabilité et performance
transitoire. Nous étudions l’impact de la commande proposée sur la dynamique du rseau en
calculant les valeurs propres d’un microréseau d’essai en supposant la commande proposée.
Nous montrons que cette commande stabilise le microréseau pour une gamme de conditions
de fonctionnement.
De plus, cette thèse développe une méthode d’analyse de la stabilité pour étudier
l’interaction dynamique entre des charges et des unités de DER et son impact sur la stabilité
de petit signal d’un microréseau en mode d’ı̂lotage. L’objectif de cette étude est de con-
cevoir des contrôles qui sont insensibles à la dynamique des charges. La méthode proposée:
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i) est une approche dans le domaine fréquentiel qui modélise l’interaction dynamique via
un système d’impédances et admittances en boucle fermée; ii) fournit une condition de sta-
bilité moins conservatrice par rapport aux méthodes existantes, dans le sens d’avoir moins
de restrictions sur le système de contrôle; et iii) établit une marge de stabilité robuste en
termes de perturbations dans les paramètres de charge. La méthode proposée est utilisée
pour examiner la stabilité de petit signal d’un microréseau d’essai en mode d’ı̂lotage. Les
résultats de l’analyse dans le domaine fréquentiel sont exposés par des simulations dans le
domaine temporel autour du point d’opération du système à l’étude. Ensuite, basé sur la
méthode exposée, nous proposons une méthodologie de conception de contrôle pour une
unité de DER qui augmente la stabilité robuste par rapport à la dynamique de charge.
Nous menons des études de cas approfondies, basées sur les simulations dans le domaine
temporel dans l’environnement logiciel PSCAD/EMTDC, pour évaluer les performances
des contrôleurs proposés lorsque le microréseau est soumis à diverses perturbations telles
que le changement de charge, changement dans la topologie du réseau, et la connexion ou
dconnexion de l’unité de DER. Des études de cas en temps réel, en utilisant OPAL-RT,
sont également menées pour démontrer la faisabilité de la mise en œuvre matérielle et de
valider les performances du contrôleur en pratique.
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Acknowledgments

My deepest gratitude goes first and foremost to my Ph.D. adviser, Professor Benoit Boulet
for his unconditional support and great knowledge. One could not ask for a better adviser;
his guidance and encouragement have been instrumental in every step of my work. I
appreciate all his contributions of time, research ideas, and funding which made my Ph.D.
research such a productive and stimulating experience. His encyclopedic knowledge of
control theory continues to astonish me, and I have greatly benefited from his insights.
Professor Boulet has been a role model to me, both professionally and personally, and I
hope this work is only a prelude to an enduring friendship and future research collaboration.
I am deeply honored by the support of Professor Amirnaser Yazdani who generously
agreed to collaborate in my Ph.D. research. Without his help, this Ph.D. would not have
been possible. Professor Yazdani has immensely contributed to this thesis by providing
research ideas, constructive criticism of the work, and meticulous proofreading of numerous
versions of my papers. His love for and commitment to students create a role model for
advising that will always be with me; he exemplifies the virtues of hard work and dedication,
whose passion and energy for research are boundless. I hope this work will be the start of
an enduring friendship and future research collaboration.
I am also greatly indebted to my supervisory committee members, Professor Francisco
D. Galiana, Professor François Bouffard, Professor Meyer Nahon, and Professor Luiz A.C.
Lopes, who have provided constructive inputs to my work.
I would also like to acknowledge the financial support I received from Professor Geza
Joos. This work was supported in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council (NSERC) and in part by industrial and government partners, through the NSERC
Smart Microgrid Research Network (NSMG-Net). I also acknowledge McGill University for
the McGill International Doctoral Award (MIDA), the GREAT awards1 , and the GRMA2
award.
Finally, I would like to sincerely thank my parents for their unconditional love and
support and for giving me the opportunity to pursue my passion for science. My parents
have always been a source of love, strength, and guidance for me.
Aboutaleb Haddadi
Winter 2015
1
Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Awards
2
Graduate Research Mobility Awards
vi

Contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Literature Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.2.1 Microgrid Concept and Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.2.2 Microgrid Benefits and Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.2.3 Challenges of Primary Control of Microgrids . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.2.4 Small-signal Stability Analysis of an Islanded Microgrid . . . . . . . 9
1.2.5 Structure and Basic Control of an Electronically Interfaced DER Unit 11
1.3 Statement of the Problem and Research Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
1.4 Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
1.5 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1.6 Thesis Contributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
1.7 Thesis Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient


Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 29
2.1 System Under Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.1.1 Active Distribution Network Under Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
2.2 Mathematical Model of an Electronically Interfaced DER Unit . . . . . . . 33
2.3 Proposed Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . 34
2.4 Dynamics Under the Proposed Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
2.4.1 Mathematical Model of the System Under Study . . . . . . . . . . . 38
2.4.2 Eigenvalue Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
2.5 Case Studies and Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Contents vii

2.5.1 Case 1: Addition of a DER Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


2.5.2 Case 2: Change in Network Topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2.5.3 Case 3: Change in Load Dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
2.5.4 Case 4: Increase in the Droop Gains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
2.6 A Discussion on the Dependence of Stability on the Dynamic Interactions
Between Output LC Filter and Controllers in an Electronically Interfaced
DER Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
2.6.1 Modified Controllers and LC Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
2.6.2 Case Studies and Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
2.7 Chapter Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 58


3.1 Proposed Generic Load Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
3.1.1 Dynamic And Steady-state Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
3.1.2 Parameter Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
3.2 Case Studies and Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
3.2.1 Case I: Load Parameter Design for Different Steady-state and Dy-
namic Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
3.2.2 Case II: Coupling Between the Dynamics of a DER Unit and Load 66
3.2.3 Example: Application to RL and IM Loads . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
3.3 Remark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
3.4 Chapter Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT


Microgrid 72
4.1 UofT Model of the BCIT Microgrid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
4.2 Droop-based Power Management Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
4.2.1 Droop Control Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
4.3 Case Studies and Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
4.3.1 Case I: Grid Connection and Islanding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
4.3.2 Case II: Load Change During Islanded Operation . . . . . . . . . . 84
4.3.3 Case III: Addition of a DER Unit During Islanded Mode . . . . . . 87
4.3.4 Case IV: Change in Network Topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Contents viii

4.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 99


5.1 MATLAB/Simulink Model Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
5.2 Real-time Testing of the MATLAB/Simulink Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
5.2.1 MATLAB/Simulink Model of a DER Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
5.2.2 MATLAB/Simulink Model of the Test Active Distribution Network 104
5.3 Real-time Simulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
5.3.1 Case I: Change in Network Topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
5.3.2 Case II: Change in Load Dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
5.4 Chapter Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Intercon-


nected Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 110
6.1 Middlebrook Stability Criterion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
6.2 The GMPM Technique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.3 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.3.1 System Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.3.2 µ-Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
6.3.3 Theoretical Framework For the Proposed µ-based Stability Analysis 119
6.4 Frequency-domain Model of an Electronically-Interfaced DER Unit . . . . 119
6.5 Case Studies and Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
6.5.1 System Under Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
6.5.2 Case 1: Conservativeness of the Middlebrook Method . . . . . . . . 129
6.5.3 Small-signal Instability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
6.5.4 Case 2: Robust Stability Against Load Perturbation . . . . . . . . . 132
6.5.5 Case 3: µ-Based Stability Analysis of a Multi-DER-unit System . . 133
6.6 µ-Based Controller Design for Enhanced Robust Stability of an Islanded
Microgrid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
6.6.1 Proposed Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
6.6.2 Case Studies and Simulation Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Contents ix

6.6.3 Adding the Compensator to the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control


Strategy of Chapter 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
6.7 Chapter Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

7 Conclusions 145
7.1 Summary and Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
7.2 Future Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

A Parameters of the Test Systems 151

References 157
x

List of Figures

1.1 A pictorial diagram illustration of a microgrid [1]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


1.2 A pictorial diagram illustration of how microgrids fit into the smart grid vision. 5
1.3 Hierarchical control levels in microgrids [1, 2]. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.4 Schematic diagrams of a droop-controlled electronically interfaced DER unit. 12
1.5 Block diagram of power control scheme. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.6 Schematic diagrams of (a) the voltage amplitude regulation scheme, and (b)
the current controller. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.7 Block diagram of the frequency control loop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

2.1 Schematic diagram of the test active distribution network. . . . . . . . . . 32


2.2 Block diagram of the proposed control strategy and the host DER unit. . . 36
2.3 Block diagram of modified voltage amplitude regulation scheme. . . . . . . 37
2.4 Trace of dominant eigenvalues for 2(rad/s)/MW < m1 < 30(rad/s)/MW,
m2 = m3 = 2m1 (a) conventional control, and (b) proposed control. . . . . 41
2.5 Trace of dominant eigenvalues for 0.02kV/MVAr < n1 < 0.4kV/MVAr, n2 =
n3 = 2n1 (a) conventional control, and (b) under the proposed control. . . 42
2.6 Case1: Response of the DER units to connection of DER3, under the conven-
tional droop-based control (solid line), and under the proposed droop-based
control (dashed line). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2.7 Case 2, Scenario A: Response of the DER units to connection of Sub-Network
1 and Sub-Network 2, under the conventional droop-based control (solid
line), and under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line). . . . . . . 45
2.8 Case 2, Scenario B: Response of the DER units to connection of Sub-Network
1 and Sub-Network 2, under the conventional droop-based control (solid
line), and under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line). . . . . . . 46
List of Figures xi

2.9 Block diagram of the load used in the case studies of Section 2.5.3. . . . . 48
2.10 Case 3: Responses of the DER units to the connection of the load with
b = −200, under the conventional droop-based control (solid line), and under
the proposed droop-based control (dashed line). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
2.11 Case 3: Responses of the DER units to the connection of the load with
b = −0.01, under the conventional droop-based control (solid line), and
under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line). . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
2.12 Case 4: Response of the DER units to a stepwise increase in the real-power
droop gains, under the conventional droop-based control (solid line), and
under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line). . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
2.13 Comparison of the bandwidth of the original controllers (solid black pointers)
with modified controllers of Section 2.6.1 (dashed blue pointers): bandwidth
of the power control scheme (PC), bandwidth of the voltage amplitude reg-
ulation scheme (VC), resonant frequency of the LC filter (LC), bandwidth
of the current controller (CC), and the switching frequency (SW). . . . . . 54
2.14 Case 1: Responses of DER1 to the interconnection of Sub-Network1 and
Sub-Network2 assuming the modified control schemes and LC filters. . . . 55
2.15 Case 2: Responses of DER1 to an increase in the droop gains assuming the
modified control schemes and LC filters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

3.1 Block diagram of the generic load model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60


3.2 Schematic diagram of the test system showing the generic load at Bus6. . . 64
3.3 Response of the load and DER1 to connection of the load to the grid at
t = 2s showing (a) d- and q-axis components of the load current, (b) d-
and q-axis components of the load terminal voltage, (c) real- and reactive-
power demand of the load (pL and qL ), and (d) d- and q-axis components
of the output current of DER1: Case I, damping of d = 5 s−1 , oscillation
frequency of ωosc = 37.7 rad/s, real-power demand of Pss = 0.6 MW, and
reactive-power demand of Qss = 0 MVar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
List of Figures xii

3.4 Response of the load and DER1 to connection of the load to the grid at
t = 2s showing (a) d- and q-axis components of the load current, (b) d- and
q-axis components of the load terminal voltage, (c) real- and reactive-power
demand of the load, and (d) d- and q-axis components of the output current
of DER1: Case II, damping of d = 10 s−1 , oscillation frequency of ωosc = 75.4
rad/s, real-power demand of Pss = 0.6 MW, and reactive-power demand of
Qss = 0 MVar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
3.5 The RL load of Section 3.2.3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
3.6 Emulation of an RL load by the generic load model: (a) d- and q-axis com-
ponents of load terminal voltage measured at the low-voltage side of the
transformer and (b) d- and q-axis components of the RL load current (solid
line) and the load current (dashed line). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
3.7 Emulation of an IM by the generic load model: (a) d- and q-axis components
of load terminal voltage measured at the low-voltage side of the transformer
and (b) d- and q-axis components of the IM current (solid line) and the load
current (dashed line). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

4.1 A screen shot of UofT model of the BCIT campus microgrid implemented
in the PSCAD environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.2 A screenshot of the PSCAD model used for studying the feasibility of im-
plementation of control of Chapter 2 in the BCIT microgrid showing (a) the
DER units and their control, and (b) the BCIT microgrid including the DER
units. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
4.3 Phase angle difference between the BC Hydro-side and BCIT-side voltage of
the switch island in response to the connection of the BCIT microgrid to
BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
4.4 (a) real and (b) reactive power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and (c) power ex-
change with BC Hydro in response to the connection of the BCIT microgrid
to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
4.5 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S CDJ, (b) power
exchange between S/S CDJ and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the
(per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to
the connection of the BCIT microgrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. 82
List of Figures xiii

4.6 Reactive power sharing through V–Q droop control for high and low values
of reactive-power droop gain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
4.7 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) power
exchange between S/S ABG and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the
(per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to
the connection of the BCIT microgrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. 84
4.8 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b) power
exchange between S/S MTW and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response
to the connection of the BCIT microgrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. 84
4.9 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power exchange
between S/S R and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the connec-
tion of the BCIT microgrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. . . . . . . 85
4.10 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power exchange
between S/S N and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the connec-
tion of the BCIT microgrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. . . . . . . 85
4.11 Response of DER1 and DER2 to the connection of the BCIT microgrid to
BC Hydro showing: (a) d-axis components of the DER units output voltage
(kV), (b) q-axis components of the DER units output voltage (kV), (c) d-axis
components of the DER units output current (kA), (d) q-axis components
of the DER units output current (kA), (e) the gains of the gain-scheduled
decoupling controller, and (f) the frequency of the DER units output voltage
(rad/s), Case I, Section 4.3.1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
4.12 (a) real and (b) reactive power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and (c) power
exchange with BC Hydro in response to a sudden load change during islanded
operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
4.13 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S CDJ, (b) power
exchange between S/S CDJ and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the
(per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to
a sudden load change during islanded operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2. . . 87
List of Figures xiv

4.14 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) power
exchange between S/S ABG and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the
(per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to
a sudden load change during islanded operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2. . . 88
4.15 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b) power
exchange between S/S MTW and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response
to a sudden load change during islanded operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2. . 88
4.16 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power exchange
between S/S R and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to a sudden
load change during islanded operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2. . . . . . . . 89
4.17 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power exchange
between S/S N and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to a sudden
load change during islanded operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2. . . . . . . . 89
4.18 Response of DER1 and DER2 to a sudden load change during islanded opera-
tion showing: (a) d-axis components of the DER units output voltage (kV),
(b) q-axis components of the DER units output voltage (kV), (c) d-axis
components of the DER units output current (kA), (d) q-axis components
of the DER units output current (kA), (e) the gains of the gain-scheduled
decoupling controller, and (f) the frequency of the DER units output voltage
(rad/s), Case II, Section 4.3.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
4.19 (a) real and (b) reactive power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and (c) power
exchange with BC Hydro in response to the connection of DER3 to S/S N
during islanded operation: Case III, Section 4.3.3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
4.20 Real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S CDJ, power exchange
between S/S CDJ and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the connec-
tion of DER3 to S/S N during islanded operation: Case III, Section 4.3.3. . 91
List of Figures xv

4.21 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) power
exchange between S/S ABG and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response
to the connection of DER3 to S/S N during islanded operation: Case III,
Section 4.3.3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
4.22 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b) power
exchange between S/S MTW and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response
to the connection of DER3 to S/S N during islanded operation: Case III,
Section 4.3.3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
4.23 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power exchange
between S/S R and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the connec-
tion of DER3 to S/S N during islanded operation: Case III, Section 4.3.3. . 93
4.24 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power exchange
between S/S N and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the connec-
tion of DER3 to S/S N during islanded operation: Case III, Section 4.3.3. . 93
4.25 Response of DER1 and DER2 to the connection of DER3 to S/S N during
islanded operation showing: (a) d-axis components of the DER units output
voltage (kV), (b) q-axis components of the DER units output voltage (kV),
(c) d-axis components of the DER units output current (kA), (d) q-axis
components of the DER units output current (kA), (e) the gains of the gain-
scheduled decoupling controller, and (f) the frequency of the DER units
output voltage (rad/s), Case III, Section 4.3.3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
4.26 (a) real and (b) reactive power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and (c) power
exchange with BC Hydro in response to the disconnection of S/S CDJ from
the rest of microgrid during islanded operation: Case IV, Section 4.3.4. . . 95
4.27 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S CDJ, (b) power
exchange between S/S CDJ and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response
to the disconnection of S/S CDJ from the rest of microgrid during islanded
operation: Case IV, Section 4.3.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
List of Figures xvi

4.28 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) power
exchange between S/S ABG and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response
to the disconnection of S/S CDJ from the rest of microgrid during islanded
operation: Case IV, Section 4.3.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
4.29 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b) power
exchange between S/S MTW and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response
to the disconnection of S/S CDJ from the rest of microgrid during islanded
operation: Case IV, Section 4.3.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
4.30 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power exchange
between S/S R and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the discon-
nection of S/S CDJ from the rest of microgrid during islanded operation:
Case IV, Section 4.3.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
4.31 (a) real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power exchange
between S/S N and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-unit)
voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the discon-
nection of S/S CDJ from the rest of microgrid during islanded operation:
Case IV, Section 4.3.4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
4.32 Response of DER1 and DER2 to the disconnection of S/S CDJ from the rest
of microgrid during islanded operation showing: (a) d-axis components of
the DER units output voltage (kV), (b) q-axis components of the DER units
output voltage (kV), (c) d-axis components of the DER units output current
(kA), (d) q-axis components of the DER units output current (kA), (e) the
gains of the gain-scheduled decoupling controller, and (f) the frequency of
the DER units output voltage (rad/s), Case IV, Section 4.3.4. . . . . . . . 98

5.1 Screenshot of the MATLAB/Simulink model of the test system of Fig. 2.1
used for real-time simulations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
List of Figures xvii

5.2 Comparison of the MATLAB/Simulink and PSCAD models of DER1: Re-


sponse of DER1 to an increase in its local load showing data from the MAT-
LAB/Simulink model (solid line) and data from the PSCAD model (dashed
line): (a) d- and q-axis components of the output voltage of DER1 and, (b)
real- and reactive-power output of DER1, simulation test of Section 5.2.1. . 104
5.3 Comparison of the MATLAB/Simulink (OPAL) and PSCAD models of the
test system of Fig. 2.1: Response of DER1 to the interconnection of Sub-
Network1 and Sub-Network2 under the conventional droop-based control
showing data from the MATLAB/Simulink model (OPAL–solid line) and
data from the PSCAD model (dashed line), case study of Section 5.2.2. . . 106
5.4 Real-time response of DER1 to interconnection of Sub-network1 and Sub-
Network2 in the OPAL-RT environment under the conventional droop-based
control (solid line) and under the proposed control strategy (dashed line):
real-time simulation study of Case I, Section 5.3.1, change in network topology.108
5.5 Real-time response of DER1 in the OPAL-RT environment to a step-wise
increase in the mechanical torque of an asynchronous machine connected
to Sub-network1 under the conventional droop-based control (solid line) and
under the proposed control strategy (dashed line): real-time simulation study
of Case II, Section 5.3.2, change in load dynamics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

6.1 A model representing a typical source-load interconnection. . . . . . . . . . 113


6.2 Middlebrook model of load/source interactions using two cascaded subsystems.114
6.3 Block diagrams of (a) closed-loop model of source-load interconnection of
Fig. 6.1, (b) setup for stability analysis using the proposed µ-based approach,
and (c) standard feedback interconnection equivalent. . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
6.4 (a) General setup for the proposed µ-based approach including the weighting
functions and the normalized uncertainties, and (b) equivalent standard M −
∆ feedback interconnection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
6.5 Block diagrams of (a) the control and power circuits of a droop-controlled
electronically interfaced DER unit, and (b) the frequency regulation loop. . 121
6.6 Bode plot of Zdd (s) for a droop-controlled DER unit obtained using the
proposed analytical approach (solid blue line) and simulation of the DER
unit (×). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
List of Figures xviii

6.7 Single-line schematic diagram of the system under study in Section 2.5. . . 127
6.8 Schematic diagram of the PE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
6.9 Assessing small-signal stability of the test system using (a) the Middlebrook
method, and (b) µ-based approach assuming 10% change in the PE, DER-PE
interconnection, Section 6.5.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
6.10 Response of the DER unit and the PE to a step change of ±10% in the
PE: (a) instantaneous real- and reactive-power output of the PE, (b) d- and
q-axis components of the DER unit output voltage, and (c) d- and q-axis
components of the PE current (Case 1, Section 6.5.2). . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
6.11 Plot of µ for the DER-PE interconnection, assuming 20% change in the
active load. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
6.12 Response of the DER unit and the PE to a step change of ±20% in the real-
power demand of the PE: (a) instantaneous real- and reactive-power output
of the PE, (b) d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output voltage,
and (c) d- and q-axis components of the PE current (Case 2, Section 6.5.3). 131
6.13 Plot of µ versus change of Wm2 , Case study of Section6.5.4: DER-PE-RLC
interconnection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
6.14 Response of the DER unit to ± 50% change in the passive load: (a) the
instantaneous real- and reactive-power output of the DER unit, (b) the d-
and q-axis components of the DER unit output voltage, and (c) the d- and q-
axis components of the DER unit output current, Case study of Section 6.5.4,
DER-PE-RLC interconnection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
6.15 The test system of multi-DER-unit case study, Section 6.5.5. . . . . . . . . 135
6.16 Plot of µ for the multi-DER-unit case study assuming 10% uncertainty in
L1 , Section 6.5.5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
6.17 (a) Block diagram of the voltage amplitude regulation scheme of a DER unit
with the compensator, and (b) equivalent impedance model of the DER-load
interconnection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
6.18 Flowchart of the optimization algorithm to find the optimal compensator
gain K. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
6.19 Finding the optimal value of K using the proposed optimization algorithm:
peak value of µ versus changing K. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
List of Figures xix

6.20 Plot of µ for the DER-load interconnection of Fig. 6.7 without the proposed
compensator (dashed line) and with the proposed compensator with the gain
K found from the optimization algorithm of Fig. 6.18 (solid line). . . . . . 141
6.21 Response of the system to a change in the PE load under the conventional
droop-based control: (a) the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit
output voltage, (b) the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output
current, (c) the real and reactive power drawn by the PE, and (d) system
frequency, Case study of Section 6.6.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
6.22 Response of the system to a change in the PE load assuming the compen-
sator: (a) the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output voltage, (b)
the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output current, (c) the real
and reactive power drawn by the PE, and (d) system frequency, Case study
of Section 6.6.2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
6.23 Plot of σ for the small-signal impedance of a DER unit under the conven-
tional droop-based control (red solid line), with the proposed compensator
(black dashed line), and under the gain-scheduled decoupling controller of
Chapter 2 (blue dotted line). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
xx

List of Tables

2.1 Summary of properties of the case studies of Section 2.5 . . . . . . . . . . 43

A.1 Parameters of the test active distribution network of Fig. 2.1, Chapter 2. . 152
A.2 Values of the parameters of the original and modified control schemes and
output LC filter of DER1, Chapter 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
A.3 Values of load parameters in case studies of Section 3.2, Chapter 3. . . . . 154
A.4 The subnetworks and loads of the UofT model of the BCIT microgrid shown
in Fig. 4.1, Chapter 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
A.5 The values of droop control parameters for droop-based control of the BCIT
microgrid, Chapter 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
A.6 The values of parameters of the single-DER unit test system shown in
Fig. 6.7, Chapter 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
xxi

Acronyms

ARTEMiS Advanced Real-Time Electromechanical Simulator. 100

BCIT British Columbia Institute of Technology. 27

CHP Combined Heat and Power. 1

CRHP Closed Right Half Plane. 113

DER Diustributed Energy Resource. 1

DG Diustributed Generation. 73

DOE Department of Energy. 3

DS Diustributed Storage. 73

EMS Energy Management System. 4

GMPM Gain Margin Phase Margin. 10

HIL Hardware-in-the-Loop. 24

IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 25

IM Induction Machine. 64

MIMO Multiple Input Multiple Output. 10

PCC Point of Common Coupling. 3


Acronyms xxii

PE Electronically-Interfaced/Controlled Load. 127

PLL Phase-Locked Loop. 12

PWM Pulse Width Modulation. 15

SISO Single Input Single Output. 10

VSC Voltage-Sourced Converter. 11


xxiii

Nomenclature

Cf Per-phase capacitance of the DER output filter. 11

H(s) PLL compensator. 156

Iod0 Steady-state value of iod . 34

Ioq0 Steady-state value of ioq . 34

K Gain of proportional controller. 137

Ki (s) Current controller. 15

Kv (s) Voltage amplitude regulation scheme compensator. 14

KP F Generic load model design parameter. 61

KQF Generic load model design parameter. 61

Kic Integrator gain of Ki (s). 152

Kiv Integrator gain of Kv (s). 152

Kpc Proportional gain of Ki (s). 152

Kpv Proportional gain of Kv (s). 152

LC Inductive(L)-Capacitive(C). 11

Lf Per-phase inductance of the DER output filter. 11

M Generalized plant. 117


Nomenclature xxiv

N P Generic load model design parameter. 61

N Q Generic load model design parameter. 61

P Filtered values of p. 13

P0 Steady-state value of P . 36

Prated Rated three-phase real power. 61

Pss Steady-state value of the generic load real power. 61

Q Filtered values of q. 13

Q0 Steady-state value of Q. 36

Qrated Rated three-phase reactive power. 61

Qss Steady-state value of the generic load reactive power. 61

R Effective per-phase resistance of the filter inductor and VSC valves. 11

RLC Resistive(R)-Inductive(L)-Capacitive(C). 24

V0 Rated generic load voltage. 61

Vo Nominal no-load value of the amplitude of DER unit output voltage. 13

Vod0 Steady-state value of vod . 35

Voq0 Steady-state value of voq . 33

Wmi Weighting function used to normalize perturbation. 119

YP Real power index of the generic load. 62

YQ Reactive power index of the generic load. 62

Zl SISO load impedance. 113

Zs SISO source impedance. 113

∆ Matrix of structured uncertainties. 117


Nomenclature xxv

∆Vmax Maximum deviation of DER output voltage amplitude. 78

∆ωmax Maximum deviation of DER frequency. 78

Γ Structure of uncertainty. 118

Ω Steady-state frequency. 123

α Bandwidth of band-pass filter. 137

YC Admittance matrix of DER filter capacitor. 123

Yl Transfer matrix of load admittance. 115

Yder DER admittance matrix. 123

Yip Equivalent admittance of the perturbed load. 117

Yi Admittance of ith load. 117

Y Admittance of DER unit seen behind filter capacitor. 123

Zder DER impedance matrix. 125

wm Vector of inputs to the generalized plant. 119

z Vector of outputs of the generalized plant. 119

δi Perturbation. 116

λ Eigenvalue of the generic load model. 63

AL Matrix of state-space model of the generic load model. 60

BL Matrix of state-space model of the generic load model. 60

CL Matrix of state-space model of the generic load model. 60

Zl Transfer matrix of load impedance. 114

Zs Transfer matrix of source impedance. 114

iL Generic load current. 59


Nomenclature xxvi

vL Generic load voltage. 59

xL Vector of state variables of the generic load model. 47

Amg Matrix of the small-signal model of the active distribution network. 40

xmg Vector of state variables of the small-signal model of the active distribution network.
40

D Set of matrices that commute with any ∆. 118

µΓ µ with respect to structure Γ. 118

ω Angular velocity of DER dq frame. 12

ω ∗ Frequency setpoint of DER unit. 12, 13

ω0 Network frequency. 123

ωc Cut-off frequency of DER low-pass filter. 13

ωo Nominal no-load value of the frequency of DER unit output voltage. 13

ωL Rotating speed of the dq frame of the generic load model. 47

ωosc Oscillation frequency of the generic load. 62

ωsync DER unit synchronisation scheme output signal. 12

ωs Center frequency of band-pass filter. 137

µ Peak value of µ. 138

G Gain-scheduled controller matrix gain. 37

θ Angle of d-axis with respect to horizontal stationary axis. 12

˜ s Normalized ∆s . 118

δ̃i Normalized perturbation. 119

b Gain parameter of the generic load model. 47


Nomenclature xxvii

d Damping of natural modes of the generic load. 62

dK Fixed incremental change in K. 138

dq Direct Quadrature. 12

eω Tracking error of frequency regulation scheme compensator. 15

eid d-axis tracking error of DER current controller. 15

eiq q-axis tracking error of DER current controller. 15

evd d-axis tracking error of DER voltage amplitude regulation scheme. 14

evq q-axis tracking error of DER voltage amplitude regulation scheme. 14

g11 Gain-scheduled controller gain. 36

g12 Gain-scheduled controller gain. 36

g21 Gain-scheduled controller gain. 36

g22 Gain-scheduled controller gain. 36

iLdss Steady-state value of iLd . 60

iLd d-axis component of the generic load current. 47

iLqss Steady-state value of iLq . 60

iLq q-axis component of the generic load current. 47

i∗d Setpoint of d-axis VSC ac-side terminal current. 14

iod d-axis component of DER unit output current. 13

ioq q-axis component of DER unit output current. 13

i∗q Setpoint of q-axis VSC ac-side terminal current. 14

kω (s) Frequency regulation scheme compensator. 15

m Real-power droop gain. 13


Nomenclature xxviii

n Reactive-power droop gain. 13

p DER unit instantaneous output real power. 13

pL Real power demand of generic load. xi, 66

q DER unit instantaneous output reactive power. 13

qL Reactive power demand of generic load. xi, 66

uid d-axis control signal of DER current controller. 15

uiq q-axis control signal of DER current controller. 15

uvd d-axis control signal of DER voltage amplitude regulation scheme. 14

uvq q-axis control signal of DER voltage amplitude regulation scheme. 14


0
voabc Network voltage. 12
0
voq q-axis component of network voltage. 12

vL,abc Generic load terminal voltage. 47

vLdss Steady-state value of vLd . 60

vLd d-axis component of the genic load voltage. 47

vLqss Steady-state value of vLq . 60

vLq q-axis component of the generic load voltage. 47

vd∗ Setpoint of d-axis VSC ac-side terminal voltage. 15

voabc DER unit output voltage. 11

vod d-axis component of DER unit output voltage. 13



vod Setpoint of the amplitude of DER unit output voltage. 13

voq q-axis component of DER unit output voltage. 13



voq Setpoint of q-axis DER output voltage. 15
Nomenclature xxix

vq∗ Setpoint of q-axis VSC ac-side terminal voltage. 15

ysim (s) Compensator. 137

Br Circuit breaker. 11

Tr Transformer. 12
1

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 Background

Technical and economic benefits of the Diustributed Energy Resource (DER) technologies
for utilities as well as customers have resulted in the rapid deployment of DER units in
distribution power systems, leading to the emergence of active distribution networks1 . This
increasing interest is due to the following perceived benefits: possibility for Combined Heat
and Power (CHP) and, hence, increased energy efficiency; reduced carbon emissions; local
response to load growth; deferral of capacity expansion costs; and improved power quality
and reliability. Nevertheless, challenges emerge due to the interconnection of DER units in
the absence of appropriate control and power management. These challenges are: variation
in power flow direction and voltage profile; malfunction of conventional protective devices;
adverse impacts on power quality due to intermittent nature of renewable energy resources;
and instability issues [3]. These challenges create barriers for high depth of penetration of
DER units and, thus, deter realization of full benefits of DER technologies.
To fully realize the potential benefits of DER and address the above mentioned chal-
lenges, a systematic approach can be adopted which views the DER units and loads as a
microgrid2 ; a microgrid is a coordinated cluster of DER units and loads within an electric
power distribution network, which can collectively be viewed as a single controllable en-
1
A distribution network becomes active when DER is incorporated to the system leading to bidirectional
flow of energy, that is, from the upstream grid to the distribution network as well as from the distribution
network to the upstream grid.
2
A microgrid system is named “micro” in the sense that a power rating of 1 MW is approximately a
million times smaller than the U.S. power peak load of 1 TW [1].

2015/08/03
1 Introduction 2

tity by the main grid [4, 5]. A microgrid should be able to operate in the grid-connected
mode, i.e. when connected to the local electric power distribution network, as well as in
the islanded mode, when isolated from the local electric power distribution network. The
microgrid philosophy of operation is expected to enable high penetration of DER without
requiring re-design or re-engineering of the host distribution system.
The control of a microgrid, particularly in the islanded mode of operation, is essen-
tially more complicated as compared with a conventional power system. The control of an
islanded microgrid entails the regulation of the voltage and frequency of microgrid while
creating a balance between net demand and generation. This task is particularly challeng-
ing partly due to the following reasons [6]: close geographical proximity of DER units that
strongly couple; lack of inherent rotational inertia due to the dominance of DER units that
are interfaced to the network through power electronic converters (hereinafter, referred to as
an “electronically interfaced DER unit”); and significant impacts imposed on the dynamics
of system by loads. Due to lack of rotational inertia, an islanded microgrid is potentially
susceptible to oscillation and even instabilities resulting from network disturbances [7–11].
Control of a microgrid must ensure small-signal stability3 due to small changes in op-
erating conditions or load perturbations. It is known that in a power system, in general,
loads can dynamically interact with generation dynamics [13, 14]. In an islanded micro-
grid, in particular, dynamic interactions between loads and generators are more strongly
pronounced and can adversely affect the small-signal stability of the network [10,11,15,16].
Since load dynamics may influence the small-signal stability of an islanded microgrid, it
is essential to study dynamic interaction of loads with a DER unit when investigating the
small-signal stability of an islanded microgrid. The purpose of such a study is to design
controls that are insensitive to load dynamics.
This thesis develops a control strategy that regulates the voltage and frequency of an
islanded microgrid consisting of multiple electronically interfaced DER units and enables
it to ride through transients caused by such system disturbances as load change, DER unit
switching, and change of network topology. Further, this thesis studies the small-signal
stability of an islanded microgrid due to dynamic interactions between an electronically
interfaced DER unit and load. In this context, a method of stability analysis has been
3
Power system small-signal stability is the ability of a power system, for a given initial operating
condition, to regain a state of operating equilibrium following small changes in operating conditions or
load perturbations [12].
1 Introduction 3

devised to analyze the small-signal stability of an interconnected DER unit and load. The
proposed method of stability analysis is capable of establishing a robust stability margin4
in terms of perturbation in load parameters. That is, the proposed method determines by
how much a load can change such that the system will remain stable in the small-signal
sense.

1.2 Literature Review

1.2.1 Microgrid Concept and Definition

The concept and definition of microgrids are changing to fully realize their benefits in terms
of renewable integration, cost reduction, and grid reliability and resilience to the grid [1].
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defines a microgrid as:

“A group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources (DER)


with clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity
with respect to the grid (and can) connect and disconnect from the grid to enable
it to operate in both grid-connected or island mode.”

Fig. 1.1 shows a pictorial diagram illustration of a microgrid showing showing microgrid
categories and examples of interconnectivity. While not strictly compliant with the above
definition, small isolated power systems have also been included as microgrids in the liter-
ature [17].
While earlier definitions focused on the “islanding” feature of a microgrid, recent defi-
nitions of a microgrid have expanded to incorporate utility support and the management
of generation and loads as part of the electric power system. Together with changing
definitions, the scale of microgrids is changing from less than 1 MW to 2–10 MW, and 60–
100 MW in coming years [1]. The most recent definitions mention the following defining
characteristics/features for a microgrid [1, 2, 18–20]:

• Geographically enclosed
• Connected to the main utility grid at one point called Point of Common Coupling
(PCC)
4
Robust stability is the ability of a system to maintain stability despite parametric or structural un-
certainties. Robust stability margin means to what extent the stability and performance of the system is
robust against these uncertainties.
1 Introduction 4

Di
buri
onti
st
Su

Bu
bs
onti
at

ups
pl
kl

y
onc
ne
onti
c
Su Mci
Fu

bs ogr
onti d
at ri
l

Ge
n
Ge
n
Fu M
Fe ocr
dee gdri
r
l i

Ge
n
Fe
dee
r
Ge
n

Ge
n
Pa

Fe og
dee dri
atil cri
rM

Fe
dee
r
Fig. 1.1 A pictorial diagram illustration of a microgrid [1].

– Fed from one substation


• May operate islanded
– Can automatically transition to/from and operate islanded
– Operates in a synchronized and/or current-sourced mode when connected to the
main grid
– Compatible with system protection devices and coordination
• Includes DER, generator according to the needs of customer with
– Renewable generation (electronically interfaced)
– Fossil fuel based (synchronous generator)
– Energy storage
• Includes an Energy Management System (EMS)
– Controls power exchanges, generation, load, storage, and demand response
– Load management controls to balance supply and demand fast
• Power and information exchanges take place on both sides and across the PCC in
real time.
1 Introduction 5

External
gateway

Microgrid #1 Microgrid #2
Control centre

Microgrid #3
Microgrid #4

Electrical link
Communication
and control link

Fig. 1.2 A pictorial diagram illustration of how microgrids fit into the smart
grid vision.

Microgrids are expected to facilitate the realization of smart grid vision, that is, the evo-
lution of a partially-automated human-assisted electric power system to a fully automated
system. The objectives of the smart grid vision are to mitigate the environmental impacts
of traditional power systems, improvement of their performance, better asset management,
and entablement of real-time interactions among stakeholders. The implementation of the
smart grid vision is expected to start from the distribution level. It is expected that the
functionalities associated with smart grid vision will serve to accelerate the microgrid sys-
tems into the intelligent, distributed electric grid and smart grid applications. Microgrids
fit into the smart grid vision by offering a solution whereby a smart grid is gradually im-
plemented through multiple microgrids that interact with each other. Fig. 1.2 presents a
pictorial diagram illustration of how microgrids fit into the smart grid vision.
A microgrid is expected to carry out the following functions (use cases) [1, 20]:

Function 1. Frequency control


Function 2. Voltage control (grid-connected and islanding)
Function 3. Grid-connected to islanding transition – intentional
Function 4. Grid-connected to islanding transition – unintentional
Function 5. Islanding to grid-connected transition
Function 6. Energy management (grid-connected and islanding)
1 Introduction 6

Function 7. Protection
Function 8. Ancillary services (grid-connected)
Function 9. Black start
Function 10. User interface and data management

This thesis addresses voltage amplitude/frequency regulation in an islanded microgrid cor-


responding to Functions 1 and 2. The rest of use cases are not addressed.

1.2.2 Microgrid Benefits and Challenges

Benefits of microgrids include [1]: supporting the existing grid infrastructure by adding re-
silience to the grid infrastructure, locally counteracting the power fluctuation of renewable
energy supplies, and provision of ancillary services; meeting end-user needs by ensuring un-
interruptible power supply for critical loads, locally controlled power quality and reliability,
promoting customer participation through demand-side management; enabling implemen-
tation of the smart grid vision; and facilitating the integration of DER to realize their full
benefits.
Challenges of microgrids can be divided into technical/economic and regulatory/policy
categories. The technical/economic challenges of microgrid implementation include opera-
tion and control challenges, protection, design of energy management systems, interoper-
ability, costs, and return on investment (business case). From the point of view of control,
microgrids present major challenges ranging from the main control principles (such as
droop control, model predictive control, and cooperative control) to microgrid EMS. In an
attempt to establish standards for microgrid controllers, microgrid control strategies have
been categorized into three levels: primary; secondary, and tertiary [2]. Primary control is
the level in the control hierarchy which is based exclusively on local measurements. The
objectives of primary control include islanding detection, coordinated voltage amplitude
and frequency regulation, and power sharing. Secondary control, which is carried out by
the EMS, handles microgrid operation in either grid-connected mode or islanded mode.
Tertiary control is the highest level in the control hierarchy and is responsible for coordi-
nating multiple microgtrids interacting with one another in the system by communicating
to the microgrids the requirements of the host grid. The tertiary control is not part of the
microgrid itself, but that of the host grid. Fig. 1.3 shows the hierarchical control levels in
microgrids.
1 Introduction 7

mri
C
P

on
orl
ar
y

MN
ogr wot
dri kr
ci e
Se C
onc on
da ort
yr l

mri
C
P

on
orl
ar
y

an
dL
oa
ds
Te Co
arti nort
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r

mri
C
P

on
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ar
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t M M
ogr ocri Mi di
dri gdri ogcr
#1 # ri
ci

2 d#
3
M
ani
gr
Fig. 1.3 Hierarchical control levels in microgrids [1, 2].

1.2.3 Challenges of Primary Control of Microgrids

One of the more important challenges of the primary control is to regulate the voltage
amplitude and frequency of an islanded microgrid, corresponding to Functions 1 and 2 of
the ten microgrid use cases. Most commonly, the goal is achieved through droop-based
control [7, 21–30]. The droop-based control emanates from the principle of power balance
of synchronous generators in large interconnected power systems; a mismatch between the
input mechanical power and the output real electrical power of a synchronous generator
results in a change in the rotor speed and, hence, the variation of frequency. Similarly, the
variation of the output reactive power of a synchronous generator results in the variation of
voltage amplitude. The same principle can be artificially employed for electronically inter-
faced DER units of a microgrid by lowering/increasing the frequency and voltage amplitude
of a DER unit according to its output real and reactive power, respectively. In this fashion,
the regulation of the voltage amplitude and frequency of an islanded microgrid is achieved
by coordinated control of multiple DER units that regulate their corresponding terminal
voltage amplitude and frequency; the amplitude and frequency setpoints are determined
by corresponding droop mechanisms integrated with the control schemes of the DER units.
The main advantage of droop-based control is that it does not rely on communication
between DER units for reliable operation since the control action is performed exclusively
based on local measurements. This implies that, under droop-based control, the control
of DER units are not mutually reliant on each other so long as a balance is maintained
1 Introduction 8

between the aggregate generation and load. Furthermore, droop-based control provides
superior redundancy as it insures that there are no components, such as a master controller
or central DER unit, that is critical for the operation of microgrid. This feature of droop-
based control gives the microgrid the ability to continue operating following the loss of
any component or generator. Moreover, the droop-based control uses only proportional
controllers for voltage and frequency control and, hence, offers a simple structure.
Nevertheless, droop-based control suffers from the following limitations [8, 10, 16, 29, 30,
30, 31, 31–35]:

• poor transient performance or stability issues due to sensitivity of control to droop


slopes (droop gains) [8, 30, 32] and steady-state power flow [31];

• dependence of stability on the network and loads [9–11, 16];

• no control over transient performance.

In the literature, droop-based control has been modified to address the above men-
tioned drawbacks: to mitigate the reliance of droop-based control dynamics on the droop
gains, [30] proposes a supplementary control by which the terminal voltage amplitudes and
frequencies of the DER units are drooped versus the derivatives/integrals of the respective
real- and reactive-power outputs; Reference [32] proposes a control loop that improves the
conventional droop-based control by augmenting the setpoint of the terminal voltage am-
plitude with a signal generated based on the oscillatory behavior of the real-power output
of the host DER unit; References [29, 30, 33–35] have mitigated the reliance of droop-
based control dynamics on the droop gains by introducing virtual output impedance; to
reduce the sensitivity of dynamics to steady-sate power flow, [31] proposes a gain-scheduled
droop-based controller in which the droop gains are varied with the real- and reactive-power
outputs of their respective DER units; to mitigate the dependence of stability on network
and loads, References [36–38] propose an internal controller; and Reference [9] proposes
an adaptive feed-forward compensation to reduce the sensitivity of dynamics to the droop
gains, network, and loads. Nevertheless, the implementation of the control of [9] requires an
online parameter identification mechanism for the calculation of the control signals. Conse-
quently,the performance of the proposed control depends on properties of the identification
mechanism, such as the speed of adaptation.
1 Introduction 9

Study of the literature reveals that although a great deal of research exists on the droop-
based control of a microgrid, none fully address the above mentioned limitations. This
thesis is an attempt to develop a droop-based control strategy for an islanded microgrid to
overcome the above mentioned limitations of the existing droop-based microgrid controls.
Specifically, this thesis proposes a droop-based control strategy by which the dynamics of
the droop-based control become independent of the droop gains, steady-state power flow,
and, largely, of loads.

1.2.4 Small-signal Stability Analysis of an Islanded Microgrid

Small-signal stability is one of the important concerns in the reliable operation of a mi-
crogrid due to low inertia and intermittent renewables. The interaction of the control
systems of DER units and loads may result in local oscillations, requiring a thorough
small-signal stability analysis [2]. Small-signal stability analysis is important for: technical
feasibility studies; design of control strategies to ensure that transient performance and
system stability requirements are achieved; and pre-deployment validation. Small-signal
stability of a droop-controlled islanded converter-fed microgrid is reported in the litera-
ture [8–11, 16, 30, 32, 39–41]. References [9–11, 16, 42] show that load dynamics may influ-
ence the small-signal stability of an islanded microgrid fed by electronically interfaced DER
units: Reference [11] reports small-signal instabilities due to interactions between dynamics
of an electronically interfaced DER unit and an induction machine; References [10, 15, 42]
report examples of small-signal instabilities due to the interactions between the dynamics
of a DER unit and an electronically interfaced load; and Reference [16] studies the influence
of induction machines on small-signal stability in generic microgrids fed by electronically
interfaced DER units. Since load dynamics may influence the small-signal stability of an
islanded microgrid fed by electronically interfaced DER units, it is essential to study dy-
namic interaction of loads with a DER unit when investigating the small-signal stability.
The purpose of such a study is to design controls that are insensitive to load dynamics,
such as the controls presented in [9].
A variety of approaches have been proposed to assess the small-signal stability of an
islanded microgrid fed by electronically interfaced DER units. These approaches can be
divided into eigenvalue and frequency-response methods of stability analysis. References [8,
10, 16, 30, 32, 39–41] report small-signal stability analysis using eigenvalue analysis. In the
1 Introduction 10

eigenvalue approach, the network is represented by a set of state-space equations, and the
eigenvalues of the network are calculated from the state matrix. The system eigenvalues are
then used to assess small-signal stability. A disadvantage of the eigenvalue method is that
the number of eigenvalues increases with the size of the system; it is difficult to calculate
all eigenvalues of a large network. Furthermore, stability conditions in terms of the system
eigenvalues are not very valuable with regard to the design of control system [42]. Another
class of small-signal stability analysis techniques are the frequency-response methods [11].
These methods model the network in terms of a source subsystem interconnected with
a load subsystem, with source being a DER unit and load being the rest of microgrid,
and assess stability using the source and load impedances as a function of frequency; the
frequency-response methods are based on the fact that small-signal stability at a given
operating point can be determined by examining the Nyquist contour of the product of the
source impedance and load admittance. The primary advantage of the frequency-response
approaches is that they only require knowledge of the amplitude and phase of the impedance
of the network, which can be obtained from simulation of the network.
A popular class of frequency-response methods of stability analysis is represented by the
methods based on the Middlebrook stability criterion [42–45]. The Middlebrook criterion
is derived from the Nyquist stability criterion and provides a sufficient condition for sta-
bility of a linear, time-invariant, Single Input Single Output (SISO) system. The approach
plots the source and load impedance as a function of frequency; if the source impedance
as a function of frequency has a magnitude that is less than that of the load impedance
at all frequencies, then the system stability is declared. Expanding upon the Middlebrook
method, Reference [42] develops a frequency-response method of stability analysis for Mul-
tiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) systems, which can be applied to three-phase AC
systems hosting electronically interfaced loads and rotating machines.
The main disadvantage of the Middlebrook criterion (and its MIMO counterpart) is
that it is a conservative stability criterion and, therefore, leads to artificially conservative
designs. This leads to artificial restriction on the design, resulting in controls which are
slower than they need to be or use of dampers in the interest of meeting the mathemati-
cal formulation rather than fulfilling actual stability requirements. In an effort to reduce
conservativeness, [46, 47] propose Gain Margin Phase Margin (GMPM) criterion for SISO
systems. However, the GMPM technique is difficult to use when analyzing stability of a
MIMO system. Reference [48] has proposed a technique whereby the stability of a MIMO
1 Introduction 11

system can be assessed using the GMPM technique. The technique proposed in [48] first
transforms the MIMO system into a diagonally dominant system, which can then be treated
as a system comprised of decoupled SISO subsystems. For such a decoupled system, sta-
bility can be deduced from the diagonal elements, by the single-loop theory. Nevertheless,
this technique is relatively complicated and does not apply to a general MIMO system [48].
Another disadvantage of the GMPM techniques is that, individually, gain margin and phase
margin can guarantee robust stability, but combined they may not. The above disadvan-
tages of the GMPM techniques limit their use in analyzing the stability of a MIMO system.
To the best of the author’s knowledge, there is no literature report on the use of the GMPM
techniques to study stability of a MIMO interconnected source and load system. Another
difficulty associated with the Middlebrook method and the GMPM technique is that they
do not explicitly address stability robustness against load perturbations, i.e., by how much
a load can change such that the system will remain stable in the small-signal sense.
The literature review described above reveals that the existing frequency-response meth-
ods of stability analysis for microgrids suffer from artificial conservativeness, inability to
explicitly deal with uncertainties and parameter variation, and/or difficulty of use in MIMO
systems. In this thesis, a frequency-response method of stability analysis has been devel-
oped to address the limitations of the existing methods.

1.2.5 Structure and Basic Control of an Electronically Interfaced DER Unit

In this thesis, all the DER units are assumed to be dispatchable, of electronically interfaced
type, and with bidirectional power exchange capability; they can represent either battery-
based energy storage systems or other types of DER system, such as photovoltaic panels,
fuel cells, or wind turbines, augmented with battery energy storage. Fig. 1.4 shows the
structure of such a DER unit. The power circuit of the DER unit consists of a conditioned
prime energy source which is modeled by a dc voltage source; a Voltage-Sourced Converter
(VSC); and a three-phase LC filter. The per-phase inductance and capacitance of the filter
are denoted by Lf and Cf , respectively. The resistance R models the ohmic power loss of
the inductor and the VSC power losses. The function of the LC filter is to attenuate the
harmonic current components of the DER unit output.
The circuit breaker Br is controlled by a synchronization scheme which ensures that
the DER unit gets connected to the network only if its output voltage voabc is stable and
1 Introduction 12

DER Unit p
+
vabc R Lf iabc voabc ioabc Br ′ q
voabc Rest of
Conditioned + C v dc VSC Network
Energy Source
Cf Tr
PLL
VCO
6 abc θ abc θ θ dq
abc
dq dq ∫

Voltage/Frequency ω vodq iodq PWM and θ θ iodq θ dq


abc
Gate Drive H (s)
ω

vod
Control Scheme

vod ∗
id
m
dq i dq vod voq ω ′
voq

Amplitude ∗ Synchronization
ω∗ Freq. Control voq Regulation iq Current Control Scheme Scheme
Scheme Scheme
ωsync
+ Power Control Scheme
vodq
iodq

Vo ωo (From secondary control)

Fig. 1.4 Schematic diagrams of a droop-controlled electronically interfaced


DER unit.

0
in synchronism with the network voltage voabc . The synchronisation scheme consists of a
0
compensator that processes the q-axis component of network voltage voq and generates the
corrective signal ωsync which is augmented with the frequency setpoint of the DER unit,
ω ∗ . In this fashion, the synchronisation scheme changes the phase angle of the DER unit
output voltage such that the phase angle difference between the DER unit terminal voltage
and the network voltage becomes zero. The DER unit is connected to the rest of network
through an isolation transformer denoted by Tr in Fig. 1.4.
Fig. 1.4 also shows the control structure of the DER unit, which consists of three parts.
The first part is the power-control scheme which determines the setpoints for the amplitude
and frequency of (the fundamental component of) the DER unit output voltage, and the
second and third parts of the control scheme are the voltage amplitude/frequency regulation
scheme and current controllers [49]. Fig. 1.4 also indicates that the voltage and current
control tasks are performed in a rotating dq frame; the dq frame is defined such that its
d-axis makes an angle θ with respect to the horizontal stationary axis. The angular velocity
of the dq frame, ω = dθ/dt, is the angular frequency of the output voltage. The variables
θ and ω are obtained from a Phase-Locked Loop (PLL).
The details of the control structure of the power-control scheme, the voltage ampli-
tude/frequency regulation scheme, and the current controller are presented in the following.
1 Introduction 13

Power-control Scheme

The power-control scheme ensures proper power sharing and coordinated voltage/frequency
regulation in a multi-DER-unit active distribution network. Fig. 1.5 illustrates a block
diagram of the power-control scheme. First, the instantaneous output real and reactive
powers p and q are calculated from the DER unit output voltage and current vod , voq , iod ,
ioq as

p = 1.5(vod iod + voq ioq ) (1.1)


q = 1.5(−vod ioq + voq iod ). (1.2)

Then, to obtain cleaner control signals, p and q are low-pass filtered based on

dP /dt = −ωc P + ωc p (1.3)


dQ/dt = −ωc Q + ωc q, (1.4)

where P and Q denote the filtered values of p and q, respectively, and ωc is the cut-off
frequency of the low-pass filters. Finally, the setpoints of the amplitude and frequency of the

DER unit output voltage, vod and ω ∗ are calculated from the so-called droop characteristics,
as


vod = Vo − nQ (1.5)
ω ∗ = ωo − mP , (1.6)

where Vo and ωo signify the desired nominal no-load values of the amplitude and frequency
of the DER unit output voltage, and m and n denote the real- and reactive-power droop
gains, respectively. The values of Vo and ωo are determined by the secondary controller.
Excluding the power-control scheme, the control of the DER unit of Fig. 1.4 boils down
to the control of the amplitude and frequency of the output voltage voabc (t); as Fig. 1.4 illus-
trates, the amplitude and frequency setpoints are generated by the power-control scheme.
Most commonly, the control of the amplitude of the output voltage voabc (t) is performed
through a nested control scheme. In this approach, the VSC AC-side terminal current
is tightly regulated by a current controller, through the VSC AC-side terminal voltage.
Then, the amplitude of the DER unit terminal voltage is controlled by a voltage amplitude
1 Introduction 14

vod

iod
Instantaneous p Low-

pass
P ω −P ω*
Real- and Droop
Filter
Reactive-

Q V −Q
Power

v oq q *
vod
Calculation Low-

pass
Droop
Filter

i oq

Fig. 1.5 Block diagram of power control scheme.

regulation scheme, through the VSC AC-side terminal current. The current controller pro-
vides the VSC with protection against overcurrent conditions; the VSC AC-side terminal
current can be limited by limiting its setpoint in the current controller. Other advantages
of the nested control scheme include robustness against variations in the parameters of the
VSC system and superior dynamic performance [50]. The voltage amplitude/frequency
regulation scheme and the current controller are presented next.

Voltage Amplitude Regulation Scheme

The voltage amplitude regulation scheme regulates the amplitude of the DER unit terminal
voltage through the VSC AC-side terminal current. Fig. 1.6(a) shows a schematic diagram
of the voltage amplitude regulation scheme. As Fig. 1.6(a) shows, a d-axis compensator

shown by Kv (s) processes evd = vod − vod and generates uvd . Similarly, a q-axis compensator
shown by Kv (s) processes evq = voq − voq and generates uvq . Then, i∗d is constructed by

adding uvd to iod (feedforward signal added to mitigate the impacts of the load dynamics
on vod ) and a decoupling feedforward signal (employed to decouple the control of vod and
voq ). Likewise, i∗q is constructed by adding uvq to ioq and the output of the decoupling
feedforward mechanism. Finally, i∗d and i∗q are delivered to the corresponding d- and q-axis
current control loops.
1 Introduction 15

vod iod id vod


d-axis compensator d-axis compensator

v ∗ - evd uvd ∗ ∗
id - eid u vd∗
od Kv(s) id Ki(s) id

- -
Decoupling feed-forward Decoupling feed-forward
C Lf
ω f
ω
C f
Lf
q-axis compensator q-axis compensator
∗ ∗ eiq u
voq evq uvq ∗ iq
Ki(s) vq∗
Kv(s) iq iq

- -

voq ioq iq voq


(a) (b)

Fig. 1.6 Schematic diagrams of (a) the voltage amplitude regulation scheme,
and (b) the current controller.

Current Controller

The current controller regulates the VSC AC-side terminal current through the VSC AC-
side terminal voltage. Fig. 1.6(b) shows a schematic diagram of the current controller. As
Fig. 1.6(b) shows, a d-axis compensator shown by Ki (s) processes eid = i∗d −id and generates
uid . Similarly, a q-axis compensator shown by Ki (s) processes eiq = i∗q − iq and generates
uiq . Then, vd∗ is constructed by adding uid to vod (supplementary signal added to cancel
the impact of vod on the control of id ) and to a decoupling feedforward signal (employed
to decouple the control of id and iq ). Likewise, vq∗ is constructed by adding uiq to voq and
to the output of the decoupling feedforward mechanism. Finally, vd∗ and vq∗ are supplied to
the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) scheme.

Frequency Regulation Scheme


∗ ∗
In Fig. 1.6(a), vod is provided by the power-control scheme. However, voq is issued by
the frequency regulation scheme which regulates ω, as shown in Fig. 1.7. As Fig. 1.7
shows, a PLL determines ω, the angular frequency of the output voltage voabc . Then, a
compensator represented by kω (s) processes the error eω = ω ∗ − ω and generates voq

which
1 Introduction 16

voabc
PLL
VCO e lo ti
ed
abc θ uit
lp
m
eh
cs
rt
n
oc
uc
ri
c
dq ∫ m fo re
a n ts w
si iot o
er
voq x la p
A
-q ug d dn
H (s) re
na a

ω_
ω* + kω(s)
*
voq
Frequency
regulation scheme

Fig. 1.7 Block diagram of the frequency control loop.

is then delivered to the q-axis voltage regulation scheme. It should be mentioned that the
PLL transforms voabc to vodq and adjusts the rotational frequency of the dq-frame to ensure
that voq is regulated at zero such that, in steady-state, the speed of rotation of the dq-frame
matches the angular frequency of the output voltage voabc [51–54].
With respect to Fig. 1.3, the power-control scheme, voltage amplitude/frequency regu-
lation scheme, and current controllers of a DER unit are all parts of the primary control.
The primary control level interacts with the secondary control level through the signals ωo
and Vo of the power control scheme.

1.3 Statement of the Problem and Research Objectives

A major goal for microgrid systems is to develop new solutions to enable them to operate in
parallel with the utility distribution system and to transition seamlessly to an autonomous
power system that can manage itself and is complete in its controls. This thesis addresses
the problem of coordinated voltage amplitude and frequency regulation of an islanded
microgrid which is a subproblem within the problem of primary control of a microgrid.
A control strategy for an islanded microgrid must ensure stable operation of the island
and provide a satisfactory transient performance in the event of a physical disturbance in the
system. Similar to conventional power systems, an islanded microgrid may be subjected to a
physical disturbance caused by such events as load change, addition/outage of a generation
1 Introduction 17

unit, and change in network topology. In such events, a fast and well-damped transient
response is of particular importance; an oscillatory transient response can cause voltage and
frequency variations which could affect the system loads. Further, devices used to protect
individual equipment may respond to large transient excursions in power flows, network
bus voltages, and system frequency and cause tripping of the equipment, thus weakening
the island and possibly leading to instability [12]. Moreover, large transients can cause sag
and swell problems in an islanded microgrid [55].
Most commonly, the control of an islanded microgrid is achieved through droop-based
control due to its advantages such as obviating the need for communication, the provision
of redundancy, and simplicity of control structure. Nevertheless, conventional droop-based
control suffers from poor transient performance and stability issues. Droop-based control
has been modified in an attempt to enhance transient performance and stability. Never-
theless, as was mentioned in the literature review section, none of the existing droop-based
approaches fully address the following limitations/weaknesses of droop-based control:

• poor transient performance or stability issues due to sensitivity of control to the droop
gains; The main issue associated with a droop-based control is that it is in essence
a steady-state method for decentralized control of multiple DER units. Thus, the
selection of the droop gains is based exclusively on steady-state criteria for desirable
steady-state power sharing and voltage amplitude/frequency regulation [22]. Nev-
ertheless, dynamic characteristics and the stability of a droop-controlled microgrid
depend on the droop gains. Consequently, the outcome is that a satisfactory power
sharing regime is in conflict with superior transient performances; while active and
reactive power sharing is improved as the droop gains are increased [24], the transient
response becomes more oscillatory and the network may even encounter instabilities
at large droop gains [8];

• poor transient performance or stability issues due to sensitivity of control to steady-


state power flow ; In addition to the droop gains, the steady-state operating points of
the DER units impact the dynamics and stability of an islanded microgrid under the
conventional droop-based control. Thus, in a typical islanded microgrid where large
load variations are expected, dynamic performance changes significantly. The reason
is that the damping active/reactive powers required to stabilize the frequency/voltage
depend on the steady-state operating points of the DER units. Consequently, as the
1 Introduction 18

real- and reactive-power output of a DER unit increase, the damping active/reactive
powers decrease resulting in an oscillatory transient response and even instability. To
address this issue, [31] proposes a gain-scheduled droop-based controller in which the
droop gains are varied with the real- and reactive-power outputs of their respective
DER units;

• dependence of stability on network and loads; In addition to the droop gains and
steady-state power flow, load dynamics also impact the dynamics of a droop-controlled
islanded microgrid. The reason is that the DER units energizing a microgrid are usu-
ally of electronically interfaced type and, thus, have no inherent rotational inertia.
Consequently, in an islanded microgrid, a DER unit responds to the disturbances
with a speed more or less similar to that of the loads. By contrast, in a large power
system energized by synchronous machines, the frequency is determined by the shaft
speed of the synchronous machines which is subject to a large inertia; the electri-
cal dynamics are largely decoupled from the mechanical dynamic. Thus, compared
with a large power system, the dynamic interaction between loads and generators
is more strongly pronounced in an islanded microgrid and can adversely affect the
small-signal stability of the network.

This research work proposes a droop-based microgrid control strategy that addresses
the limitations of the existing methods with the following objectives:

1. To enhance the transient performance and stability of the conventional droop-based


control;

2. To desensitize the dynamics of droop-based control to the droop gains, the steady-
state power flow, and, largely, to the network and loads dynamics;

3. To preserve the steady-state effects that the conventional droop-based control ex-
hibits; that is, to preserve the steady-state power sharing amongst the DER units
and the steady-state voltage amplitude/frequency regulation;

4. To preserve the advantages of the conventional droop-based control in obviating the


need for communication between the DER units and the simplicity of control struc-
ture.
1 Introduction 19

To achieve these objectives, this thesis proposes a droop-based gain-scheduled decou-


pling control strategy which reshapes the characteristics of the conventional droop control.
The proposed control addresses the above mentioned limitations of the existing droop-
based microgrid controls and is a viable solution for the problem of controlling an islanded
converter-fed microgrid owing to the following considerations:

• The proposed control is a gain-scheduled control strategy that is integrated with the
basic control of the host DER unit; it offers a simple control structure consisting of
proportional controllers whose gains are continuously updated based on the real- and
reactive-power output of the host DER unit.

• The proposed control strategy is decoupling; that is, under the proposed control, the
dynamics become independent of the droop gains, the steady-state power flow, and,
largely, of the network and loads dynamics. A control strategy with these features is
preferred given the diversity and fluidity of network configuration in a microgrid due
to such system disturbances as DER unit switchings, change of network topology, and
load changes. These disturbances can cause oscillations and/or even instabilities due
to the lack of rotational inertia in a microgrid which could affect the system loads
and cause sag and swell problems. However, the decoupling feature of the proposed
control ensures a satisfactory transient performance and stability against transients
caused by the above mentioned system disturbances.

• The proposed control does not require communication between the DER units since
it is essentially a decentralized control scheme. A decentralized control strategy is
preferred for the control of a microgrid in view of the following considerations:

– A decentralized control strategy obviates the need for communication between


the DER units and, hence, renders a communication infrastructure unneces-
sary; a communication link makes the system more expensive and less reliable.
Further, in a typical microgrid, the DER units are not necessarily in close geo-
graphical proximity which makes a communication link less attractive.
– A decentralized control strategy insures that there are no components, such as a
master controller or DER unit, that is critical for the operation of the microgrid.
Thus, the proposed control gives the microgrid the ability to continue operating
1 Introduction 20

despite unplanned outage of a DER unit or following connection of a new DER


unit.

It should be mentioned that centralized control is common on the secondary level


where the objective is to achieve optimal dispatch.

• The proposed control strategy does not impact the steady-state characteristics of the
conventional droop mechanism and, hence, preserves the steady-state power shar-
ing amongst the DER units and the voltage amplitude/frequency regulation of the
conventional droop mechanism.

Further, this thesis studies the small-signal stability of an interconnected DER unit
and load. The dynamic interactions between loads and DER units can adversely affect the
small-signal stability of an islanded microgrid. Therefore, it is essential to study dynamic
interaction of loads with a DER unit when investigating the small-signal stability of an
islanded microgrid. The purpose of such a study is to design controls that are insensitive
to load dynamics.
A variety of approaches have been proposed to assess the small-signal stability of an
interconnected source and load. Small-signal stability can be assessed using eigenvalue
method of analysis. A disadvantage of the eigenvalue method is that the number of eigen-
values increases with the size of the system; it is difficult to calculate all eigenvalues of
a large power system. Furthermore, stability conditions in terms of the system eigenval-
ues are not very valuable with regard to the design of control system. Another class of
small-signal stability analysis techniques are the frequency-response methods. The primary
advantage of frequency-response methods is that they only require knowledge of the am-
plitude and phase of the impedance of the network, which can be obtained from simulation
of the network.
The literature review described in Section 1.2 reveals that the existing frequency-
response methods of stability analysis suffer from one or more of the following limitations:

• artificial conservativeness; The main disadvantage of the Middlebrook criterion and


its MIMO counterpart is that they set a conservative stability condition and, there-
fore, lead to artificially conservative designs. Specifically, the stability condition set by
these methods forbids a major region in the Nyquist plane, which has little influence
on stability, in the interest of satisfying the mathematical formulation. This leads to
1 Introduction 21

artificial restriction on the design, resulting in controls which are slower than they
need to be or use of dampers in the interest of meeting the mathematical formulation
rather than fulfilling actual stability requirements;

• difficult to apply to a MIMO system; The GMPM technique, which offers a less
conservative stability condition compared with the Middlebrook method, is primarily
developed for SISO systems; it is difficult to use the GMPM technique to analyze the
stability of MIMO systems such as the interconnected DER unit and load studied in
this thesis5 ;

• inability to explicitly deal with uncertainties and parameter variation; Another diffi-
culty which can be associated with the Middlebrook method and its MIMO counter-
part is that they do not explicitly address stability robustness against load perturba-
tions, i.e., by how much a load can change such that the system will remain stable
in the small-signal sense. The GMPM technique suffers from the same limitation
since, individually, gain margin and phase margin can guarantee robust stability, but
combined they may not.

To address these limitations, this thesis proposes a frequency-response method of stabil-


ity analysis to study the small-signal stability of an interconnected electronically interfaced
DER unit and load with the following objectives:

1. To achieve a less conservative stability condition compared to the existing methods,


in the sense of having less restriction on the control system;

2. To establish a robust stability margin in terms of load perturbations, i.e., to determine


by how much a load can change such that the system will remain stable in the small-
signal sense.

To achieve these objectives, a µ-based stability analysis approach6 has been developed
which models the source-load dynamic interactions via a closed-loop system of impedances
and admittances. The proposed µ-based stability analysis approach is a suitable solution
5
In this thesis, the control of a DER unit is performed in a dq frame of reference, and consequently, the
DER controllers have two input and two output channels.
6
Originally proposed by Doyle [56], µ analysis is a technique to analyze robust stability of systems with
structured uncertainty, in the frequency-domain.
1 Introduction 22

for the frequency-domain small-signal stability analysis of an interconnected DER unit and
load in view of the following considerations:

• The proposed method provides a less conservative stability condition compared with
the existing frequency response methods and, hence, imposes less restrictions on the
control system;

• The proposed method is based on µ analysis and, as such, provides the following
features:

– It is applicable to MIMO systems and, thus, can be used to analyze the stability
of three-phase AC power systems such as the interconnected DER unit and load
under study in this thesis;
– It is capable of establishing a robust stability margin in terms of load perturba-
tions. That is, the proposed method determines by how much a load can change
such that the system will remain stable in the small-signal sense;

• It models the source-load dynamic interactions via a closed-loop system of impedances


and admittances as a function of frequency. Therefore, it only requires knowledge of
the amplitude and phase of the impedance of the DER unit and loads, which can be
obtained from simulations.

1.4 Scope

This thesis addresses the problem of coordinated voltage amplitude and frequency regula-
tion of an islanded microgrid which is a subproblem within the problem of primary control
of a microgrid. With regards to the ten use cases of microgrid operation, this thesis focuses
on Funtions 1 and 2, i.e., coordinated frequency and voltage control in islanded mode.
This thesis does not address the problem of secondary or tertiary control of a microgrid
and therefore the microgrid EMS is not discussed. The time scale of interest is from few
milliseconds to seconds.
1 Introduction 23

1.5 Methodology

To achieve the thesis objectives outlined in Section 1.3, this thesis employs the following
methodology:

• Linearization: The control strategy and the stability analysis method proposed
in this thesis are based on a linearized model of a microgrid including electronically
interfaced DER units and loads. The equations describing an electronically interfaced
DER unit are derived in a synchronous dq reference frame, and a linearized model
is developed for the DER unit. This linearized model is then used to design a gain-
scheduled decoupling control strategy which achieves the control objectives. Further,
to evaluate the impact of the proposed control on the overall dynamics of a microgrid,
a linearized state-space model is developed for a microgrid under the proposed control,
based on the equations describing the microgrid in a synchronous dq reference frame.
Then, the eigenvalues of the linearized model are calculated for assessing the impact
of the proposed control on the overall dynamics. The derived linearized model has
been implemented in the MATLAB c
software environment to assess the stability of
the proposed control and its impact on the overall dynamics.

• Frequency-domain model development: The stability analysis method proposed


in this thesis uses a frequency-domain model of an electronically interfaced DER unit
and loads under study. The equations describing an electronically interfaced DER
unit and loads under study have been derived in a dq reference frame. These equations
are then linearized to develop a time-domain linearized model for the DER unit and
loads. The frequency-domain model is developed by applying Laplace transformation
on the time-domain model. MATLAB/Simulink software environment has been
c

used to analyze the small-signal stability using the proposed method.

• Time-domain simulation: Certain effects, such as nonlinearities and harmonics,


that are existent in a real-life network can not be represented by the linear model of
the system. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control under these un-
modeled effects, a detailed time-domain switched model of the test system including
the proposed control has been simulated in the PSCAD/EMTDC software environ-
c

ment7 . To show the features of the proposed stability analysis approach, a detailed
7
PSCAD/EMTDC is a time-domain power system simulation tool for studying the transient behaviour
1 Introduction 24

time-domain switched model of an interconnected electronically interfaced DER unit


and load has been simulated in the PSCAD/EMTDC software environment.

• Hardware implementation: To show the feasibility of hardware implementation


and to provide external validation of the results, the results have been reproduced in
OPAL-RT, a PC/FPGA-based real-time digital simulator with Hardware-in-the-Loop
(HIL) capability.

1.6 Thesis Contributions

This thesis makes the following original contributions to the field of power engineering and
microgrid control.

1. A droop-based gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy for enhanced transient per-


formance and stability of a droop-controlled microgrid. The proposed control strat-
egy: i) is integrated with the basic control of the host DER unit; ii) reshapes the
dynamics of conventional droop control for better stability; iii) does not change the
steady-state effects that the conventional droop-based control exhibits; iv) is a decen-
tralized control scheme and, therefore, enables plug-and-play operation for the DER
units. Further, eigenvalue analysis shows that under the proposed control strategy,
the dynamics is largely desensitized to droop gains and stead-state power flow.

2. A generic load model for simulation studies of microgrids. The proposed generic load
model can emulate the steady-state and dynamic behaviors of different actual power
system loads such as an RLC load and an induction machine load. The parameters
of the load model allow the simulation of different loads in terms of steady-state
and dynamic power-voltage and power-frequency characteristics. A methodology has
been proposed to design the parameters of the generic load model based on the
information about the steady-state and dynamic power-voltage and power-frequency
characteristics of the actual load. The proposed load model can be used in simulation
studies of microgrids to study the impact of load dynamics on microgrid stability.

3. A frequency-response method of stability analysis to study the dynamic interactions


between loads and DER units in an islanded microgrid. The proposed method only
of electrical networks [57].
1 Introduction 25

requires knowledge of the amplitude and phase of the impedance of the DER unit
and the network, which can be obtained from simulation of the network. The pro-
posed method: i) provides a less conservative stability condition compared to existing
methods, in the sense of having less restriction on the control system; ii) establishes a
robust stability margin in terms of perturbations in load parameters; iii) is based on µ
analysis; and iv) models the source-load dynamic interaction via a closed-loop system
of impedances and admittances. The purpose of the proposed stability analysis is to
design controls that are insensitive to load dynamics.

4. Using the proposed µ-based stability analysis method, a controller design method-
ology has been proposed for a DER unit to enhance robust stability against load
dynamics. The controller reshapes the dynamic impedance of a DER unit around
the sensitive frequency of the system to damp the dynamic interactions between the
loads and DER unit. The proposed control design methodology uses an optimization
algorithm to calculate controller gains to maximally desensitize the dynamics against
load dynamics. The proposed controller is integrated with the basic control of the
host DER unit, and does not interfere with the gain-scheduled decoupling controller
mentioned in contribution 1.

This thesis has resulted in the following publications:

• A. Haddadi, A. Yazdani, G. Joós, and B. Boulet, “A gain-scheduled decoupling con-


trol strategy for enhanced transient performance and stability of an islanded active
distribution network,” Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Trans.
Power Del., vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 560–569, Apr. 2014.

• A. Haddadi, B. Boulet, A. Yazdani, and G. Joós, “A µ-based approach to small-


signal stability analysis of an interconnected distributed energy resource unit and
load,” IEEE Trans. Power Del., early online access, Dec. 2014, DOI: 10.1109/TP-
WRD.2014.2380788.

• A. Haddadi and G. Joós, “Load sharing of autonomous distribution-level microgrids,”


presented at the IEEE Power Eng. Soc. Gen. Meeting, Detroit, MI, US, Jul. 2011.

• A. Haddadi, A. Shojaei, and B. Boulet, “Enabling high droop gain for improvement
of reactive power sharing accuracy in an electronically-interfaced autonomous mi-
1 Introduction 26

crogrid,” presented at the 2011 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition,
Phoenix, AZ, US, pp. 673–679 Sep. 2011.

• A. Haddadi, R. Modirnia, and B. Boulet “Robust µ-synthesis control of a four-wire


autonomous electronically-interfaced distributed generation unit for mitigation of har-
monic voltage disturbance,” presented at the IEEE American Control Conference,
Washington DC, US, Jun. 2013.

• A. Haddadi, A. Yazdani, G. Joós, and B. Boulet, “A generic load model for simulation
studies of microgrids,” presented at the IEEE Power Eng. Soc. Gen. Meeting,
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Jul. 2013.

1.7 Thesis Layout

The rest of this thesis is organized as follows:

Chapter 2: proposes a gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy to enhance transient


performance and stability of a droop-controlled microgrid. The dependency of dy-
namics on the droop gains, steady-state power flow, and network/load is studied in
a droop-controlled DER unit. These dependencies result in a poor transient perfor-
mance or even instability of the network in the event of a disturbance in the system.
To eliminate these dependencies, a gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy is pro-
posed which reshapes the characteristics of conventional droop by means of supple-
mentary control signals; these control signals are based on local power measurements
and supplement the d- and q-axis voltage reference of each DER unit. To investigate
different performance aspects of the proposed control strategy, the proposed control
has been applied to a test active distribution network. The impact of the proposed
control on the DER and network dynamics is studied by calculating the eigenvalues
of the test active distribution network assuming the proposed control. The proposed
control is shown to stabilize the system for a range of operating conditions. The effec-
tiveness of the proposed control is further demonstrated through simulations carried
out in PSCAD/EMTDC software environment, on the active distribution network
under study.
1 Introduction 27

Chapter 3: proposes a generic load model for simulation studies of microgrids; this
generic load model has been used in the case studies of Chapter 2, and will be ex-
plained in more details in this chapter. The proposed load model can emulate the
steady-state and dynamic behaviors of different loads. The load is simulated by three
dependent current sources, one per phase, whose control signals are determined from
a dq to abc frame transformation block; the d- and q-axis components of the load
current are dynamically determined based on the d- and q-axis components of the
load voltage. The parameters of the load model can be selected for different dynamic
and steady-state characteristics. A case study is provided where the proposed load
model emulates the dynamic and steady-state characteristic of an example RL load
in a test microgrid system.

Chapter 4: shows the implementation of the proposed gain-scheduled decoupling control


strategy in the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) campus microgrid
by means of simulations. The simulation tests of this study have been conducted on a
model of the BCIT Campus microgrid developed by a research team at the University
of Toronto (UofT). First, an overview of the UofT model of the BCIT microgrid is
given. Then, the implementation of the proposed gain-scheduled decoupling controller
in the BCIT microgrid is presented. The effectiveness of the proposed control in the
BCIT microgrid is demonstrated through simulations carried out in PSCAD/EMTDC
software environment, on the UofT model of the BCIT microgrid.

Chapter 5: shows the implementation of the proposed control strategy in a real-time sim-
ulation environment to demonstrate the feasibility of hardware implementation and
to validate the performance of the proposed control strategy against real-life imple-
mentation issues. OPAL-RT has been used as the real-time simulation environment.
The results obtained in the PSCAD environment are compared to those obtained in
OPAL-RT environment.

Chapter 6: proposes a frequency-response method of stability analysis which provides


a less conservative stability condition compared to existing methods, in the sense of
having less restriction on the control system; further, the proposed method establishes
a robust stability margin in terms of perturbations in load parameters. The proposed
method is based on µ analysis, and models the source-load dynamic interaction via a
1 Introduction 28

closed-loop system of impedances and admittances. First, the theoretical framework


of the proposed µ-based approach is presented. Then, the proposed method is used to
examine small-signal stability of an islanded subnetwork extracted from a university
campus microgrid, composed of a DER unit feeding a load, providing a study with
realistic parameter values. Two case studies are presented to show the features of
the proposed method, namely, reduced conservativeness and the establishment of a
robust stability margin. The findings of the frequency-domain analysis are illustrated
through time-domain simulations around the operating point on the system under
study. Based on the proposed µ-based method, a controller design methodology has
been proposed to enhance robust stability against load dynamics.
29

Chapter 2

A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling
Control Strategy for Enhanced
Transient Performance and Stability
of a Microgrid

This chapter proposes a control strategy to enhance the transient performance and stability
of a droop-controlled microgrid. The dependency of dynamics on the droop gains, steady-
state power flow, and network/load is studied in a droop-controlled DER unit. To that end,
a linearized model is developed for the power-control scheme of a droop-controlled DER
unit. These dependencies result in a poor transient performance or even instability of the
network in the event of a disturbance in the system. To eliminate these dependencies, a
gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy is proposed which reshapes the characteristics
of conventional droop by means of supplementary control signals; these control signals are
based on local power measurements and supplement the d- and q-axis voltage reference of
each DER unit.
The main features of the proposed control strategy are as follows: (i) The proposed
control is a gain-scheduled control strategy that is integrated with the basic control of the
host DER unit; it offers a simple control structure consisting of proportional controllers
whose gains are continuously updated based on the real- and reactive-power output of the
host DER unit; (ii) The proposed control strategy is decoupling; that is, under the pro-

2015/08/03
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 30

posed control, the dynamics of droop-based control become independent of the droop gains,
the steady-state power flow, and, largely, of the network and loads dynamics. A control
strategy with this features is preferred given the diversity and fluidity of network config-
uration in a microgrid due to such system disturbances as DER unit switchings, change
of network topology, and load changes. These disturbances can cause oscillations and/or
even instabilities due to the lack of rotational inertia in a microgrid which could affect the
system loads and cause sag and swell problems. However, the decoupling feature of the
proposed control ensures a satisfactory transient performance and stability against tran-
sients caused by the above mentioned system disturbances; (iii) The proposed control does
not require communication between the DER units since it is essentially a decentralized
control scheme. Thus, it obviates the need for communication between the DER units
which would otherwise require a communication infrastructure. Furthermore, the decen-
tralized nature of the proposed control gives the microgrid the ability to continue operating
despite unplanned outage of a DER unit or following connection of a new DER unit; (iv)
The proposed control strategy does not alter the steady-state effects that the conventional
droop-based control exhibits; therefore, it preserves the steady-state power sharing among
the DER units and the steady-state voltage amplitude/frequency regulation; and (v) The
proposed control strategy offers a simple control structure consisting of proportional con-
trollers whose gains are continuously updated based on the real- and reactive-power output
of the host DER unit.
To investigate different performance aspects of the proposed control strategy, the pro-
posed control has been applied to a test active distribution network that embeds three
DER units. The impact of the proposed control on the DER and network dynamics is
studied by calculating the eigenvalues of the test active distribution network assuming the
proposed control. To that end, a small-signal state-space model of the test system is de-
veloped. Then, the eigenvalues of the linearized model are calculated for assessing the
stability of the network. Further, the sensitivities of the eigenvalues to the droop gains are
characterized and compared with those under the conventional droop-based control. The
proposed control is shown to stabilize the system for a range of operating conditions. The
effectiveness of the proposed control is further demonstrated through simulations carried
out in PSCAD/EMTDC software environment, on the active distribution network under
study. Thus, the test network has been subjected to such physical disturbances as addition
of a DER unit to the network, a change in network topology, and a change in load dy-
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 31

namics; in each case, the transient performance and stability of the test active distribution
network under the proposed control has been compared to those under the conventional
droop-based control. Three case studies demonstrate the independence of dynamics from
the droop gains, steady-state power flow, and network/load dynamics, under the proposed
control. The case studies also demonstrate the response of the DER units to the abrupt
connection of another DER unit to the test active distribution network.
It has been observed that in a number of case studies, the application of physical
disturbance leads to an instability if the conventional droop-based control is employed.
The final section of this chapter is an attempt to better understand the cause of these
instabilities. Specifically, the final section studies whether these instabilities are indeed
a result of dependence of dynamics on the droop gains, the steady-state power flow, and
network and load dynamics, or an issue that has manifested itself due to the poor design
of the DER units and their associated control scheme.
The material presented in this chapter are largely based on [58].

2.1 System Under Study

To investigate different performance aspects of the proposed control strategy, the proposed
control has been applied to an active distribution network that embeds three DER units.
This section presents the structure and parameters of the test active distribution network
and the DER units.

2.1.1 Active Distribution Network Under Study

The model of the active distribution network under study is based on a 12.47-kV North-
American distribution network [59], of which a simplified schematic diagram is shown in
Fig. 2.1. As Fig. 2.1 shows, the active distribution network consists of two subnetworks,
Sub-Network 1 and Sub-Network 2. Each subnetwork embeds three-phase loads as well as
smaller single-phase feeders that emanate from buses 5, 13, and 14. Sub-Network 1 and Sub-
Network 2 are, respectively, interfaced with Bus1 and Bus12 of the upstream grid, through
switches S4 and S5. The upstream grid is a 115-kV transmission system which energizes
Bus1 and Bus12 through two corresponding 115/12.47 kV transformers, i.e., transformers
Tr4 and Tr5. When both S4 and S5 are open, the active distribution network operates
in the islanded mode. The two subnetworks can be interconnected through switch S6.
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 32

Primary
HV
Network
115 kV
Grid
115/12.47 kV 115/12.47 kV
Tr4 uk% 11.9 Tr5 uk% 11.9
Active BUS1 12.47 kV BUS12 12.47 kV
distribution
network S4 S5
Subnetwork 1 Subnetwork 2
BUS2 1.2 km BUS13 4.9 km

S1 S7 S2
BUS3 1.0 km 12.47/0.63 kV
12.47/0.63 kV
Tr1 L7 Tr2 uk% 10
uk% 10 0.6 km
BUS4
1.3 km DER2
DER1
S3 3.0 km
0.6 km BUS8 BUS14
12.47/0.63 kV 0.5 km
Tr3 1.7 km
uk% 10
L3 BUS5 BUS11 S6
BUS7
DER3 0.3 km
0.3 km 0.2 km
BUS10 BUS9 BUS6

0.8 km S8
1.5 km
The Load

Fig. 2.1 Schematic diagram of the test active distribution network.

The real- and reactive-power demand of the two subnetworks are reported in Table A.1.
As Fig. 2.1 shows, the part of the test system that is outside of the distribution network
boundaries is referred to as the “grid.”
Fig. 2.1 also shows that the test active distribution network embeds three DER units:
DER units DER1, DER2, and DER3 which are connected to the buses Bus2, Bus13, and
Bus4, respectively. Each DER unit is interfaced with the corresponding host bus through
a respective 12.47/0.63-kV isolation transformer and disconnect switch, i.e., Tr1, S1 for
DER1; Tr2, S2 for DER2; and Tr3, S3 for DER3, respectively. The series resistance and
leakage inductance of Tr1, Tr2 and Tr3 are given in Table A.1. The next section presents
the structure and basic control of the DER units of the test active distribution network of
Fig. 2.1.
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 33

The selection of control parameters for the DER units of the test system of Fig. 2.1
has been done based on the technique presented in [49]. The parameters of the DER units
controls are reported in Table A.1. Of particular relevance to the proposed gain-scheduled
decoupling control strategy is the voltage amplitude regulation scheme whose block diagram
is shown in Fig. 1.6(a). As will be discussed in Section 2.3, the control strategy proposed in
this chapter modifies the amplitude regulation scheme of Fig. 1.6(a), through the addition
of two supplementary control signals.

2.2 Mathematical Model of an Electronically Interfaced DER


Unit

This section studies the dependency of dynamics on the droop gains and steady-state
power flow in the droop-controlled DER unit of Fig. 1.4. To that end, a linearized model
is developed for the power control scheme, based on (1.1) through (1.6). Thus, the small-
signal model of the instantaneous power calculation process is given as

∆p = 1.5(Iod0 ∆vod + Vod0 ∆iod + Ioq0 ∆voq ) (2.1)


∆q = 1.5(−Ioq0 ∆vod − Vod0 ∆ioq + Iod0 ∆voq ), (2.2)

where “∆” and the subscript “0” denote the small-signal perturbation and the steady-state
value of a variable, respectively. It is to be remembered that Voq0 = 0, hence the three terms
in (2.1) and (2.2).
Similarly, the low-pass filters and the droop mechanism are represented by

d∆P /dt + ωc ∆P = ωc ∆p (2.3)


d∆Q/dt + ωc ∆Q = ωc ∆q (2.4)
∆vod = −n∆Q (2.5)
∆ω = −m∆P (2.6)

On the other hand, the frequency regulation loop requires that

∆voq = kω ∆ω (2.7)
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 34

where kω is a gain parameter in the frequency regulation scheme of the DER unit [60].
Using (2.6), one can rewrite (2.7) as

∆voq = −mkω ∆P. (2.8)

It then follows from the substitution of ∆vod and ∆voq from (2.5) and (2.8) in (2.1) and (2.2)
that

∆p = 1.5(Vod0 ∆iod − nIod0 ∆Q − mIoq0 kω ∆P ) (2.9)


∆q = 1.5(−Vod0 ∆ioq + nIoq0 ∆Q − mIod0 kω ∆P ). (2.10)

Equations (2.3), (2.4), (2.9), and (2.10) describe the small-signal dynamics of the power-
control scheme.
It is noted that the presence of the factors mIoq0 , nIod0 , mIod0 and nIoq0 renders the
dynamics dependent on both the droop gains and the steady-state power flow. It is further
noted that the aforementioned dependencies are eliminated if the above-mentioned factors
in ∆p and ∆q, in (2.9) and (2.10), are somehow forced to zero; this objective is fulfilled by
means of the proposed control strategy.

2.3 Proposed Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy

Based on (2.3), (2.4), (2.9), and (2.10), if the factors mIoq0 , nIod0 , mIod0 and nIoq0 in ∆p
and ∆q are forced to zero, then the dynamics of the voltage amplitude and frequency are in-
dependent of the droop gains and steady-state power flow. To that end, two supplementary
control signals, δvod and δvoq , are introduced such that

∆vod = −n∆Q + δvod (2.11)


∆voq = −kω m∆P + δvoq . (2.12)

It then follows from the substitution of ∆vod and ∆voq in (2.1) and (2.2) that

∆p = 1.5(−mIoq0 kω ∆P − nIod0 ∆Q+


Iod0 δvod +Ioq0 δvoq + Vod0 ∆iod ) (2.13)
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 35

∆q = 1.5(−mIod0 kω ∆P + nIoq0 ∆Q−


Ioq0 δvod +Iod0 δvoq − Vod0 ∆ioq ). (2.14)

Setting

∆p = 1.5Vod0 (∆iod + ∆ioq ) (2.15)


∆q = −1.5Vod0 (∆iod + ∆ioq ) (2.16)

and solving for δvod and δvoq , one finds

Ioq0 Vod0 Iod0 Vod0


δvod = 2 2
∆iod + 2 2
∆ioq + n∆Q (2.17)
Iod0 + Ioq0 Iod0 + Ioq0

Iod0 Vod0 Ioq0 Vod0


δvoq = − 2 2
∆iod + 2 2
∆ioq + mkω ∆P. (2.18)
Iod0 + Ioq0 Iod0 + Ioq0
Under the proposed control, the small-signal behavior of the power-control scheme is de-
scribed by

d∆P /dt + ωc ∆P = 1.5Vod0 ωc (∆iod + ∆ioq ) (2.19)


d∆Q/dt + ωc ∆Q = −1.5Vod0 ωc (∆iod + ∆ioq ) . (2.20)

The issue now is that one needs to know Iod0 , Ioq0 , and Vod0 to calculate δvod and
δvoq . These steady-state values can be estimated by an online algorithm [9]. The need for
estimation, however, can be obviated if the coefficients in (2.17) and (2.18) are expressed
in terms of the steady-state values of P and Q, based on

3
P0 = Vod0 Iod0 (2.21)
2
3
Q0 = − Vod0 Ioq0 . (2.22)
2

Thus, (2.17) and (2.18) can be rewritten as


" # " # " # " #
δvod ∆iod n∆Q g11 g12
=G + , G= (2.23)
δvoq ∆ioq mkω ∆P g21 g22
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 36
vod
v oq
DER Unit
ω
Proposed Supplementary Control Rest of the
Network
n∆Q
δ vod ∆ i od i od
HPF
δ v oq ∆ ioq i oq
HPF
High-pass
−m k ω∆ P Filter
−m k ω∆ P n ∆ Q
−mk ω n
∆P ∆Q Equations
High-
pass HPF HPF (2.24),(2.25)
Filter

P Q
{
From Power-Control Scheme
Fig. 2.2 Block diagram of the proposed control strategy and the host DER
unit.

and

3 Q0 3 P0
g11 = − V 2, g12 = V2 (2.24)
2 P02 + Q20 0 2 P02 + Q20 0
3 P0 3 Q0
g21 =− V 2, g22 =− V 2. (2.25)
2 P02 + Q20 0 2 P02 + Q20 0

The values of P0 and Q0 are available as the outputs of the low-pass filters of the power-
control scheme. In (2.24) and (2.25), Vod0 is approximated by V0 , i.e., the no-load amplitude
of the DER unit output voltage. This approximation is plausible since the output voltage
magnitude is tightly regulated and permitted to only vary over a narrow range of tolerance.
It should be mentioned that, since the coefficients g11 , g12 , g21 , and g22 are functions of the
operating point, the proposed control is a gain-scheduled control in nature.
Fig. 2.2 shows a block diagram of the proposed control strategy. As Fig. 2.2 illustrates,
the proposed control employs high-pass filters to extract the small-signal components ∆iod ,
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 37

δ vod vod iod

d-axis compensator
v ∗ - evd uvd ∗
id
od Kv(s)
-
Decoupling feed-forward
C
ω f

C f

q-axis compensator

voq evq uvq ∗
Kv(s) iq
-

δ v oq voq ioq

Fig. 2.3 Block diagram of modified voltage amplitude regulation scheme.

∆ioq , ∆P , and ∆Q. Then, the supplementary control signals δvod and δvoq are calculated
based on (2.23), using the matrix gain G whose parameters, g11 , g12 , g21 , and g22 , are
continuously updated in real-time based on (2.24) and (2.25). The proposed control is
integrated with the basic control of the host DER unit described in Section 1.2.5, by
modifying the voltage amplitude regulation scheme of Fig. 1.6(a), as shown in Fig. 2.3; the
impact on the frequency regulation process is through the relationship between ω and voq .
Equations (2.19) and (2.20) indicate that

• Under the proposed control, the two natural frequencies of the power-control scheme
are at s = −ωc . Hence, the stability of the power-control scheme is guaranteed.

• The dynamics of the power-control process are no longer dependent on the droop
gains or the steady-state operating point of the DER unit.

• The stability of the power-control process does not depend much on the network dy-
namics; the proposed control is, however, effective over a certain range of frequencies,
which depends on the pass band of the high-pass filters (employed to extract the
small-signal components ∆iod and ∆ioq ) and on the pass band of the low-pass filters
(employed in the power-control scheme of the DER unit).

It should be mentioned that proposed control does not impact the steady-state droop
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 38

characteristics and, hence, does not change the power sharing regime of an active distribu-
tion network since the supplementary control signals δvod and δvoq are zero in a steady-state.

2.4 Dynamics Under the Proposed Control

This section evaluates the impact of the proposed control on the overall dynamics of a
multi-unit droop-controlled study active distribution network, shown in Fig. 2.1. To that
end, a small-signal state-space model of the study network system is developed. Then,
the eigenvalues of the linearized model are calculated for assessing the stability of the
network. Further, the sensitivities of the eigenvalues to the droop gains are characterized
and compared with those under the conventional droop-based control.

2.4.1 Mathematical Model of the System Under Study

The modelling approach adopted in this thesis is based on the approach presented in [8] and
divides the active distribution network under study into three main subsystems: individual
DER units; network; and loads. A small-signal state-space model is developed for each
subsystem by linearization of the system equations around a steady-state operating point.
Then, the small-signal state-space models of the three subsystems are combined to develop
a model for the test active distribution network. In doing so, the dq-frame of one of the
DER units is regarded as the common reference frame, with respect to which the state
equations of the network and loads are represented. The state equations of the rest of DER
units are transformed to this common reference frame using a transformation technique
presented in [61].
In conventional power systems fed by synchronous machines, the small-signal model
of the network is neglected. The reason is that the response time of rotating machines
and their associated controls are significantly larger than that of the network and loads
and, consequently, the dynamics of the generators are largely decoupled from those of the
network and loads. Nevertheless, in the case of an islanded microgrid fed by electronically-
interfaced DER units, the response time of generators are very small; thus, the generators
respond to disturbances with speeds more or less similar to those of the network and loads.
Consequently, the network and load dynamics may influence the small-signal stability of
the microgrid. Thus, the small-signal model of the microgrid has to include the model of
network and loads.
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 39

To obtain a small-signal model for the active distribution network under study, it is
assumed that all three DER units are interfaced with the active distribution network, the
two subnetworks are interconnected, and the proposed control is employed. Further, it is
assumed that the load at Bus6 is not connected to the system, i.e., S8 is open. Consequently,
in the eigenanalysis to follow, the dynamics of the load at Bus6 is not included. This load
will be used later on in Section 2.5.3 to demonstrate the significance of dynamic interaction
between DER units and loads in an islanded droop-controlled active distribution network.
For the eigenvalue analysis, the assumed steady-state operating points of the DER units
correspond to the controller gains presented in Table A.1. Thus, using the same terminology
as that reported in [8], the small-signal state-space model of the power-control scheme of a
DER unit can be expressed as
     
∆θ ∆θ ∆iidq
d
∆P  = AP ∆P  + BP1 ∆ωcom + BP2 ∆vodq  (2.26)
    
dt
∆Q ∆Q ∆iodq
     
∆ω " # ∆θ " # ∆iidq
 ∗ CPω  D Pω 
∆vod  = ∆P  + ∆vodq  (2.27)
 

CPv DPv
∆voq ∆Q ∆iodp

where θ is the angle between the d axis of the DER unit local reference frame (i.e. the PLL
frame) and that of the corresponding variable in the global reference frame on which the
system equations are expressed. The global frame rotates at an angular frequency of ωcom ,
and
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 40

 
0 0 0
AP = 0 −ωc 0 ;
 

0 0 −ωc
   
−1 0 0 0 0 0 0
BP1 =  0 ; BP2 = 1.5ωc Vod0 0 0 0 0 1 1 ;
   

0 0 0 0 0 −1 −1
CPω = 0; CPv = 0;
h i
DPω = 0; DPv = 0 G 0 .

The model of power-control scheme described by (2.26) and (2.27) is then combined with
those of current-control, voltage amplitude regulation, and frequency regulation schemes
to constitute the small-signal model of the DER unit. It is pointed that the current-control
scheme and voltage amplitude and frequency regulation schemes are not affected by the
proposed control. Therefore, their small-signal models remain similar to those presented
in [8] and, hence, are not repeated here. It should be mentioned that the proposed control
does not move the system eigenvalues which are largely sensitive to the state variables of
the current and voltage controllers.
Finally, the small-signal model of the overall active distribution network system is ob-
tained by combining the models of individual DER units with those of the network and
loads. Following the same procedure detailed in [8], one can express the small-signal model
of the active distribution network as

ẋmg = Amg xmg , (2.28)

where xmg denotes the vector of state variables. The eigenvalues of Amg correspond to the
eigen modes of the overall active distribution network system and govern its closed-loop
stability and transient performance.

2.4.2 Eigenvalue Analysis

Fig. 2.4 shows the trajectories of the dominant eigenvalues, under the conventional and
proposed droop-based controls as a function of the real-power droop gain, m. It is ob-
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 41

(a)
20

Imaginary
10
0
−10
m increasing
−20

(b)
20
Imaginary

10
0
−10
−20
−20 −10 0
Real

Fig. 2.4 Trace of dominant eigenvalues for 2(rad/s)/MW < m1 <


30(rad/s)/MW, m2 = m3 = 2m1 (a) conventional control, and (b) proposed
control.

served under conventional control, the dominant eigenvalues are highly sensitive to the
real-power droop gain. By contrast, under the proposed control, the dominant eigenvalues
are invariant to the real-power droop gains. Further, Fig. 2.4(b) indicates that under the
proposed control, the dominant eigenvalues of the microgrid are located at s = −16 rad/s;
corresponding to each DER unit, two eigenvalues at s = −ωc constitute the dominant
eigenvalues of the overall microgrid. Fig. 2.5 shows the trajectory of the dominant eigen-
values as a function of the reactive-power droop gain, n, under conventional droop-based
control (Fig. 2.5(a)) and under the proposed control (Fig. 2.5(b)). Similar to the previous
case, it is observed that, in contrast to the conventional control, the proposed control has
largely desensitized the dominant eigenvalues to the reactive-power droop gains.

2.5 Case Studies and Simulation Results

To further demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy, a detailed switched
model of the active distribution network under study has been simulated in PSCAD/EMTDC
software environment. The models of the DER units include PWM schemes, signal transfor-
mation blocks, PLLs, current-control schemes, voltage amplitude and frequency regulation
schemes, power calculation blocks, droop mechanisms, and the proposed gain-scheduled de-
coupling control. The gains g11 , g12 , g21 , and g22 are scheduled online, based on (2.24) and
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 42

(a)
40

Imaginary
20
0
−20 n increasing
−40
(b)
40
Imaginary

20
0
−20
−40
−20 −10 0
Real

Fig. 2.5 Trace of dominant eigenvalues for 0.02kV/MVAr < n1 <


0.4kV/MVAr, n2 = n3 = 2n1 (a) conventional control, and (b) under the
proposed control.

(2.25). The control algorithm of each DER unit is implemented in discrete-time domain;
the equivalent continuous-time domain parameters are presented in Table A.1.
A number of case studies are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed
control strategy. Specifically, three case studies demonstrate the independence of dynamics
from the droop gains, steady-state operating point, and network/load dynamics, under the
proposed control. The case studies also demonstrate the performance of the DER units in
response to the addition of a DER unit, and to the interconnection of the two subnetworks
of the test system. In each case, the performance of the system under the proposed control
is compared with that under the conventional droop-based control; the conventional control
strategy is invoked by setting δvod = δvoq = 0 in the proposed control algorithm of the host
DER unit (Fig. 2.3, Section 2.3). Hereafter, the real powers, reactive powers, currents, and
voltages are expressed in MW, MVAr, kA, and kV, respectively. Table 2.1 summarizes the
properties of the cases studied in this section.

2.5.1 Case 1: Addition of a DER Unit

In this case, it is assumed that the network is initially in a steady state where S4, S5, and S6
are open, DER1 and DER2 have been on for a sufficiently long time, S1 and S2 are closed,
and DER3 has been on but disconnected from Bus3 (i.e., S3 is open). Thus, the active
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 43

Table 2.1 Summary of properties of the case studies of Section 2.5


Case Feature Initial settings Disturbance
Case 1 Addition of DER3 S1,S2 closed S3 closed at t =2s
S3–S8 open
Case 2A Interconnection of S1–S3 closed S6 closed at t =5s
the two subnetworks S4–S8 open
Case 2B Interconnection of S1–S3 closed S6 closed at t =5s
the two subnetworks, S4–S6 open
increased pre- S7 closed
disturbance loading S8 open
Case 3 Change in load S1–S3 closed S8 closed at t =7s
dynamics S4,S5 open
S6 closed
S7,S8 open
Case 4 Step-wise increase S1–S3 closed Real-power droop
in droop gains S4,S5 open gains are stepped
S6 closed up by 10 times
S7,S8 open at t = 8 s

distribution network is in the islanded mode, the two subnetworks are disconnected, Sub-
Network 1 is energized by DER1, and Sub-Network 2 is energized by DER2. Subsequently,
S3 is closed at t =2 s and connects DER3 and its local load of 2 MW/2 MVAr to Bus4,
while, right before the closure of S3, the output voltage of DER3 has a phase displacement
of about 40◦ relative to the voltage of Bus 4; in practice, the connection of a DER unit to
the grid is subsequent to synchronization process as mentioned previously, and such a large
phase displacement does not exist. Here, however, the phase shift is intentional to subject
the active distribution network and the DER unit to a severe disturbance. After the closure
of S3, Sub-Network 1 is energized by both DER1 and DER3, while Sub-Network 2 is still
energized only by DER2.
Figs. 2.6 illustrates the responses of the real- and reactive-power outputs of the DER
units to the closure of S3, under the conventional (solid line) and proposed (dashed line)
droop-based controls. It is observed that while the disturbance response exhibits remarkable
transient excursions under the conventional droop-based control, it is notably smooth and
damped under the proposed control strategy, despite the severity of the disturbance. It
should be mentioned that DER2 is not affected by addition of DER3 because the two
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 44

(a)

P1 , P2 , P3
P1,conv
2 P2,conv
P3,conv
P1,prop
P2,prop
0 P3,prop

(b)

4
Q1 , Q2 , Q3

Q1,conv
2 Q2,conv
Q3,conv
Q1,prop
Q2,prop
0 Q3,prop
2 2.25 2.5 2.75 3 3.25 3.5
time(s)

Fig. 2.6 Case1: Response of the DER units to connection of DER3, un-
der the conventional droop-based control (solid line), and under the proposed
droop-based control (dashed line).

subnetworks are disconnected in this part of test.

2.5.2 Case 2: Change in Network Topology

As was mentioned previously, the damping of the dominant eigenvalues in a droop-controlled


islanded active distribution network are functions of the real- and reactive-power outputs
of the DER units; a large real- or reactive-power flow has a destabilizing impact on a
conventional droop-based active distribution network. This study confirms the conclusion
of [31] and, further, demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed control in maintaining
the stability despite an increase in real- and reactive-power outputs of the DER units.
To study the dependence of dynamics on the steady-state power flow, the test active
distribution network is subjected to two different steady-state operating conditions, referred
to as Scenario A and Scenario B, as explained next.
Scenario A) In this case, it is assumed that the network is initially in a steady state
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 45

(a)

P1 , P2 , P3
P1,conv
2 P2,conv
P3,conv
P1,prop
0 P2,prop
P3,prop

(b)

4
Q1 , Q2 , Q3

Q1,conv
2 Q2,conv
Q3,conv
Q1,prop
0 Q2,prop
Q3,prop
5 5.5
time(s)

Fig. 2.7 Case 2, Scenario A: Response of the DER units to connection of


Sub-Network 1 and Sub-Network 2, under the conventional droop-based con-
trol (solid line), and under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line).

where S4, S5, and S6 are open, DER1, DER2, and DER3 have been on for a sufficiently long
time, and S1, S2, and S3 are closed. Thus, the active distribution network is in the islanded
mode, the two subnetworks are disconnected, Sub-Network 1 is energized by DER1 and
DER3, and Sub-Network 2 is energized by DER2. At t = 5 s, S6 is closed while, prior to
the closure, a phase angle difference of 50◦ exists between the voltages of Bus8 and Bus14.
The closure of S6 results in the interconnection of the two subnetworks, and the three DER
units share the aggregate load of the active distribution network.
Fig. 2.7 demonstrates the system response under the conventional (solid line) and the
proposed (dashed line) droop-based control strategies. As Fig. 2.7 indicates, under the
conventional droop-based control, the response exhibits remarkable transient excursions,
whereas, as the response is smooth and damped under the proposed control.
Scenario B ) This scenario is the same as Scenario A with the exception that prior to
the closure of S6, an additional load of 0.9 MW/1.24 MVAr is connected by switch S7 to
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 46

(a)

P1 , P2 , P3
P1,conv
2 P2,conv
P3,conv
P1,prop
0 P2,prop
P3,prop

(b)

4
Q1 , Q2 , Q3

Q1,conv
2 Q2,conv
Q3,conv
Q1,prop
0 Q2,prop
Q3,prop
5 5.5
time(s)

Fig. 2.8 Case 2, Scenario B: Response of the DER units to connection of


Sub-Network 1 and Sub-Network 2, under the conventional droop-based con-
trol (solid line), and under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line).

Bus13 of Sub-Network 2; therefore, the aggregate load of Sub-Network 2 rises to 2.1 MW/2
MVAr. Then, at at t = 5 s, S6 is closed while, prior to the closure, a phase angle difference
of 50◦ exists between the voltages of Bus 8 and Bus 14. Thus, except for the predisturbance
steady-state operating condition, the test conditions are the same under the both scenarios.
Fig. 2.8 depicts the responses under the conventional (solid line) and the proposed
(dashed line) droop-based control strategies, Scenario B. As Fig. 2.8 shows, for the condition
of Scenario B, the closure of S6 leads to an instability if the conventional droop-based control
is employed; the results shown in Fig. 2.8 indicate system instability since the new settling
values of real- and reactive-power output of the DER units are too high with respect to the
known power sharing regime. However, as illustrated by Fig. 2.8, the stability is maintained
under the proposed control, and the response is smooth and well damped.
It should be mentioned that Cases 1 and 2, i.e., addition of a DER unit and interconnec-
tion of the two subnetworks, demonstrate, through simulations, a feature of the proposed
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 47

control in a system setting that it equally stabilizes all packets of an islanded distribution
system, without jeopardizing the stability of the interconnected system.

2.5.3 Case 3: Change in Load Dynamics

As mentioned, under the conventional droop-based control, load/network dynamics affect


the dynamic behavior of the host active distribution network and its DER units. This case
study demonstrates the effect, by means of the introduction of a load with controllable
dynamic characteristics (referred hereafter to as “the load”); the model of the load is
explained in more details in Chapter 3, but will be briefly presented here in the interest of
comprehensiveness.
Fig. 3.1 illustrates the structure of the load employed for the case studies of this section.
The load is modeled by three dependent current sources, one per phase, whose control
signals are obtained from a dq- to abc-frame transformation block. Thus, the d- and q-axis
components of the load current, iLd and iLq , are dynamically determined based on the
load voltage components vLd and vLq which, in turn, are calculated from the load terminal
voltage vL,abc . A PLL is used to define the dq frame. The proposed load is, in essence, a
generic load model which can emulate actual loads of different steady-state and dynamic
characteristics.
Let us calculate iLd and iLq based on the following dynamic model:
   
0 1.1 0 0 0 0 " #
 ωL
−100ωL2 b  10 −106  vLd
  
ωL 0
ẋL =

xL+ 0
   (2.29)
 0 0 0 1.1  0 v
 Lq
2 ωL
ωL 0 −100ωL b 0 10

" # " #
iLd 1 0 0 0
= xL , (2.30)
iLq 0 0 1 0
where xL represent the vector of state variables, b is a negative gain parameter, and ωL is
the rotating speed of the dq frame as delivered by the PLL.
Ignoring the dynamics of the PLL, one can assume ωL to be constant and equal to the
power system nominal frequency, e.g. 377 rad/s for a 60-Hz system. Then, the system
represented by (3.3) and (3.4) approximates a linear system with four eigenvalues whose
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 48

vLa vLb vLc pL


vLd qL
Equations vLq
(2.29) and PLL
(2.30) ωL
ρ
iLa
iLd abc
iLb
iLq
iLc
dq

Fig. 2.9 Block diagram of the load used in the case studies of Section 2.5.3.

real parts are equal to b/2. Thus, the parameter b determines the damping of the transient
response of iLd and iLq . It can be verified that the steady-state characteristic of the load does
not depend on b. Thus, the load dynamic characteristics can be altered for an unchanged
steady-state characteristic.
The impact of load dynamic variations is demonstrated under the conventional and the
proposed droop-based control strategies. The load can be connected to Sub-Network 1
through the switch S8, Fig. 2.1.
Two load scenarios are considered: in the first scenario, the load parameters are selected
such that the load has well-damped, oscillatory modes. In the second scenario, the load
parameters are selected such that the load exhibits a poorly-damped, oscillatory response.
The steady-state characteristics of the load, however, is kept unchanged in both scenarios.
More precisely, in both scenarios, the load demands the same real and reactive powers if
it is subjected to the same terminal voltage and frequency. Further, it is assumed that
prior to the closure of S8, the active distribution network starts from the same steady-state
condition as that at the end of Case 1 Scenario A, i.e., the active distribution network is in
the islanded mode and the DER units share the aggregate load of the two interconnected
subnetworks.
Fig. 2.10 shows the response under the conventional (solid line) and under the pro-
posed (dashed line) droop-based control and if b = −200 for the load, corresponding to a
well-damped dynamics. As Fig. 2.10 indicates, the system remains stable following to the
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 49

(a)
4

P1 , P2 , P3
P1,conv
2 P2,conv
P3,conv
P1,prop
P2,prop
P3,prop
0

(b)
6
Q1 , Q2 , Q3

4
Q1,conv
Q2,conv
Q3,conv
2 Q1,prop
Q2,prop
Q3,prop
0
7 7.25 7.5 7.75 8
time(s)

Fig. 2.10 Case 3: Responses of the DER units to the connection of the load
with b = −200, under the conventional droop-based control (solid line), and
under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line).

connection of the load. However, if the parameter b of the load is changed to b = −0.01,
corresponding to a poorly-damped dynamics, the system becomes unstable under the con-
ventional control strategy, as illustrated by Fig. 2.11. By contrast, the active distribution
network remains stable under both aforementioned load conditions if the proposed control
is employed: this is evident from Fig. 2.11.
It should be emphasized that, since the steady-state real- and reactive-power demand
of the load is similar for the two load scenarios, the observed system instability is merely
due to the load dynamics.

2.5.4 Case 4: Increase in the Droop Gains

As discussed in the literature (see for example [8, 30, 32]), sufficiently large droop gains
destabilize the conventional droop-based control. This section confirms the aforementioned
conclusion and, further, shows that under the proposed control, the stability is maintained
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 50

(a)
4

P1 , P2 , P3
P1,conv
2 P2,conv
P3,conv
P1,prop
P2,prop
P3,prop
0

(b)
6
Q1 , Q2 , Q3

4 Q1,conv
Q2,conv
Q3,conv
2 Q1,prop
Q2,prop
Q3,prop
0
7 7.25 7.5 7.75 8
time(s)

Fig. 2.11 Case 3: Responses of the DER units to the connection of the load
with b = −0.01, under the conventional droop-based control (solid line), and
under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line).

in spite of large droop gains.


In this case, the system starts from the same steady-state condition as that at the
end of Case 2 Scenario A; thus, the active distribution network is in the islanded mode
and the DER units share the aggregate load of the two subnetworks. At t = 8 s, the
real-power droop gains, m, of the DER units are stepped up from 2 (rad/s)/MW to 20
(rad/s)/MW (m1 for DER1), from 4 (rad/s)/MW to 40 (rad/s)/MW (m2 for DER2), and
from 4 (rad/s)/MW to 40 (rad/s)/MW (m3 for DER3). Fig. 2.12 shows the responses under
the conventional and proposed droop-based controls, respectively. As Fig. 2.12 illustrates,
the droop gains changes result in an instability under the conventional droop-based control,
whereas the stability is maintained under the proposed control.
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 51

(a)

6
disturbance appiled here

P1 , P2 , P3
4 P1,conv
P2,conv
2
P3,conv
P1,prop
P2,prop
0 P3,prop

(b)

6
Q1 , Q2 , Q3

disturbance appiled here


4 Q1,conv
Q2,conv
2
Q3,conv
Q1,prop
Q2,prop
0 Q3,prop
8 8.5
time(s)

Fig. 2.12 Case 4: Response of the DER units to a stepwise increase in


the real-power droop gains, under the conventional droop-based control (solid
line), and under the proposed droop-based control (dashed line).

2.6 A Discussion on the Dependence of Stability on the Dynamic


Interactions Between Output LC Filter and Controllers in an
Electronically Interfaced DER Unit

In Figs. 2.8, 2.11, and 2.12, corresponding to the case studies of Sections 2.5.2, 2.5.3,
and 2.5.4, it was observed that the application of physical disturbance leads to instability if
the conventional droop-based control is employed. Similar instabilities have been reported
in the literature (see for example [9, 11, 31, 32]) and interpreted as an issue caused by the
dependence of dynamics on the droop gains, the steady-state power flow, and network
and load dynamics. Similar to the existing literature, this thesis interprets what has been
observed in Figs. 2.8, 2.11, and 2.12 as instabilities caused by the dependence of dynamics
on the droop gains (results shown in Fig.2.12), the steady-state power flow (results shown
in Fig. 2.8), and network and load dynamics (results shown in Fig. 2.11); the proposed gain-
scheduled decoupling control strategy eliminates these dependencies to enhance stability.
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 52

On the other hand, one might argue that what is observed in Figs. 2.8, 2.11, and 2.12 is not
an instability, but rather undamped oscillations caused by dynamic interactions between
poorly designed controllers and/or LC filters of the DER units. The argument here is that
since an LC filter exhibits an impedance close to zero at its resonant frequency, it has a
risk of oscillating with the controls of the DER unit and/or the grid and cause instability.
Therefore, the argument continues, if the resonant frequency of the LC filter is designed
to be outside the bandwidth of the DER controllers, then the instabilities observed in the
case studies of Section 2.5 will no longer occur.
This section studies the above mentioned argument to better understand the cause of
the instabilities observed in the case studies of Section 2.5. More specifically, this section
studies whether these instabilities are indeed a result of dependence of dynamics on the
droop gains, the steady-state power flow, and network and load dynamics, or an issue that
has manifested itself due to the poor design of the controller and/or the LC filter of the
DER units. To check this, the controllers of the DER units and the output LC filters of
the DER units of the test system of Fig. 2.1 have been modified such that the resonant
frequency of the LC filter becomes sufficiently larger than the bandwidth of the DER
unit control closed loop; this grantees that there are no dynamic interactions between the
controllers and the output LC filter. To that end, the controllers of the DER units of the
test system are slowed down, and the resonant frequency of the LC filter is pushed toward
higher frequencies. Then, the case studies of Section 2.5 have been repeated to see if the
same instabilities occur. The next sections presents the details of the modified controllers
and LC filter for the above mentioned study. For ease of reference, in the sections to follow,
the values of system parameters corresponding to the case studies of Section 2.5 are referred
to as the “original” values and those corresponding to the new design are referred to as the
“modified” values.

2.6.1 Modified Controllers and LC Filter

As was mentioned above, the objective of the new design is to reduce the bandwidth of
the current controllers and voltage-amplitude regulation scheme of the DER units, while
pushing the resonant frequency of the LC filter toward higher frequencies. This is done in
this section using the design method of [49].
To push the resonant frequency of the LC filter toward higher frequencies, the ca-
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 53

pacitance of the LC filter is reduced (which warrants an increase in the PWM switching
frequency). Thus, the resonant frequency of the LC filter is placed at 600 Hz, as opposed to
the original value of 400 Hz, with the PWM switching frequency of 12.96 kHz, as opposed
to the original value of 6.48 kHz. At the same time, the current controller is slowed down
such that it exhibits a time constant of 1.6 ms (corresponding to a bandwidth of 100 Hz), as
opposed to the original value of 0.1 ms (corresponding to a bandwidth of 1600 Hz). While
doing so, it is made sure that the closed current control loop nonetheless exhibits a first-
order transfer function. These changes also warrant modifications to the voltage-amplitude
regulation scheme; the bandwidth of the voltage amplitude control loop is reduced to 80
Hz, as opposed to the original value of 100 Hz. The parameters of the power-control scheme
and frequency-regulation scheme remain unchanged. Table A.2 presents the values of the
parameters of the original and modified control schemes and output LC filter of DER1.
The same modifications have been made to DER2 and DER3 of the tests system; the new
values of control parameters of DER2 and DER3 are not presented here. Fig. 2.13 shows
on a frequency scale the bandwidth of the original controllers and the modified controllers,
the resonant frequency of the original and modified LC filter, and the PWM switching
frequency of the original and modified system (original values marked by solid black point-
ers and modified values marked by dashed blue pointers). As Fig. 2.13 shows, the above
mentioned modifications to the DER controls ensure that the resonant frequency of the LC
filter is sufficiently larger than the bandwidth of the current controller, and, therefore, no
dynamic interaction is possible between the LC filters and the DER unit controls. With
all these modifications in place, the case studies of Section 2.5 have been repeated to see if
the same instabilities occur in the absence of dynamic interactions between the LC filter
and DER controls. The next section presents these case studies and simulation results.

2.6.2 Case Studies and Simulation Results

This section repeats the case studies and simulation results of Section 2.5 on the test system
of Fig. 2.1 assuming the modifications described in Section 2.6.1, Table A.2. The objective
is to see whether the same instabilities as in the case studies of Section 2.5 occur under the
new design.
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 54

PC VC CC LC SW

PC VC LC CC SW

100 101 102 103 104 105


frequency (Hz)

Fig. 2.13 Comparison of the bandwidth of the original controllers (solid


black pointers) with modified controllers of Section 2.6.1 (dashed blue point-
ers): bandwidth of the power control scheme (PC), bandwidth of the voltage
amplitude regulation scheme (VC), resonant frequency of the LC filter (LC),
bandwidth of the current controller (CC), and the switching frequency (SW).

Case 1: Interconnection of Sub-Network1 and Sub-Network2

This case study repeats Case2, Scenario B, Section 2.5.2 showing the response of the system
to interconnection of the two subnetworks of the test system under the modified DER
controls. The system starts from a steady-state where the two subnetworks have been
isolated from each other, DER1 supplies the load of Sub-Network1, and DER2 supplies
the load of Sub-Network2, and Sub-Network2 demands an aggregate load of 1.2 MW/0.9
MVar; the load of Sub-Network1 has been risen to 5.3 MW/3.55 MVAr to subject the
system to a heavy pre-disturbance loading condition. At t = 5 s, the two subnetworks get
interconnected by closing the switch S6 while, prior to the closure, a phase angle difference
of 60◦ exists between the voltages of Bus8 and Bus14. Fig. 2.14 shows the response of
DER1 to interconnection of Sub-Network1 and Sub-Network2. As Fig. 2.14 shows, the
interconnection of the two subnetworks leads to an instability; the observed instability is
not due to dynamic interactions between the LC filters and controls of DER unit given that
the resonant frequency of the LC filter is made to be sufficiently larger than the bandwidth
of the controllers. It is therefore concluded that the observed instability is merely due to
the dependence of dynamics of droop-based control on the steady-state power flow, which
confirms the statements made in Section 2.2 about the dependence of stability on the
steady-state power flow.
Comparison of the results of this case study with those of Case2, Scenario B, Sec-
tion 2.5.2 reveals that in the modified system (Fig. 2.14), the frequency of oscillations of
the unstable system is smaller than that of the original system (Fig. 2.8). This is expected
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 55

(a)
7
Disturbance

P1
5

P1,conv
4

(b)
4
Disturbance
Q1

Q1,conv
5 7.5 10 12.5
time(s)

Fig. 2.14 Case 1: Responses of DER1 to the interconnection of Sub-


Network1 and Sub-Network2 assuming the modified control schemes and LC
filters.

since the modified DER controls are slower than those of the original system. Further, the
pre-disturbance steady-state power flow regime which leads to instability of the modified
system is different from that of the original system.

Case 2: Increase in the Droop Gains

This case study repeats Case 4, Section 2.5.4 showing the response of the modified system
to an increase in the droop gains. The system starts from the same steady-state condition
as that at the end of Case 2 Scenario A; thus, the active distribution network is in the
islanded mode, the two subnetworks are interconnected, and the DER units share the
aggregate load of the two subnetworks. At t = 8 s, the real-power droop gains, m, of the
DER units are stepped up from 2 (rad/s)/MW to 12 (rad/s)/MW (m1 for DER1) and
from 4 (rad/s)/MW to 24 (rad/s)/MW (m2 for DER2). Fig. 2.15 shows the responses
under the modified DER controls. As Fig. 2.15 illustrates, the droop gains changes result
in an instability; the observed instability is merely due to the dependence of dynamics of
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 56

(a)

6
Disturbance
4
P1
2

P1,conv
0

(b)

4 Disturbance
Q1

0 Q1,conv
8 9
time(s)

Fig. 2.15 Case 2: Responses of DER1 to an increase in the droop gains


assuming the modified control schemes and LC filters.

droop-based control on the droop gains, which confirms the statements made in Section 2.2
about the dependence of stability on the droop gains.

2.7 Chapter Summary

A gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy has been proposed which reshapes the char-
acteristics of the conventional droop-based control such that the dynamics become inde-
pendent of the droop gains, the steady-state power flow, and, largely, of the network and
loads dynamics. The proposed control offers a simple structure and is integrated with the
basic control of the host DER unit by modifying the DER unit voltage amplitude regula-
tion scheme. The impact of the proposed control on the dynamics of a droop-controlled
active distribution network has been evaluated by calculating the eigenvalues of the lin-
earized model of a three-unit droop-controlled test active distribution network; the study
of the sensitivities of the eigenvalues to the droop gains reveals that, under the proposed
control, the dominant eigenvalues of the test active distribution network are invariant to
2 A Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control Strategy for Enhanced Transient
Performance and Stability of a Microgrid 57

the droop gains and the steady-state operating conditions. The simulation results demon-
strate that the proposed control offers superior transient performance and stability than
the conventional droop-based control using the same set of system and control parameters.
58

Chapter 3

A Generic Load Model for Simulation


Studies of Microgrids

In an islanded microgrid, loads impose strong transient impacts on the DER units and can
also dynamically interact with the DER units. Thus, adequate load models are important
for studying the dynamics as well as steady-state performance of an islanded microgrid.
This chapter presents the structure of a generic load model that can emulate the steady-
state and dynamic behaviors of different loads; i.e., the parameters of the load model allow
the simulation of different loads in terms of steady-state and dynamic power-voltage and
power-frequency characteristics. The proposed load model can be used in simulation studies
of microgrids. The load is simulated by three dependent current sources, one per phase,
whose control signals are determined from a dq- to abc-frame transformation block. Thus,
the d- and q-axis components of the load current are dynamically determined based on the
d- and q-axis components of the load voltage. The parameters of the load model can be
selected for different dynamic and steady-state characteristics. The proposed load model
is shown to be able to emulate the dynamic and steady-state characteristic of an RL and
an induction machine load.
The material presented in this chapter are largely based on [62].

2015/08/03
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 59

3.1 Proposed Generic Load Model

In general, a load is a dynamic system which can be described by a set of state-space


equations in a dq frame as:

d
xL = f (xL , vL , ωL ) (3.1)
dt
iL = g(xL , vL , ωL ), (3.2)

where xL represent the vector of state variables, iL = [iLd iLq ]T provides the d- and q-axis
components of the load current as the outputs, vL = [vLd vLq ]T embeds the d- and q-axis
components of the load voltage as the input, ωL represents the angular velocity of the load
voltage vector, and f (·) and g(·) are, in general, nonlinear functions of their arguments.
The dynamic and steady-state characteristics of the load are determined by f (·) and g(·),
which, in general, are nonlinear functions. However, to simplify the characterization of
dynamic and steady-state characteristics of the load, it is assumed, in this paper, that f (·)
and g(·) are linear time-invariant matrix functions.
Fig. 3.1 illustrates the structure of the load, which, hereafter is referred simply to as
the “load”. The load is modeled by three dependent current sources, one per phase, whose
control signals are obtained from a dq- to abc-frame transformation block. Thus, the d-
and q-axis components of the load current, iLd and iLq , are dynamically determined based
on the load voltage components vLd and vLq which, in turn, are calculated from the load
terminal voltage vLabc . As Fig. 3.1 illustrates, a phase-locked loop (PLL) is used to orient
the dq frame. Thus, the PLL provides the angle of the load voltage vector, ρ. Further,
the PLL calculates the angular velocity of the load voltage vector, ωL , which indeed is the
frequency of the load voltage. Due to the function of the PLL, vLq settles at zero in a
steady state [49].
Let us calculate the d- and q-axis components of the load current based on the following
dynamic system:
" #
d vLd
xL = AL xL + BL (3.3)
dt vLq
" #
iLd
= CL xL , (3.4)
iLq
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 60

vLa vLb vLc pL


vLd qL
Equations vLq
PLL
(3.3) and (3.4)
ωL
ρ
iLa
iLd abc
iLb
iLq
iLc
dq

Fig. 3.1 Block diagram of the generic load model.

where AL , BL , and CL are time-invariant matrices which determine the dynamic and
steady-state characteristics of the load. Solving (3.3) and (3.4) for iLd (t) and iLq (t), one
can write " # Z t " #
iLd (t) vLd
= CL eAL t xL (0) + CL eAL (t−τ ) BL dτ , (3.5)
iLq (t) 0 vLq
where xL (0) denotes the vector of initial states. Equation (3.5) is used to set the dynamic
and steady-state characteristics of the load, as explained below.

3.1.1 Dynamic And Steady-state Characteristics

The natural modes of the dynamic system described by (3.3) and (3.4) characterize the
transient responses of iLd and iLq to vLd and vLq ; the dynamic characteristics of the load
can be determined based on the real and imaginary parts of the eigenvalues of AL .
In a steady state, the derivatives of the state variables are zero and, therefore,
" # " #
iLdss v Ldss
= −CL A−1
L BL . (3.6)
iLqss vLqss

where the subscript “ss” in iLdss , iLqss , vLdss , and vLqss denotes the steady-state value of
the corresponding variable. It is to be remembered that vLqss = 0.
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 61

The steady-state real and reactive powers of the load, Pss and Qss , are given by
" #T " #
3 vLdss iLdss
Pss = (3.7)
2 vLqss iLqss
" #T " #
3 −vLqss iLdss
Qss = . (3.8)
2 vLdss iLqss

Given (3.6) and remembering that vLqss = 0, (3.7) and (3.8) can be rewritten as
" #T  " #
3 vLdss −1 vLdss
Pss = − CL AL BL (3.9)
2 0 0
" #T   " #
3 0 vLdss
Qss = − CL A−1
L BL . (3.10)
2 vLdss 0

Equations (3.9) and (3.10) indicate that the steady-state real and reactive powers of the
load are functions of the steady-state values of the load voltage components as well as the
matrix product CL A−1 −1
L BL . Assuming CL AL BL to be a function of ωL , this dependency
can be modeled as

 N P  KP F
vLdss ωL
Pss = Prated (3.11)
V0 ωL0
 N Q  KQF
vLdss ωL
Qss = Qrated , (3.12)
V0 ωL0

where Prated and Qrated represent the rated three-phase real and reactive power of the load,
V0 represents rated load voltage, and N P , N Q, KP F , and KQF are parameters which
characterize the dependence of load real and reactive powers on the voltage amplitude and
frequency. It should be mentioned that for the proposed load, N P = N Q = 2.
In the proposed load model, the parameters Prated , Qrated , V0 , KP F and KQF are con-
sidered as design parameters to set the static characteristics of the load. These parameters
depend on the matrix product −CL A−1 L BL .
Having defined the dynamic and static characteristics of the load as functions of the
matrices AL , BL and CL , the problem now is to calculate these matrices such that the
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 62

load exhibits a given dynamic and steady-state behavior.

3.1.2 Parameter Design

Let us define the following load parameters:


• d: damping of natural modes of the load model,

• ωosc : oscillation frequency,

• YP : real power index of the load,

• YQ : reactive power index of the load,


and let xL , AL , BL and CL in (3.3) and (3.4) be given by
h iT
xL = x1 x2 x3 x4 (3.13)
 
0 1 0 0
−(d2 + ωosc
2
 
) 2d 0 0 
AL =   (3.14)

 0 0 0 1
2 2
0 0 −(d + ωosc ) 2d
 
0 0
YP (d2 + ωosc
2
 
) 0 
BL =   (3.15)

 0 0
2 2
YQ (d + ωosc ) 0
" #
1 0 0 0
CL = , (3.16)
0 0 1 0

where

2 1 ωL KP F
YP = ( ) Prated (3.17)
3 V02 ωL0
2 1 ωL KQF
YQ = ( ) Qrated . (3.18)
3 V02 ωL0

Equations (3.14) and (3.16) indicate that x1 =iLd , x2 =diLd /dt, x3 =iLq , x4 =diLq /dt.
For the system of (3.3) and (3.4) with parameters given by (3.13)–(3.18), it can be
verified that:
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 63

• The system has four natural modes corresponding to four eigenvalues (λ) at

λ1 = λ2 = d + jωosc , λ3 = λ4 = d − jωosc (3.19)

• The parameter d is the real part of the four eigenvalues and, hence, exclusively de-
termines the damping of the natural modes of the system.

• The parameter ωosc is the imaginary part of the four eigenvalues and, hence, exclu-
sively determines the oscillating frequency of the natural modes of the system.

• In a steady-state, the real and reactive powers of the load are given by

3 2
Pss = YP vLdss (3.20)
2
3 2
Qss = YQ vLdss . (3.21)
2

Therefore, the parameter YP exclusively determines the real power demand of the
load, whereas YQ exclusively determines the reactive power demand of the load.

The parameter design procedure is as follows:

1. The parameters d and ωosc are determined based on the desired damping and oscil-
lating frequency for the natural frequencies of the load. Matrix AL is formed.

2. The parameters Prated , Qrated , V0 , ωL0 , KP F , and KQF in (3.11) and (3.12) are de-
termined based on the desired static characteristics. It is to be remembered that
N P = N Q = 2.

3. YP and YQ are calculated from (3.17) and (3.18); matrix BL is formed.

3.2 Case Studies and Simulation Results

To show the features of the proposed load model, a detailed switched model of an inverter-
fed active distribution network embedding the proposed load has been simulated in PSCAD/EMTDC
software environment. The model of the test system is based on that of Chapter 2, a
schematic of which is shown in Fig. 3.2. The test system consists of two DER units: a
6-MVA generation unit; DER1, and a 3-MVA generation unit; DER2, connected to Bus2
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 64

wt
Ac S2

Di

Ne
buri
onti

or
veti
st

B
US
B
U

13

S2
S1

mk 0
1.
0
B
US
3

Vk
Vk B

12
47. uk
0/. %
63 10
12
47. uk
0/. %
63 10

Tr
2
Tr
1

m 1. B mk
6.
k
US
4

mk S8

mk 14
3 U

3. B
0 US

DE
R2
DE
R1

mk
0.
6

0.
5

mk
1.
7
B
US

B
US
5

11

B
US
7
mk
0. mk
3

mk
0.
3

0.
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BU
S6
BU

BU
S1

S9
0

S3
mk
mk
0.
8
1.
5

Th
oal
d
e
Fig. 3.2 Schematic diagram of the test system showing the generic load at
Bus6.

and Bus13 of the test system, respectively. Both DER units are of electronically interfaced
type and are switched at 6.480 kHz. The control and power circuit of the DER units is sim-
ilar to that of Chapter 2. A droop-based control mechanism controls the terminal voltage
amplitude and frequency of the two DER units. The test microgrid embeds three-phase
as well as single-phase PQ (fixed real- and reactive-power) loads. As Fig. 3.2 shows, the
proposed load is connected to Bus6 of the test system through a switch, S3.
This section first shows how the parameters of the load can be designed for different
steady-state and dynamic characteristics. Then, this section shows the coupling between
the dynamics of the DER units and loads through a number of simulation tests. To that
end, the dynamic characteristics of the load are changed, and it is shown that the transient
response of the DER units changes with changing load dynamics. Further, this section
shows that the proposed generic load model can emulate the dynamic and steady-state
characteristic of a realistic load; two examples are provided in which the load emulates
an RL load and an Induction Machine (IM) load. In the graphs to follow, the currents,
the voltages, and the real and reactive powers are expressed in kA, kV, MW and MVAr,
respectively.
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 65

3.2.1 Case I: Load Parameter Design for Different Steady-state and Dynamic
Characteristics

The objective of this case study is to show that the load exhibits the desired steady-state
and dynamic characteristics according to the design. In this case, the load is designed to
have natural modes with a damping of 5 s−1 and an oscillation frequency of 37.7 rad/s.
Thus, d = 5 s−1 and ωosc = 37.7 rad/s. Further, it is desired that the load exhibit the
following steady-state characteristics: a steady-state real power demand of Pss = 0.6 MW,
2
proportional to vLdss and independent of system frequency; a steady-state reactive power
2
demand of Qrated = 0 MVar, proportional to vLdss and independent of system frequency.
Based on these design criteria, the parameters of the load are determined according to the
design method of Section 3.1.2. Table A.3 presents the value of load parameters obtained
for the above mentioned design objectives.
To test the actual transient and steady-state characteristics of the load gainst the design,
the load is connected to Bus6 of the test network at t = 2s by closing S3. Fig. 3.3 shows
the response of the load and DER1 to connection of the load to the grid. As Fig. 3.3(a)
shows, following the connection, the d and q-axis components of the load current oscillate
at a frequency of about 38 rad/sec, and the settling time of the transient response of the
load current is around 0.8 sec, which agree with the objectives of the design. Fig. 3.3(b)
shows the d- and q-axis components of the load terminal voltage. As Fig. 3.3(b) shows,
following the connection of the load, the d-axis component of load terminal voltage jumps
up to 8.1 kV, i.e., the amplitude of voltage at Bus6 prior to connection of the load, while
the q-axis voltage stays at 0 due to the function of the PLL. The excursions and ringings in
the waveforms of the d- and q-axis load terminal voltage are due to dynamics of the PLL
and the aforementioned dynamic coupling between the DER units and the network and
loads. Fig. 3.3(c) shows that, in a steady-state, the load draws a real and reactive power of
Pss =0.61 MW and Qss =0 MVAr, respectively. Given that vLdss =8.1 kV, YP =0.0064, and
YQ =0, it can be vitrified that Pss = 32 YP vLdss
2
and Qss = 23 YQ vLdss
2
. Thus, the steady-state
real and reactive power demand of the load agree with the design. Fig. 3.3(d) shows the
d and q-axis components of the output current of DER1; the low frequency oscillations in
the d- and q-axis currents, which occur at the same frequency as that of the natural modes
of the load, is an indication of the dynamic coupling between the DERs and the load.
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 66

(a)
0.2

iLd , iLq
0 iLd
iLq
−0.2
(b)

vLd , vLq
10
0 vLd
vLq
−10
(c)
2
pL , qL

0 pL
qL
−2
(d)
0.3
id1 , iq1

0 id1
iq1
−0.3
2 2.5 3
time(s)

Fig. 3.3 Response of the load and DER1 to connection of the load to the grid
at t = 2s showing (a) d- and q-axis components of the load current, (b) d- and
q-axis components of the load terminal voltage, (c) real- and reactive-power
demand of the load (pL and qL ), and (d) d- and q-axis components of the
output current of DER1: Case I, damping of d = 5 s−1 , oscillation frequency
of ωosc = 37.7 rad/s, real-power demand of Pss = 0.6 MW, and reactive-power
demand of Qss = 0 MVar.

3.2.2 Case II: Coupling Between the Dynamics of a DER Unit and Load

This case study shows the coupling between the dynamics of a DER unit and load. To
that end, the dynamic characteristics of the load are changed, and it is shown that the
transient response of the DER units changes with changing load dynamics. The dynamic
characteristics of the load are changed with respect to Case I by changing the values of
d and ωosc . The new values of d and ωosc are set to 10 s−1 and 75.4 rad/s, respectively;
thus, with respect to Case I, it is expected that the settling time of the transient response
of the load be reduced by half, the oscillation frequency increase by two times, and the
steady-state real- and reactive-power demand of the load remain unchanged. Table A.3
presents the values of load parameters for the design objectives of Case II.
Fig. 3.4 shows the response of the load and DER1 to connection of the load to the grid
for the values of load parameters of Case II. As Fig. 3.4 shows, the oscillation frequency
of the transient response of the load in Case II is twice that of Case I and the settling
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 67

(a)
0.2

iLd , iLq
0 iLd
iLq
−0.2
(b)

vLd , vLq
10
0 vLd
vLq
−10
(c)
2
pL , qL

0 pL
qL
−2
(d)
0.3
id1 , iq1

0 id1
iq1
−0.3
2 2.5 3
time(s)

Fig. 3.4 Response of the load and DER1 to connection of the load to the
grid at t = 2s showing (a) d- and q-axis components of the load current, (b)
d- and q-axis components of the load terminal voltage, (c) real- and reactive-
power demand of the load, and (d) d- and q-axis components of the output
current of DER1: Case II, damping of d = 10 s−1 , oscillation frequency of
ωosc = 75.4 rad/s, real-power demand of Pss = 0.6 MW, and reactive-power
demand of Qss = 0 MVar.

time is half that of Case I, as expected. Fig. 3.4 also shows that the steady-state real- and
reactive-power demand of the load remain similar to Case I.
Comparison of Figs. 3.3(d) and 3.4(d) shows that a change in the dynamic characteristics
of the load results in a change in the transient response of the DER unit; the frequency of
oscillations of the transient response of the output current of DER1 in Fig. 3.3 is twice that
of Fig. 3.4 and the settling time of the transient response is half. This indicates that DER1
reacts to the disturbance with a speed more or less similar to that of the load. Results
of Figs. 3.3 and 3.4 can be considered as an evidence showing the coupling between the
dynamics of DER1 and the load dynamics.
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 68

3.2.3 Example: Application to RL and IM Loads

It was mentioned that the proposed generic load model is capable of emulating different
loads in terms of steady-state and dynamic power-voltage and power-frequency character-
istics. This section provides two examples in which the load emulates the steady-state and
dynamic characteristic of an example RL load and an IM.
Fig. 3.5 shows the structure of the RL load used in this example. The value of the RL
load parameters are given in Table A.3. The parameters of the generic load are designed
such that it emulates the RL load of Fig. 3.5. To design the parameters of the generic
load, one need knowledge of the settling time and frequency of oscillation of the transient
response of the RL load as well as the steady-state real and reactive power demand of the
RL load. These information are obtained from simulation of the RL load by looking at
the response of the RL load following connection to Bus6 of the test system at t = 1s; the
results of this simulation test are shown in Fig. 3.6 (solid line). As Fig. 3.6 shows, following
its connection to the grid, the RL load exhibits a transient response with a settling-time of
about 0.4s, a frequency of oscillation of about 377 rad/s, and a steady-state real and reactive
power demand of about 0.012 MW and 0.08 MVar, respectively. Using these information,
the parameters of the generic load model are designed based on the method presented in
Section 3.1.2; the values of the load parameters are presented in Table A.3. To test the
response of the generic load against the RL load, the generic load is connected to Bus6 of
the test network at t = 1s. The results of this test are shown in Fig. 3.6 (dashed line).
Fig. 3.6 shows that the oscillation frequency and the settling time of the transient response
of the load largely match those of the RL load. Further, the steady-state response of the
load seems to match that of the RL load. The results of Fig. 3.6 show that the proposed
load has successfully emulated the RL load. It is noted in Fig. 3.6 that there exists a small
phase angle difference between the d-axis component of the load voltage and that of the
RL load; this phase angle difference can be eliminated by processing the d-axis component
of the load current through a lead-lag compensator before transformation to abc frame.
The generic load has also been designed to emulate the dynamic and steady-state char-
acteristics of an IM whose parameters are presented in Table A.3. The information about
the settling time and frequency of oscillation of the transient response of the IM as well as
its steady-state real and reactive power demand are obtained from simulation of the IM.
The simulation starts from an initial condition where the IM has been connected to the
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 69

vLa vLb vLc pL


iLa iLb
qL
iLc

rL rL rL
L R L R L R

Fig. 3.5 The RL load of Section 3.2.3.


(a)
0.6

0.4
vod , voq

Load connected
0.2
vod,RL
voq,RL
0 vod,L
voq,L

(b)

0.25
iLd , iLq

0 iLd,RL
iLq,RL
iLd,L
iLq,L
−0.25
1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
time(s)

Fig. 3.6 Emulation of an RL load by the generic load model: (a) d- and
q-axis components of load terminal voltage measured at the low-voltage side
of the transformer and (b) d- and q-axis components of the RL load current
(solid line) and the load current (dashed line).

network for a sufficiently long time supplying a load with a mechanical torque of 0 p.u.
(no-load) until a steady-state is achieved. Then, while the IM is connected to the network,
the mechanical torque is stepped up to 1 p.u. at t = 1s. Fig. 3.7 shows the response of the
IM to this disturbance (solid line). As Fig. 3.7 shows, following the disturbance, the d- and
q-axis components of the IM terminal current exhibit a transient response with a settling
time of 0.1 s, an oscillation frequency of about 115 rad/s, with a steady-state real and
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 70

(a)
0.6

0.4
vod , voq

Load connected
0.2
vod,I M
voq,I M
0 vod,L
voq,L

(b)
2

1.5
iLd , iLq

0.5 iLd,I M
iLq,I M
0 iLd,L
iLq,L
−0.5
1 1.05 1.1 1.15 1.2 1.25
time(s)

Fig. 3.7 Emulation of an IM by the generic load model: (a) d- and q-axis
components of load terminal voltage measured at the low-voltage side of the
transformer and (b) d- and q-axis components of the IM current (solid line)
and the load current (dashed line).

reactive power demand of 0.9 MW and 0.187 MVar, respectively. Using these information,
the parameters of the generic load model are designed based on the method presented in
Section 3.1.2; the values of the load parameters for the case of IM are presented in Ta-
ble A.3. The generic load model has been tested against the actual IM by connecting the
generic load to the network at t = 1s; Fig. 3.7 shows the results of this test. As Fig. 3.7
shows, the transient response of the generic load shown by dashed line seems to match that
of the IM marked by solid line. Fig. 3.7 shows that prior to the connection of the load at
t = 1s, there is a discrepancy between the steady-state steady-state current drawn by the
IM and the generic load. The reason for this discrepancy is that prior to t = 1s, the IM
draws a steady-state no-load current of iLd,IM = 0.125 kA and iLq,IM = −0.125 kA even
though the applied mechanical torque is 0 p.u.
3 A Generic Load Model for Simulation Studies of Microgrids 71

3.3 Remark

It should be mentioned that the methodology presented in this chapter is based on the
assumption of a three-phase balanced load. In an islanded microgrid, however, unbalanced
loads may present a significant share of the overall load. In an unbalanced load, the
steady-state d and q components of load current will contain sinusoidal component, at twice
the fundamental frequency, while the 0 component of load current will contain sinusoidal
component at the fundamental frequency, added to their stationary DC components. This
behaviour can be emulated by setting d = 0 and ωosc =377 rad/s for the 0 component and
d = 0 and ωosc =754 rad/s for the dq components.

3.4 Chapter Summary

This chapter has presented the structure of a generic load model for simulation studies of
microgrids. The proposed load model can emulate the steady-state and dynamic behaviors
of different loads; i.e., the parameters of the load model allow the simulation of different
loads in terms of steady-state and dynamic power-voltage and power-frequency character-
istics. Specifically, the proposed generic load model emulates a given load in terms of the
settling time and frequency of oscillations of its transient response as well as steady-state
real-and reactive power demand. Two case studies have been presented in which the pro-
posed model emulates an RL load and an IM. Time-domain simulations seem to show that
the proposed load successfully emulates the RL load and the IM when connected to a test
active distribution network.
72

Chapter 4

Implementation of the
Gain-Scheduled Decoupling
Controller in the BCIT Microgrid

This chapter studies the feasibility of implementation of the gain-scheduled decoupling


control strategy of Chapter 2 in the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
Campus microgrid. More specifically, the objective of this chapter is to verify the robustness
of the deployed control strategy in grid-connected and islanding modes of operation of the
BCIT microgrid as well as the transition between the two modes. A model of the BCIT
campus microgrid has been developed by a research team at the University of Toronto
(UofT); this chapter uses this model to implement the the gain-scheduled decoupling control
strategy in the BCIT microgrid and to test its performance. First, this chapter presents
an overview of the BCIT campus microgrid and the UofT model thereof. Then, a power
management strategy deploying the gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy of Chapter 2
is implemented in the BCIT microgrid. The feasibility of implementation of the control
in the BCIT microgrid and its robustness is demonstrated through simulations carried out
in PSCAD/EMTDC software environment. A number of case studies have been carried
out: a case study studies the transient performance of the BCIT microgrid subsequent to a
transition from islanded mode to grid-connected mode and vice versa, assuming the control;
three case studies investigate the transient performance under a change in microgrid load,
addition/loss of a DER unit, and a change in network topology in islanding mode.

2015/08/03
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 73

4.1 UofT Model of the BCIT Microgrid

The BCIT Campus power network is connected to BC Hydro at five distinct inlets: Canada
Way Receiving Station (estimated full capacity of 9.2 MVA, with a peak load of 2121 kW
at 0.9 lagging power factor); Goard Way Receiving Station (estimated full capacity of 8.66
MVA, with a peak load of 2997 kW at 0.9 lagging power factor); Maquinna Substation (es-
timated full capacity of 2 MVA, with a peak load of 419 kW at 0.9 lagging power factor);
Dedicated BC Hydro MV/LV Pad and Pole Mounted Transformers (four dedicated trans-
formers owned by BC Hydro); and a Single-phase BC Hydro LV (120/240 V) Overhead
Feeder. In an effort to design a smart microgrid at the BCIT campus, a research team
at the UofT has developed a dynamic and transient simulation model of the Canada Way
Receiving Station [63, 64]; this model, which is primarily developed for design, implemen-
tation, and testing of a smart fault detection, isolation, and service restoration algorithm,
is also used to study the impact of integrating different DER technologies in the BCIT
microgrid and to verify the robustness of a proposed control strategy in both modes of
operation as well as the transition between the two modes. This section gives an overview
of the more relevant details of the UofT model of the BCIT microgrid.
Fig. 4.1 shows a screenshot of the UofT model of the BCIT campus microgrid devel-
oped in the PSCAD/EMTDC software environment. As Fig. 4.1 shows, the microgrid is
connected to BC Hydro through a switch denoted by island; when the switch island
is closed/open, the BCIT microgrid is operating in the grid-connected/islanded mode.
Fig. 4.1 further shows that the UofT model of the BCIT microgrid consists of five subnet-
works denoted by S/S C+D+J, S/S A+B+G, S/S M+T+W, S/S R, and S/S N; in this
representation, the substations in geographical proximity are aggregated. Each subnetwork
is composed of a Diustributed Generation (DG) and load, and is connected to the PCC
through a line whose X/R ratio is about 0.7. Table A.4 shows the real and reactive power
demand of load at each subnetwork. All loads are represented by means of PQ models.
Each subnetwork of the microgrid is connected to the PCC through a switch; when a sub-
network switch is switched open, the corresponding subnetwork gets disconnected from the
rest of the microgrid, forming a microcell. In such a case, the DG within the microcell
supplies the subnetwork load. Further than the DGs and loads, the UofT model contains
a Diustributed Storage (DS), referred to as battery station, which gets charged when
the microgrid is connected to BC Hydro. The function of the DS is i) to control the volt-
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 74

Fig. 4.1 A screen shot of UofT model of the BCIT campus microgrid im-
plemented in the PSCAD environment.
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 75

age amplitude and frequency of the microgrid during islanded mode operation, and ii) to
control the power exchange of the microgrid with BC Hydro during grid-connected mode
of operation. All DG units are assumed to be dispatchable and of electronically-interfaced
type.
The UofT model of the BCIT microgrid adopts a power management strategy that is
based on a centralized control scheme. The on-site DG and DS units have two control
modes; they are either PQ controlled or Vf controlled. In PQ control mode, the control
objective is to control the real and reactive power output of the DG/DS unit while in Vf
control mode, the control objective is to regulate the voltage amplitude and frequency. In
the grid-connected mode, the DGs are PQ controlled, and the DS is either being charged
from BC Hydro or is PQ controlled to compensate for the loss of any of the DG units or
load increase in order to minimize the power exchange with BC Hydro. The setpoints for
the real and reactive power output of each DG is generated by a central controller and
equals the real and reactive load of the subnetwork hosting the DG unit. Any change
in the load of a substation is picked up either by the DS connected to the MV bus or
by BC Hydro in case the DS is not appropriately charged or not in service. During the
islanded-mode of operation of the entire campus, the DS regulates the voltage amplitude
and frequency of the BCIT microgrid; the microgrid frequency is controlled in an open-loop
fashion by the DS through an internal oscillator running at a constant frequency of 60Hz;
the amplitude of the MV bus voltage is regulated at 1.0 p.u by the DS. In the event that
a low-voltage bus gets disconnected from the rest of the microgrid, the control scheme of
the DG unit connected to the bus switches from PQ control mode to Vf control mode,
resulting in formation of a microcell. In such a case, the DG regulates the frequency of
the microcell at 60 Hz in an open-loop fashion and the voltage amplitude at 1 p.u. using a
feedback loop. Thus, during the islanded-mode operation of a microcell, the control scheme
of a DG becomes identical to that of a DS in the islanded-mode operation of the entire
campus. In the next section, the above mentioned power management strategy is replaced
by a droop-based power management strategy employing the control of Chapter 2.

4.2 Droop-based Power Management Strategy

This section describes the implementation of the control strategy of Chapter 2 in the BCIT
microgrid. The DER units of the UofT model are replaced by three DER units of the type
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 76

shown in Fig. 1.4 connected to three subnetworks: a 2 MVA DER unit, DER1, connected
to S/S M+T+W; a 1 MVA DER unit, DER2, connected to S/S C+D+J; and a 1 MVA
DER unit, DER3, connected to S/S N. It should be mentioned that this choice of siting
of the DER units is not necessarily economically optimal. Nevertheless, it does not reduce
the generality of conclusions of this study about the feasibility of implementation of the
control of Chapter 2 in the BCIT microgrid. The choice of size of the DER units is based
on the load of the subnetwork to which they are connected as well as the aggregate load of
the microgrid. Fig. 4.2(a) shows a screenshot of the developed PSCAD model of the three
DER units, DER1, DER2, and DER3. Fig. 4.2(b) shows a screenshot of the PSCAD model
of the BCIT microgrid including the DER units.
The control strategy of Chapter 2 is a decentralized control scheme; it splits the central
controller into several local controllers that can perform the same control action without
communicating with other peer controllers. In the islanded mode, the control task is to
regulate the voltage amplitude and frequency of the microgrid while creating a balance
between aggregate generation and load. In grid-connected mode, the voltage amplitude
and frequency are dictated by BC Hydro and the control task boils down to regulating
the real- and reactive power output of the DER units. Under the control strategy of
Chapter 2, the goal is achieved through droop-based control. Thus, the regulation of the
voltage amplitude and frequency of the islanded BCIT microgrid is achieved by coordinated
control of the DER units which regulate their corresponding terminal voltage amplitude
and frequency; the amplitude and frequency setpoints are determined by corresponding
droop mechanisms integrated with the control schemes of the DER units.
The following power management strategy is implemented. In the grid-connected mode,
the DER units collectively supply the aggregate load of the BCIT microgrid in order to
minimize power exchange with BC Hydro. BC Hydro can pick up a load change or loss of
a DER unit. BC Hydro determines the setpoints of voltage amplitude and frequency of the
DER units, which determines their real and reactive power output. In the islanded mode,
the DER units regulate the voltage amplitude and frequency of the microgrid. Both the
aggregate real and reactive power demand of the network are shared by all DER units in
proportion to their rating. A change in load or loss of a DER unit is picked up by all DER
units in proportion to their rating. It should be pointed out that under the proposed droop-
based power management strategy, the control scheme of the DER units remain unchanged
in transition between the two modes of operation of the microgrid; in grid connected mode
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 77

(a)

(b)

Fig. 4.2 A screenshot of the PSCAD model used for studying the feasibility
of implementation of control of Chapter 2 in the BCIT microgrid showing (a)
the DER units and their control, and (b) the BCIT microgrid including the
DER units.
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 78

the setpoints for voltage amplitude and frequency of the DER units are determined by
BC Hydro whereas in the islanded mode, they are determined by the corresponding droop
mechanisms integrated with the control schemes of the DER units.
In order to realize the control of Chapter 2 in the BCIT microgrid, first a basic droop
control is implemented in the BCIT microgrid.

4.2.1 Droop Control Design

A droop mechanism is integrated with the control schemes of the DER units. The droop
characteristics of the DER units are given by

ω ∗ = ω0 − mP , (4.1)

v ∗ = V0 − nQ, (4.2)

where ω ∗ and v ∗ denote the setpoint for frequency and voltage amplitude, m and n stand
for the real- and reactive-power droop gains, ω0 and V0 represent the no-load frequency
and voltage amplitude, and P and Q denote the real and reactive power output of a DER
unit, respectively.
In this study, the selection of droop control parameters are based on the following
steady-state objectives:
1. To achieve a proportional power sharing regime where the DER units share the ag-
gregate load in proportion to their power rating, i.e., P der1 = 2 P der2 = 2 P der3,
and Q der1 = 2 Q der2 = 2 Q der3 in a steady-state,

2. To have zero power exchange between BCIT microgrid and BC Hydro in grid con-
nected mode under nominal load,

3. To allow a maximum deviation of ∆Vmax = 8% for the output voltage amplitude


and ∆ωmax = 1% for the frequency, i.e., the steady-state voltage amplitude can vary
between 0.92 p.u. and 1.08 p.u., while the stead-state frequency can vary between
373.23 rad/s to 380.77 rad/s.
Objective 1 and 3 can be achieved by selecting the droop gains m and n based on the
following equations [22, 65]
∆ωmax
m= (4.3)
Prated
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 79

∆Vmax
n= , (4.4)
Qrated
where ∆Vmax and ∆ωmax represent the maximum allowed deviation of the voltage amplitude
and frequency, and Prated and Qrated stand for the rated real and reactive power of the DER
units. In this study, the droop gains m and n are designed for ∆ωmax = 1%, ∆Vmax =
8% to meet objective 3. Having calculated the droop gains, the parameters ω0 and V0 are
calculated for each DER unit such that objective 1 is achieved. Table A.5 presents the
value of the droop gains and the no-load voltage amplitude and frequency for the three
DER units used in the study.
The control strategy of Chapter 2 is integrated with the basic droop control of the DER
units.

4.3 Case Studies and Simulation Results

A number of simulation tests have been conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of imple-
mentation of the control of Chapter 2 in the BCIT microgrid. These simulation tests have
been conducted in the PSCAD environment on a model of the BCIT microgrid shown in
Fig. 4.2. The models of the DER units include PWM schemes, signal transformation blocks,
PLLs, current control schemes, voltage amplitude and frequency regulation schemes, power
calculation blocks, droop mechanisms, and the control of Chapter 2. The gains g11 , g12 ,
g21 , g22 are scheduled online, based on (2.24) and (2.25).
A number of case studies are conducted to verify the robustness of the deployed control
strategy in grid-connected and islanding modes of operation of the BCIT microgrid as well
as the transition between the two modes. Specifically, a case study shows the transition of
the BCIT microgrid from grid-connected mode to islanded mode and from islanded mode
to grid-connected mode under the deployed control strategy. Three case studies show the
robustness against a sudden change in network load, change in network topology, and
addition or loss of a DER unit. Hereafter, the real and reactive powers are expressed in
MW and MVAr, respectively.

4.3.1 Case I: Grid Connection and Islanding

This case study shows the transition of the BCIT microgrid from the islanded mode to
grid-connected mode and from grid-connected mode to islanded mode. The system starts
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 80

from a steady-state condition where the switch island is open, i.e., the BCIT microgrid
is operating in the islanded mode, DER1 and DER2 have been connected to the BCIT
microgrid for a sufficiently long time and collectively supply the aggregate load of the
microgrid. Then, at t = 2s, the switch island is closed to connect the microgrid to BC
Hydro while prior to the closure of island, the BCIT-side voltage of the switch island
has a phase displacement of about 35◦ relative to the BC Hydro-side voltage. This phase
shift is introduced intentionally to subject the DER units to a rather severe disturbance.
Subsequent to connection to BC Hydro, the microgrid operates in the grid-connected mode
for 3 seconds until a new steady-state is achieved. Then, at t = 5s, the switch island is
opened again to isolate the BCIT microgrid from BCHydro. Thus, the microgrid transits
from grid-connected mode to islanded mode at t = 5s. From t = 5s onwards, the microgrid
operates in the islanded mode.
In grid connected mode, the voltage amplitude and frequency setpoints are dictated
by BC Hydro and the DER units generate their nominal real and reactive power. In the
islanded mode, the DER units should also regulate the voltage amplitude and frequency
of the island while making a balance between generation and load. These two different
control modes are realized by the same droop-based control strategy integrated with the
control scheme of each DER unit. Thus, a change in the control mode of the DER units
does not require a change in control strategy or redesign of controls.
Fig. 4.3 shows the phase difference between the BC Hydro-side voltage and BCIT-side
voltage of the switch island for this case study. As Fig. 4.3 shows, the phase difference
becomes zero following the connection to BC Hydro at t = 2s. Fig. 4.4 shows the responses
of real and reactive output powers of DER1 and DER2 to the above mentioned mode tran-
sitions as well as power exchange with BCIT Hydro. As Fig. 4.4 shows, the system stability
is maintained during mode transition despite the severity of the disturbance. Figs. 4.4(a)
and 4.4(b) seems to show the proportional power sharing between DER1 and DER2: the
real power sharing seems to be accurate as the real output power of DER1 is twice that
of DER2 both in the islanded mode and in the grid-connected mode, meeting objective 1.
The reactive output power sharing, however, is not accurate as the reactive output power
of DER1 is about 1.2 times that of DER2. The reason for this inaccuracy is that, in au-
tonomous mode of operation of a microgrid, a voltage difference has to exist between the
DER unit output voltage and the grid voltage at the PCC to allow flow of reactive power
from the DER unit to the grid. This voltage difference is provided by the total impedance
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 81
40

Phase difference
30
20
10
0
Connection to BC Hydro Islanded
−10
2 3 4 5 6
time(s)

Fig. 4.3 Phase angle difference between the BC Hydro-side and BCIT-side
voltage of the switch island in response to the connection of the BCIT mi-
crogrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1.

between the inverter stage of the DER unit and the PCC. Due to this inevitable voltage
difference, reactive power output of DER units would be different from their desired values
resulting in an error in reactive power sharing. This can be explained using an example
shown in Fig. 4.6 which shows reactive power sharing through V–Q droop control for two
DER units. This example is largely based on [66]. In this example, it is desired that the
output reactive power of DER1 an DER2 be Qdes1 and Qdes2 when the microgrid is con-
nected to the grid. Nevertheless, the voltage differences ∆V1 and ∆V2 , provided by the
two impedances connecting DER1 and DER2 to the PCC, cause the actual output reactive
power output of DER1 and DER2, represented by Q1 and Q2 , to be different from Qdes1
and Qdes2 . Since the voltage drops ∆V1 and ∆V2 cannot be measured by the DER units
using local measurements, the corresponding deviation of reactive power output from its
desired value is uncontrollable. The resulting error depends on the value of interconnecting
impedance and droop gain: the larger the interconnecting impedance, the larger the error;
and the larger the reactive power droop gains, the smaller the error. Increased reactive
power droop gain improves the accuracy of reactive power sharing by making the effect of
line voltage drop negligible. This is explained in Fig. 4.6 for two values of reactive droop
gains. It can be seen in the figure that the deviation of reactive power output from its
desired value is smaller for higher values of droop gains, i.e. Q1,h − Qdes1 < Q1 − Qdes1
and Q2,h − Qdes2 < Q2 − Qdes2 . Although increased droop gain improves the accuracy of
reactive power sharing, it has a negative impact on the overall system small-signal stability.
Therefore the reactive droop gain cannot be increased arbitrarily.
Fig. 4.4(c) shows that in grid connected mode, the steady-state power exchange between
the BCIT microgrid and BC Hydro is close to zero corresponding to objective 2 of the droop
control design, Section 4.2.1. Fig. 4.5 shows the response of the real and reactive power
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 82
(a)
(a)

P load CDJ , Q load DCJ


2 0.4
P der1, P der2

1.5
0.3
Connection to BC Hydro Islanded
Connection to BC Hydro Islanded
1
P der1 P load CDJ
P der2 0.2 Q load CDJ

(b)
0.6
(b)

P SS CDJ, Q SS DCJ
0
Q der1, Q der2

0.45 −0.2

−0.4
0.3
Q der1
−0.6 P SS CDJ
Q der2
0.15 Q SS CDJ
−0.8
(c)
P BCHydro, Q BCHydro

(c)
0.5 1.002
V CDJ
0
1
−0.5
P BCHydro 0.998
Q BCHydro
−1 V CDJ
2 3 4 5 6 0.996
2 3 4 5 6
time(s)
time(s)

Fig. 4.4 (a) real and (b) reactive Fig. 4.5 (a) real and reactive power
power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and demand of the load at S/S CDJ, (b)
(c) power exchange with BC Hydro in power exchange between S/S CDJ and
response to the connection of the BCIT the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
microgrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Sec- the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the
tion 4.3.1. corresponding PDC bus in response to
the connection of the BCIT microgrid
to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1.

demand of the load at S/S CDJ, real and reactive power exchange between S/S CDJ and
the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and the voltage of the PDC bus during the mode transition.
As Fig. 4.5(c) shows, the PDC bus voltage become 1 p.u. during grid-connected mode from
t = 2s to t = 5s. Fig. 4.7 shows the response of the real and reactive power demand of
the load at S/S ABG, real and reactive power exchange between S/S ABG and the rest of
the BCIT microgrid, and the voltage of the PDC bus during the mode transition. Fig. 4.8
shows the response of the real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S MTW, real
and reactive power exchange between S/S MTW and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and
the voltage of the PDC bus during the mode transition. A comparison of Figs. 4.5(b)
and 4.8(b) reveals that the disturbance caused by grid connection at t = 2s leads to a
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 83

v∗ High droop gain


Low droop gain
VBCHydro
∆ V1
∆V 2

Q
Q Q Q Qh
Q
des2
Q
des1
h 2, 1,

2 1

Fig. 4.6 Reactive power sharing through V–Q droop control for high and
low values of reactive-power droop gain.

transient change in power exchange between S/S MTW and the rest of microgrid while it
does not affect that of S/S ABG. The reason is due to the presence of a DER unit, i.e.,
DER1, in S/S MTW. Fig. 4.9 shows the response of the real and reactive power demand
of the load at S/S R, real and reactive power exchange between S/S R and the rest of the
BCIT microgrid, and the voltage of the PDC bus during the mode transition. Fig. 4.10
shows the response of the real and reactive power demand of the load at S/S N, real and
reactive power exchange between S/S N and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and the voltage
of the PDC bus during the mode transition. Fig. 4.11 shows the response of DER1 and
DER2 to the mode transition; Fig. 4.11(a) shows the d-axis components of the DER units
output voltage in kV, Fig. 4.11(b) presents the q-axis components of the DER units output
voltage in kV, Fig. 4.11(c) depicts the d-axis components of the DER units output current
in kA, Fig. 4.11(d) shows the q-axis components of the DER units output current in kA,
Fig. 4.11(e) shows the gains of the gain-scheduled decoupling controllers with g11 =g1 der1,
g12 =g2 der1, g21 =-g2 der1, and g22 =g1 der1 for DER1 and g11 =g1 der2, g12 =g2 der2, g21 =-
g2 der2, and g22 =g1 der2 for DER2, and Fig. 4.11(f) presents the frequency of the DER
units output voltage in rad/s. Fig. 4.11(f) shows that the grid connection at t = 2s results
in a temporary frequency drop with the lowest frequency being 300 rad/s. The frequency
is then brought back to its nominal value of 377 rad/s by the frequency regulation scheme
of the DER units. The results shown in Figs. 4.3 to 4.11 tend to show the robustness of
the deployed control strategy against transition of the BCIT microgrid from islanded mode
to grid connected mode and vice versa.
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 84

P load MTW , Q load MTW


(a)
P SS ABG, Q SS ABG P load ABG, Q load ABG

(a)
0.3
0.5

Connection to BC Hydro Connection to BC Hydro Islanded


Islanded 0.4
0.2
P load ABG P load MTW
0.3 Q load MTW
Q load ABG

(b)

P SS MTW, Q SS MTW
(b)
0.3 0

−0.4

0.2 −0.8

P SS ABG −1.2 P SS MTW


Q SS ABG Q SS MTW

(c) (c)
1.002
1.002
1
V MTW
V ABG

1
0.998
0.998
0.996
V ABG V MTW
0.994 0.996
2 3 4 5 6 2 3 4 5 6
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.7 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.8 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b)
power exchange between S/S ABG and power exchange between S/S MTW
the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) and the rest of the BCIT microgrid,
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the and (c) the (per-unit) voltage ampli-
corresponding PDC bus in response to tude at the corresponding PDC bus in
the connection of the BCIT microgrid response to the connection of the BCIT
to BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. microgrid to BC Hydro: Case I, Sec-
tion 4.3.1.

4.3.2 Case II: Load Change During Islanded Operation

This case shows the response of the DER units to a sudden load change during islanded
operation of the BCIT microgrid. The system starts from a steady-state where the BCIT
microgrid has been in the islanded mode, DER1 and DER2 have been connected to the
microgrid for a sufficiently long time and collectively supply the aggregate load. Then, at
t = 4s the load at S/S N suddenly increases by 100% and at t = 6s decreases by 100%
back to its initial value. Results of this case study are presented in Figs. 4.12 to 4.18.
As Fig. 4.12 shows, when the load of S/S N increases, the droop controllers of DER1 and
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 85

(a) (a)
0.3 0.65

P load N, Q load N
P load R, Q load R

0.25
Connection to BC Hydro Islanded Connection to BC Hydro Islanded
0.45
0.2

0.15 P load R P load N


Q load R Q load N
0.25

(b) (b)
0.3 0.65

P SS N, Q SS N
P SS R, Q SS R

0.45
0.2
P SS R P SS N
Q SS R Q SS N
0.25

(c) (c)
1.002 1.002

1 1
VN
VR

0.998
0.998
0.996
0.996 VR VN
0.994
2 3 4 5 6 2 3 4 5 6
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.9 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.10 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power
exchange between S/S R and the rest of exchange between S/S N and the rest of
the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per- the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-
unit) voltage amplitude at the corre- unit) voltage amplitude at the corre-
sponding PDC bus in response to the sponding PDC bus in response to the
connection of the BCIT microgrid to connection of the BCIT microgrid to
BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1. BC Hydro: Case I, Section 4.3.1.

DER2 increase the real and reactive power outputs of the DER units to compensate for the
increased load. Droop control increases the real and reactive output powers by reducing
the frequency and voltage amplitude, respectively. As Figs. 4.18(a) and 4.18(f) show, the
steady-state frequency and voltage amplitude are reduced from 377 rad/s to 376.4 rad/s
(-0.16% change) and from 0.558 kV to 0.552 kV (-1.07% change). The frequency and
voltage amplitude can be restored to their nominal values through a secondary control
mechanism [22, 67] which has not been implemented in this study. As Fig. 4.12(c) shows,
the power exchange with BC Hydro remains zero during load change since the microgrid is
in islanded mode. Figs. 4.13, 4.14, 4.15, 4.16, and 4.17 show the real ad reactive power of
the load at S/S CDJ, S/S ABG, S/S MTW, S/S R, and S/S N, power exchange between
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 86

(a)
vsd1, vsd2 0.6
0.5 vsd1
Connection to BC Hydro Islanded vsd2
0.4
(b)
vsq1, vsq2

0.2
0.1
0 vsq1
−0.1 vsq2
−0.2
−0.3
(c)
iLd1, iLd2

4
2 iLd1
iLd2
0
(d)
iLq1, iLq2

0
−1 iLq1
iLq2
−2

(e)
0.4
g1 der1
g2 der1
g1, g2

0.2
0 g1 der2
−0.2 g2 der2
−0.4
omega, omega2

(f)

400
omega1
350 omega2
300
2 3 4 5 6
time(s)
Fig. 4.11 Response of DER1 and DER2 to the connection of the BCIT
microgrid to BC Hydro showing: (a) d-axis components of the DER units
output voltage (kV), (b) q-axis components of the DER units output voltage
(kV), (c) d-axis components of the DER units output current (kA), (d) q-
axis components of the DER units output current (kA), (e) the gains of the
gain-scheduled decoupling controller, and (f) the frequency of the DER units
output voltage (rad/s), Case I, Section 4.3.1.

the substations and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at
the corresponding PDC bus in response to the load change. Fig. 4.18 shows the outputs of
DER1 and DER2. The results tend to show the robustness of the deployed control strategy
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 87

against a sudden change in microgrid load.


(a)
(a)

P load CDJ , Q load DCJ


2
0.4
P der1, P der2

↑SSN load increased ↑ reduced 0.3 ↑ ↑


SSN load SSN load increased SSN load decreased
1
P der1 P load CDJ
P der2 0.2 Q load CDJ

(b)
0.8
(b)

P SS CDJ, Q SS DCJ
Q der1, Q der2

−0.3
0.7
−0.4
0.6
Q der1 −0.5
Q der2 P SS CDJ
0.5 Q SS CDJ

(c)
P BCHydro, Q BCHydro

0.5
(c)
1.02
0.25
1
V CDJ

0 0.98

−0.25 P BCHydro 0.96


Q BCHydro 0.94
−0.5 V CDJ
4 5 6 7 0.92
time(s) 4 5 6 7
time(s)

Fig. 4.12 (a) real and (b) reactive Fig. 4.13 (a) real and reactive power
power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and demand of the load at S/S CDJ, (b)
(c) power exchange with BC Hydro in power exchange between S/S CDJ and
response to a sudden load change dur- the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
ing islanded operation: Case II, Sec- the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the
tion 4.3.2. corresponding PDC bus in response to
a sudden load change during islanded
operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2.

4.3.3 Case III: Addition of a DER Unit During Islanded Mode

This case shows the response of the DER units to the connection of a new DER unit during
islanded operation of the BCIT microgrid. The system starts from a steady-state where
the BCIT microgrid has been in the islanded mode, DER1 and DER2 have been connected
to the microgrid for a sufficiently long time and collectively supply the aggregate load.
Then, at t = 2s a new DER unit represented by DER3 gets connected to S/S N of the
microgrid. The results of this case study are presented in Figs. 4.19 to 4.25. As Fig. 4.19
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 88

P load MTW , Q load MTW


(a)
P SS ABG, Q SS ABG P load ABG, Q load ABG

(a)
0.6
0.3

↑ ↑ 0.5
↑ ↑
SSN load increased SSN load decreased SSN load increased SSN load decreased
0.2 0.4

P load ABG P load MTW


Q load ABG 0.3 Q load MTW

(b)

P SS MTW, Q SS MTW
(b)
−0.25
0.3
−0.5

−0.75
0.2
−1
P SS ABG P SS MTW
Q SS ABG Q SS MTW
−1.25

(c) (c)
1.02
1 1
V MTW
V ABG

0.975 0.98
0.96
0.95
0.94 V MTW
V ABG
0.925 4 5 6 7
4 5 6 7
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.14 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.15 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b)
power exchange between S/S ABG and power exchange between S/S MTW
the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) and the rest of the BCIT microgrid,
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the and (c) the (per-unit) voltage ampli-
corresponding PDC bus in response to tude at the corresponding PDC bus in
a sudden load change during islanded response to a sudden load change dur-
operation: Case II, Section 4.3.2. ing islanded operation: Case II, Sec-
tion 4.3.2.

shows, subsequent to the connection of DER3 at t = 2s, DER1 and DER2 decrease their
real and reactive output power in order to share the aggregate load with DER3. The
aggregate generation of DER units after the connection of DER3 is similar to that prior to
the connection since the load has not changed. The droop controller of DER1 and DER2
decreases the real and reactive output powers of these units by increasing the frequency and
voltage amplitude, respectively. The output real and reactive power of DER3 is increased
by decreasing the the frequency and output voltage amplitude. Fig. 4.19(a) shows, the
output real power of DER1 is twice that of DER2 and DER3, and therefore, proportional
real power sharing is achieved. Reactive power sharing, however, is not accurate as evident
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 89

(a) (a)

P load N, Q load N
P load R, Q load R

0.3
1
0.25
↑ ↑ 0.75
0.2 SSN load increased SSN load decreased
0.5 P load N
P load R
0.15 Q load R Q load N
0.25

(b) (b)
0.3

P SS N, Q SS N
P SS R, Q SS R

0.75
0.2
0.5 P SS N
P SS R
Q SS R Q SS N
0.25

(c) (c)

1 1
VN
VR

0.975 0.975

0.95 0.95

0.925 VR 0.925 VN
4 5 6 7 4 5 6 7
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.16 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.17 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power
exchange between S/S R and the rest of exchange between S/S N and the rest of
the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per- the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-
unit) voltage amplitude at the corre- unit) voltage amplitude at the corre-
sponding PDC bus in response to a sponding PDC bus in response to a
sudden load change during islanded op- sudden load change during islanded op-
eration: Case II, Section 4.3.2. eration: Case II, Section 4.3.2.

from Fig. 4.19(b), as explained in Section 4.3.1. Figs. 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.24 show
the real ad reactive power of the load at S/S CDJ, S/S ABG, S/S MTW, S/S R, and S/S
N, power exchange between the substations and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and the
(per-unit) voltage amplitude at the corresponding PDC bus in response to the connection
of DER3. Fig. 4.25 shows the outputs of DER1 and DER2. Fig. 4.20(c) shows that the
addition of DER3 results in 4% increase in the amplitude of the PCC bus voltage; the
voltage amplitude can be restored to its nominal values by employing a secondary control
mechanism which has not been implemented in this study. The results tend to show the
robustness of the deployed control strategy against connection of a new DER unit.
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 90

(a)
vsd1, vsd2 0.7
0.6
0.5 vsd1
vsd2
0.4
(b)
vsq1, vsq2

0.1
0 vsq1
−0.1 vsq2

(c)
iLd1, iLd2

2
iLd1
1 iLd2

(d)
iLq1, iLq2

0
iLq1
−1 iLq2
−2
(e)
0.4
g1 der1
g2 der1
g1, g2

0.2
0 g1 der2
−0.2 g2 der2
−0.4
omega, omega2

(f)
380
378
376 omega1
374 omega2
372
4 5 6 7
time(s)
Fig. 4.18 Response of DER1 and DER2 to a sudden load change during
islanded operation showing: (a) d-axis components of the DER units output
voltage (kV), (b) q-axis components of the DER units output voltage (kV), (c)
d-axis components of the DER units output current (kA), (d) q-axis compo-
nents of the DER units output current (kA), (e) the gains of the gain-scheduled
decoupling controller, and (f) the frequency of the DER units output voltage
(rad/s), Case II, Section 4.3.2.

This case study shows another feature of the deployed control strategy which is to
enable plug-and-play capability for the DER units. That is to say, under the deployed
control strategy, a DER unit can be placed at any location in the microgrid without re-
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 91

engineering the controls [68].


(a) (a)

P load CDJ , Q load DCJ


P der1, P der2, P der3

0.4
1.5
↑ER3 connected
D ↑
1 DER3 connected
0.3
0.5
P der1
P der2 0.2 P load CDJ
0 P der3 Q load CDJ

(b) (b)
Q der1, Q der2, Q der3

P SS CDJ, Q SS DCJ
0.6

0.4 −0.2

0.2 Q der1 −0.3


Q der2 P SS CDJ
0 Q der3 Q SS CDJ
−0.4

(c) (c)
P BCHydro, Q BCHydro

0.5 1.06

0.25 1.04
V CDJ

0
1.02
−0.25 P BCHydro
Q BCHydro 1 V CDJ
−0.5
2 2.5 3 3.5 4 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.19 (a) real and (b) reactive Fig. 4.20 Real and reactive power
power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and demand of the load at S/S CDJ, power
(c) power exchange with BC Hydro in exchange between S/S CDJ and the
response to the connection of DER3 to rest of the BCIT microgrid, and the
S/S N during islanded operation: Case (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the cor-
III, Section 4.3.3. responding PDC bus in response to
the connection of DER3 to S/S N dur-
ing islanded operation: Case III, Sec-
tion 4.3.3.

4.3.4 Case IV: Change in Network Topology

This case shows the response of the DER units to the disconnection of S/S CDJ incorpo-
rating DER2 from the rest of microgrid during islanded operation of the BCIT microgrid.
The system starts from a steady-state where the BCIT microgrid has been in the islanded
mode, DER1, DER2, and DER3 have been connected to their respective subnetworks for
a sufficiently long time. Then, at t = 4s S/S CDJ gets disconnected from the rest of mi-
crogrid. Thus, from t = 4s onwards, DER3 supplies the load at S/S CDJ while DER1 and
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 92
P SS ABG, Q SS ABG P load ABG, Q load ABG

P load MTW , Q load MTW


(a) (a)
0.3 0.6

DER3 connected ↑
0.5
DER3 connected
0.2 0.4
P load ABG P load MTW
Q load ABG 0.3 Q load MTW

(b) (b)

P SS MTW, Q SS MTW
0.3
−0.25

−0.5
0.2
P SS ABG −0.75 P SS MTW
Q SS ABG Q SS MTW
−1

(c) (c)
1.06 1.06

1.04 1.04
V ABG

V MTW

1.02 1.02

1 V ABG 1 V MTW
2 2.5 3 3.5 4 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.21 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.22 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b)
power exchange between S/S ABG and power exchange between S/S MTW
the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) and the rest of the BCIT microgrid,
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the and (c) the (per-unit) voltage ampli-
corresponding PDC bus in response to tude at the corresponding PDC bus in
the connection of DER3 to S/S N dur- response to the connection of DER3 to
ing islanded operation: Case III, Sec- S/S N during islanded operation: Case
tion 4.3.3. III, Section 4.3.3.

DER3 collectively supply the load of the rest of microgrid. The results of this case study
are presented in Figs. 4.26 to 4.32. As Fig. 4.26 shows, subsequent to the disconnection of
S/S CDJ at t = 4s, DER2 reduces its real and reactive output power to match the load
of S/S CDJ. DER1 and DER3 increase their real and reactive output power in order to
compensate for the loss of DER3 and decreased load due to disconnection of S/S CDJ.
Since the microgrid is operating in the islanded mode, the power exchange with BC Hydro
remains zero. Figs. 4.27, 4.28, 4.29, 4.30, and 4.31 show the real ad reactive power of the
load at S/S CDJ, S/S ABG, S/S MTW, S/S R, and S/S N, power exchange between the
substations and the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 93

(a) (a)
0.7

P load N, Q load N
P load R, Q load R

0.3
0.6
0.25 ↑ 0.5 ↑
DER3 connected DER3 connected
0.2 0.4
P load R P load N
0.15 Q load R 0.3 Q load N

(b) (b)
0.3

P SS N, Q SS N
P SS R, Q SS R

0.6

0.4
0.2
0.2
P SS R P SS N
Q SS R 0 Q SS N

(c) (c)
1.06 1.06

1.04 1.04
VN
VR

1.02 1.02

1 VR 1 VN
2 2.5 3 3.5 4 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.23 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.24 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power
exchange between S/S R and the rest of exchange between S/S N and the rest of
the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per- the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-
unit) voltage amplitude at the corre- unit) voltage amplitude at the corre-
sponding PDC bus in response to the sponding PDC bus in response to the
connection of DER3 to S/S N dur- connection of DER3 to S/S N dur-
ing islanded operation: Case III, Sec- ing islanded operation: Case III, Sec-
tion 4.3.3. tion 4.3.3.

the corresponding PDC bus in response to the disconnection of S/S CDJ. Fig. 4.32 shows
the outputs of DER1 and DER2. The results tend to show the robustness of the deployed
control strategy against a change in network topology.

4.4 Conclusion

This chapter has shown the feasibility of implementation of the gain-scheduled decoupling
control strategy of Chapter 2 in the BCIT microgrid. The robustness of the deployed con-
trol strategy has been shown in grid-connected and islanding modes of operation of the
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 94

(a)
vsd1, vsd2 0.7
0.6
0.5 vsd1
vsd2
0.4
(b)
vsq1, vsq2

0.1
0 vsq1
−0.1 vsq2

(c)
iLd1, iLd2

2
1 iLd1
0 iLd2

(d)
iLq1, iLq2

0
iLq1
−1 iLq2
−2
(e)
0.4
g1 der1
g2 der1
g1, g2

0.2
0 g1 der2
−0.2 g2 der2
−0.4
omega, omega2

(f)

380
omega1
375 omega2
370
2 2.5 3 3.5 4
time(s)
Fig. 4.25 Response of DER1 and DER2 to the connection of DER3 to S/S
N during islanded operation showing: (a) d-axis components of the DER units
output voltage (kV), (b) q-axis components of the DER units output voltage
(kV), (c) d-axis components of the DER units output current (kA), (d) q-
axis components of the DER units output current (kA), (e) the gains of the
gain-scheduled decoupling controller, and (f) the frequency of the DER units
output voltage (rad/s), Case III, Section 4.3.3.

BCIT microgrid as well as in transition between the two modes. It has been shown that
the deployed control strategy does not impact the steady-state characteristics of the con-
ventional droop mechanism and, hence, preserves the steady-state power sharing amongst
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 95
(a)
(a)
P der1, P der2, P der3

P load CDJ , Q load DCJ


1.1 0.4

0.9 ↑
0.7
S/S CDJ disconnected 0.3 ↑
S/S CDJ disconnected
P der1
0.5 P der2
P der3 0.2 P load CDJ
0.3 Q load CDJ

(b)
Q der1, Q der2, Q der3

0.5
(b)

P SS CDJ, Q SS DCJ
0
0.4
−0.04
0.3 −0.08
Q der1
Q der2 −0.12
0.2 Q der3 P SS CDJ
−0.16 Q SS CDJ

(c)
P BCHydro, Q BCHydro

(c)
0.5
1.08
0.25
V CDJ 1.07
0
1.06
−0.25 P BCHydro 1.05
Q BCHydro
−0.5 V CDJ
4 5 6 7 1.04
4 5 6 7
time(s)
time(s)

Fig. 4.26 (a) real and (b) reactive Fig. 4.27 (a) real and reactive power
power outputs of DER1 and DER2 and demand of the load at S/S CDJ, (b)
(c) power exchange with BC Hydro in power exchange between S/S CDJ and
response to the disconnection of S/S the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c)
CDJ from the rest of microgrid dur- the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the
ing islanded operation: Case IV, Sec- corresponding PDC bus in response to
tion 4.3.4. the disconnection of S/S CDJ from the
rest of microgrid during islanded oper-
ation: Case IV, Section 4.3.4.

the DER units and the voltage amplitude/frequency regulation of the conventional droop
mechanism. The DER units are operated in droop mode both during the grid-connected
mode and during the islanded mode of microgrid operation. Thus, transition of the micro-
grid from one mode of operation to the other does not require mode transition of the DER
units which improves seamlessness. An advantage of the deployed control strategy is that
it is a decentralized control scheme; therefore, it obviates the need for communication be-
tween DER units and hence reduces the cost of implementation and increases the reliability
of operation of the microgrid. Further, the deployed control strategy enables plug-and-play
and therefore enables autonomous control for each component of the microgrid. Simulation
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 96

P load MTW , Q load MTW


(a)
P SS ABG, Q SS ABG P load ABG, Q load ABG

(a)
0.6
0.3


S/S CDJ disconnected
0.5

S/S CDJ disconnected
0.2 0.4

P load ABG P load MTW


0.3 Q load MTW
Q load ABG

(b)

P SS MTW, Q SS MTW
(b)
0
0.3
−0.2

−0.4
0.2
P SS ABG P SS MTW
−0.6 Q SS MTW
Q SS ABG

(c) (c)

1.04 V MTW 1.04


V ABG

1.03 1.03

1.02 V ABG 1.02 V MTW


4 5 6 7 4 5 6 7
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.28 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.29 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S ABG, (b) demand of the load at S/S MTW, (b)
power exchange between S/S ABG and power exchange between S/S MTW
the rest of the BCIT microgrid, and (c) and the rest of the BCIT microgrid,
the (per-unit) voltage amplitude at the and (c) the (per-unit) voltage ampli-
corresponding PDC bus in response to tude at the corresponding PDC bus in
the disconnection of S/S CDJ from the response to the disconnection of S/S
rest of microgrid during islanded oper- CDJ from the rest of microgrid dur-
ation: Case IV, Section 4.3.4. ing islanded operation: Case IV, Sec-
tion 4.3.4.

results seem to show the robustness of the deployed control strategy against mode transi-
tion of the BCIT, a sudden load change during islanded mode, addition or loss of a DER
unit during islanded mode, and a change in network topology.
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 97

(a) (a)
0.3

P load N, Q load N
P load R, Q load R

0.6

0.25
↑ S/S CDJ disconnected
S/S CDJ disconnected
0.2
0.4
0.15 P load R P load N
Q load R Q load N
0.1

(b) (b)
0.3
P SS N, Q SS N
0.1
P SS R, Q SS R

0.05

0.2 0

P SS R −0.05 P SS N
Q SS R Q SS N
−0.1

(c) (c)

1.04 1.04
VN
VR

1.03 1.03

1.02 VR 1.02 VN
4 5 6 7 4 5 6 7
time(s) time(s)

Fig. 4.30 (a) real and reactive power Fig. 4.31 (a) real and reactive power
demand of the load at S/S R, (b) power demand of the load at S/S N, (b) power
exchange between S/S R and the rest of exchange between S/S N and the rest of
the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per- the BCIT microgrid, and (c) the (per-
unit) voltage amplitude at the corre- unit) voltage amplitude at the corre-
sponding PDC bus in response to the sponding PDC bus in response to the
disconnection of S/S CDJ from the rest disconnection of S/S CDJ from the rest
of microgrid during islanded operation: of microgrid during islanded operation:
Case IV, Section 4.3.4. Case IV, Section 4.3.4.
4 Implementation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Controller in the BCIT
Microgrid 98

(a)
vsd1, vsd2

0.7
0.6
vsd1
0.5 ↑/S CDJ disconnected
S vsd2
0.4
(b)
vsq1, vsq2

0.1
0 vsq1
−0.1 vsq2

(c)
iLd1, iLd2

1.5
1 iLd1
0.5
iLd2

(d)
iLq1, iLq2

0
−0.5 iLq1
iLq2
−1
(e)
0.4
g1 der1
g2 der1
g1, g2

0.2 g1 der2
0 g2 der2
−0.2
omega, omega2

(f)
382
380
378 omega1
376 omega2
374
4 5 6 7
time(s)

Fig. 4.32 Response of DER1 and DER2 to the disconnection of S/S CDJ
from the rest of microgrid during islanded operation showing: (a) d-axis com-
ponents of the DER units output voltage (kV), (b) q-axis components of the
DER units output voltage (kV), (c) d-axis components of the DER units out-
put current (kA), (d) q-axis components of the DER units output current
(kA), (e) the gains of the gain-scheduled decoupling controller, and (f) the
frequency of the DER units output voltage (rad/s), Case IV, Section 4.3.4.
99

Chapter 5

Experimental Validation of the


Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control

This chapter shows the feasibility of hardware implementation of the proposed gain-scheduled
decoupling control strategy of Chapter 2 and validates the performance against real-life
implementation issues. Since the author did not have access to a real-life microgrid to
implement the control in, it was decided that the control be tested in a different, real-
time environment. To that end, the gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy has been
implemented in OPAL-RT1 real-time simulation environment. This chapter has two main
objectives: first, to provide cross-examination of the results of Chapter 2 (obtained in
PSCAD/EMTDC software) by comparing them to those obtained in the OPAL-RT envi-
ronment; and second, to check whether the proposed gain-scheduled control exhibits the
same superior transient performance compared to conventional droop control in a real-time
environment. To that end, the case studies of Chapter 2 have been reproduced in OPAL-
RT using an equivalent MATLAB/Simulink model of the test system of Chapter 2; the
MATLAB/Simulink models are to be run in the OPAL-RT environment.
To get around the limitations on time-step in OPAL-RT simulations, this chapter uses
an average model of DER units which neglects the effect of switching frequency of VSCs.
This means that, basically, this chapter is using a real-time simulation software with less
1
OPAL-RT is a PC/FPGA-based real-time digital simulator with hardware-in-the-loop capability; it
provides a range of real-time digital simulators and control prototyping systems for power grids, power
electronics, and motor drives. These real-time systems can be used to perform feasibility studies and
design and testing of controllers for a variety of applications such as small-power converters and renewable
energy systems.

2015/08/03
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 100

details to verify the results obtained from an off-line simulation software with more details.
Even though real-time model has less details, what real-time simulation add to this thesis is
that they ensure that there are no hardware implementation issues such as communication
delays between modules that do not manifest themselves in off-line simulations that will
degrade the performance of the controller in real-life.

5.1 MATLAB/Simulink Model Development

The OPAL real-time multiprocessing system is operated by RT-LAB software; RT-LAB


is a distributed real-time platform which takes the user from MATLAB/Simulink or MA-
TRIXx/SystemBuild dynamic models to real-time with hardware-in-the-loop. In this the-
sis, MATLAB/Simulink was used to implement the controls and develop dynamic models
of the test system to be executed by RT-LAB. These MATLAB/Simulink models are used
by RT-LAB to define models that will be executed by the real-time multiprocessing system
and define its own simulation parameters through Simulink’s. The Simulink models are
developed using SimPowerSystem blockset and the ARTEMiS2 add-on.
In this chapter, a fixed time step of 20 µs is chosen for real-time simulations. The
selection of the time step for a real-time simulation has to be done with care. As rule of
thumb, it is recommended that the simulation sampling frequency (the inverse of simulation
time step) be larger of the following two: 20 times the maximum frequency of transients
or harmonics of interest; or 50 to 100 times the PWM carrier frequency [69]. In the test
system of Chapter 2, the frequency of the transients being studied is less than 1 kHz and the
PWM carrier frequency is 6.480 kHz. With the latter being the larger one, the simulation
frequency for such a system has to be at least 324 kHz, corresponding to a time step of 3
µs. In practice, it has been reported [70] that the simulation time step should be around
0.25% to 0.5% of the PWM carrier period. This means that for a DER unit switched at
2
Advanced Real-Time Electromechanical Simulator (ARTEMiS) is a plug-in to the SimPowerSystems
blockset for Simulink that enables hard real-time simulation of SimPowerSystem models. A hard real-time
simulation is different from a normal off-line simulation in the sense that the objective of a hard real-time
simulator is that all iterations of the model be completed in a prescribed amount of time in each step.
While in a normal simulation, the objective is to have the smallest total simulation time, in a hard real-
time simulation, the objective is to have the smaller maximum time step. Another objective of a real-time
simulation is to ensure a certain level of accuracy. This could be a problem in real-time simulations since,
unlike typical variable-step solvers, there are no built-in accuracy check within the solver. ARTEMiS help
reach the above mentioned objectives of real-time simulation.
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 101

6.480 kHz, a step time of smaller than 1 µs should be used; this is above the capability
of a high-end real-time simulator based on commercial processors3 [69]. To avoid the need
for such a very small step time, in the real-time simulations of this chapter, it is assumed
that the switching is ideal by modeling the VSCs as three dependent voltage sources, one
per phase, whose control signals are determined from a dq to abc frame transformation
block. The d- and q-axis components of the VSC voltage are dynamically determined by
the control scheme of the VSC, as described in Section 1.2.5. Since such a representation
of the VSC does not include power electronic switches or PWM scheme, the need for very
low time steps is obviated. Based on the above mentioned rule of thumb, the use of a
time step of 20 µs for real-time simulations allows for study of transients occurring at a
frequency less than 2.5 kHz (time range of more than 400 µs). This should be sufficient for
the transients studied in Chapter 2 as they are in the order of several milliseconds.
A model of the test system of Fig. 2.1 has been implemented in MATLAB/Simulink.
The model of the DER units includes signal transformation blocks, PLLs, current control
schemes, voltage amplitude and frequency regulation schemes, power calculation blocks,
droop mechanisms, and the proposed gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy. The con-
trol is implemented in discrete-time domain. The power circuit of the DER units are similar
to that of DER units of the PSCAD model of Chapter 2. The model of the test active dis-
tribution network is similar to that of Fig. 2.1, except that the system loads are represented
by their RL equivalent and system tie lines represented by a single PI section. The values
of network parameters as well as control and power circuit parameters of the DER units
are identical to those of the PSCAD model of Chapter 2. The real-time simulations have
been carried out assuming two DER units: DER1 energizing Sub-Network1; and DER2
energizing Sub-Network2. Fig. 5.1 shows a screenshot of the MATLAB/Simulink model
used in the real-time simulations.

5.2 Real-time Testing of the MATLAB/Simulink Model

The OPAL-RT simulation results are reliant on the MATLAB/Simulink models. Thus,
it is essential to ensure that the MATLAB/Simulink representations of the power system
under study is reasonable and trustworthy. To this end, the data generated by the MAT-
3
It should be mentioned that using an FPGA processor, such a low time step can be achieved at the
expense of increased complexity in model implementation [71].
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 102

Fig. 5.1 Screenshot of the MATLAB/Simulink model of the test system of


Fig. 2.1 used for real-time simulations.
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 103

LAB/Simulink model is tested against data from the PSCAD model. If the two models
generate the same results, then they can be considered trustworthy. This section focuses
on the all-important testing of the model of the DER units and their controls, as well as
the test active distribution network under study. The time step of the MATLAB/Simulink
model run by RT-LAB is 20 µs, whereas the time step of the PSCAD model is 6.7096 µs.

5.2.1 MATLAB/Simulink Model of a DER Unit

The MATLAB/Simulink model of DER1 has been tested against its PSCAD model by
studying the response of DER1 in the two models to a step change in its local load. Thus,
while disconnected from Sub-Network1, DER1 is connected to a local PQ load of 1.875
MW/0.25 MVar until a steady-state is achieved. Then, at t =1.35s, the real and reactive
power demand of the PQ load are increased by 50% and the response of DER1 to this dis-
turbance is studied in the MATLAB/Simulink environment and in PSCAD. A comparison
between the voltages and real and reactive powers produced by the MATLAB/Simulink
model and those produced by the PSCAD model is shown in Figs. 5.2(a) and 5.2(b) where
solid lines mark data from MATLAB/Simulink model and dashed line show data from
PSCAD model. It should be mentioned that the results from MATLAB/Simulink and
OPAL have been found to be exactly the same, hence in Fig. 5.2 the legend OPAL is
used to mark MATLAB/Simulink results. Figs. 5.2(a) and 5.2(b) show that the MAT-
LAB/Simulink results match those of PSCAD; the sudden load increase at t =1.35s results
in a transient drop in vd and vq in both models; the measurements show that the lowest val-
ues of vd and vq recorded from the MATLAB/Simulink model match those of the PSCAD
model with 90% and 98% accuracy, respectively. The load increase results in an increase
in the real- and reactive-power outputs of the DER unit; P1 and Q1 from both models
exhibit a first order transient response. The settling time of the transient response of the
MATLAB model matches that of the PSCAD model by about 67% accuracy. Study of the
rest of test results, including the output currents, the frequency, and control signals of the
DER unit, also shows acceptable similarity between the two sets of results; these results
are not presented here. Results shown in Fig. 5.2 seem to validate the MATLAB/Simulink
model and suggest that the predictions of the model are trustworthy.
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 104

OPAL
0.5 vd
vOPAL
q
0.4 PSCAD
vd

vd, vq (V) 0.3 vPSCAD


q
Distrubance at t = 1.35 s
0.2

0.1

1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8


time (s)

(a)
3
PPSCAD
2.5 POPAL
QOPAL
P, Q (MW, MVar)

2 QPSCAD

1.5

0.5

0
1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8
time (s)

(b)

Fig. 5.2 Comparison of the MATLAB/Simulink and PSCAD models of


DER1: Response of DER1 to an increase in its local load showing data from
the MATLAB/Simulink model (solid line) and data from the PSCAD model
(dashed line): (a) d- and q-axis components of the output voltage of DER1 and,
(b) real- and reactive-power output of DER1, simulation test of Section 5.2.1.

5.2.2 MATLAB/Simulink Model of the Test Active Distribution Network

This section tests the MATLAB/Simulink model of the test system of Fig. 2.1 against
the PSCAD model by studying the response of the two models to a disturbance. The
test scenario of this section is based on that of Section 2.5.2, Scenario B, which studies
the response of the DER units to the interconnection of Sub-Network1 and Sub-Network2
under conventional droop-based control. The simulation results of Section 2.5.2, Scenario
B, showed that the interconnection of the two subnetworks results in an instability if the
conventional droop-based control is employed. The case study of this section investigates
whether or not the same instability occurs in the MATLAB/Simulink model. Such a
study investigates whether what was interpreted as instability in the simulation tests of
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 105

Chapter 2 is indeed an actual instability or an artifact resulting from poor selection of


simulation parameters.
In this case study, it is assumed that the test system is initially in a steady-state
where S4, S5, and S6 are open, DER1 and DER2 have been on for a sufficiently long
time, and S1 and S2 are closed. Thus, the active distribution network is in the islanded
mode, the two subnetworks are disconnected, Sub-Network1 is energized by DER1, and
Sub-Network2 is energized by DER2. At t = 5s, S6 is closed while, prior to the closure, a
phase angle difference of 30◦ exists between the voltages of Bus8 and Bus14. Fig. 5.3 shows
the response in the MATLAB/Simulink environment (solid line) and that in the PSCAD
environment (dashed line). As Fig. 5.3 shows, the closure of S6 leads to an instability in
both simulation environments. Further, the frequency of oscillations of the unstable system
is 34 Hz in the MATLAB/Simulink model which is close to the frequency of oscillations of
38 Hz in the PSCAD model. Moreover, the new settling values of real- and reactive-power
output of DER1 seem to be similar in the two simulation environments. In addition to
above similarities, the two models seem to exhibit the same unstable behavior in terms of
increase in amplitude of oscillations; in both models, the amplitude of oscillations increases
up to a certain value at which point the system seems to fall into a limit cycle. There
is, however, a discrepancy between the amplitude of oscillations of the unstable system
for the two simulation environments, with the MATLAB/Simulink model producing larger
oscillations. Fig. 5.3 can be considered a good validation of the MATLAB/Simulink model
of the test system. Further, it confirms that that the instabilities observed in Chapter 2
do not seem to be an artifact resulting from poor selection of simulation parameters.
Having tested the developed MATLAB/Simulink model against the PSCAD model, in
the next section, the MATLAB/Simulink model is used to reproduce a number of case
studies of Chapter 6 in the OPAL real-time environment.

5.3 Real-time Simulations

To validate the performance of the proposed control strategy against real-life implementa-
tion issues, this section present two case studies, comparing the performance of the proposed
control against that of the conventional droop-based control in OPAL-RT environment; the
conventional control strategy is invoked by setting δvod = δvoq = 0 in the proposed control
algorithm of the host DER unit. Two case studies are presented, Case I and Case II. Case
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 106

(a)
6

disturbance
P1 (MW)

fpscad = 38 Hz

fopal = 34 Hz PSCAD
OPAL
2

(b)
Q1 (MVar)

2 PSCAD
OPAL
5 5.25 5.5 5.75
time(s)

Fig. 5.3 Comparison of the MATLAB/Simulink (OPAL) and PSCAD mod-


els of the test system of Fig. 2.1: Response of DER1 to the interconnection of
Sub-Network1 and Sub-Network2 under the conventional droop-based control
showing data from the MATLAB/Simulink model (OPAL–solid line) and data
from the PSCAD model (dashed line), case study of Section 5.2.2.

I presents a test scenario which is based on Case 2, Scenario B, Chapter 2, studying the
effectiveness of the proposed control in maintaining the stability despite an increase in real-
and reactive-power outputs of the DER units. Case II presents a study based on that of
Case 3, Chapter 2, studying the performance of the proposed control strategy in maintain-
ing stability despite a change in load dynamics. The simulation tests of this section are
conducted on the MATLAB/Simulink model of the test system described in Section 5.1.
The models of the DER units include signal transformation blocks, PLLs, current-control
schemes, voltage amplitude and frequency regulation schemes, power calculation blocks,
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 107

droop mechanisms, and the proposed gain-scheduled decoupling control. The gains g11 ,
g12 , g21 , and g22 of the proposed control scheme are calculated online with an update rate
of 140 µs (equal to 7×simulation time-step). The parameters of the DER units are similar
to those of Table A.1.

5.3.1 Case I: Change in Network Topology

This case study presents a test scenario based on that of Case 2, Scenario B, Chapter 2
which studies the effectiveness of the proposed control in maintaining the stability despite
an increase in real- and reactive-power outputs of the DER units. In this case, it is assumed
that the network is initially in a steady-state where S4, S5, and S6 are open, DER1 and
DER2 have been on for a sufficiently long time, and S1, S2, and S3 are closed. Thus, the
active distribution network is in the islanded mode, the two subnetworks are disconnected,
Sub-Network 1 is energized by DER1 and Sub-Network 2 is energized by DER2. Similar
to Case 2, Scenario B, Chapter 2, the pre-disturbance aggregate loads of Sub-Network1
and Sub-Network2 are increased with respect to their nominal values. At t = 5s, S6
is closed while, prior to the closure, a phase angle difference of 30◦ exists between the
voltages of Bus8 and Bus14. Fig. 5.4 demonstrates the system real-time response under
the conventional (solid line) and the proposed (dashed line) droop-based control strategies.
As Fig. 5.4 shows, the closure of S6 leads to an instability if the conventional droop-based
control is employed; however, the stability is maintained under the proposed control, and
the response is smooth and well damped. The results shown in Fig. 5.4 seem to show that
the proposed gain scheduled controller exhibits the same stabilizing behavior in a real-time
simulation environment.

5.3.2 Case II: Change in Load Dynamics

This case study presents a test scenario based on that of Case 3, Chapter 2, studying the
performance of the proposed control strategy in maintaining stability under a change in
load dynamics. In this case, it is assumed that the active distribution network is initially in
a steady-state where S4 and S5 are open, DER1 and DER2 have been on for a sufficiently
long time, and S1, S2, S3, and S6 are closed. Thus, the active distribution network is in the
islanded mode, the two subnetworks are interconnected, and DER1 and DER2 collectively
energize the aggregate load of Sub-Network 1 and Sub-Network 2. In addition to the
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 108

6
S6 closed

P1 ,Q1 (MW,MVar)
4
P1,conv
Q1,conv
P1,prop
2 Q1,prop

5 5.5 6 6.5
time(s)

Fig. 5.4 Real-time response of DER1 to interconnection of Sub-network1


and Sub-Network2 in the OPAL-RT environment under the conventional
droop-based control (solid line) and under the proposed control strategy
(dashed line): real-time simulation study of Case I, Section 5.3.1, change in
network topology.

existing loads from the previous case study, an asynchronous machine is connected to Bus6
of Sub-Network1. The asynchronous machine is initially run by a mechanical torque of
close to zero at angular speed close to 377 rad/s until a steady-state is achieved. Then,
at t = 6s, the mechanical torque is stepped down to -0.5 per-unit; a circuit breaker and a
voltage-matching transformer (neither shown in Fig. 5.1) enable the connection. Fig. 5.5
shows that under the conventional control, the step change in the mechanical torque of
the asynchronous machine results in oscillations and instability. Nevertheless, under the
proposed control, the system stability is maintained. The results shown in Fig. 5.5 seem to
show that the proposed gain scheduled controller exhibits the same stabilizing behavior in
a real-time simulation environment.
The results of Figs. 5.4 and 5.5 can be considered as good evidence to the feasibility
of hardware implementation of the proposed control strategy and its effective performance
against real-life implementation issues.

5.4 Chapter Summary

By implementing the proposed gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy of Chapter 2 in


OPAL-RT environment, this chapter has shown the feasibility of hardware implementation
of the proposed control strategy and validated its performance against real-life implemen-
5 Experimental Validation of the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control 109

Load connected
4

P1 ,Q1 (MW,MVar)

P1,conv
2 Q1,conv
P1,prop
Q1,prop

6 6.5 7 7.5
time(s)

Fig. 5.5 Real-time response of DER1 in the OPAL-RT environment to a


step-wise increase in the mechanical torque of an asynchronous machine con-
nected to Sub-network1 under the conventional droop-based control (solid line)
and under the proposed control strategy (dashed line): real-time simulation
study of Case II, Section 5.3.2, change in load dynamics.

tation issues. First, a model of the active distribution network of Chapter 2 is developed
in MATLAB/Simulink to be run in the OPAL-RT environment. The MATLAB/Simulink
model is used to cross-examine the results obtained from the PSCAD model of Chap-
ter 2. Simulation results seem to show that the two models largely match, and, thus, can
be considered reasonably accurate. Furthermore, this chapter has compared the perfor-
mance of the proposed controller against that of the conventional droop control in the
real-time simulation environment to demonstrate that the proposed control enhances tran-
sient performance and stability in the new simulation environment. To that end, the
MATLAB/Simulink model has been run in OPAL-RT environment to reproduce two case
studies of Chapter 2, namely Cases 2B and 3, studying the effectiveness of the proposed
control in maintaining the stability despite an increase in real and reactive power outputs
of the DER units and the performance of the proposed control strategy in maintaining
stability under a change in load dynamics. In both case studies, the real-time performance
of the proposed control strategy was proved to be superior to that of the conventional
droop-based control.
110

Chapter 6

A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal


Stability Analysis of an
Interconnected Distribution Energy
Resource Unit and Load

This chapter proposes a frequency-response method of stability analysis to assess the small-
signal stability of an islanded microgrid. Control of a microgrid must ensure small-signal
stability due to small changes in operating conditions or load perturbations. It is known
that in a power system, in general, loads can dynamically interact with generation dynam-
ics [13, 14]. In an islanded microgrid, in particular, dynamic interactions between loads
and generators are more strongly pronounced [62] and can adversely affect the small-signal
stability of the network [10,11,15,21]. Reference [11] has reported small-signal instabilities
due to interactions between dynamics of a DER unit and an induction machine. Refer-
ences [10, 15] have reported examples of small-signal instabilities due to the interactions
between the dynamics of a DER unit and an electronically-interfaced load. Further, ref-
erence [16] has studied the influence of induction machines on small-signal stability in
generic microgrids fed by inverter-based DER units. The reason for the above mentioned
dynamic interaction in an islanded microgrid is that Distributed Energy Resource (DER)
units energizing a microgrid are usually of electronically-interfaced type and, thus, have no
inherent rotational inertia. Consequently, in an islanded microgrid, a DER unit responds

2015/08/03
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 111

to the disturbances with a speed more or less similar to that of the loads. Thus, both the
steady-state and dynamic values of the DER unit power outputs depend on the loads. By
contrast, in a large power system energized by synchronous machines, the frequency is de-
termined by the shaft speed of the synchronous machines which is subject to a large inertia;
the electrical dynamics are largely decoupled from the mechanical dynamics. Since load
dynamics may influence the small-signal stability of an islanded microgrid, it is essential
to study dynamic interaction of loads with a DER unit when investigating the small-signal
stability of an islanded microgrid. The purpose of such a study is to design controls that
are insensitive to load dynamics, such as the controls presented in [9, 58].
A variety of approaches have been proposed to assess the small-signal stability of an
interconnected source and load. Small-signal stability can be assessed using eigenvalue
method of analysis [30, 58, 72, 73]. Thus, the power system is represented by a set of state-
space equations, and the eigenvalues of the system are calculated from the state matrix
of the system. The system eigenvalues are then used to assess stability. A disadvantage
of the eigenvalue method is that the number of eigenvalues increases with the size of the
system; it is difficult to calculate all eigenvalues of a large power system. Furthermore,
stability conditions in terms of the system eigenvalues are not very valuable with regard to
the design of control system [42]. Another class of small-signal stability analysis techniques
are the frequency-response methods [34,42–45,74,75]. These methods assess stability using
the source and load impedances as a function of frequency. The primary advantage of
frequency-response methods is that they only require knowledge of the amplitude and
phase of the impedance of the network, which can be obtained from simulation of the
network. This chapter deals with frequency-response methods of stability analysis.
A popular class of frequency-response methods is represented by the methods based
on the Middlebrook stability criterion [43]. The Middlebrook criterion is derived from
the Nyquist stability criterion and provides a sufficient condition for stability of a linear,
time-invariant SISO system. The approach plots the source and load impedance as a
function of frequency; if the source impedance as a function of frequency has a magnitude
that is less than that of the load impedance at all frequencies, then the system stability is
declared. References [44,45] present examples of SISO systems analyzed by the Middlebrook
criterion. Based on the Middlebrook criterion and using the generalized Nyquist criterion,
reference [42] proposes a stability criterion for a linear, time-invariant, MIMO system,
which can be applied to three-phase AC systems hosting electronically-interfaced loads and
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 112

rotating machines. The method presented in [42] compares the maximum singular value of
the source impedance against the minimum singular value of the load impedance. Then, if
the former is smaller than the latter at all frequencies, the small-signal stability is declared.
Similar to the Middlebrook criterion, the method presented in [42] sets a sufficient condition
for stability.
The main disadvantage of the Middlebrook criterion (and its MIMO counterpart) is
that it is a conservative stability criterion and, therefore, leads to artificially conservative
designs. Specifically, the method forbids a major region in the Nyquist plane, which has
little influence on stability, in the interest of satisfying the mathematical formulation. This
leads to artificial restriction on the design, resulting in controls which are slower than they
need to be or use of dampers in the interest of meeting the mathematical formulation
rather than fulfilling actual stability requirements. To reduce conservativeness, the GMPM
criterion have been proposed for SISO systems [46, 47]. By defining a gain margin and a
phase margin, the GMPM technique reduces the forbidden region in the Nyquist plane and,
hence, reduces conservativeness. However, the GMPM technique is difficult to use when
analyzing stability of a MIMO system. Another difficulty which can be associated with
the Middlebrook method and the GMPM technique is that they do not explicitly address
stability robustness against load perturbations, i.e., by how much a load can change such
that the system will remain stable in the small-signal sense.
This chapter proposes a stability analysis approach based on “µ-Analysis”, [76], to
achieve a less conservative stability condition compared to the existing methods, in the sense
of having less restriction on the control system. Further, the proposed method establishes a
robust stability margin in terms of load perturbations. The proposed approach models the
source-load dynamic interaction via a closed-loop system of impedances and admittances.
In this chapter, the source is assumed to be a droop-controlled electronically interfaced
DER unit with bidirectional power-exchange capability presented in 1.2.5. The proposed
method is used to examine small-signal stability of an islanded subnetwork extracted from a
university campus microgrid, composed of a DER unit feeding a composite load consisting
of an electronically-interfaced load and an RLC load, providing a study with realistic
parameter values. Two case studies are presented to show the features of the proposed
method. The first case study shows that the proposed method provides a less conservative
stability condition compared to the Middlebrook method. The second case study shows
the capability of the proposed method in establishing a robust stability margin in terms of
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 113

Load
Subsystem

Load 1
io
+
Load 2
Source v
_o


Load n

Fig. 6.1 A model representing a typical source-load interconnection.

load perturbations. The findings of the frequency-domain analysis are illustrated through
time-domain simulations around the operating point, conducted in the PSCAD/EMTDC
software environment, on a switched model of the test system. The aforementioned two
case studies show the features of the proposed method in a single-DER-unit test system.
Nevertheless, the proposed method is not limited in application to single-DER-unit systems
only, and is equally adaptable to use in a multi-DER-unit islanded microgrid. This has
been shown through an additional case study in which the proposed method is applied to
a test multi-DER-unit islanded microgrid.
The material presented in this chapter are largely based on [77].

6.1 Middlebrook Stability Criterion

Fig. 6.1 shows a model representing a typical source-load interconnection. A common


approach of examining the small-signal stability of the source-load system of Fig. 6.1 is
the Middlebrook criterion. The Middlebrook method models the interaction of loads and
sources via a system comprised of two subsystems connected in series, as shown in Fig. 6.2.
In Fig. 6.2, Zs (jω) stands for the output impedance of the source subsystem and Zl (jω)
stands for the input impedance of the load subsystem. Middlebrook [43] shows that as-
suming a SISO system, the source-load interconnection is stable if and only if the transfer
function 1 + ZZsl (jω)
(ω)
has no zeros in the Closed Right Half Plane (CRHP). According to the
Nyquist stability criterion, the number of CRHP zeros of 1 + ZZsl (jω)
(ω)
is equal to the number
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 114

Source subsystem
Z s ( jω ) Load subsystem

Source Load

Zl ( jω )

Fig. 6.2 Middlebrook model of load/source interactions using two cascaded


subsystems.

of encirclement of the point −1 + j0 by the Nyquist plot of ZZsl (jω)


(ω)
, given that the the two
subsystems of Fig. 6.2 are stable physical systems. Thus, it can be concluded that the
system of Fig. 6.2 is stable if and only if the Nyquist plot of ZZsl (jω)
(ω)
does not encircle the
point −1 + j0. The Middlebrook method satisfies this criterion by forcing the Nyquist plot
of ZZsl (jω)
(ω)
to remain inside the open unity circle at all frequencies. Thus, the Middlebrook
criterion states that if the amplitude of the source subsystem is limited to be less than that
of the load subsystem at all frequencies, i.e., if

| Zs (jω) |<| Zl (jω) | , (6.1)

then the system of Fig. 6.2 is bound to be stable. Based on the generalized Nyquist
criterion [78], the MIMO-system counterpart of the Middlebrook criterion [42] states that
if the maximum singular value of the source impedance is limited to be less than the
minimum singular value of the load impedance for all frequencies, i.e., if

σ (Zs (jω)) < σ (Zl (jω)) , (6.2)

then the MIMO system is bound to be stable. In (6.2), Zs (jω) and Zl (jω) represent the
MIMO impedance of the source and load subsystem, respectively.
The stability condition of (6.1) is a quite conservative criterion. The reason is that
this stability criterion forces the Nyquist plot of ZZsl (jω)
(ω)
to remain inside the open unit
circle and, hence, forbids a major part of the complex plane for the sake of fitting the
mathematical formulation of (6.1). The MIMO-system counterpart of the Middlebrook
criterion in (6.2) has the same conservative nature as (6.1). To reduce conservativeness,
the GMPM technique has been proposed for SISO systems as presented next.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 115

6.2 The GMPM Technique

References [46, 47] have presented the GMPM technique. By defining a gain margin and a
phase margin, the GMPM technique reduces the forbidden region in the Nyquist plane and,
hence, reduces conservativeness. The GMPM technique is primarily developed for SISO
systems. It is difficult to use the GMPM technique to study stability of a MIMO system.
Reference [48] has presented a technique whereby the stability of a MIMO system can
be assessed using the GMPM technique. The technique presented in [48] first transforms
the MIMO system into a diagonally dominant system, which can then be treated as a
system comprised of decoupled SISO subsystems. For such a decoupled system, stability
can be deduced from the diagonal elements, by the single-loop theory. Nevertheless, this
technique is relatively complicated and does not apply to a general MIMO system. Another
disadvantage of the GMPM techniques is that, individually, gain margin and phase margin
can guarantee robust stability, but combined they may not. The above disadvantages of
the GMPM techniques limit their use in analyzing the stability of a MIMO system. To
the best of the author’s knowledge, there are no literature reports on use of the GMPM
techniques to study stability of a MIMO interconnected source and load system.

6.3 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an


Interconnected Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load

This section presents an overview of the basic concept of µ analysis and provides the
theoretical framework for the proposed µ-based approach to analyze small-signal stability
of an interconnected DER unit and load.

6.3.1 System Configuration

The source-load interconnection of Fig. 6.1 can be modelled by a closed-loop system of


impedances and admittances, as shown in Fig. 6.3(a). In Fig. 6.3(a), Zs denotes the transfer
matrix of the source impedance and Yl represents the transfer matrix of the admittance of
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 116

Yl
δ1
Y1 +

δ2
Y2 + +


Yl δn ∆( s)
Yn +

vo io vo io
Zs Zs M ( s)

(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 6.3 Block diagrams of (a) closed-loop model of source-load intercon-


nection of Fig. 6.1, (b) setup for stability analysis using the proposed µ-based
approach, and (c) standard feedback interconnection equivalent.

the load subsystem. Thus, Zs and Yl are given by


" # " # " #
∆vod ∆iod Zdd Zdq
= Zs , Zs = (6.3)
∆voq ∆ioq Zqd Zqq
" # " # " #
∆iod ∆vod Ydd Ydq
= Yl , Yl = (6.4)
∆ioq ∆voq Yqd Yqq

where “∆” signifies small-signal perturbation of a variable and the subscripts “d” and “q”
denote d- and q-axis components of a variable, respectively. As (6.3) and (6.4) indicate,
the stability analysis is performed in a rotating dq frame; the angular velocity of the dq
frame is the angular frequency of the output voltage of the source, and the d-axis of the dq
frame makes an angle θ with respect to the horizontal stationary axis. The angle θ of the
dq frame and its angular velocity are obtained from a phase-locked loop (PLL).
Fig. 6.3(b) shows the setup for the proposed µ-based approach. In Fig. 6.3(b), the blocks
represented by δi are used to analyze the margin of robust stability against each individual
load perturbation, which determines by how much each individual load can change, such
that the system will remain stable in the small-signal sense. Thus, each individual load is
perturbed around a steady-state operating point, and the stability of the system is studied
versus such a perturbation. A perturbation in each individual load can be modelled by an
incremental change in the admittance of the load, and realized by adding a branch with
an admittance of δi Yi in parallel to the load number i, based on the technique presented
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 117

in [16]. Therefore, for load number i, the admittance of the perturbed load is given by

Yip = Yi + δi Yi , (6.5)

where Yip denotes the equivalent admittance of the perturbed load, Yi signifies the admit-
tance of load number i obtained at a given steady-state operating point, and δi Yi is the
admittance of the load increment. It should be mentioned that δi parameters can be real
numbers, complex numbers, or a mix of both. The difference is that a complex δi realizes
a perturbation in both the amplitude and the phase angle of the load admittance, whereas
a real perturbation only perturbs the amplitude of the load admittance. In this chapter,
all δi parameters are assumed to have complex values. Therefore, the presented µ-based
approach is a complex-µ analysis, as opposed to a real-µ analysis in which all δi parameters
have real values, or complex-µ analysis in which the δi ’s are a mix of real and complex
valued parameters. The parameters δi in Fig. 6.3(b) are regarded as system parametric
uncertainties and the system of Fig. 6.3(b) is reconfigured as a standard feedback inter-
connection equivalent, as shown in Fig. 6.3(c). In Fig. 6.3(c), M represents the generalized
plant and ∆ is a matrix containing on its diagonal the structured uncertainties acting on the
system. The problem now becomes to analyze the small-signal stability of the closed-loop
interconnection of Fig. 6.3(b) in presence of the above mentioned structured uncertainties.
This problem is solved using µ analysis [76]. The next section presents an overview of the
basic concept of µ-analysis.

6.3.2 µ-Analysis

µ-analysis, [76], is a technique to analyze stability robustness with structured uncertainty, in


the frequency-domain. Thus, the stability robustness of a system is analyzed by computing
the structured singular value of the system.

Structured singular value

The structured singular value is a generalization of the maximum singular value of a con-
stant complex matrix. For a complex matrix M ∈ Cn×n , the function µΓ : Cn×n → R+
defined as
µΓ (M ) , [min {k ∆ k: ∆ ∈ Γ,det(I − M ∆) = 0}]−1 (6.6)
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 118

is called the structured singular value with respect to structure Γ of matrix M . In case no
∆ ∈ Γ makes det(I − M ∆) singular, then by definition µΓ (M ) = 0. In (6.6), Γ ⊂ Cn×n
is the set of structured block-diagonal matrices of the form ∆. The above definition is for
complex matrices, not for transfer matrices. Based on the concept of structured singular
value, a condition for robust stability of systems with transfer matrices is developed as
follows.

Robust Stability with Structured Singular Value

Assuming that the structured perturbation ∆(s) in the system of Fig. 6.3(c) is normalized,
˜ s k∞ < 1, the closed-loop system of Fig. 6.3(c) is stable for all k ∆
i.e., k ∆ ˜ s k∞ < 1, if and
only if
sup µΓ {M (jω)} ≤ 1. (6.7)
ω∈R

Basically, the stability condition of (6.7) computes the structured singular value of the
system transfer matrix M (s) frequency-by-frequency on a frequency range of interest and
plots µΓ {M (jω)} across these frequencies. If the µ plot is below 1 for all frequencies, then
the closed-loop system with structured perturbation is robustly stable for all perturbations.
If at least at one point the µ plot exceeds 1, then the robust stability can not be guaranteed.
Thus, µΓ {M (jω)} can be used as a measure of small-signal stability of the system of
Fig. 6.3(c). However, µΓ (·) is not a norm and can not be computed directly in general.
Thus, to examine the stability condition of (6.7), the upper bound on µΓ is calculated; µΓ
is bounded by an upper bound and a lower bound given by

max ρ (U M ) ≤ µΓ (M ) ≤ inf σ DM D−1 ,



(6.8)
U ∈U D∈D

where
U , {U ∈ Γ : U U ∗ = In } (6.9)

and D ∈D, the set of matrices that commute with any ∆ ∈ Γ, are defined to maximally
tighten the upper and lower bounds on µ such that the upper and lower bounds become
very close, if not equal. The µ-based stability condition of (6.7) can now be redefined as
follows: if the upper bound on µ {M (jω)} is below 1 for all frequencies, the system of
Fig. 6.3(c) is robustly stable. If at least at one point the upper bound on µ exceeds 1, then
the robust stability can not be guaranteed. It should be mentioned that as this criterion is
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 119

sufficient but not necessary, instability can not be inferred from the failure of the condition.

6.3.3 Theoretical Framework For the Proposed µ-based Stability Analysis

Fig. 6.4(a) shows a block diagram of the system setup for the proposed µ-based approach.
To satisfy the conditions of the µ analysis stated in Section 6.3, the system perturbations
are normalized such that
δi = Wmi δ̃i , i = 1 : 2n (6.10)

where δ̃i is the normalized perturbation satisfying k δ̃i k∞ < 1 and Wmi is a weight-
ing function used to normalize the perturbation. In general, the perturbations δi have
complex values. A complex δi represents an incremental change in the amplitude and
phase angle of the admittance of a given load. The µ analysis conducted in this chap-
ter assumes complex perturbations and, therefore, is a complex analysis. The system
block diagram shown in Fig. 6.4(a) is transformed into a standard M − ∆ feedback in-
terconnection as shown in Fig. 6.4(b), where M (s), a 2n×2n matrix, is the generalized
plant, ∆(s) is a matrix containing on its diagonal the structured perturbations acting
on the system, z= [z1 z2 . . . z2n ] is the vector of outputs of the generalized plant, and
wm = [wm1 wm2 . . . wm2n ] is the vector of inputs to the generalized plant. Thus, to be
robust stable, the system has to satisfy (6.7). The stability criterion of (6.7) is examined
by finding the upper and the lower bounds on µ, as stated in (6.8).

6.4 Frequency-domain Model of an Electronically-Interfaced


DER Unit

To apply the proposed µ-based criterion, the impedance of the DER unit should be calcu-
lated first. Fig. 1.4 shows a schematic diagram of the DER unit under study. Fig. 6.5(a)
shows a comprehensive block diagram of the control and power circuit of such a DER unit.
The impedance of a droop-controlled electronically-interfaced DER unit can be obtained
by applying small-signal linearization on the equations of the control and power circuit of
the DER unit and solving together to write ∆vod and ∆voq in terms of ∆iod and ∆ioq as
" # " # " #
∆vod ∆iod Zdd Zdq
= Zs , Zs = (6.11)
∆voq ∆ioq Zqd Zqq
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 120

z1 wm1
Y1 δɶ1 Wm1
Y1dd ( s ) + +

Y1dq ( s )
z2 wm 2
Y1qd ( s)
δɶ1 Wm1
Y1qq ( s) + +

Y2 z3 wm 3
δɶ2 Wm 2
Y2 dd ( s ) + + +

Y2 dq ( s )
Y2 qd ( s) z4 wm 4
δɶ2 Wm 2
Y2 qq ( s ) + + +

⋮z wm 2 n −1
Yn 2 n −1
δɶn Wmn
Yndd ( s ) + +
∆ɶ ( s)
Yndq ( s )
δɶ1 
Ynqd ( s ) z2n wm 2 n  
 δɶ 0 
δɶn Wmn 1

Ynqq ( s ) + +  δɶ2 
Z DER  
 δɶ 
i od z 
2
 wm
vod
+
Zsdd(s) 


Zsdq (s)  0 δn
ɶ 
2n 2n
 δɶn 

Zsqd(s)
voq ioq
M (s)
+
Zsqq (s)
(a) (b)

Fig. 6.4 (a) General setup for the proposed µ-based approach including
the weighting functions and the normalized uncertainties, and (b) equivalent
standard M − ∆ feedback interconnection.

where ∆vod , ∆voq , ∆iod , ∆ioq represent small perturbations of the d- and q-axis components
of the DER unit output voltage and current. the following set of equations represent the
small-signal model of the DER unit.
48
d
o oq
i k i
t het or
44
es wt
R of ne
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
121

d q
44
vo vo
44
f f
1 C 1 C
s f s
C
f
C
744

Fig. 6.5 Block diagrams of (a) the control and power circuits of a droop-
controlled electronically interfaced DER unit, and (b) the frequency regulation
d
nat
q
ω

o -
ω

-
l i ) - io
P ertl
44
d q
fi i i
CL
44
t( R R
uci 1
+

1
+

r Ls Ls
ci
f f
44 wo
er Lf Lf
ω

64 v
P
do - - q
-
vo q q
d do q d oq d
* d
v
* q
v vo i vo i
o
vo i vo io
48 v do - q
44 erl
vo

q-axis voltage
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load

r * * * *
44 nortl
ort

regulation

voq
amplitude
ot

*
a

(a)
sa

Frequency regulation
ns -
f
L L
f
44 noect
n
pe pe
Ki (s)

Ki (s)

(b)
m

kω(s)
m o e 5 5
1.
44 Curr
oc
1.

scheme
c me
si * * si
hc
ax- ax-
44

PLL
di
e
qi
s

VCO
d q e orl c


c

_
ω0
t



- - c c
44uti
onc

ω
ω
ω

s s

H (s)
θ
er

*
q
id

Power control ω

er p
74occrrli
d q

i wo

voabc
i
oo
i

abc
wo p ev
dr
P
ti
p oo ac
44ont i
er
d
al
-
dr

scheme
oq

voq
o

dq
i
Re Re wo
44 udetli mhee
C p
d
vq
onti
*
ot u
v
44 mpa- onsci
r u
Cf Cf

ω
ort al
sa -

ω
sa gue e
44 ogaetl guatl
n n )
pe ) pe s
rm
y he
m s (v
(v
nec sc s()
44 V er
oc m
oc K
s K * * que
xi si

loop.
H
44 v
-a d ax vq Fr
d
ev q- e
do s()
64
- q

ω
-
vo vo
q

ω
K
d q
vo vo



6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 122

1. LC filter

" # " #" # " #" #


∆id −1 1 0 ∆vod 1 0 ∆vd
= + +
∆iq sLf + R 0 1 ∆voq 0 1 ∆vq
" #" # " #
0 1 ∆id Ioq Lf
Lf Ω + ∆ω0 (6.12)
−1 0 ∆iq −Ioq Lf

" # " #" # " #" #


∆iod 1 0 ∆id 1 0 ∆vod
= − sCf +
∆ioq 0 1 ∆iq 0 1 ∆voq
" #" # " #
0 1 ∆vod 0
Cf Ω + ∆ω0 (6.13)
−1 0 ∆voq −Cf Vod

2. Current controller

" # " # " #" #


∆vd 1 0 1 0 ∆i∗d − ∆id
= + Ki (s) +
∆vq 0 1 0 1 ∆i∗q − ∆iq
" #" # " #
0 −1 ∆id −Lf Iq
Lf Ω + ∆ω0 (6.14)
1 0 ∆iq Lf Id

3. Voltage amplitude regulation scheme

" # " #" # " #" #


∆i∗d 1 0 ∆iod 1 0 ∆vod ∗
− ∆vod
= + Kv (s) +
∆i∗q 0 1 ∆ioq 0 1 ∆voq ∗
− ∆voq
" #" # " #
0 −1 ∆vod 0
Cf Ω + ∆ω0 (6.15)
1 0 ∆voq Cf Vod

4. Power control scheme


6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 123

" # " #" #



∆vod −1.5ωc −Ioq Iod ∆vod
= +
∆ω ∗ s + ωc Iod Ioq ∆voq
" #" #
0 −1 ∆iod
Vod (6.16)
1 0 ∆ioq

5. Frequency regulation scheme


(

∆voq = kω (s)(∆ω ∗ − ∆ω0 )
(6.17)
∆ω0 = H(s)∆voq
In (6.12)–(6.17), ∆ω ∗ represents the small-signal perturbation of the frequency setpoint, Ω
denotes the steady-state value of the frequency, and ∆ω0 signifies the small-signal variations
of the network frequency.
To calculate the impedance matrix of the DER unit, first its admittance matrix is
obtained. The impedance matrix is calculated as the inverse of the admittance matrix.
The admittance matrix of the DER unit Yder is given by

Yder = Y + YC , (6.18)

where YC is the admittance matrix of the filter capacitor given by


" #
sCf −ωCf
YC = , (6.19)
ωCf sCf

and Y is the admittance of the DER unit seen behind the filter capacitor and is given by
" # " # " #
∆id ∆vod Ydd Ydq
=Y , Y = . (6.20)
∆iq ∆voq Yqd Yqq

First, Y is calculated. The entries of Y are given as follows

∆iod ∆iod
Ydd , ∆vod
|∆voq =0 , Ydq , ∆voq
|∆vod =0 ,
∆ioq ∆ioq (6.21)
Yqd , ∆vod
|∆voq =0 , Yqq , ∆voq
|∆vod =0 .
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 124

To calculate Ydd and Yqd , ∆voq is set to zero in (6.12)–(6.17) and the equations are solved
for ∆iod and ∆ioq . This results in the following set of equations
(
∆iod + a1 (s)∆ioq = b1 (s)∆vod
. (6.22)
a2 (s)∆iod + ∆ioq = b2 (s)∆vod

Solving the above set of equations gives Ydd and Yqd as

Y
dd
z }| {
b1 (s) − a1 (s)b2 (s)
∆iod = ∆vod (6.23)
1 − a1 (s)a2 (s)
Yqd
z }| {
b2 (s) − a2 (s)b1 (s)
∆ioq = ∆vod , (6.24)
1 − a1 (s)a2 (s)

where a1 (s), a2 (s), b1 (s), and b2 (s) are given by

1 ωc
a1 (s) = − Ki (s)Kv (s)1.5 nVod , (6.25)
sLf + R s + ωc
1 ωc
a2 (s) = Ki (s)Kv (s)1.5 mHcl (s)Vod , (6.26)
sLf + R s + ωc

Ki (s) ωc
b1 (s) = Cf s − Kv (s) + Kv (s)1.5 nIoq − (6.27)
sLf + R s + ωc

ωc
Kv (s)1.5 nVod Cf Ω ,
s + ωc
 
Ki (s)Kv (s) ωc
b2 (s) = −1.5 m (−Vod sCf + Iod ) , (6.28)
sLf + R s + ωc

where
kω (s)
Hcl (s) = . (6.29)
1 + kω (s)H(s)
Ydq and Yqq can be calculated similarly by setting ∆vod to zero and solving for ∆iod and
∆ioq . This results in the following set of equations
(
∆iod + c1 (s)∆ioq = d1 (s)∆voq
. (6.30)
c2 (s)∆iod + ∆ioq = d2 (s)∆voq
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 125

Solving the above set of equations gives Ydq and Yqq as

Ydq
z }| {
d1 (s) − c1 (s)d2 (s)
∆iod = ∆voq (6.31)
1 − c1 (s)c2 (s)
Yqq
z }| {
d2 (s) − c2 (s)d1 (s)
∆ioq = ∆voq , (6.32)
1 − c1 (s)c2 (s)

where

c1 (s) =a1 (s), (6.33)


c2 (s) =a2 (s), (6.34)
 
Ki (s)Kv (s) ωc
d1 (s) = −1.5 n(sVod Cf + Iod ) , (6.35)
sLf + R s + ωc

Ki (s) ωc
d2 (s) = sCf − Kv (s) − 1.5 mHcl (s)Ioq − (6.36)
sLf + R s + ωc

ωc
Kv (s)1.5 mHcl (s)Vod Cf Ω .
s + ωc

Having calculated the admittance matrix Y , one can calculate the admittance matrix of
the DER unit from (6.18). Finally, Zder is calculated by finding the inverse of Yder as
Zder = Yder −1 .
To test the validity of the proposed approach, the impedance Zdd calculated based on
the above analytical approach is compared to Zdd obtained from simulation of a droop-
controlled test DER unit in the PSCAD environment. Fig. 6.6 compares the bode plot
of Zdd calculated from the above analytical approach and that obtained from simulation
of the test DER unit. Fig. 6.6 seems to show close similarity between the results of the
analytical approach and simulations and can be used as an evidence to show the validity
of the proposed analytical method.
It should be mentioned that the proposed stability analysis method implicitly incor-
porates the small-signal changes to frequency and their impact on small-signal stability.
Specifically, included in the dynamic model of the DER unit are two state variables ∆ω ∗
and ∆ω0 which are related to small-signal changes to frequency:
• ∆ω ∗ , representing small-signal changes to the frequency setpoint caused by droop
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 126
Bode Diagram

Magnitude (dB)
−50
_ Proposed approach
X Measurement
180

Phase (deg)
90
0
−90
−180 1 2 3 4 5
Frequency (rad/s)
10 10 10 10 10

Fig. 6.6 Bode plot of Zdd (s) for a droop-controlled DER unit obtained using
the proposed analytical approach (solid blue line) and simulation of the DER
unit (×).

control, is a state variable of the dynamic model of the power control scheme obtained
by applying small-signal linearization on (1.1)–(1.6) and,

• ∆ω0 representing small-signal changes to the network frequency, is a state variable of


the frequency regulation scheme shown in Fig. 6.5(b).

Although these two state variables have been included in the analysis, none of them explic-
itly appears in the analysis: ∆ω ∗ has been written in terms of ∆vod , ∆voq , ∆iod , and ∆ioq
based on the equations of the linearized small-signal model of the power control scheme;
and ∆ω0 has been replaced by H(s)∆voq based on the dynamics of the frequency regulation
loop shown in Fig. 6.5(b). The representation of ∆ω0 in terms of ∆voq is valid since in the
proposed analysis, the network has been represented by a state-space model.

6.5 Case Studies and Simulation Results

This section presents three case studies to show the features of the proposed µ-based
stability analysis approach. The case studies are conducted on a test system presented
in Section 6.5.1. The first case study shows that the proposed approach provides a less
conservative stability condition compared to the Middlebrook method. Thus, an example is
provided in which a test system, which is stable in the small-signal sense, does not meet the
Middlebrook stability condition, while it satisfies the proposed µ-based stability criterion.
Further, an example is presented in which a test system does not fulfill the proposed µ-
based criterion and the system is shown to be unstable in the small-signal sense using
time-domain simulations. The second case study shows the capability of the proposed
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 127

0.48 kV

3.6 MVA
0.48 (Υg) / S1 S2
0.48 ( ∆ ) 3 MVA RLC
0.48/0.48
DER
PE

Fig. 6.7 Single-line schematic diagram of the system under study in Sec-
tion 2.5.

approach in establishing a margin of robust stability in terms of load perturbations. Thus,


the load is perturbed around the steady-state operating point, and the size of the load
perturbation is increased until the system becomes unstable in the small-signal sense. It is
shown that the proposed µ-based approach seems to be able to predict the size of the load
perturbation which renders the system unstable. The third case study shows the application
of the proposed stability analysis method in a multi-DER-unit microgrid. The findings of
the frequency-domain analysis are illustrated through time-domain simulations around the
steady-state operating point, carried out in the PSCAD/EMTDC software environment,
on the test system.

6.5.1 System Under Study

Fig. 6.7 shows a schematic diagram of the the system under study. The system under
study is an islanded subnetwork extracted from a university campus microgrid. The test
system embeds a droop-controlled electronically-interfaced DER unit, an Electronically-
Interfaced/Controlled Load (PE), and a passive load modelled by a three-phase RLC
branch. The PE and the RLC load are connected to the common bus through switches S1
and S2 respectively. Fig. 6.8 shows a schematic diagram of the control and power circuit
of the PE. The PE in Fig. 6.7 is a voltage-sourced converter (VSC) regulated as an active
rectifier with a cascaded control structure, and represents devices such as machine drives,
back-to-back converter configurations, and consumer electronics with unity power factor
correction. As Fig. 6.8 shows, the control circuit of the PE includes an outer control loop
which regulates the DC-bus voltage, and two inner control loops which regulate the d- and
q-axis components of the input current of the VSC. The case studies of this chapter con-
sider a PE load since microgrids are likely to include considerable proportions of loads with
active front end, used to provide regulated voltage buses to supply the final use equipment.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 128
PCC
VSC system AC
“controlled DC-voltage power-port” pPE system
Pext iext idc qPE
+ vt i PE R+ron L vg ig Lc
Idc Vdc C VSC
Cf
Real and 6
reactive Saturation at ± 1 ρ dq
abc PLL
power
controllers
6 vgdq DC-bus voltage controller
ρ PWM and
Gate Drive
idq ρ Pext
Vdc mdq p*PE Vdc
id∗
Vdc∗
Reference Compensator
d- and q-axis current
iq∗
controllers
signal
generator q*PE

Fig. 6.8 Schematic diagram of the PE.

A model of the test system has been simulated in the PSCAD/EMTDC software
environment. The model of the DER unit includes a PWM scheme, signal transforma-
tion blocks, a PLL, a current-control scheme, voltage amplitude and frequency regulation
schemes, and a power control scheme. The control and power circuit of the PE is based
on Ref. [49], and includes a PWM scheme, signal transformation blocks, a PLL, a current
control scheme, and a DC-bus voltage controller. Table A.6 presents the parameters of
the system under study. In the case studies to follow, the real powers, reactive powers,
currents, and voltages are expressed in MW, MVAr, kA, and kV, respectively.
To apply the proposed µ-based criterion, one needs to first calculate the impedance of
the DER unit, the PE, and the RLC load around the operating point. The impedance
of the DER unit has been calculated using the methos presented in Section 6.4. The
impedance of the PE has been calculated, based on a technique presented in [75], from
the converter model which is based on the state-space averaging over a switching period,
and by linearization of the system equations around the operating point. With reference
to Fig. 6.8, this state-space model of the converter models the dynamics of the DC-bus
voltage controller, the d- and q-axis current controllers, the reference signal generator, and
the output LC filter; the PLL is assumed to have a very low bandwidth and, thus, its
dynamics are neglected. It should be mentioned that since the impedance of the PE is
obtained from a state-space average model of the converter, the representation of the PE
by an impedance is valid only for a frequency range below the switching frequency. Further,
since the impedance is calculated from linearized system equation, the impedance model is
valid so long as all variations around the operating point are small-signal deviations.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 129

The stability condition of (6.7) is checked by point-wise computation of the upper bound
on µ, from (6.8), at all frequencies. In practice, this is done for a frequency grid with
sufficient number of points. In this chapter, the transfer functions for which the µ analysis
has been conducted exhibit peaking behaviour. Therefore, in selecting a frequency grid,
special care has to be taken to ensure that this grid is dense enough around the peaks. It
has been observed that for the transfer functions under study, a grid of 103 points provides
sufficient accuracy. Therefore, in the examples to follow, the µ analysis is conducted for a
grid of 103 points in the frequency range from 10 rad/s to 104 rad/s.

6.5.2 Case 1: Conservativeness of the Middlebrook Method

This section examines small-signal stability of the system under study using the Middle-
brook method and the proposed µ-based approach. The system under study is a DER unit
supplying a PE; with reference to Fig. 6.7, the switch S1 is closed while the switch S2 is
open. The PE operates at unity power factor, with a real-power demand of 2.5 MW.
First, the small-signal stability of the test system is assessed using the Middlebrook
method, based on (6.2). Fig. 6.9(a) shows the result of small-signal stability analysis using
the Middlebrook method. As Fig. 6.9(a) shows, the Middlebrook stability criterion is not
fulfilled since the maximum singular value of the DER unit impedance (red curve) exceeds
the minimum singular value of the active load impedance (blue curve). The Middlebrook
method does not guaranteed stability. Next, the small-signal stability is assessed using
the proposed µ-based approach, assuming a step change of 10% in the PE. Thus, the µ-
based stability analysis is performed for Wm1 = 0.1. Fig. 6.9(b) shows the plot of µ for this
analysis. As Fig. 6.9(b) shows, µ is below 1 for all frequencies and, hence, robust stability is
guaranteed. The results of µ analysis indicate that the system is stable around the steady-
state operating point; further, the PE can change by 10%, and the system will remain stable.
To illustrate the findings of the frequency-domain stability analysis, the stability of the test
system has been assessed using time-domain simulations around the steady-state operating
point. Thus, the DER-PE interconnection is subjected to ±10% change in the PE. Fig. 6.10
shows the response of the DER unit and the PE to the step change; at t = {2,2.2,2.4,2.6}s,
the real-power demand of the PE is changed by {10%, − 10%, − 10%,10%}, respectively.
As Fig. 6.10 illustrates, the test system is initially stable, and remains stable under a ±10%
change in the PE, as predicted by the µ-analysis.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 130

Singular Values (dB)


(a) Singular Value
0
−20 σ (Zl )
−40 σ (Zs )

(b) Closed-loopµ
1
0.8
µ 0.6
0.4
0.2
1 2 3 4
10 10 10 10
Frequency (rad/s)

Fig. 6.9 Assessing small-signal stability of the test system using (a) the
Middlebrook method, and (b) µ-based approach assuming 10% change in the
PE, DER-PE interconnection, Section 6.5.2.

(a)
4
pAL , qAL

2
pAL
0 qAL
(b)
0.6
vod , voq

0.4
0.2 vod
0 voq
(c)
iALd , iALq

4
2 iALd
0 iALq
2 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3
time(s)

Fig. 6.10 Response of the DER unit and the PE to a step change of ±10%
in the PE: (a) instantaneous real- and reactive-power output of the PE, (b) d-
and q-axis components of the DER unit output voltage, and (c) d- and q-axis
components of the PE current (Case 1, Section 6.5.2).

6.5.3 Small-signal Instability

This case presents an example where the test system does no fulfill the µ-based stability
condition, and the system is unstable in the small-signal sense. The operating conditions
of this case is similar to those of Case 1 with the exception that the step change in the
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 131

Closed-loopµ
1.5
1

µ
0.5
0 1 2 3 4
10 10 10 10
Frequency (rad/s)

Fig. 6.11 Plot of µ for the DER-PE interconnection, assuming 20% change
in the active load.
(a)
8
pAL , qAL

4
0 pAL
−4 qAL
(b)
0.5
vod , voq

vod
0 voq
(c)
8
iALd , iALq

0 iALd
−8
iALq
4.95 5 5.05 5.1 5.15 5.2 5.25
time(s)

Fig. 6.12 Response of the DER unit and the PE to a step change of ±20% in
the real-power demand of the PE: (a) instantaneous real- and reactive-power
output of the PE, (b) d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output volt-
age, and (c) d- and q-axis components of the PE current (Case 2, Section 6.5.3).

PE is increased to 20%. Thus, the µ-based stability analysis is performed for Wm1 = 0.2.
Fig. 6.11 shows the plot of µ for the step change of 20%. As Fig. 6.11 shows, µ is above
one and, therefore, robust stability is not guaranteed. Fig. 6.12 shows the response of the
DER unit and the PE to a step change of 20% in the PE; the system starts from a steady-
state where the real power demand of the PE is 2.5 MW. Then, at t = 5s, the real-power
demand of the PE is stepped up by 20%, from 2.5 MW to 3 MW. As Fig. 6.12 shows, the
system becomes unstable following the disturbance. Fig. 6.12 further shows that the onset
of instability as predicted by the µ analysis and seems to correspond to the frequency of
oscillations of the test system.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 132

6.5.4 Case 2: Robust Stability Against Load Perturbation

As was mentioned in Section 6.3, the proposed approach is capable of establishing a robust
stability margin in terms of perturbations in the load. This section shows this feature by
studying the margin of robust stability against a perturbation in the RLC load. Thus, the
proposed method determines by how much the RLC load can change, and the system will
remain stable in the small-signal sense. The system under study in this case is composed
of the DER unit, the PE, and the RLC load; with reference to Fig. 6.7, both the switches
S1 and S2 are closed throughout the test. The RLC load is perturbed by changing its
impedance, and the impact on µ is studied for such perturbation. The margin of robust
stability is determined by finding the perturbation that renders the peak value of µ more
than 1. The µ analysis is conducted for a steady-state operating point where the PE and
the RLC load operate at near unity power factor and demand the same real power of 2
MW each.
To determine the robust stability margin against perturbation in the RLC load using
the proposed approach, the value of Wm2 is changed and µ is computed for each value of
Wm2 ; the objective is to search for the smallest value of Wm2 which renders the peak value
of µ more than 1. In this study, the µ analysis is run for Wm2 = {0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8}, cor-
responding to a change in the impedance of the RLC load by {10%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%},
respectively. Fig. 6.13 shows the plot of µ versus change of Wm2 . As Fig. 6.13 shows, the
peak value of µ increases with increasing Wm2 , and at around Wm2 = 0.65, the peak value
of µ hits 1. Therefore, robust stability is guaranteed for Wm2 < 0.65; the RLC load can
change by as much as 65%, and the system will remain stable in the small-signal sense.
Nevertheless, robust stability can not be guaranteed for a change in the RLC load by more
than 65%. This robust stability margin is checked through time-domain simulations con-
ducted on the test system of Fig. 6.7, by subjecting the test system to a change of 50% and
60% in the RLC load. It should be mentioned that, even though the above µ analysis is a
small-signal analysis, the system has been subjected to a large perturbation to check the
robust stability in simulations. Fig. 6.14 shows the results of the time-domain simulations
corresponding to a change of 50% in the RLC load. As Fig. 6.14 shows, the system starts
from a steady-state condition where the PE and RLC have been connected to the system
for a sufficiently long time. Then, at t = {7, 7.2, 7.4, 7.6}s, the impedance of the RLC load
is changed by {50%, − 50%, − 50%, 50%}, respectively. As Fig. 6.14 shows, the system
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 133

remains stable under ±50% change in the RLC load, as predicted by the µ analysis. The
same test has been conducted assuming 60% change in the RLC load; it was observed that
the system become unstable following a 60% change in the RLC load, which, although not
equal, is close to the computed margin by µ analysis.

6.5.5 Case 3: µ-Based Stability Analysis of a Multi-DER-unit System

As was mentioned in the Introduction, the objective of the case studies presented in this
chapter is to show the features of the proposed stability analysis method, that is, reduced
conservativeness and establishment of a robust stability margin in terms of load pertur-
bations. Case 1 and Case 2 of Section 2.5 show these features in a test system consisting
of a single DER unit connected to a load. Nevertheless, the proposed method is not lim-
ited in application to single-DER-unit systems only, and is equally adaptable to use in a
multi-DER-unit system. This case study shows the application of the proposed stability
analysis method in a test multi-DER-unit system shown in Fig. 6.15. As Fig. 6.15 shows,
the test system consists of three subnetworks SN1, SN2, and SN3 each embodying a DER
unit and a load: DER1 and L1 for SN1; DER2 and L2 for SN2; and DER3 and L3 for SN3.
The three DER units of the test system are identical and employ a droop-based power
control scheme. The loads of the test system L1 , L2 , and L3 are identical three-phase RL
loads. Each DER unit is interfaced with its host bus through a respective 0.48/0.48-kV
isolation transformer. Each subnetwork is connected to a common 12.47-kV bus through
a 0.48/12.47-kV transformer and a tie line.
The stability of the test system is analyzed by conducting µ analysis at Bus1 with
DER1 being the source and the rest of the network (including L1 ) being the load, assuming
10% uncertainty in L1 . Therefore, in the µ analysis, Zs represents the impedance matrix of
DER1 and its isolating transformer and Yl represents the admittance matrix of the rest of
the network consisting of two components: YL1 , the admittance of L1 ; and the admittance
of the rest of the network seen from Bus 1. The impedance matrix of DER1, including
the dynamics of its power sharing mechanism, is calculated based on the same method
as in Case 1 and 2, Section 2.5. It should be mentioned that while the structure of the
control and power circuit of the DER units is this case study are similar to those of Case
1 and 2, Section 2.5, the values of the parameters are not similar. The admittance matrix
of the rest of the network is obtained with consideration of small-signal changes to the
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 134
Closed-loop µ
Wm2 = 0.1
1.2 Wm2 = 0.1
Wm2 = 0.2
Wm2 = 0.2
1 Wm2 = 0.4
Wm2 = 0.4
Wm2 = 0.6
Wm2 = 0.6
0.8 Wm2 = 0.8
µ Wm2 = 0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

1 2 3 4
10 10 10 10
Frequency (rad/s)

Fig. 6.13 Plot of µ versus change of Wm2 , Case study of Section6.5.4: DER-
PE-RLC interconnection.
(a)
8
p, q

4
p
0 q
(b)
0.6
vod , voq

0.4
0.2 vod
0 voq
(c)
10
iod , ioq

5 iod
0 ioq
6.8 7 7.2 7.4 7.6 7.8
time(s)

Fig. 6.14 Response of the DER unit to ± 50% change in the passive load:
(a) the instantaneous real- and reactive-power output of the DER unit, (b)
the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output voltage, and (c) the
d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output current, Case study of
Section 6.5.4, DER-PE-RLC interconnection.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 135
12.47 kV

0.045+j0.028

0.045+j0.028

0.045+j0.028
1 MVA 1 MVA 1 MVA
12.47 ( ∆ ) / 12.47 ( ∆ ) / 12.47 ( ∆ ) /
SN1 0.48 (Υg ) SN2 0.48 (Υg) SN3 0.48 (Υg )
Yl 0.48 kV Bus 1 Bus 2 Bus 3

Zs
1 MVA 1 MVA 1 MVA
0.48 (Υg) / 0.48 (Υg) / 0.48 (Υg) /
0.48 ( ∆ ) L1 0.48 ( ∆ ) L2 0.48 ( ∆ ) L3
DER 1 RL DER 2 RL DER 3 RL

Fig. 6.15 The test system of multi-DER-unit case study, Section 6.5.5.
Closed-loop µ
1
0.8
0.6
µ

0.4
0.2
1 2 3 4
10 10 10 10
Frequency (rad/s)

Fig. 6.16 Plot of µ for the multi-DER-unit case study assuming 10% uncer-
tainty in L1 , Section 6.5.5.

network frequency based on a technique presented in [79] by simulation of the test system of
Fig. 6.15 in the PSCAD/EMTDC software environment. In this PSCAD model, the model
of the DER units includes PWM schemes, signal transformation blocks, PLLs, current-
control schemes, voltage amplitude and frequency regulation schemes, power calculation
blocks, and droop mechanisms. The representation of the dynamics of the network by an
impedance model is valid since the DER units of the test system are all electronically-
interfaced and the loads are represented by RL models. The µ analysis of this section is
based on the theoretical framework established in Section 6.3; the details of this analysis
are not presented here. Fig. 6.16 shows the plot of µ for the test system of Fig. 6.15
assuming 10% uncertainty in L1 . As Fig. 6.16 shows, the peak value of µ is below 1 and
therefore, the system stability is guaranteed. Time-domain simulations carried out in the
PSCAD/EMTDC software environment on a detailed switched model of the test system
show that the system remains stable following a 10% change in L1 .
µ analysis was further conducted on the test system of Fig. 6.15 assuming 10% uncer-
tainty in L1 , L2 , and L3 . The results of this analysis show that the peak value of µ is below
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 136

1 for the assumed uncertainties. The results of this analysis are not presented here.

6.6 µ-Based Controller Design for Enhanced Robust Stability of


an Islanded Microgrid

It was mentioned in the introduction of this chapter that the purpose of the proposed µ-
based stability analysis method is to design controls that are insensitive to load dynamics.
This section lays the foundation for a future research work to design such a controller. A
methodology has been proposed to design a controller which enhances stability robustness
against load dynamics. Using the proposed methodology, a preliminary controller has been
designed and tested to show the feasibility of the proposed methodology.
As was mentioned in Section 6.3, the proposed method plots µ across a grid of frequency
points; at each frequency point, µ is the inverse of the size of the smallest perturbation
that can cause instability of the closed-loop interconnection. In other words, the value of
µ at each frequency determines how close the closed-loop system is to instability at that
frequency. The peak value of µ determines how close the closed-loop system is to instability;
the frequency at which this peak value occurs is the sensitive frequency of the system where
the onset of instability could occur most easily. The smaller the peak value of µ, the harder
it is to destabilize the closed-loop system and the larger is the robust stability margin. It
is further noted that the robust stability margin can be improved if this peak value of µ is
somehow reduced. This objective is achieved by means of the proposed control strategy as
described in the next section.

6.6.1 Proposed Methodology

The proposed methodology is as follows. First, µ is plotted for the DER-load intercon-
nection under study to determine the sensitive frequency of the system. Then by using a
compensator, the peak value of µ is minimized. The minimization of peak µ is done by
solving an optimization problem which searches the space of stabilizing compensators for
one which yields the lowest peak µ. The compensator reshapes the small-signal impedance
of the DER unit around the sensitive frequency to reduce µ. To illustrate the control de-
sign procedure, this thesis uses a compensator whose structure is based on that of [75],
and designs its gains based on the proposed µ-based approach. The compensator is added
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 137

to the voltage amplitude regulation scheme of the DER unit as shown in Fig. 6.17(a). As
Fig. 6.17(a) shows, the compensator which is represented by two transfer functions ysim (s)
implements the following admittance matrix
" # " # " #
∆iod,sim vod ysim (s) 0
= Ysim , Ysim (s) = . (6.37)
∆ioq,sim voq 0 ysim (s)

Equivalently, one can model the impact of the compensator as adding an impedance of
Zsim = Ysim −1 in parallel to the DER unit, as shown in Fig. 6.17(b). In Fig. 6.17(b),
Zder represents the impedance of the DER unit without the compensator, Ysim denotes
the admittance of the compensator, Zs1 signifies the source impedance without the com-
pensator, Zs2 represents the source impedance with the compensator, and Yl represents
the load admittance.
The purpose of the compensator is to reshape the impedance of the DER unit around the
sensitive frequency only. Therefore, the compensator should have a band-pass behaviour
with the sensitive frequency as the center frequency. This thesis uses a compensator con-
sisting of a proportional controller followed by a second order band-pass filter. The transfer
function of such a compensator can be written as

αωs s
ysim = K , (6.38)
s2 + αωs s + ωs2

where K represents the gain of the proportional controller, α is a gain which determines
the bandwidth of the band-pass filter, and ωs denotes the center frequency of the band-pass
filter. As was mentioned before, the center frequency is selected to be equal to the sensitive
frequency of the system. In this section, the parameters α and ωs are assumed to be fixed;
the compensator gain K is calculated to minimize the peak µ. The next section presents
an example in which a compensator has been designed for the test system of Fig. 6.7.

6.6.2 Case Studies and Simulation Results

This section designs a compensator to enhance robust stability of the DER-load intercon-
nection of Fig. 6.7, using the proposed controller design methodology. First, µ is plotted for
the system under study. Fig. 6.20 shows the plot of µ for the test system of Fig. 6.7 before
adding the compensator (dashed line) assuming 10% uncertainty in the PE and 20% uncer-
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 138

vod iod

vod - evd uvd ∗
id
Kv(s)
-
d-axis compensator

ysim(s)
∆iod sim
C
,

ω *
C
f
Zs1 Zs2 Y
vo
l

* f
Rest of the
q-axis compensator
∆ioq sim network
ysim(s) ,
∆iosim
v∗
oq
evq
Kv(s)
uvq ∗
iq Zder
-

voq ioq

(a) (b)

Fig. 6.17 (a) Block diagram of the voltage amplitude regulation scheme of
a DER unit with the compensator, and (b) equivalent impedance model of the
DER-load interconnection.

tainty in the RL load. As Fig. 6.20 shows, the peak value of µ is around 1.2 and, therefore,
robust stability is not guaranteed. Fig. 6.20 further shows that the sensitive frequency of
the system is around 1000 rad/s. To reduce the peak value of µ, a compensator similar
to that of Fig. 6.17 has been added to the DER unit. The gains of the compensator have
been designed as follows. The center frequency of the band-pass filter is set to ωs =1000
rad/s (the sensitive frequency) and the parameter α is set to 3.2. The value of α is selected
such that the compensator do not interfere with the gain-scheduled decoupling controller
of Chapter 2. The gain K is obtained using an optimization algorithm whose flowchart is
shown in Fig. 6.18 where K represents the compensator gain to be optimized, i denotes
the number of iteration, dK signifies a fixed incremental change in K, and µ represents
the peak value of µ. At each iteration of the optimization algorithm, the peak value of
µ is obtained for the system assuming the compensator with the latest value of K. The
optimization algorithm changes K such that the peak value of µ is reduced. First, the algo-
rithm initializes the parameters K, i, dK, and µ. Then, the gain K is changed to K + dK,
and µ is obtained for the updated K. While µ in the current iteration is less than that of
the previous iteration, the algorithm keeps changing K in the direction of dK. Otherwise,
the algorithm reverses the search direction by changing dK to −dK. This iterative process
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 139

continues until the reduction in µ is less than a constant value represented by ε at which
point the algorithm stops and returns the value of K. In the case of non-convergence, a
bisection search can be adopted by changing dK to dK/2 or −dK/2 in each iteration. The
optimization algorithm has been run for K=1, dK=0.5, and ε=0.001. Fig. 6.19 shows the
peak value of µ versus changing K at each iteration of the optimization algorithm. As
Fig. 6.19 shows, the algorithm returns the value of K=6.5 corresponding to µ=0.29 after
14 iterations. Fig. 6.20 shows the plot of µ for the DER-load interconnection of Fig. 6.7
without the proposed compensator (dashed line) and with the proposed compensator with
K = 6.5, ωs =1000 rad/s, and α=3.2 (solid line). As Fig. 6.20 shows, the compensator
reduces the peak value of µ from 1.2 to 0.29. Thus, robust stability is achieved, and a
robust stability margin of 1/0.29=3.45 is guaranteed.
To further show the effectiveness of the proposed control design approach, a simulation
test has been carried out in PSCAD/EMTDC software environment in which the compen-
sator has been added to the test system of Fig. 6.7. The test system is then subjected to a
change in the PE load and the response of the system is investigated under the conventional
droop-based control and assuming the compensator. The system starts from a steady-state
condition where the DER unit is connected to the PE load and the DC-side load of the
PE is zero. Thus, initially, the PE draws no real and reactive power. Then, at t = 1s, the
DC-side load of the PE is increased to 2.5 MW. Fig. 6.21 shows the response of the system
under the conventional droop-based control. As Fig. 6.21 shows, following the disturbance
at t = 1s, the system becomes unstable. Next, the compensator is activated and the same
test is repeated. Fig. 6.21 shows the response of the system assuming the compensator. As
Fig. 6.21 shows, the system becomes stable under by adding the compensator. The time
domain simulation seem to show that the compensator enhances robustness against load
dynamics.

6.6.3 Adding the Compensator to the Gain-Scheduled Decoupling Control


Strategy of Chapter 2

It should be mentioned that the compensator does not interfere with the gain-scheduled
decoupling control strategy of Chapter 2 and therefore does not compromise its decoupling
characteristics. The reason is that the two control strategies are separated in frequency
domain. This can be explained by studying the way two control strategies reshape the
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 140

Initialize K , i, dK , µ

K = K + dK
i= i +1
Update µ = peak (µ )
Y
Y N
µi − µ −1 > ε
i
µ < µ −1
i i dK = −dK

N
Finish
Return K

Fig. 6.18 Flowchart of the optimization algorithm to find the optimal com-
pensator gain K.
Peak value of µ versus changing K

0.8
Peak µ

0.6

0.4
K = 1.5

K = 2.0

K = 2.5

K = 3.5

K = 4.0

K = 4.5

K = 5.0

K = 5.5

K = 6.0

K = 6.5

K = 7.0

0.2 K = 6.5

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Iteration

Fig. 6.19 Finding the optimal value of K using the proposed optimization
algorithm: peak value of µ versus changing K.

impedance of their host DER unit. Fig. 6.23 shows the singular value of small-signal
impedance of a DER unit under the conventional droop-based control (red solid line), with
the proposed compensator (black dashed line), and under the gain-scheduled controller
(blue dotted line). In Fig. 6.23, there are two traces for each of the three cases considered
because DER impedance is a two-by-two matrix which has two singular values. As Fig. 6.23
shows, the gain scheduled controller reshapes the impedance at frequencies up to 100 rad/s
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 141

Closed-loopµ
1.25

1
No compensator

0.75
µ

0.5

With compensator
0.25

0
10 -1 10 0 10 1 10 2 10 3 10 4
Frequency (rad/s)

Fig. 6.20 Plot of µ for the DER-load interconnection of Fig. 6.7 without the
proposed compensator (dashed line) and with the proposed compensator with
the gain K found from the optimization algorithm of Fig. 6.18 (solid line).

while the compensator reshapes the impedance in a frequency range from 100 rad/s to
2 × 104 rad/s. Due to this frequency separation, the compensator can be added to the
gain-scheduled controller to enhance its robustness against load dynamics while preserving
its decoupling characteristics.

6.7 Chapter Summary

The small-signal stability of an interconnected source and load can be analyzed using
frequency-response methods of stability analysis. These methods assess stability using
the source and load impedances as a function of frequency. The primary advantage of
frequency-response methods is that they only require knowledge of the amplitude and phase
of the impedance of the network, which can be obtained from simulation of the network.
Existing frequency-response methods of stability analysis introduce artificial conservative-
ness and do not explicitly address stability robustness against load perturbations, i.e., by
how much the load can change such that the system will remain stable in the small-signal
sense. This chapter has presented a frequency-response method of stability analysis which
provides a less conservative stability condition compared to existing methods, in the sense
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 142

(a)
0.5

vod , voq 0
vod
voq
-0.5 disturbance

(b)
6
4
iod , ioq

2
0 iod
-2 ioq
-4

(c)
6
4
PP E , QP E

2
0 PP E
-2 QP E
-4

(d)
460
420
ω

380
340 ω

0.975 1 1.025 1.05 1.075 1.1 1.125 1.15


time(s)

Fig. 6.21 Response of the system to a change in the PE load under the
conventional droop-based control: (a) the d- and q-axis components of the
DER unit output voltage, (b) the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit
output current, (c) the real and reactive power drawn by the PE, and (d)
system frequency, Case study of Section 6.6.2.

of having less restriction on the control system; further, the proposed method establishes a
robust stability margin in terms of perturbations in load parameters. The proposed method
is based on µ analysis, and models the source-load dynamic interaction via a closed-loop
system of impedances and admittances. The proposed method has been applied to assess
the small-signal stability of an interconnected electronically-interfaced DER unit and load.
The purpose of such a study is to design controls that are insensitive to load dynamics.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 143

(a)
0.5

vod , voq 0
vod
voq
-0.5 disturbance

(b)
6
4
iod , ioq

2
0 iod
-2 ioq
-4

(c)
6
4
PP E , QP E

2
0 PP E
-2 QP E
-4

(d)
460
420
ω

380
340 ω

0.975 1 1.025 1.05 1.075 1.1 1.125 1.15


time(s)

Fig. 6.22 Response of the system to a change in the PE load assuming


the compensator: (a) the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output
voltage, (b) the d- and q-axis components of the DER unit output current, (c)
the real and reactive power drawn by the PE, and (d) system frequency, Case
study of Section 6.6.2.

Two case studies have been presented to show the features of the proposed method, namely,
reduced conservativeness and the establishment of a robust stability margin. Another case
study has been provided to show the application of the proposed stability analysis method
to a multi-DER-unit network. The results of the frequency-domain stability analysis have
been illustrated through small-signal time-domain simulations around the steady-state op-
erating point of the system.
6 A µ-Based Approach to Small-Signal Stability Analysis of an Interconnected
Distribution Energy Resource Unit and Load 144

25

-25
σ (Zder ) (dB)

-50

-75

-100

Conventional
-125 Compensator
Gain-scheduled

10 -1 10 0 10 1 10 2 10 3 10 4 10 5
Frequency (rad/s)

Fig. 6.23 Plot of σ for the small-signal impedance of a DER unit under the
conventional droop-based control (red solid line), with the proposed compen-
sator (black dashed line), and under the gain-scheduled decoupling controller
of Chapter 2 (blue dotted line).
145

Chapter 7

Conclusions

7.1 Summary and Conclusions

This thesis has studied the dependence of dynamics of a droop-controlled islanded microgrid
to the droop gains, the steady-state power flow, and network and load dynamics. It was
observed that because of these dependencies, conventional droop control might exhibit
poor transient performance or even instability. To enhance the transient performance
and stability, this thesis has proposed a gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy which
reshapes the dynamics of conventional droop control by means of supplementary control
signals. The impact of the proposed control on the dynamics of a droop-controlled active
distribution network has been studied by calculating the eigenvalues of the linearized model
of the a test system. The eigenvalue sensitivity analysis reveals that, under the proposed
control:

• the two natural frequencies of the power-control scheme are at s = −ωc . Hence, the
stability of the power-control scheme is guaranteed.

• the dynamics of the power-control process are no longer dependent on the droop gains
or the steady-state operating point of the DER unit.

• the stability of the power-control process does not depend much on the network dy-
namics; the proposed control is, however, effective over a certain range of frequencies,
which depends on the pass band of the high-pass filters (employed to extract the
small-signal components ∆iod and ∆ioq ) and on the pass band of the low-pass filters

2015/08/03
7 Conclusions 146

(employed in the power-control scheme of the DER unit).

• the dominant eigenvalues of the test active distribution network are located at s =
−ωc ; corresponding to each DER unit, two eigenvalues at s = −ωc constitute the
dominant eigenvalues of the overall active distribution network.

• the dominant eigenvalues of the test active distribution network are invariant to the
droop gains and the steady-state operating conditions.

The simulation results have shown that the proposed control offers superior transient per-
formance and stability compared to the conventional droop-based control using the same
set of system and control parameters. Time-domain simulation tests also demonstrate a
feature of the proposed control in a system setting that it equally stabilizes all packets of
an islanded distribution system, without jeopardizing the stability of the interconnected
system. In a number of case studies, it was observed that the application of the physical
disturbance leads to instability if the conventional droop control is employed. This thesis
conducted a study to investigate whether the instability is indeed a result of the dependence
of dynamics on the droop gains, the steady-state power flow, and network and load dynam-
ics, as this thesis claim it is, or an issue that has manifested itself due to poor design of the
controller and/or the LC filter of the DER unit. Thus, the controllers and LC filters of the
original system were modified such that the resonant frequency of the LC filter be outside
the pass-band of the controllers. The same simulation tests were conducted on the modified
system. It was observed that the same instabilities occur in the modified system. Due to
the difference between the speed of the controllers of the modified and original systems,
the same instability occurs at a different frequency and under different pre-disturbance
steady-state regime for the two systems. It was concluded that the observed instabilities
are a result of the dependence of dynamics on the droop gains, the steady-state power flow,
and network and load dynamics.
This thesis further shows the feasibility of implementation of the gain-scheduled decou-
pling control strategy in the BCIT microgrid. It has been shown that the proposed control
strategy:

• maintains the stability of the BCIT microgrid under a sudden load change, a change
in network topology, the addition/loss of a DER unit, and transition between the
islanded-mode and grid-connected mode.
7 Conclusions 147

• does not impact the steady-state characteristics of the conventional droop mechanism
and, hence, preserves the steady-state power sharing amongst the DER units and the
voltage amplitude/frequency regulation of the conventional droop mechanism.

• obviates the need for communication between DER units and hence reduces the cost
of implementation and increases the reliability of operation of the BCIT microgrid.

• enables plug-and-play operation and therefore enables autonomous control for each
component of the BCIT microgrid.

A generic load model has been proposed for simulation studies of microgrids to be used
to study dependence of dynamics on load dynamics. The proposed generic load model
can emulate the steady-state and dynamic behaviors of different actual power system loads
such as an RLC load and an IM load. A methodology has been proposed to design the
parameters of the generic load model based on the information about the steady-state and
dynamic power-voltage and power-frequency characteristics of the actual load. Simulation
results have shown that the proposed generic load model can emulate the steady-state and
dynamic behaviour of an RL load and an IM load.
This thesis has shown the feasibility of hardware implementation of the proposed gain-
scheduled decoupling control strategy by testing the control in the OPAL-RT real-time
environment. Thus, a model of the test system of Chapter 2 was developed in MAT-
LAB/Simulink environment to be run by the OPAR-RT machine. A time-step of 6.7096
µs was used for the PSCAD simulations while the time-step of OPAL-RT real-time simu-
lations was 20 µs. Then, the results obtained in the PSCAD/EMTDC environment were
compared to those obtained in the OPAL-RT environment. The results of this comparison
reveal that:

• the results of the OPAL-RT environment seem to match those of the PSCAD envi-
ronment; in some cases, a discrepancy was observed between the two sets of results.
These discrepancies appear to be due to the use of average models instead of switched
models for the inverters in the OPAL-RT environment.

• the same instabilities occur in the OPAL-RT environment as those observed in the
PSCAD environment when the conventional droop-based control is employed; under
the same set of operating conditions, the frequency of oscillation of the unstable
7 Conclusions 148

system was about 34 Hz in the OPAL-RT environment compared to 38 Hz in the


PSCAD environment.

• the proposed gain-scheduled decoupling control strategy stabilizes the test system in
the OPAL-RT environment.

This thesis has proposed a frequency-response method of stability analysis to assess the
dynamic interactions of loads and DER units and its impact on small-signal stability of
an islanded microgrid. The proposed approach is based on µ analysis and can be used to
study stability of a MIMO interconnected source and load system. It has been shown that
the proposed µ-based approach provides a less conservative stability condition compared
to the existing frequency-response methods in the literature. Therefore, it imposes less
restrictions on the control system. Further, the proposed method is capable of establishing
a robust stability margin in terms of load perturbations. Time-domain simulations seem
to illustrate the findings of the proposed µ-based method in terms of stability condition
and robust stability margin. Using the proposed µ-based method, this thesis studied the
small-signal stability of a subnetwork of a university campus microgrid consisting of a
single-DER unit interconnected with a PE load and an RL load, operating at a given
steady-state operating point. This thesis has compared the stability condition set by the
proposed µ-based method and that of the conventional Middlebrook method and showed
that the stability condition of the proposed method is less conservative. Further, the µ-
based analysis predicted that the test system is stable around its steady-state operating
point under 10% change in the PE; nevertheless, the proposed method could not guarantee
stability under 20% in the PE. Time-domain simulations conducted around the steady-
state operating point of the test system showed that the test system is stable and remains
stable following 10% change in the PE; nevertheless, the system became unstable under
20% change in the PE. Next, this thesis has shown the application of the proposed µ-based
method to a test multi-DER unit islanded microgrid and concluded that the proposed
method: i) is equally adaptable for use in a multi-DER unit system; and ii) implicitly
incorporates the impact of small-signal changes to the network frequency caused by droop
control. Based on the µ-based method, a controller design methodology was proposed to
enhance stability robustness of a DER-load interconnection against load dynamics.
7 Conclusions 149

7.2 Future Work

Further research in continuation of this work includes the following:

• It is suggested that a microgrid EMS be developed including the gain-scheduled de-


coupling control strategy. In this case, some level of dynamic interaction between the
gain-scheduled control strategy and the secondary level control is anticipated which
may degrade microgrid performance and should be considered in the EMS design
procedure.

• It is suggested that the gain-scheduled control strategy be modified for microgrid


applications where the DER units are nondispachable, such as wind and photovoltaic
units.

• Although the structure of the generic load model allows emulation of loads of different
steady-state and dynamic characteristics, this thesis only focused on loads whose
dynamics can be modeled by a second order system. It is suggested that the generic
load model be elaborated to emulate loads with more complex dynamics, such as
a combination of several real-life loads. Further, the generic load model can be
developed for application such as distribution system modeling; this may necessitate
using tools from nonlinear control theory since load modeling involves non-linearity.

• It is suggested to extend the µ-based stability analysis to source-load interconnections


where the source is a nondispachable DER unit such as wind and photovoltaic units.

• In the µ-based stability analysis, the small-signal changes to the network frequency
were implicitly included in the analysis by expressing them in terms of the variation
of the q-axis component of DER output voltage. An alternative approach is to take
the network frequency as an independent state variable in the analysis. In this case,
the source impedance matrix and the load admittance matrix become 2×3 and 3×2
matrices. This alternative approach can be applied to systems in which the frequency
is an independent state variable such as grid-imposed VSC systems and variable
frequency VSC systems [49].

• It is also suggested that the µ-based controller design method of Chapter 6 be defined
as a µ-synthesis problem solved using D − K iteration [76] to enhance the stability
7 Conclusions 150

robustness against load dynamics. In this case, the order of the controller will lo longer
be fixed and is determined by the D − K iteration. In this case, the D − K iteration
solves the optimization problem to find the stabilizing controller which minimizes µ.
151

Appendix A

Parameters of the Test Systems

Table A.1 presents the parameters of the test active distribution network of Fig. 2.1, Chap-
ter 2.
Table A.2 presents the values of the parameters of the original and modified control schemes
and output LC filter of DER1, Chapter 2.
Table A.3 presents the values of load parameters in case studies of Section 3.2, Chapter 3.
Table A.4 presents the subnetworks and loads of the UofT model of the BCIT microgrid
shown in Fig. 4.1, Chapter 4.
Table A.5 presents the values of droop control parameters for droop-based control of the
BCIT microgrid, Chapter 4.
Table A.6 presents the values of parameters of the single-DER unit test system shown in
Fig. 6.7, Chapter 6.

2015/08/03
A Parameters of the Test Systems 152

Table A.1 Parameters of the test active distribution network of Fig. 2.1,
Chapter 2.
DER unit parameters
Parameter DER 1 DER 2 and DER 3
Power rating 6 MVA 3 MVA
Switching frequency 6.480 kHz 6.480 kHz
Lf 0.15 mH 0.3 mH
R 1.5 mΩ 3 mΩ
Cf 1000 µF 500 µF
ωc 16 rad/s 16 rad/s
m 2 (rad/s)/MW 4 (rad/s)/MW
n 0.02 kV/MAr 0.04 kV/MAr
Kpv 0.05 0.0317
Kiv 97.5 61.7
Kpc 10.5 21
Kic 16×103 32×103
kω 0.005 kVs 0.005 kVs
Controller gains
DER1 g11 = −0.0522 g12 = 0.0647
g21 = −0.0647 g22 = −0.0522
DER2 g11 = −0.1010 g12 = 0.1212
g21 = −0.1212 g22 = −0.1010
DER3 g11 = −0.1087 g12 = 0.1159
g21 = −0.1159 g22 = −0.1087
Network parameters
System frequency 60 Hz
Line impedance 0.173 + j0.432 Ω/Km
Real- and reactive- Sub-Network 1: 3.15 MW/2.4 MVAr
power demand Sub-Network 2: 1.2 MW/0.9 MVAr
Trans. series resistance and Tr1: 8 mΩ, 52.6 µH
leakage inductance referred Tr2: 16 mΩ, 105.2 µH
to low-voltage side Tr3: 16 mΩ, 105.2 µH
A Parameters of the Test Systems 153

Table A.2 Values of the parameters of the original and modified control
schemes and output LC filter of DER1, Chapter 2.
DER1
Parameter Original Modified
Power rating 6 MVA 6 MVA
PWM switching frequency
Switching frequency 6.480 kHz 12.960 kHz
LC filter
Lf 0.15 mH 0.15 mH
Cf 1000 µF 500 µF
Resonant frequency 400 Hz 600 Hz
of the LC filter
R 1.5 mΩ 1.5 mΩ
Power-control scheme
ωc 16 rad/s 16 rad/s
m 2 (rad/s)/MW 2 (rad/s)/MW
n 0.02 kV/MAr 0.02 kV/MAr
Voltage-amplitude regulation scheme
Phase margin 60◦ 60◦
Bandwidth 100 Hz 80 Hz
Current controller
Time constant 0.1 ms 1.6 ms
Bandwidth 1600 Hz 100 Hz
Frequency regulation scheme
kω 0.005 kVs 0.005 kVs
A Parameters of the Test Systems 154

Table A.3 Values of load parameters in case studies of Section 3.2, Chap-
ter 3.
The generic load
Parameter Case I Case II Emulating Emulating
the RL the IM
d (s−1 ) 5 10 20 50
ωosc (rad/s) 37.7 75.4 377 115
YP (MW/kV2 ) 0.0064 0.0064 0.2966 25.296
Prated (MW) 0.5 0.5 0.055 0.8
V0 (kV) 7.2 7.2 7.2 7.2
NP 2 2 2 2
ωL0 (rad) 377 377 377 377
KP F 0 0 0 0
YQ (MVAr/kV2 ) 0 0 0.2131 0.6
Qrated (MVAr) 0 0 0.055 0.175
NQ 2 2 2 2
KQF 0 0 0 0
The RL load
R 4Ω
rL 0.15 Ω
L 0.0137 H
The IM load
Rated power 0.8 MVA
Rated voltage (L-L) 0.868 kV
Base angular frequency 377 rad/s
Angular moment of inertia 0.3
Mechanical damping 0.135 p.u.
Stator resistance 0.0184 p.u.
Wound rotor resistance 0.0132 p.u.
Magnetizing inductance 3.8 p.u.
Stator leakage inductance 0.0223 p.u.
Wound rotor leakage inductance 0.0223 p.u.
A Parameters of the Test Systems 155

Table A.4 The subnetworks and loads of the UofT model of the BCIT
microgrid shown in Fig. 4.1, Chapter 4.
Sub-Network Load
C+D+J 0.364 MW + j0.176 MVar
A+B+G 0.297 MW + j0.144 MVar
M+T+W 0.555 MW + j0.269 MVar
R 0.288 MW + j0.139 MVar
N 0.633 MW + j0.307 MVar
Aggregate Load 2.14 MW + j 1.08 MVar
Base voltage 0.48 kV
Base frequency 60 Hz

Table A.5 The values of droop control parameters for droop-based control
of the BCIT microgrid, Chapter 4.

DER Rated Power m n ω0 V0


DER1 2 MVA 2 (rad/s)/MW 0.02 kV/MVar 380 rad/s 0.57 kV
DER2 1 MVA 4 (rad/s)/MW 0.04 kV/MVar 380 rad/s 0.57 kV
DER3 1 MVA 4 (rad/s)/MW 0.04 kV/MVar 380 rad/s 0.57 kV
A Parameters of the Test Systems 156

Table A.6 The values of parameters of the single-DER unit test system
shown in Fig. 6.7, Chapter 6.
DER unit parameters
Parameter Value
Rated power and switching freq. 4 MVA, 3.420 kHz
Output filter Lf = 0.1 mH, Cf = 5000 µF
Power-control scheme ωc = 31.4rad/s,
m= 2(rad/s)/MW, n= 0.02kV/MAr
1844
Voltage-amplitude regulation Kv (s)= 1.66 + s
15
Current-control Kc (s)= 1 + s
Frequency regulation kω = 0.01 kVs,
400(1+0.0075s)
H(s)= 0.0075s(1+0.0008366s)

PE parameters
Rated power and switching freq. 3 MW, 1.680 kHz
Output filter L= 0.2 mH, Cf = 5000 µF
s+19
DC-bus voltage regulator 1868 s(s+2077)
1000
Current controller s+1000
DC side 2C= 19250 µF, Vdc = 2500 V
Lc 0.2 mH
157

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