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VSC-Based HVDC Transmission System

This example shows a VSC-based HVDC transmission link 200 MVA (+/- 100kV).

Silvano Casoria (Hydro-Quebec)


A 200 MVA (+/- 100 kV DC) forced-commutated Voltage-Sourced Converter (VSC) interconnection is used to transmit power from a 230 kV, 2000 MVA, 50 Hz system to another identical AC system. The rectifier and the inverter are three-level Neutral Point Clamped (NPC) VSC converters using close IGBT/Diodes. The Sinusoidal Pulse Width Modulation (SPWM) switching uses a single-phase triangular carrier wave with a frequency of 27 times fundamental frequency (1350 Hz). Along with the converters, the station includes on the AC side: the step down Yg-D transformer, the AC filters, the converter reactor; and on the DC side: the capacitors, the DC filters. The transformer tap changers and saturation characteristics are not simulated. The 40 Mvar shunt AC filters are 27th and 54th high-pass tuned around the two dominating harmonics. The 0.15 p.u. converter reactor with the 0.15 p.u. transformer leakage reactance permits the VSC output voltage to shift in phase and amplitude with respect to the AC system Point of Common Coupling (PCC) (bus B1 for station 1 and B2 for station 2) and allows control of converter active and reactive power output. The reservoir DC capacitors are connected to the VSC terminals. They have an influence on the system dynamics and the voltage ripple on the DC side. The high-frequency blocking filters are tuned to the 3rd harmonic, i.e. the main harmonic present in the positive and negative pole voltages. The rectifier and the inverter are interconnected through a 75 km cable (i.e. 2 pi sections) and two 8 mH smoothing reactors. A circuit breaker is used to apply a three-phase to ground fault on the inverter AC side. A Three-Phase Programmable Voltage Source block is used in station 1 system to apply voltage sags.

The discrete control system generates the three sinusoidal modulating signals that are the reference value of the bridge phase voltages. The amplitude and phase of the modulating signals can be calculated to control either: the reactive and real AC power flow at the PCC, or the reactive power flow at the PCC and the pole to pole DC voltage. It would also be possible to control the AC voltage amplitude at the PCC, but this option is not included in our model. A description of the control system is provided in the "VSC-Based HVDC Link" case study of the User's Manual. The power system and the control system are both discretized for a sample time Ts_Power=7.406e-6 s and Ts_control=74.06e-6 s respectively. They are multiples of the carrier period. Notice that the "Model initialization" function of the model automatically sets these two sample times in your MATLAB® workspace.


Two simulations will permit to examine the system response to:

1) Steps on the regulators references, and

2) Minor and severe perturbations on the AC sides.

Steady-state - Step response of power (P & Q) and DC voltage regulators

The system is programmed to start and reach a steady state. Steps are then applied sequentially on: the reference active and reactive power of the rectifier; the reference DC voltage of the inverter. The dynamic response of the regulators is observed. Start the simulation. Open the BUS B1 STATION_1 and DC_SIDE_STATION_2 scopes (in the respective Data Acquisition subsystems). Examine in station 1: the active power on trace 2 (1 p.u. = 200 MW) and the reactive power (reference and measured values) on trace 3 (1 p.u. =200 Mvar); in station 2: the DC voltage (reference and measured values) on trace 2 (1 p.u. = 200 kV).

At t = 1.5 s, a -0.1 p.u. step is first applied to the reference active power (decrease from 1 p.u. to 0.9 pu). The power stabilizes in approximately 0.3 seconds. Steps are also applied to the reference reactive power of the rectifier (from 0 to -0.1 p.u.) at t = 2.0 s and on the reference DC voltage of the inverter (decrease from 1 p.u. to 0.95 p.u.) at t = 2.5 s. Note the regulators dynamics and how they are more or less mutually affected. The control design attempts to decouple the active and reactive power responses.

AC side perturbations

Deactivate the steps applied on the three references by changing the multiplication factors to 100 in the Step times. In the "Three-Phase Programmable Voltage Source" inside AC system 1 subsystem, change the Time variation setting to "Amplitude". Check that the source is now programmed for a step of -0.1 p.u on voltage magnitude at t = 1.5 s, for a duration of 7 cycles. In the "Three-Phase Fault" block change to 1 the multiplication factor in the Transition times. A 6 cycles three-phase fault will be applied at t = 2.1 s in station 2 PCC (Bus B2). Restart the simulation.

After the AC voltage sag in station 1, the active and reactive power deviation from the pre-disturbance is less than 0.09 p.u. and 0.2 p.u. respectively. The recovery time is less than 0.3 s and steady state is reached again. A second perturbation follows. During the severe three-phase fault at station 2, the transmitted DC power is almost halted and the DC voltage tends to increase (1.2 p.u.) since the DC side capacitance is being excessively charged. A special function (DC Voltage Control Override) in the Active Power Control (in station 1) attempts to limit the DC voltage within a fixed range (see the controller mask). The system recovers well after the fault within 0.5 s. You can observe overshoot in the active power (1.33 p.u. in station 1) and damped oscillations (around 10 Hz) in the reactive power.

Impact of the DC voltage balance control

Open the VOLTAGE_BALANCE_CONTROL_STATION_2 scope. Finally, open the control dialog box in Station 2 and verify that the DC Voltage Balance box is activated. The DC voltage balance control objective is to minimize the voltage unbalance (Udc_0_mean signal = sum of the positive and negative pole voltages). A way of producing an unbalance is to use unequal capacitance values in the positive and negative poles (for example, Cp divided by 2). Observe the Udc_0_mean signal first with the DC balance control activated and then deactivated. Note that this function response is relatively slow.