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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1168565 28.02.2002
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 1168565
Titel Schutz eines dynamischen Spannungswiederherstellers
Anmelder ABB Industrie AG, Baden, CH
Erfinder Dähler, Peter, 5236 Remigen, CH;
Knapp, Gerold, 5408 Ennetbaden, CH
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, CY, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 30.06.2000
EP-Aktenzeichen 008105694
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 02.01.2002
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 28.02.2002
IPC-Hauptklasse H02J 3/18

Beschreibung[en]
TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a method to protect a dynamic voltage restorer against thermal or mechanical damage in case of an internal short circuit.

The invention further relates to a dynamic voltage restorer for carrying out that method.

BACKGROUND ART

A dynamic voltage restorer is designed to compensate short-term disturbances in an AC system such as voltage dips or voltage swells by injecting a series voltage by means of a voltage source converter. In order to be independent from an external power source during such disturbances a large energy storage device arranged by capacitor banks is required.

"Requirements and Solutions for Dynamic Voltage Restorer, A Case Study" (P. Dähler, R.Affolter; IEEE PES 2000, Singapore) describes a dynamic voltage restorer rated for 4MVA load and a compensation capability specified for a 38% 3-phase dip of 150ms duration. The converter was based on conventional 2-level topology. Due to the moderate rating an energy storage capacitor bank of 245mF / 2200V was sufficient and a conventional protection concept utilizing fuses was used.

The following design example is based on a dynamic voltage restorer specification with a significantly higher rating:

Load to be protected:
SGN=15 MVW   cos(ϕ)=0.9
Worst case voltage dip to be compensated:
ΔuG=35%   3-pase dip 500 ms

When focussing on large-scale applications the neutral point clamped (NPC) circuit topology as described in EP 0'969'586 is the preferred solution. To be able to compensate an AC voltage dip of these parameters a DC link with the following main data is required:

DC Link Voltage:
Ud=±5200 V (nominal at begin of fault)

Ud=±2400 V (minimal at end of fault)
Total Capacitance:
CD=237 mF (5200 V)
Stored Energy:
ED=3.2 MJ (5200 V)

With such a large capacitor bank the well-known DC link protection problem with voltage source converters is dramatically accentuated. The design of the bank and its protection concept must ensure that no thermal or mechanical damages can occur at the following internal fault events:

  • Semiconductor failure within the voltage source converter leading to a "Fire Through" condition across one side of the DC link (+ or - to midpoint) or across the total DC link (+ to -),
  • Short circuit across DC busbar (+ or - to midpoint/ + to -) within the capacitor bank or the voltage source converter,
  • Internal or external short circuit of individual capacitor cans, and
  • Ground faults within the capacitor bank or the voltage source converter.

BRIEF DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

It is a principle object of the present invention to provide a method to protect a dynamic voltage restorer comprising a voltage source converter and a large energy storage capacitor bank against thermal or mechanical damage in case of a short circuit within the converter or the capacitor bank. It is a further object of the invention to provide a dynamic voltage restorer for carrying out that method.

These and other objects are accomplished with the claimed invention as follows:

A short circuit within the converter or the capacitor bank is immediately detected by a short circuit detection unit which permanently monitors currents and/ or voltages in the dynamic voltage restorer. Upon detection either a normal off sequence of the capacitor bank including normal capacitor bank discharge, or a fast discharge of the capacitor bank including firing of all available semiconductors of the converter (protection firing) and distributing the resulting current stress as evenly as possible within the converter is initiated. The short circuit currents are detected and evenly distributed within the converter so that expensive fuses to interrupt the high short circuit currents are not needed.

Thanks to at least one can resistor connected in series to each string of capacitor cans the current stress resulting of the protection firing is kept within the surge capability of the semiconductors.

The can resistors eliminate the need for costly high current fuses, which had to be replaced after a short circuit within the converter or the energy storage device. They also reduce the risk for very high mechanical forces and therefor help lower costs for construction efforts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be explained in view of the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments together with the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1
is a schematic diagram illustrating a dynamic voltage restorer with a voltage source converter and an energy storage capacitor bank,
Fig. 2
is a detailed schematic diagram illustrating the energy storage capacitor bank of Fig. 1 with two subbanks, and
Fig. 3
is a detailed schematic diagram illustrating one of the two subbanks of Fig.2 in case of a short circuit.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As shown in Fig. 1, a dynamic voltage restorer 1 is designed to compensate short term disturbances in an AC system (Grid G, grid voltage uG and Load L, load voltage uL) such as voltage dips or voltage swells by injecting a series voltage δuB by means of a voltage source converter 3. In order to enable the neutral point clamped voltage source converter 3 to generate the AC voltage δuB without even order harmonics, a balanced bipolar DC voltage ±Ud (eg. ±2600 V) at its DC link terminals is required during the whole boosting interval (eg. 500ms). This is provided by the energy storage capacitor bank 2.

The capacitors directly connected to the voltage source converter 3 are minimized and are not sufficient to ensure an adequate DC voltage balance. Therefore a part of the main capacitor bank 2 has to be configured as subbank S2 with a common midpoint connected to the midpoint of the voltage source converter 3. In the design example used here and illustrated in Fig.2 half of the whole capacitor bank 2 are arranged in this manner. This allows operating the dynamic voltage restorer 1 without additional active balancing actions by means of the converter control, which would result in an increased switching frequency of the voltage source converter 3.

The individual capacitor can Ccan used for the capacitor bank has the following main data:

CCanN = 5.17 mF   UcanN = 2600 V   dry type , selfhealing

The other subbank S1 is configured with parallel strings of two series connected capacitor cans Ccan. The midpoints between the two series connected capacitor cans are basically floating.

The subbank S2 is arranged in the same way as subbank S1. The only difference is that the midpoints are starpoint connected via individual high voltage low current fuses F and connected with the voltage source converter 3 midpoint.

A low ohmic resistor R is connected in series to each capacitor can Ccan. Its energy absorption capability is slightly higher than the energy stored in one capacitor can CCAN at maximum DC voltage (2800 V). The resistance is chosen in order to enable the voltage source converter 3 to withstand the current surges taking place in the event of a fast emergency discharge (thermally as well as mechanically). Since these resistors also dissipate some energy in the event of a voltage-boosting event of the dynamic voltage restorer an increase of the required bank capacitance in the range of 5-10% is required.

A failure of a semiconductor (IGCT, antiparallel diode or NPC diode) in the voltage source converter 3 or its associated firing control (gate unit 8, control electronics) leads to a fire through condition which means a short circuit between half of the capacitor banks DC link or the total DC link. Without counter actions the resulting current surge would cause severe mechanical destruction and thermal failure damage of all semiconductors in the loop.

A conventional protection approach would be to install fuses in series with the capacitor cans or in series with groups of cans. This solution however would have the consequence that many fuses would have to be replaced at the event of a single semiconductor failure.

The strategy of this invention for this fault is called protection firing. The fault is detected by means of a short circuit detection unit 9 within <15 µs. The detection is based on monitoring currents by measuring windings attached to snubber reactors Ls. Following to the detection of the fault all available voltage source converter branches are fired in order to distribute the current stress as evenly as possible. The resistance of the can resistors R is chosen in order to keep the resulting stresses within the surge capability of the semiconductors (R between 1 and 5 Ω). In addition the mechanical forces are kept within acceptable limits.

The major part of the energy stored in the capacitor bank 2 is evenly distributed to all can resistors R. Their energy absorption capability is designed to savely survive this current stress.

Neglecting short-term oscillations (ms-range due to the closely coupled voltage source converter capacitors) the discharge of the capacitor bank will basically take place exponentially with a time constant τPF: τPF ≈ 2&peseta;R&peseta;CD / (N) ≈ 11ms where

R = 2.1 Ω
Can resistor
CD =237 mF
Total bank capacitance
N = 96
Total number parallel strings per bank

For the capacitor bank 3 a short circuit across the DC Busbar (which is very unlikely) is very similar to a semiconductor failure.

If the fault takes place across the total bank, a total discharge will take place (time constant approx. 12ms). Thanks to the can resistors R only a small part of the stored energy will dissipate in the fault flash. This fact (the small energy and the short discharge time) will keep the resulting damage within limits.

The fault is detected by monitoring the DC link voltages. As a strategy a normal switch off sequence (normal DC discharge, AC bypass etc.) is initiated. It should be recognized however, that this action does not have an impact on the actual fault scenario.

The selfhealing property of the capacitor can technology makes an internal short circuit of individual capacitor cans very unlikely. However it should not be completely excluded in the protection considerations. An external short circuit of individual capacitor cans could be caused by the visit of a small animal or a tool lost in the capacitor bank.

This fault has a basically different effect on the two subbanks and should therefore be treated separately.

In the case of a short circuit across a capacitor can of subbank S1 with floating midpoints, the voltage stress of the healthy can of the same series string will be doubled (5200 V instead of 2600 V at nominal DC voltage or 5600 V instead of 2800 V at maximum DC voltage). The rise of the voltage stress will be exponential with the following time constant τC: τC ≈ 2&peseta;R&peseta;CCAN ≈ 22ms

A special circuit has been developed to detect this fault case. According to Fig. 2 the subbank S1 is divided into two halves. By means of high ohmic resistors (R1 = 1MΩ) a star point is formed for each half subbank. The voltage uRM between these two star points is monitored by a threshold detection device B. During normal operation this voltage is approximately zero. In case of a can short circuit as shown in Fig. 3 the potential of the affected starpoint will jump and the voltage UM will instantly jump to the value URM and according to the time constant τC to the steady state value URmstat which is twice the instant value.

The steady state and the instantaneous voltage levels for the detection are approximately as follows: URMstat ≈ Ud &peseta; RM / (2&peseta;R1 + n&peseta;RM) ≈ 66V URM ≈ URMstat / (2) ≈ 33V where

n = 23
Number of strings per half subbank
Ud = 2600 V
Prefault voltage per can
R1 = 1 MΩ
Can fault measuring resistor (Umax=3 kV, Pmax=10 W)
RM = 120 kΩ
Input resistance of threshold detection device B

Two potential actions can be taken upon detection of the fault:

  • Initiation of protection firing upon fast detection of uRM(t) > URM. Thanks to the fast discharge the healthy can of the affected string will not face any significant overvoltage.
  • Initiation of the normal off sequence including normal DC bank discharge. In this case the healthy can of the affected string will face some overvoltage in the 1 s to 10 s time range, depending on the normal discharge time constant. It is recommended to design the discharge time constant as short as possible with reasonable cost

If the capacitor cans CCAN are designed to withstand double voltage for a short period of time this second strategy is recommended.

The two can resistors of the affected string will absorb approximately half of the energy to be absorbed in the case of a semiconductor failure within the voltage source converter or a short circuit across the DC busbar. ER ≈ 0.5&peseta;U2d&peseta;CCAN / (2) ≈ 10kJ

In case of a capacitor can short circuit within the subbank S2 with fused midpoints all healthy cans of the same side of the subbank will feed into the fault. Without fuses in the midpoint connections the affected side of the subbank would fully discharge. Most of the stored energy (approx. 0.8 MJ at Ud = 2600 V) would be dissipated in the can resistor R of the faulty can. This huge energy pulse would destroy the can resistor R with the result of unpredictable damage in its neighborhood.

The fuses F are designed to selectively interrupt this discharge loop. That means only the faulty can and the corresponding fuse has to be replaced after such an event.

After the successful interruption of the discharge loop the healthy can of the affected series string will also face double voltage stress. Everything said for the floating midpoint subbank S1 is now also valid here.

The midpoint of the DC link is grounded via a high ohmic resistor (e.g. 200 Ω) at the voltage source converter. This concept makes sure that no dangerous current will flow in the event of a ground fault at any location of the system (capacitor bank or voltage source converter). In addition no fuses in the midpoint will interrupt.

The electrical potentials of all three DC link terminals (+, -, 0) towards ground are monitored. In case of a ground fault all potentials will significantly deviate from the balanced condition. A normal off sequence (normal DC discharge, AC bypass, etc.) is initiated in this case. It should be noted that there is no need for fast action in this fault case.

A ground fault of the midpoint is highly unlikely and if it happens it has no effect on the operation of the system. The matter of concern for this case is that a second ground fault at another location would lead to a significant fault current. The protection described in case of a short circuit across the DC Busbar however covers this double contingency case.

LIST OF DESIGNATION

1
Dynamic voltage restorer
2
Energy storage capacitor bank
3
Voltage source converter
4
Injection transformer
6
Charging unit
7
Filter
8
Gate control unit
9
Short circuit detection unit
B
Threshold detection device
CCAN
Capacitor can
F
Fuse
G
Grid
L
Load
LS
Snubber Reactor
R
Can resistor
R1
Starpoint resistor
RM
Threshold detection resistor
S1, S2
Subbanks
Ud
DC link voltage, capacitor can voltage
δuB
AC Boost voltage
uG
Grid voltage
uL
Load voltage
uRM
Starpoint voltage


Anspruch[en]
  1. Method to protect a dynamic voltage restorer (1) comprising
    • an energy storage capacitor bank (2) with at least one capacitor can (CCAN), and
    • a voltage source converter (3) with at least two converter branches comprising each at least one pair of semiconductors
    against thermal or mechanical damage in case of a short circuit within the converter (3) or the capacitor bank (2), comprising the steps of:
    • monitoring currents in the converter (3) and/ or voltages in the capacitor Bank (2) in order to detect a short circuit,
    • upon detection of the short circuit initiating the discharge of the capacitor bank (2), and
    • discharging all capacitor cans (CCAN).
  2. Method to protect a dynamic voltage restorer (1) comprising
    • an energy storage capacitor bank (2) with at least one subbank (S1, S2) of at least one string of two series connected capacitor cans (CCAN),

      whereas in the case that the subbank (S1, S2) comprises two or more strings of series connected capacitor cans (CCAN) these strings are parallel and the midpoints of these strings are connected to a starpoint by high resistance resistors (R1), and
    • a voltage source converter (3) with at least two converter branches comprising each at least one pair of semiconductors
    against thermal or mechanical damage in case of a short circuit within the converter (3) or the capacitor bank 2, comprising the steps of:
    • monitoring currents in the converter (3) and/ or the voltages of the midpoints of the strings of series connected capacitor cans (CCAN) in order to detect a short circuit,
    • upon detection of the short circuit initiating the discharge of the capacitor bank (2), and
    • discharging all capacitor cans (CCAN).
  3. Method as in claims 1 or 2 wherein
    • the short circuit is detected by comparing the measured currents to reference values or other measured currents and/ or by comparing the measured voltages to reference values or other measured voltages.
  4. Method as in one of the claims 1 to 3 wherein
    • the discharge of the capacitor cans (CCAN) is done by firing all available semiconductors within the converter (3).
  5. A dynamic voltage restorer comprising
    • an energy storage capacitor bank (2) with at least one capacitor can (CCAN) and
    • a voltage source converter (3),
    wherein
    • at least one can resistor (R) is connected in series to the at least one capacitor can (CCAN).
  6. A dynamic voltage restorer as in claim 5 wherein
    • the can resistor (R) has a resistance between 1 and 5 Ω.
  7. A dynamic voltage restorer as in claims 5 or 6 wherein
    • the capacitor bank (2) comprises at least one subbank (S1, S2), and
    • the subbank (S1, S2) comprises at least one string of two series-connected capacitor cans.
  8. A Dynamic Voltage Restorer as in claim 7 wherein
    • the subbank (S2) comprises at least two parallel strings of two series-connected capacitor cans, and
    • the midpoints between the series-connected capacitor cans (CCAN) of the strings are starpoint-connected by fuses (F).
  9. A Dynamic Voltage Restorer as in claim 7 or 8 wherein
    • the subbank (S1, S2) comprises at least two parallel strings of two series-connected capacitor cans (CCAN), and
    • the midpoints between the series-connected capacitor cans (CCAN) of the strings are starpoint-connected by high resistance resistors (R1).
  10. A Dynamic Voltage Restorer as in claim 8 or 9 wherein
    • the subbank (S1, S2) is divided into two halves each comprising at least two parallel strings of two series-connected capacitor cans (CCAN), and
    • the midpoints between the series-connected capacitor cans (CCAN) of the strings of each half subbank are starpoint-connected by high resistance resistors (R1).
  11. A Dynamic Voltage Restorer as in claim 9 or 10 wherein
    • the starpoint is connected to a short circuit detection unit (9), and
    • said short circuit detection unit comprises means to compare the voltage of the starpoint of a subbank or half a subbank to a reference value and/ or to the voltage of the starpoint of another subbank or half a subbank, and means to initiate discharge of the capacitor cans (CCAN) of the subbank.






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