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.
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:
BRIEF DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
- 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.
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
These and other objects are accomplished with the claimed invention
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
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
- 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.
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
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
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
- 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
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
- 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
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)
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
- Dynamic voltage restorer
- Energy storage capacitor bank
- Voltage source converter
- Injection transformer
- Charging unit
- Gate control unit
- Short circuit detection unit
- Threshold detection device
- Capacitor can
- Snubber Reactor
- Can resistor
- Starpoint resistor
- Threshold detection resistor
- S1, S2
- DC link voltage, capacitor can voltage
- AC Boost voltage
- Grid voltage
- Load voltage
- Starpoint voltage