Mississippi State University
Follett, Randolph F.
Date of Degree
Original embargo terms
Dissertation - Open Access
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Many distributed energy resource (DER) systems are remotely located and are often interfaced at low or medium voltage levels through power electronics converters such as voltage-sourced converters (VSC). Therefore, a weak-grid situation is encountered where the voltage and frequency at the point of DER coupling can experience fluctuations. A power converter designed to operate in normal and strong grid conditions may not perform satisfactorily during such weak and distorted grid conditions. Hence, considering the full dynamics of the system during weak-grid conditions in the design of converter control is indispensable to ensure the stability of the DER and the grid. For instance, the phase-locked loop (PLL) has been identified as a critical component of the VSC controller that can compromise the DER performance during weak-grid conditions. This dissertation investigates and enhances the performances of inverters connected to weak and polluted grids. It primarily presents a novel approach of enhancing the inverter current controller by including the PLL state variables among the entire system state and use them to optimally generate the control input for the VSC. This mitigates the loop interactions between the PLL and other control loops resulting in a mitigation of the oscillations that could cause system instabilities. The procedure is accomplished using the recently developed linear model of the enhanced PLL (EPLL) for single-phase applications and using a model of the three-phase PLL developed in this dissertation. Extensive simulation and experimental results are presented to evaluate and validate the proposed control approaches. Full practical models of all system components are considered for simulation studies. The experimental tests are done on a practical inverter connected to the utility grid. Significant improvement of the inverter performance in weak-grid conditions is confirmed. This dissertation offers a systematic way of integrating and designing the PLL and controller in a VSC to achieve a robust performance in weak-grid conditions.
Silwal, Sushil, "Enhanced controllers for voltage-sourced converters interfaced with weak ac power grids" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 1886.