DVR (Dynamic Voltage Restorer) is a static var device that has seen applications in a variety of transmission and distribution systems. It is a series compensation device, which protects sensitive electric load from power quality problems such as voltage sags, swells, unbalance and distortion through power electronic controllers that use voltage source converters (VSC).
The first DVR was installed in North America in 1996 - a 12.47 kV system located in Anderson, South Carolina. Since then, DVRs have been applied to protect critical loads in utilities, semiconductor and food processing. Today, the dynamic voltage restorer is one of the most effective PQ devices in solving voltage sag problems. However, cost and installation restrictions have limited its implementation to where there is obvious requirement for a stable voltage supply.
|DVR (Dynamic Voltage Restorer)|
The basic principle of the dynamic voltage restorer is to inject a voltage of required magnitude and frequency, so that it can restore the load side voltage to the desired amplitude and waveform even when the source voltage is unbalanced or distorted. Generally, it employs a gate turn off thyristor (GTO) solid state power electronic switches in a pulse width modulated (PWM) inverter structure. The DVR can generate or absorb independently controllable real and reactive power at the load side. In other words, the DVR is made of a solid state DC to AC switching power converter that injects a set of three phase AC output voltages in series and synchronism with the distribution and transmission line voltages.
The source of the injected voltage is the commutation process for reactive power demand and an energy source for the real power demand. The energy source may vary according to the design and manufacturer of the DVR. Some examples of energy sources applied are DC capacitors, batteries and that drawn from the line through a rectifier.
|Dynamic Voltage Restorer (DVR) Schematic Diagram|
In normal conditions, the dynamic voltage restorer operates in stand-by mode. However, during disturbances, nominal system voltage will be compared to the voltage variation. This is to get the differential voltage that should be injected by the DVR in order to maintain supply voltage to the load within limits.
The amplitude and phase angle of the injected voltages are variable, thereby allowing control of the real and reactive power exchange between the dynamic voltage restorer and the distribution system. The DC input terminal of a DVR is connected to an energy storage device of appropriate capacity. As mentioned, the reactive power exchange between the DVR and the distribution system is internally generated by the DVR without AC passive reactive components. The real power exchanged at the DVR output AC terminals is provided by the DVR input DC terminal by an external energy source or energy storage system.
Also, there is a resemblance in the technical approach to DVRs to that of providing low voltage ride-through (LVRT) capability in wind turbine generators. The dynamic response characteristics, particularly for line supplied DVRs are similar to LVRT-mitigated turbines. Moreover, since the device is connected in series, there are conduction losses, which can be minimized by using Integrated Gate-Commutated Thyristor (IGCT) technology in the inverters.
Practically, the capability of injection voltage by DVR system is 50% of nominal voltage. This allows DVRs to successfully provide protection against sags to 50% for durations of up to 0.1 seconds. Furthermore, most voltage sags rarely reach less than 50%.
The dynamic voltage restorer is also used to mitigate the damaging effects of voltage swells, voltage unbalance and other waveform distortions.
DVRs may provide good solutions for end-users subject to unwanted power quality disturbances. However, there is a caution regarding their application in systems that are subject to prolonged reactive power deficiencies (resulting in low voltage conditions) and in systems that are vulnerable to voltage collapse.
In many cases, the main protection of the power system against voltage collapse is the natural response of load to decrease demand when system voltage drops. The application of DVRs would tend to maintain demand even when incipient voltage conditions are present. As a result, this reduces the innate ability to prevent a collapse and increases the chance of cascading interruptions.
In addition, from the transmission viewpoint, the dynamic voltage restorer would extend the voltage range if the load is a constant power type. The combination of direct-connected DVRs, voltage-switched capacitor banks and on-load tap-changing distribution transformers, leads to more current drawn from the transmission system during periods of reactive deficiency and low voltages.
Therefore, when applying DVRs, it is vital to consider the nature of the load whose voltage supply is being secured, as well as the transmission system which must tolerate the change in voltage-response of the load. It may be necessary to provide local fast reactive supply sources in order to protect the system, with the DVR added, from voltage collapse and cascading interruptions. A comprehensive simulation study, which includes the transmission system, is highly recommended.
Pterra Consulting. (2007). Application of DVRs in Networks Subject to Reactive Deficiencies