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of DFIGs in Wind Energy Applications

Roberto Crdenas, Senior Member, IEEE, Rubn Pea, Member, IEEE,

Salvador Alepuz, Senior Member, IEEE, and Greg Asher, Fellow, IEEE

AbstractDoubly fed induction generators (DFIGs), often organized in wind parks, are the most important generators used

for variable-speed wind energy generation. This paper reviews the

control systems for the operation of DFIGs and brushless DFIGs

in wind energy applications. Control systems for stand-alone

operation, connection to balanced or unbalanced grids, sensorless control, and frequency support from DFIGs and low-voltage

ride-through issues are discussed.

Index TermsControl strategies, crowbar, doubly fed induction

generator (DFIG), low-voltage ride through (LVRT), reactive support, robust controller, voltage unbalance, wind turbine.

v1s

v2s

v0

vr

vf

sl

s

r

s

Negative sequence of the stator voltage.

Zero sequence of the stator voltage.

Rotor voltage vector.

GSC voltage vector.

Slip angle.

Position of the stator-flux vector.

Rotor position.

Stator time constant.

I. I NTRODUCTION

N OMENCLATURE

ims

is

ir

if

J

ktransf

Ls

Lr

L0

e

r

sl

p

s

r

Rs

Rr

s

Te

vs

Stator current vector.

Rotor current vector.

Grid-side converter (GSC) current vector.

Rotor inertia

Constant for the abc-to-dq transformation.

Stator inductance.

Rotor inductance.

Magnetizing inductance.

Synchronous angular frequency.

Rotational angular frequency.

Slip frequency.

Number of poles.

Stator-flux vector.

Rotor flux vector.

Stator resistance.

Rotor resistance.

Slip.

Electrical torque.

Stator voltage vector.

December 20, 2012. Date of publication January 30, 2013; date of current

version February 28, 2013. This work was supported in part by the Fondo

Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologa, Chile, under Contract 1110984 and Contract

1121104 and in part by the Industrial Electronics and Mechatronics Millennium

Nucleus.

R. Crdenas is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of

Chile, Santiago 837-0451, Chile (e-mail: rcd@ieee.org).

R. Pea is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of

Concepcin, Concepcin 407-4580, Chile (e-mail: rupena@udec.cl).

S. Alepuz is with the Matar School of Technology, Polytechnic University

of Barcelona, 08302 Matar, Spain (e-mail: alepuz@tecnocampus.cat).

G. Asher is with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,

University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, U.K. (e-mail: greg.asher@

nottingham.ac.uk).

Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online

at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TIE.2013.2243372

as the wound-rotor or slip-ring induction machine, is an

induction machine with both stator and rotor windings [1], [2].

The DFIM is nowadays widely used as a generator, particularly

in variable-speed wind energy applications with a static converter connected between the stator and rotor. Currently, this

topology occupies close to 50% of the wind energy market [3].

Table I shows some of the commercially available wind energy

conversion systems (WECSs), with power in the range of

1.53 MW, which are based on doubly fed induction generators

(DFIGs). In total, in Table I, there are 93 models of WECSs

based on DFIGs for that power range. In Table I, NM stands

for number of models.

DFIGs are also used in higher power ranges (> 3 MW).

The German company Repower manufactures two models of

WECSs based on DFIGs, the model 6M with a total output

power of 6150 kW and the model 5M with a total output power

of 5 MW [4].

For WECSs based on DFIGs, gearboxes are required because

a multipole low-speed DFIG is not technically feasible [5]. The

design of a DFIG-based WECS with a one-stage gearbox was

proposed in [6], but no commercial WECS has been implemented with this concept. However, even with the problems

associated with a three stage (3S) gearbox, the DFIG still has

some advantages when compared with other generators used in

wind energy applications [3]. For instance, in [7] and [8], three

generators suitable for wind energy applications are studied:

a direct-drive synchronous generator (SG) (which is one of

the solution offered by Enercon [9]), a direct-drive permanentmagnet generator (PMG) [10][14] (marketed by several companies, e.g., Vestas [13], Clipper [14], and Dewind), and a

3S-geared DFIG (see Table I). The results in terms of weight,

cost, size, and losses obtained in [7] and [8] are presented in

Table II. Notice that the 3S-Geared DFIG is considered the base

for the comparison.

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

TABLE I

C OMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE WECSs IN THE

R ANGE OF 1.53 MW BASED ON DFIGs

2777

energy applications is that relatively small power converters

are required to control the generator. For a typical DFIG, the

power converters are connected in the rotor circuit and, for

restricted speed range, are rated at a fraction (usually 30%) of

the machine nominal power [15][17]. Typically slip rings are

required in order to connect the machine-side converter to the

rotor. Brushless topologies are also feasible [18][22].

Because of the popularity of DFIGs for wind energy generation, control systems suitable for this application have been

extensively investigated. Control methods for grid-connected

WECSs, stand-alone systems, frequency support using DFIGs,

low-voltage ride-through (LVRT) control, etc., have been presented and discussed in the literature. The aim of this paper is to

give an update of the most recent trends regarding DFIG control

systems. In this respect, it augments previous overview papers

[23], [24]. In particular, this paper highlights the most recent

issues in sensorless control of DFIGs, droop control, the application of DFIGs to microgrids, and the latest work in LVRT.

This paper is organized as follows. In Section II, speed and

torque control of DFIGs is discussed, and the maximum power

point tracking (MPPT) control of DFIGs is also analyzed. In

Section III, control of DFIGs connected to unbalanced grids

is presented. Section IV addresses DFIG sensorless control

methods, whereas Section V discusses frequency support using

DFIGs. LVRT control is discussed in Section VI. Finally, the

conclusions are presented at the end of this paper.

II. S PEED AND T ORQUE C ONTROL OF DFIM

A. OptiSlip of Vestas

TABLE II

C OMPARISON B ETWEEN T HREE G ENERATORS P UBLISHED IN [7] AND [8]

based on a direct-drive PMG is about 4.5 times higher than that

of a WECS based on a DFIG [7], [8]. The stator diameter of a

direct-drive PMG is about six times that of a DFIG of similar

power. Recently, the performance of the DFIG has been also

compared with that of the medium-speed permanent-magnet

SG (PMSG) in [8]. The medium-speed PMSG, usually coupled

to a single-stage gearbox, is a relatively new topology for

variable-speed wind generation (also known as the Multibrid

concept [3]) and has been adopted by some WECS manufacturers, e.g., Vestas, Areva, and WinWinD [3].

of wound-rotor machines in order to reduce the starting current

(for motor operation) or for maximizing the electrical torque in

a given operating point. The use of external resistors, at least for

these applications, is now considered obsolete because better

performance is obtained using power electronics as soft starters,

pulsewidth-modulated (PWM) inverters, etc. However, external

resistors connected to the rotor are still used in some topologies

of WECSs based on wound-rotor induction machines.

Vestas in its OptiSlip scheme [25][27] (e.g., Vestas V39

600, V661.65 MW) places the resistors and electronic components (as current sensors, insulated-gate bipolar transistors

(IGBTs), and part of the control hardware) mounted in the rotor,

i.e., no slip rings are required. Depending on the operating point

of the WECS, different ohmic values of resistors are connected

to the rotor windings using the IGBT transistors. The signals for

the control of the IGBTs are transmitted via an optical link from

outside the rotor. This topology is designed for a slip variation

of up to 10%, delivering a smoother power to the grid [25],

[26], [28]. Moreover, the mechanical stresses on some parts of

the wind turbines are drastically reduced [25].

A further development of the OptiSlip is the OptiSpeed

scheme, which allows slip variations of about 60% [28]. The

use of external resistors connected to the rotor could be augmented with pitch control in order to improve the performance

of the WECS in dynamic operation, e.g., in the presence of a

grid disturbance [27].

2778

performance for LVRT conditions. Further investigation about

this issue is required before considering the MCs as suitable

candidates for controllings DFIGs in WECSs.

C. Vector Control of DFIMs

of the total WECSs installed in the world (11% in 2008

according to [27]), the main disadvantage of this topology is in

its relatively low efficiency because of the dissipation of energy

in the external resistors.

B. Static Scherbius Drive

The Scherbius system was proposed by the German engineer

Arthur Scherbius in the early years of the 20th century. The

scheme allows bidirectional power flow in the rotor circuit so

that operation of the machine below and above synchronous

speed is possible. Several topologies have been used in this

scheme [1], [2], [15], [17], [29][51]. The first work reported

in the literature uses a topology similar to the static Kramer

drive discussed in [52], but with the rotor diode bridge replaced

by a current-fed (naturally commutated) dc-link converter [32],

[44], [46], [53]. Another early topology of the Scherbius drive

uses a cycloconverter connected between the stator and the

rotor [43], [50], [54], However, the current-fed converters and

the cycloconverters produce high harmonic content in the rotor

current, which are reflected in the stator due to the transformer

action of the machine.

The disadvantages of the naturally commutated converters

can be overcome by the use of two PWM voltage-fed currentregulated inverters connected back to back in the rotor circuit

[15], [17], [29][31], [33], [35][42], [45], [47][49], [51],

[55]. The scheme is shown in Fig. 1. This topology allows:

bidirectional power flow with operation below and above

synchronous speed with the speed range restricted only by

the rotor voltage rating of the DFIG;

operation at synchronous speed with dc injected into the

rotor, with the rotor-side inverter operating in chopping

mode;

low distortion stator, rotor, and supply currents;

independent control of the torque and rotor excitation;

control of the displacement factor between the voltage and

the current in the GSC and, hence, control over the system

power factor.

The application of direct frequency power converters, namely

matrix converters (MCs), and indirect MCs (IMCs) has been

proposed as an alternative to the back-to-back voltage source

inverter (VSI) topology shown in Fig. 1 [56], [57]. These

topologies are all-silicon solutions for acac conversion with

sinusoidal input and output currents without using passive

components in the dc link. However, the lack of energy storage

induction machines [1], [58] can be extended to DFIMs [15].

Usually, in a cage induction machine fed by an inverter connected to the stator, the stator currents are controlled using a

dq rotating frame aligned with the rotor flux. By analogy,

in DFIMs, the rotor is fed by an inverter; therefore, the rotor

currents are usually controlled using a rotating frame aligned

with the stator flux [15], [16]. Under this scheme, the electrical

torque is proportional to the q-axis rotor current. Because the

stator is connected to the utility in grid-connected applications,

the d-axis rotor current can be used to regulate the reactive

power flow in the machine. In wind energy applications, MPPT

is usually carried out by controlling the machine electrical

torque [15], [41], [55]. This is discussed in Section II-G.

The machine equations for a DFIG in a dq synchronous

frame orientated along the stator flux are as follows [1], [15]:

ds

qs

=

dr

qr

vds

=

vqs

ids

Ls 0 L0 0

0 Ls 0 L0 iqs

L0 0 Lr 0

idr

0 L0 0 Lr

iqr

d ds

Rs 0

ids

+

iqs

0 Rs

dt qs

0 e

ds

+

e

0

qs

d dr

Rr 0

idr

vdr

=

+

0 Rr

vqr

iqr

dt qr

0 sl

dr

+

sl

0

qr

p

Te = ktransf L0 (iqs idr ids iqr )

2

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

where subscripts d and q denote direct and quadrature components referred to the synchronous rotating frame, respectively;

and subscripts r and s denote stator or rotor quantities, respectively. s = L0 ims is the stator flux, where ims is known as

the magnetizing current.

The field orientation for machine variable transformation

uses slip angle sl derived from the position of the statorflux vector s and the rotor position r (see [15] and [16]) as

follows:

sl = s r .

(5)

the stator-flux components as

s

s = tan1

.

(6)

s

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

2779

Fig. 2.

in this case, the d-axis and q-axis stator current components

are proportional to the stator active and reactive power [30].

Standard modulation techniques could be used to provide the

PWM patterns to the rotor-side converter (RSC)/GSC [63]

[65]. For parallel connection of power converters, shifting of

the PWM patterns could be implemented in order to reduce the

total harmonic distortion [64].

to obtain s . The components of the stator flux can be

calculated from the stator voltages and currents as

s = (vs Rs is ) dt

(7)

s = (vs Rs is ) dt.

The expression in (7) requires an integrator. However, in

practical implementations, a pure integrator can be replaced by

a low-pass filter or a bandpass filter (BPF) used as a modified

integrator to block the dc component of the measured voltages

and currents [60], [61]. The BPF is typically designed with a

cutoff frequency of 0.1 to 1 Hz. Because the stator voltages

and currents are 50-Hz signals, the performance deterioration

from integral action is negligible [61]. The control schematic

is shown in Fig. 2, where E is the converter dc-link voltage,

and the superscript denotes a demand value. When the

orientation along the stator flux is correct, the electrical torque

is given by

Te = ktransf

p L20

ims Iqr = kt1 ims iqr

2 Ls

(8)

with the torque constant kt1 = ktransf pL20 /Ls . The stator magnetizing current ims = ds /L0 is practically constant in gridconnected applications. Under flux orientation conditions, the

magnetizing current can be provided: 1) entirely from the stator

with ird = 0; 2) entirely from the rotor with isd = 0; or 3) a

combination of magnetizing currents supplied from both the

stator and the rotor. This degree of freedom regarding the

reactive power flow in the machine can lead to an optimization

problem, where losses in the machine and ratings of the rotorside and the line-side converters need to be considered [41],

[62]. The electrical torque is proportional to irq , and the reactive

power in the machine can be regulated by acting upon ird .

Vector control schemes can also be implemented using a

reference frame oriented along the stator voltage vector and

controlling the stator currents instead of the rotor currents. The

D. DTC of DFIM

The direct torque control (DTC) technique [66], widely

applied to squirrel-cage induction machines, has also been used

to control the electrical torque in the DFIM because of the good

dynamic performance that it achieved [31], [39], [40], [45],

[67][69]. ABB has developed a low-voltage power converter

to control a DFIM for wind power applications using this

technique [70].

A two-level voltage-fed inverter can impose six active vectors and two zero vectors at the machine rotor terminals, as

shown in Fig. 3(a). These voltage vectors, when applied for

time interval t, produce changes in the rotor flux vector both

in magnitude and phase with respect to the stator-flux vector

(see also Fig. 3). It can be shown that the electrical torque is

proportional to the cross product of the stator and rotor flux

vectors, i.e.,

Te = kt s r = kt |s ||r | sin

(9)

Assuming grid-connected operation, the stator-flux magnitude is practically constant. Therefore, the rotor flux vector

can be changed by applying different rotor voltages via the

RSC. From (9), this produces changes in the electrical torque

(and generated reactive power). Depending on the position of

the rotor and for a desired change in the electrical torque and

rotor flux magnitude, there is an optimum voltage vector to be

applied to the machine [2], [45].

In order to implement the DTC strategy, it is necessary to

know the rotor flux vector in magnitude and angle, and the

electrical torque. The rotor flux can be obtained using (1) with

the stator and rotor currents referred to the reference frame

affixed to the rotor, i.e.,

2 + 2

|r | = r

r

r2 = L0 irs + Lr ir ; r = L0 irs + Lr ir

r = tan1 (r /r )

(10)

2780

current referred to the rotor frame. The electrical torque can be

obtained as

Te = kt2 (r ir r ir )

(11)

The control diagram of a standard DTC strategy is shown

in Fig. 4.

E. DPC Applied to DFIMs

The direct power control (DPC) technique was proposed

about 15 years ago for controlling three-phase PWM rectifiers

[71][73]. It follows the same philosophy of DTC, but it also

looks at the effect of the stator and rotor fluxes upon the stator

active and reactive power. It can be shown that stator active

power is proportional to the rotor flux component perpendicular

to the stator flux where the stator reactive power is proportional

to the rotor flux component aligned with the stator flux [44].

The approach can be extended to DFIMs [29], [42], [45],

[49], [51], [74]. A DPC strategy minimizing the use of zero

voltage vectors is presented in [49]. When using DTC at low

rotational speed, zero voltage vectors are more frequently applied to the machine terminals causing a flux reduction because

of the stator resistance. In DFIMs, the equivalent situation is the

operation near or at synchronous speed where the rotor voltage

applied to the machine is low. Operation at or near synchronous

speed is not uncommon when the machine is used in variablespeed WECSs.

The operation principle is to control directly the stator active

and reactive power by applying the proper voltage vector in the

machine rotor. The stator power can be calculated as

Pe = ktransf (vs is + vs is )

Qe = ktransf (vs is + vs is ).

(12)

and the calculated active and reactive power in the machine

are processed by hysteresis controllers. Schemes employing

both two-level and three-level hysteresis controllers have been

reported in the literature [45], [49]. The implementation of the

strategy needs the rotor flux vector position within six predefined sectors in the rotor coordinates in order to determine the

optimal rotor voltage vector to apply to the machine. Because

the rotor flux vector position needs to be known, the standard

Fig. 5.

and rotor current measurements. However, it is claimed in [71]

[73] that DPC is less dependent of the machine parameters.

In order to reduce the strategy parameter dependence, alternative schemes have been used. A strategy based on the statorflux position, which is referred to the rotor, and the effect of

the different voltage vectors upon the stator active and reactive

power is presented in [44]; therefore only stator voltage and

currents are measured. A schematic of this strategy reported in

[49] is shown in Fig. 5.

Another strategy to estimate the rotor flux position is presented in [40], where an adaptive mechanism based on the effect

of voltage vectors upon the reactive power variation is presented. However, the strategy requires a rather high sampling

frequency. Again, only the stator current and voltages need to

be measured in order to implement the DPC.

The control schemes presented in Section II-DF have been

very well documented in the literature. The strategies provide good overall performance, but it is not straightforward

to establish the superiority of one over the others. A fair

comparison would have to include dynamic-state and steadystate performances, current ripple content, and losses in the

converters. The vector control approach is based on the machine

model and is more parameter dependent: the implementation

complexity might be higher; currents, voltages, and position

need to be measured (although implementation without encoder

is feasible); and the current control dynamics are reasonable

with no high sampling frequency. On the other hand, DTC

implementation is simpler, even if it is a model-based approach,

and is less dependent on machine parameters: high torque

dynamics can be achieved, but higher nonconstant switching

frequencies are typical; a higher current ripple is expected,

higher bandwidth of current and voltage sensors are needed

and rotor position needs also to be measured. Finally, DPC

could be even simpler to implement: good power dynamics can

be achieved with high variable switching frequency; a higher

current ripple is usual and higher bandwidth of current and

voltage sensors are also needed, but rotor position does not need

to be measured.

If MPPT is considered, speed measurement/estimation is

typically required for any of the control strategies discussed

earlier. The MPPT implementation is straightforward for DTC

and vector control approaches because the electrical torque

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

2781

plane, for a typical variable-speed wind turbine.

only the stator power, and MPPT requires regulation of the

total power supplied to the grid or isolated load. Therefore,

the rotor power has to be considered, and this increases the

implementation complexity of the MPPT algorithm.

Fig. 7. Some simple control system for MPPT in DFIG-based WECSs.

(a) Control system of (13) and (14), as discussed in [77] and [78]. (b) Control

system of (15), as discussed in [55] and [84].

The objective of the line-side converter or the GSC in the

topology depicted in Fig. 1 is to permit the active power flow,

regulating the dc-link voltage to a constant level. Close-tounity power factor operation is usual, but it is also possible to

control the reactive power flow between the converter and the

stator/grid. A vector control approach is normally used [15],

[55], with a reference frame oriented along the grid-voltage

vector, enabling independent control of the active and reactive

power flowing between the grid and the GSC. The grid-side

PWM converter is current regulated, with the d-axis current

regulating the dc-link voltage and the q-axis current regulating

the reactive power. Alternatively, DPC can be also applied to the

control of the GSC, leading also to a decoupled control of the

active and reactive power flows in the converter [29], [71][73].

G. MPPT Control

For a typical variable-speed wind turbine, the locus of the

maximum aerodynamic efficiency corresponds to a cubic line

relating the power captured with the rotational speed [75][81].

This is shown in Fig. 6. The optimal power Popt is related to

the rotational speed of the blades by the following nonlinear

function:

Popt = kopt r3

(13)

gearbox size, blade radius, blade profile, etc. Two types of

MPPT algorithms have been reported in the literature, i.e., the

speed control and torque control of the electrical generator for

maximum aerodynamic efficiency [82], [83]. For the MPPT

algorithms based on speed control, the generator rotational

speed is regulated to drive the WECS to the point of maximum

aerodynamic efficiency. Further discussion of MPPT methods

based on speed control is considered outside the scope of this

paper and the interested reader is referred elsewhere [82], [83].

quadrature current iqr is regulated to drive the WECS to the

point of optimal power capture. As discussed in [77] and [78]

to drive the WECS to the point of maximum aerodynamic

efficiency, the electrical torque could be controlled as

Te = kopt r2 .

(14)

Using (8) and (14), the quadrature reference current iqr can

be calculated as

iqr =

kopt 2

.

kt1 ims r

(15)

control strategy of (15) can be used to drive the WECS to the

point of maximum aerodynamic efficiency.

The control system based on (15) is shown in Fig. 7(a). The

rotational speed of the generator is used as the input of a lookup

table (or nonlinear function), where (15) is stored. Current iqr is

obtained at the lookup table output and is used as the reference

of the quadrature current control loop.

Another alternative is to implement optimal power tracking

using an additional control loop. This strategy has been reported

in [55] and [84]. The control system calculates the power

reference Pe using a lookup table, where the optimal power as

a function of the rotational speed is stored [see Fig. 7(b)]. From

Pe , the rotor torque current is calculated as

(16)

where kp and ki are the proportional and integral constants

of the proportionalintegral (PI) controller. Pe is the electrical

power supplied by the DFIG to the grid, which is measured by

the voltage and current transducers. The control system shown

in Fig. 7(b) requires nested control loops with the bandwidth of

the outer loop being a fraction of the internal current iqr loop.

2782

Fig. 7(b)] is that the errors in the machine parameter estimation,

e.g., kt1 and ims in (15), are compensated by the PI controller.

On the other hand, the relationship between the torque rotor

current and power Pe is dependent on the rotational speed,

and some compensation strategy, for instance gain scheduling

control, could be required to maintain a good dynamic response

in the whole operating range.

Here, only two simple control strategies have been explained. However, other power tracking methodologies (as the

speed-control-based MPPT algorithms discussed in [77] and

[85][87]) e.g., perturbation and observation, wind speed observers, etc., can be applied to WECSs based on DFIGs.

III. C ONTROL S YSTEMS FOR THE C ONNECTION

OF DFIG S TO U NBALANCED S YSTEMS

A WECS may be installed in remote rural areas, where weak

grids with unbalanced voltages are not uncommon [42], [88]

[90]. Moreover, in stand-alone applications, the DFIGs can feed

unbalanced and islanded loads [91][95].

As reported in [89], [90], and [96][99], induction machines

are particularly sensitive to unbalanced operation since localized heating can occur in the stator, and the lifetime of

the machine can be severely affected. Furthermore, negativesequence currents in the machine produce pulsations in the

electrical torque, increasing the acoustic noise and reducing the

life span of the gearbox, blade assembly, and other components

of a typical WECS [88], [91], [92], [100].

For the control of DFIGs operating in unbalanced systems,

control algorithms based on counterrotating synchronous dq

axes [89], [91], [92], [98], [101], resonant control [95], [102],

[103], predictive control [93], [104], [105], sliding control

[106], and DPC [29], [42] have been proposed in the literature.

A. Control of a DFIG Feeding a Stand-Alone

Unbalanced Load

Fig. 8 shows a DFIG feeding a stand-alone load. The

DFIG stator and the load are star-connected with the neutral

points connected, to provide a path for the circulation of zerosequence currents. A four-leg grid-side inverter can be also

used to supply zero-sequence signals to a star-connected linear/

nonlinear unbalanced load [107][109].

The initial excitation for the system start up could be provided by a battery bank (not shown in the figure). The battery

could be kept charged afterward using the energy flow in

the dc link. Another possibility is to use a bank capacitor in

the stator for the self-excitation of the machine, generating the

Fig. 9.

required stator voltage. Then, the control strategy of the lineside converter or, in this case, the stator-side converter, could

regulate the required dc-link voltage.

To compensate the load unbalance, the GSC and/or the RSC

can be used. For instance, in [91] and [92], the use of the GSC

to compensate the load unbalance is proposed. The control

system discussed in [91] is shown in Fig. 9. (Only the GSC

control system is shown.) The positive-sequence vector control

system is oriented along the stator voltage vector. Because of

the unbalance, a PLL is implemented to calculate the stator

voltage angle v [59]. From +v and v , the currents can

be referred to two synchronous d-axis and q-axis rotating at

+e and e , respectively. Doubly frequency components

are produced when the positive/negative-sequence currents are

referred to the d-axis and the q-axis rotating in the opposite

direction. As shown in Fig. 9, notch filters are used to eliminate

these high-frequency components [89], [91], [92], [98], [101].

+

df , iqf , idf , and iqf .

The control systems for the front-end positive-sequence cur+

rents i+

df and iqf are entirely conventional (see Fig. 9, and

[91] and [92]). Current i+

df regulates the dc-link voltage E, and

+

current iqf regulates the reactive power supplied to the load.

The front-end negative-sequence currents are regulated to

i

=

i

=

i

+

i

(17)

dqf

dqL

dqs

dqf .

Therefore, the negative-sequence current demand is a function

of the load negative-sequence current. In the steady state, when

i

dqf = idqL , stator current idqs = 0 [see (17)], and the torque

pulsations are eliminated.

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

2783

the stator of the DFIG.

B. Control of a DFIG Feeding an Unbalanced Grid

Fig. 10. Experimental results corresponding to the control system discussed

in Fig. 9. (a) Negative-sequence currents. (b) Stator and rotor unfiltered currents

referred to the dq positive-sequence axes.

converter is obtained as (see Fig. 9)

+

+ vabc

.

vabc = vabc

(18)

Fig. 10 shows the performance of the control system depicted in Fig. 9 for negative-sequence current compensation

under variable-speed stand-alone operation (see [92]). The load

consists of three unbalanced resistors connected to phases a,

b, and c, respectively (see Fig. 8). The rotational speed is

varied from 1350 to 1650 rpm to illustrate the performance

at variable speed (from below to above synchronous speed).

Before t 1.25 s, the compensation system is not operating,

and the stator current has a negative-sequence component [see

Fig. 10(a)]. In t 1.25 s, the compensation is enabled, and the

stator current i

dqs is driven to zero. For t > 1.5 s, idqL idqf ,

and the negative-sequence currents are eliminated from the

machine stator. Notice that the term unfiltered indicates that

the displayed currents have not been filtered by the notch filters

shown in Fig. 9.

There are other publications where control of a stand-alone

unbalanced load is discussed. For instance, the control system

discussed in [94] uses the RSC to regulate a balanced load

voltage. In this study, the control system is tested with nonlinear

loads and the authors claim a good performance. However, the

main disadvantage of [94] is that the rotor current reference has

negative-sequence components, and a relatively large dc-link

voltage could be required to regulate these components.

Predictive control systems for DFIGs feeding unbalanced

stand-alone loads are discussed in [93] and [105]. In this case,

the voltage vector that minimizes a cost function is identified

and applied to the RSC. The control discussed in [93] and [105]

use only the RSC to compensate the unbalances in the standalone load.

To the best of our knowledge, the only publication reporting

the use of both the RSC and GSC to compensate the load

unbalance in a stand-alone DFIG is [95]. In this case, a dq control system augmented with a resonant controller (implemented

in the synchronous rotating frame) is proposed. The RSC is

controlled to regulate a balanced load voltage, whereas the GSC

case, the aim of the control system is no longer to regulate

the grid voltage. The control approach shown here can be

useful to meet the LVRT requirements, as will be discussed

in Section VI. For unbalanced conditions, neglecting the zerosequence components in the system, the stator and current

voltage vectors can be written as [98], [103]

v s = v1s eje t + v2s eje t

(19)

(20)

The voltage and current vectors at the output of the GSC (see

Fig. 11) can be written as

v f = v1f eje t+1f + v2f eje t+2f

(21)

(22)

positive and negative sequences, respectively. Angles if and

is indicate a phase angle shift with respect to the stator voltage

angle. The active and reactive power supplied by the DFIG to

the grid can be calculated from [29], [42], [103]

(23)

S = ktransf v f icf + v s ics .

In (23), the superscript c is used to indicate the complex

conjugate operator.

It is relatively simple to show that the active power and

reactive power of (23) have three terms: the mean value, a term

proportional to sin(2e t), and a term proportional to cos(2e t)

[98], [101], [102], [110]. This can be written as

P = Pavg + Psin(2e t) + Pcos(2e t)

(24)

(25)

DFIGs in unbalanced grids can be defined [29], [42], [98],

[101], [103], [110]. For instance, in [103], one of the following

control targets is proposed:

To eliminate the oscillations in the total active power output from the overall system, i.e., Psin(2e t) + Pcos(2e t)

in (24);

2784

supplied to the network, i.e., Qsin(2e t) + Qcos(2e t) = 0

in (25).

To supply a grid current with no negative-sequence

component, i.e., i2s eje t+2s + i2f eje t+4f = 0 [see

(20) and (22)].

Each power converter has four degrees of freedom allowing

the independent regulation of the (or dq) components

of the negative and positive-sequence output currents. In some

papers related to the control of DFIGs connected to unbalanced

systems, only one of the converters is used. For instance, in

[6], the GSC is used to compensate the negative-sequence

current of the load. On the other hand, in [29], [42], [88], [89],

[94], and [99], only the RSC is used to compensate the grid

unbalance. DPC [29], [42] and dq control are proposed in

these publications to compensate the grid unbalance, injecting

negative-sequence currents in the rotor.

In recent papers, the control of both the GSC and the RSC

has been proposed to compensate the grid unbalance. This has

the advantage that additional degrees of freedom are introduced

in the control system by using two power converters, and more

control targets can be achieved [98], [101][103], [111], [112].

IV. S ENSORLESS C ONTROL OF DFIGs

The DFIG can be used as a variable-speed generator in standalone and grid-connected applications [95], [113][116]. In

both cases, the use of sensorless vector control is desirable

because position encoders or speed transducers have many

drawbacks in terms of maintenance, cost, robustness, and cabling between the speed sensor and controller [78].

There are several sensorless methods reported in the literature. In this paper, they are classified as open-loop sensorless

methods, model reference adaptive system (MRAS) observers,

and other sensorless methods. Most of the sensorless control

methods reported here have been applied to conventional vector control of DFIGs (see Section II-C). However, sensorless

schemes can also be applied to the control methods discussed

in Section II-D and E.

Fig. 12.

In (26) and (27), irs is the rotor current vector referred to the

stator, and (ir + jir ) is the measured rotor current in

coordinates. Using (26) and (27), an estimation of the slip angle

is obtained as

(28)

sl = tan1 (ir /ir ) tan1 isr /isr .

Using (28) in (5), an estimation of rotor position angle is

derived. Open-loop methods are not only based on estimation

of the DFIG rotor current vector. In [122], an observer based

on the magnetizing current derived from the rotor and stator

equations of the machine is proposed, although only simulation

results were presented, and no methodology was proposed

for the observer modeling and design. In [123], a rotor-fluxbased sensorless scheme is proposed, where the rotor flux

is obtained by integrating the rotor back electromotive force.

This sensorless method has poor performance when the machine is operating around the synchronous speed because

the rotor is excited with low frequency voltages. Therefore,

the rotor flux cannot be accurately estimated by integrating the

rotor voltages.

In the open-loop methods, the rotational speed is obtained

via differentiation of the estimated slip angle of (28), which can

amplify the high frequency noise. Moreover, for the open-loop

methods reported in the literature, issues of observer modeling,

observer bandwidth, and design methodology for the whole

sensorless system are not discussed.

B. Sensorless Method Based on MRASs

Most of the early work in sensorless control of DFIGs is

based on open-loop methods, where the estimated and measured rotor currents are compared in order to derive the rotor

position [117][121]. For instance, the rotor current referred to

the stator can be estimated using the stator flux and the stator

current as [121]

sr =

( s Ls s )

L0

(26)

isr = (ir + jir )ejsl

where the slip angle is defined in (5).

(27)

induction machines in [124]. In this publication, the observer

design is discussed, and a small-signal model is proposed. Most

of the MRAS observers proposed in the literature for cage

induction machines are based on rotor flux estimation.

The application of MRAS observers for sensorless control of

DFIGs was first reported in [125] and [126]. However, in these

papers, only simulations were presented for a DFIM operating

at very low rotational speed. Issues such as observer dynamics,

control design procedure, sensorless accuracy, and sensitivity

to machine parameter variations were not addressed. Further

publications discussing the application of MRAS observers for

sensorless control of DFIGs were presented in [127] and [128].

In the general case, an MRAS observer is based on two

models [61], [77], [124], [129][134]: a reference model and

an adaptive model (see Fig. 12). The estimated speed and rotor

position are used to adjust the adaptive model, driving the error

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

2785

Fig. 14. Sensorless control of a grid-connected DFIG using a stator-fluxbased MRAS observer. Notice that the control system is unstable when the

rotor magnetizing current idr0 is driven to zero.

Fig. 13. (a) Stator-flux-based MRAS observer proposed in [127]. (b) Smallsignal model corresponding to the stator-flux MRAS observer.

.

between reference vector x and derived estimated vector x

Mathematically, this can be written as

=x

d xq xd x

q = |x||

x| sin( )

(29)

x, x). In

[115], the small-signal model, machine parameter sensitivity,

and the design procedure of a stator-flux MRAS observer were

presented (i.e., x = s ). In this case, the reference model and

the adaptive model are obtained, respectively, as

(30)

s = (v s Rs is )dt

s = Ls is + L0 ir ej r .

(31)

error of (29) to zero. The implementation of the stator-flux

MRAS observer is shown in Fig. 13(a), and the small-signal

model corresponding to this observer is shown in Fig. 13(b).

As shown, the gain of the feedforward path is dependent on the

magnetizing current idr0 . Therefore, if the DFIG is operating

in a grid-connected application and if the magnetizing current

required for the generator is entirely supplied from the grid,

then the rotational speed cannot be tracked by the observer.

The experimental result depicted in Fig. 14 further corroborate the small-signal model in Fig. 13(b) [133]. The DFIG is a

sensorless vector controlled using a stator-flux MRAS observer;

when t = 23 s, the magnetizing rotor current ird0 is driven to

zero and the system becomes unstable because tracking of the

rotor position angle and rotational speed is lost.

In [61], [136] a rotor current MRAS observer (RCMO) is

proposed, which is appropriate for grid-connected and standalone operation for most of the DFIG operating range. In

this case, the reference model is simply the measured rotor

current. The adaptive model is derived from (26) and can be

written as

r =

( s Ls s )

L0

ej sl .

(32)

Fig. 15. (a) RCMO presented in [61]. (b) Small-signal of the RCMO presented in [61].

A detailed description of the RCMO, including the methodology required to synchronize the DFIG to the grid, the smallsignal model, and the control algorithm used for catching the

speed on the fly, is presented in [61]. The implementation of

the RCMO is shown in Fig. 15(a). Fig. 15(b) shows a linearized

model of an RCMO, which is used to design the PI controller

in Fig. 15(a).

Experimental results obtained with a DFIG vector controlled

using a sensorless scheme based on an RCMO are shown in

Fig. 16. Fig. 16(a) shows the performance of the control system

used to synchronize the DFIG to the electrical grid before the

grid-connected generation is started. Notice that, in t = 20 s,

the power switch is closed, and the DFIG stator is connected

to the grid. Fig. 16(b) shows the experimental results obtained

for speed catching on the fly with sensorless control using the

RCMO. These experimental results are fully discussed in [61]

and [136].

From the small-signal model in Fig. 15(b), it is concluded

that the gain of the feedforward path is only affected by the

magnitude of the rotor current vector, which is not zero in the

typical operation range. Therefore, unlike the stator-flux MRAS

observer, the RCMO can be applied to sensorless control of

DFIG when the machine is grid connected and entirely magnetized from the stator. In fact, the RCMO can be applied to standalone and grid-connected application. In addition, as presented

in Fig. 16(a), sensorless vector control of the DFIG using an

RCMO is appropriate to synchronize the DFIG to the grid.

2786

compensated when the proposed adaptive algorithm is properly

designed.

A new sensorless control topology, which is also based on

the MRAS observer, is presented in [131] and [135]. The

proposed observer is called the torque-based MRAS observer

(TBMO) and uses a different methodology for estimating the

rotor current vector. Assuming that the vector control system

is orientated along the stator flux, then the torque and flux

components of the rotor current vector can be calculated as

irq =

s Te

s | is |

L

L

s

=

0 | |

0 | |

L

L

s

s

ird =

Fig. 16. Experimental results discussed in [61] and [136] corresponding to the

operation of a RCMO. (a) Synchronization to the grid. (b) Speed catching on

the fly.

conditions required, i.e., grid-connected operation, stand-alone

operation, etc. [133], it is considered that the MRAS observer

has the best overall performance among the three sensorless

topologies discussed in that publication.

A variation of the RCMO is presented in [132]. Because the

error of (29) is a nonlinear function, in [132], it is proposed to

calculate the error using

= tan1 ([r ir ]/[r .ir ])

(33)

current and that estimated using a Luenbenger observer [132],

[137], [138]. On the other hand, r ir represents the inner

product between both currents. The use of (33) as normalized

error, instead of (29), has the advantage of producing a linear

model, where the error is proportional to the phase shift angle

between () and (ir ), instead of being proportional to the

nonlinear function sin( ) [see (29)]. This simplifies the design

of the PI controller in Figs. 13 and 15, enhancing dynamic

performance across the operating range.

The performance of the MRAS observers reported in the

literature depends strongly on the correct identification of the

inductances of the DFIM. In particular, the implementation of

the RCMO requires the correct identification of the magnetizing

and stator inductances [61], [133], [136], [139]. For gridconnected operation of DFIGs, the stator voltage can fluctuate about 10% of its nominal value, changing the level of

magnetic saturation in the machine. Therefore, the magnetizing,

stator and rotor inductances are subjected to variations. In order

to maintain the tracking of the rotor position angle, even in

the presence of grid-voltage fluctuations, adaptive tuning of the

stator inductance is proposed in [139]. This algorithm is based

on the fact that the magnitude values of the estimated rotor

current and that measured by the transducers are equal when the

machine parameters are correctly tuned, i.e., when |ir | = |r |;

s , and L0 = L

0 (||) is the rotor current vector estithen, Ls = L

mated from (32) (see [61]). The experimental results discussed

(34)

1/2

.

(35)

(34) and (35) are the reference model of the MRAS observer.

Note that the torque and flux rotor currents of (34) and (35) can

be calculated from the components of the stator flux and

measured stator/rotor currents.

According to [135], the main advantage of the proposed

TBMO is that (34) and (35) can be used directly as feedback

signals of the control system, increasing the dynamic response

and improving the stability of the whole system. Note that (34)

and (35) are not affected by errors in the rotor position angle.

C. Other Sensorless Methods for DFIMs

Sensorless control of DFIGs based on PLLs is proposed in

[141][143]. As discussed in [124], the operating principle of

PLLs is similar to MRAS observers because the error of (29)

and (33) are driven to zero when the phase shift between the

estimated vector and the reference vector is null. Therefore, the

sensorless observers of [141][143] have a similar performance

to those reported in [133]. However, some issues, such as the

design of the PI controller located in the PLL system and the

bandwidth of the rotor position observer, are not addressed in

[141] and [142].

Sensorless control of DFIMs is also discussed in the paper

reported in [144][147]. In [146] and [147], a rotor position

observer similar to the RCMO of [61] is discussed. The PI controller (see Figs. 1315) is replaced by a hysteresis controller.

The authors claim that this controller improves the performance

of the observer because the design of the hysteresis controller

does not require good knowledge of the plant parameters. However, as it is well known, controllers based on hysteresis may

produce signals of variable frequency at its output. Therefore,

some knowledge of the plant is usually required in order to

maintain this frequency inside a given operating range.

In [144] and [145], a rotor position observer, which is based

on the air-gap active and reactive power, is proposed. This

algorithm has some similarities to the TBMO reported in [135]

because the torque and flux components of the rotor current

are calculated using the components of the measured

voltage and currents without requiring an estimation of the

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

dq components of the rotor current can be calculated as

dr =

Pg

Qg

=

|v s Rs is | qr

|v s Rs is |

(36)

where Pg and Qg are the power transferred across the air gap.

The current estimated using (36) are used in a RCMO in order

to estimate the rotor position angle. It is claimed in [144] and

[145] that the main advantage is that the calculation of the

stator-flux vector is not required in the vector control system.

However, in order to calculate Pg and Qg , an estimation of the

iron losses and magnetizing reactive power is required [144].

This can produce some errors, particularly when the DFIM is

operating with light loads.

Sensorless control of DFIMs can be also achieved using signal injection [148]. This methodology is relatively well known

for cage induction machines [149]. However, to the best of our

knowledge, sensorless control of DFIMs using signal injection

has only been discussed in [148]. The operating principle is

that the DFIM is a transformer in which the relative position

between the primary and secondary winding changes as the

rotor rotates. Therefore, if a high-frequency signal is injected

into the rotor, the phase of the corresponding signal in the stator

has a component that is dependent on the rotor position angle.

The main advantage of this method is high robustness against

variation in the machine parameters. However, experimental

validation of this method has not been reported, and injection

of high-frequency signals in the DFIG rotor is not simple to

achieve in relatively large machines, such as the ones used for

wind power generation.

To the best of our knowledge, the performance of the reviewed sensorless methods has not been studied for operation

in unbalanced grids or when the DFIG is feeding a stand-alone

unbalanced load of linear/nonlinear nature. Moreover, sensorless control of DFIGs during LVRT conditions has not been

addressed in the literature. Further research in these subjects is

required.

V. F REQUENCY S UPPORT U SING DFIGs

As wind power penetration increases, the fluctuating behavior of the wind velocity has more impact on the grid frequency.

Wind energy penetration may increase during periods of low

loads, e.g., in the night. In this case, grid-frequency fluctuations

above the maximum allowed by the grid codes can be produced

[150][152] if conventional MPPT is used to control the power

generated. In some countries, such as China [153], [154], about

27% of the yearly wind energy is curtailed because most wind

farms are operating using MPPT control without frequency

regulation [153]. In the past, the control used was based on

disconnecting part of the wind farm. Now, modern control

methods based on droop control and inertia emulation are

preferred [155].

Grid connection requirements (GCRs) are introducing regulations to establish grid-frequency support from wind turbines

[156]. For instance, according to the E-ON GCR [157], when

the frequency exceeds the value of 50.2 Hz, wind farms must

reduce their active power with a gradient of 40% of the available

2787

power per hertz, with a ramp rate of 10% of the grid connection

capacity per minute. A more detailed description about the

GCRs is found in Section VI-A.

There are several publications related to the subject of gridfrequency support using wind energy systems [153][155],

[158][170]. Most of the proposed methods use the kinetic

energy stored in the wind turbine rotating mass to provide additional power to the system in case of grid-frequency variation.

In power systems, inertia constant H is used instead of

inertia J. Constant H is defined as [155]

H=

Jr2

Ek

=

S

S

(37)

is the kinetic energy stored in the rotating blades. As shown in

(37), H is equal to the time that a WECS can supply the nominal

power using the kinetic energy stored in the rotor. The inertia

constants for WECSs are in the range of 26 s, whereas H for

a typical power system generator is in the range of 29 s [155].

Frequency support is usually accomplished using inertia

emulation and/or droop control. The output power of the DFIG

is controlled as a function of the grid frequency, i.e.,

Pout

d(fgrid )

dt

(38)

where Pref represents the output power demand for normal steady-state operation of the power system when the

grid frequency fgrid is equal to the reference frequency.

This power demand might be obtained, for instance, from a

lookup table, where a relationship between the rotational speed

and the demanded output power is stored. The second term

Kd (fgrid fref ) represents the droop power. In a typical

system, when the power is unbalanced, (e.g., there is more

or less consumption than power generation) the grid frequency changes. In this case, the DFIG output power is increased/decreased in order to support the generation. The last

term Kei (d(fgrid )/dt) corresponds to the inertia emulation. In

this case, the power demand is varied according to the rate

of change of the grid frequency. This component emulates

the inertia response of a conventional synchronous machine.

ulated using the quadrature rotor current in a DFIG, which is

controlled by the RSC.

To implement (38), the variable-speed WECS must have a

power reserve. Depending on the operating point, a combination of speed control and pitch control has been used to maintain

this reserve [153], [166][169]. In [79], the operating range is

divided into low-, medium-, and high-wind-speed sectors.

At low wind speed (e.g., 0 < V < V3 in Fig. 17), the

steady-state system is operating at a suboptimal power line,

for instance, at 90% of the maximum power curve shown in

Fig. 17. When the frequency decreases below fref , the generated power is increased by decreasing the rotational speed

until the maximum power point is reached (located in the curve

Pout = Kopt r3 ). If the grid frequency increases above fref , the

captured power is reduced by increasing the rotational speed.

At medium wind speed (e.g., V3 < V < V5 in Fig. 17), a

combination of speed control and pitch control is used. When

2788

Fig. 17. Optimal and suboptimal power curve for the control strategy proposed in [79].

activated to avoid overspeeds.

At high wind speed, the power is regulated mainly by pitch

control. In this case, the output power is controlled below the

nominal value in order to maintain a power reserve, which is

used when the grid frequency goes below the reference value.

A control system for frequency support, also dividing the wind

speed into three operating areas, is presented in [167] and [169].

The main difference to that discussed in [79] is at low wind

speed; here, it is suggested to regulate the output power linearly

with the rotational speed, i.e.,

= kr .

Pout

(39)

obtained when the rotational speed is linearly changed with the

power.

The application of variable-speed WECSs based on DFIGs

for frequency and voltage regulation in microgrids and minigrids has also been discussed [159], [172][174]. In this case,

the DFIG stator voltage is regulated according to

fs = kp (P P )

(40)

Vs = kq (Q Q)

(41)

DFIG and kp and kq are the droops. A control system similar

to that proposed in [159] is shown in Fig. 18. The magnetizing

current supplied from the RSC is regulated to control the stator

voltage, and the stator frequency is varied according to (40).

An energy storage system (ESS) is used to supply power to the

grid or absorb excess power captured from the WECS. When

the ESS is fully charged, pitch control is required to limit the

power transferred to the grid.

VI. LVRT W ITH DFIGs

A. GCRs

In the last two decades, the installed wind power capacity has

considerably grown. At the end of 2011, the total installed wind

power world capacity reached 238.5 GW [175]. At the same

Fig. 18. Control system similar to that proposed in [159] for the operation of

DFIGs in microgrids.

increased. A good example is Spain, where the average wind

energy penetration has been 11%, 13.8%, and 16% in 2008,

2009, and 2010, respectively [176][178], although the wind

power penetration can temporarily reach a much higher value,

e.g., the 64% experienced on September 24, 2012 [179] in the

Spanish grid.

The GCRs are set by the power system operators to ensure

the reliability and efficiency of the utility [156], [180]. These

requirements can be divided into two main classes: steadystate or quasi-stationary operation requirements, and LVRT

requirements. A review of the GCRs of several countries is

presented in [156].

In steady-state or quasi-stationary operation, the requirements such as reactive and active power regulation to support

the utility voltage and frequency are specified in the GCR, and

have been dealt with in part in Section V.

Under grid disturbances, the former GCRs allowed the disconnection of the WECSs to avoid large overcurrents. However,

with the increase in the wind energy penetration, the sudden

disconnection of WECSs can lead to instability of the entire

power system [181], [182]. In this scenario, the power system

operators have updated their GCRs, and the wind generators are

required to remain connected to the grid during disturbances as

it is standard for conventional generators [156], [157], [180],

[183], [184].

With the current GCRs, the LVRT requirement demands

wind power plants to remain connected when a grid-voltage

sag occurs, thus contributing to maintaining stable network

voltage and frequency by delivering active and reactive power

to the grid with a specific profile depending on the grid-voltage

dip depth. Hence, LVRT is probably the most challenging

requirement among the GCRs, at least from the point of view

of the WECS.

LVRT requirements, extracted from the GCR of the utility

operator E-ON [157], are shown in Figs. 19 and 20. Very

similar curves are provided in the LVRT requirements of other

power systems operators [156], [180], [183], [184]. When a

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

2789

dips are symmetrical [189], [190].

As shown earlier, conventional regulation for the DFIG is

achieved by controlling the rotor currents. The machine model

seen from the rotor side is shown in Fig. 21 [182], [186],

[188], [191], where = (1 L20 /Ls Lr ). To control the rotor

currents by the RSC voltage, it is useful to calculate the opencircuit rotor voltage v rr0 . Note that superscript r denotes the

variables expressed in the rotor reference frame.

Considering the Park model for the induction generator

(1)(3) and the rotor in open circuit, the expression for the stator

flux is

d

Rs

= vs

dt s

Ls s

Fig. 20. Reactive current to be delivered to the grid under a voltage dip.

remain connected to the grid if the line voltage remains over

the limit line 1 in Fig. 19 (region A). In certain cases, a brief

disconnection is allowed if the line voltage lies between the

limit-lines 1 and 2 (region B). Here, resynchronization typically

within 2 s is required to ensure a minimum reactive power

supply during the fault; also required is an active power increase

rate of > 10% of the rated generator power per second after

fault clearance [157]. A brief disconnection is always allowed

in region C, where resynchronization times of more than 2 s

and an active power increase following fault clearance of less

than 10% of the rated power per second are also possible in

exceptional cases. If the grid voltage remains low for longer

than 1.5 s (region D), selective disconnection of generators

depending on their condition can be carried out by the grid

protection system [157], [185]. In addition, during the voltage

sag, the WECS has to deliver a reactive current, specified in

Fig. 20, to aid the utility in holding the grid voltage. The

reactive power to be injected depends on grid-voltage reduction

during the dip, the system rated current, and the reactive current

given to the grid before the dip appears.

B. DFIG Behavior Under Grid Fault

A number of studies concerning the impact of grid faults

on DFIGs have been reported. For the grid, symmetrical disturbances, particularly the deep voltage sags, can be seen as

more stressing than asymmetrical disturbances since all phases

are lost. However, the analysis for asymmetrical disturbances is

more complex due to the appearance of negative-sequence components in the voltages and currents [3], [186][188]. DFIGs

have low negative-sequence impedance, and small negativesequence stator voltages can lead to high stator currents [106].

(42)

positive (v1s ), negative (v2s ), and zero (v0 ) sequences

v s = v1s eje t + v2s eje t + v0 .

(43)

voltage does not create flux [188], [191]. From (44), the expression for the open-circuit rotor voltage shown in Fig. 21 can

be obtained, as shown in (45), which is given in the following:

s = 1s eje t + 2s eje t + n0 et/s

=

v1s je t v2s je t

e

+

e

+ n0 et/s

je

je

L0 jse t

L0

se

+ v2s (s 2)ej(2s)e t

Ls

Ls

L0 1

+

+ jr n0 et/sejr t .

Ls s

(44)

v rr0 = v1s

(45)

In normal operation, the grid voltage presents only the positive sequence, and the second and third terms in (44) and (45)

are zero. However, when a grid-voltage sag appears, the flux is

expressed as the sum of three components [182], [187], [188],

[191]: 1) the nonhomogenous or forced flux composed by two

terms corresponding to the positive- and negative-sequence

stator voltages; and 2) the homogenous or natural flux.

The natural flux vector does not rotate. This is a transient dc

component flux that exponentially decays with time constant

s = Ls /Rs and initial value n0 , which depends on the type

and depth of the grid-voltage sag and, in case of asymmetrical

dips, on the instant of time within the grid-voltage period in

which the grid disturbance occurs [182], [191].

The forced flux is the sum of the positive-sequence flux that

rotates at synchronous speed and the negative-sequence flux

[86]. The difference between asymmetrical and symmetrical

2790

TABLE III

P OSITIVE , N EGATIVE , AND NATURAL F LUXES (P ER U NIT )

FOR D IFFERENT T YPES OF FAULTS [191]

voltage and flux.

With respect to the rotor, as shown in (45), the open-circuit

rotor voltage has three components: 1) the positive-sequence

voltage rotating at se (the only component that is present in

balanced operation); 2) the negative sequence that rotates at

almost twice the synchronous speed (2 s)e and that only

appears when the disturbance is asymmetrical; and 3) the rotor

voltage produced by the natural flux that creates an open-circuit

voltage rotating at r .

When a grid disturbance occurs, the open-circuit rotor voltage has a large transient overvoltage (mainly caused by the

natural flux), which can be even greater than the stator voltage

[156], [182]. Because of the transient nature of the natural flux,

during symmetrical disturbances, the rotor voltages return to

positive-sequence values even if the grid fault is permanent [see

(45)]. During asymmetrical faults, however, the rotor voltage

also has a large and permanent negative-sequence component

[see (46)], and the rotor voltages are higher and more damaging

than those for symmetrical grid dips [191].

Table III shows the per unit (p.u.) values of the positivesequence, negative-sequence, and natural fluxes in (44) as a

function of the grid fault type and the depth of the voltage sag

d in p.u. (i.e., for a three-phase voltage sag where the voltage

falls from 1 to 0.2 p.u., the d value is 0.8). The natural flux

value depends on the time instant within the voltage period

where the fault occurs. The phase-to-phase fault presents the

highest natural and negative-sequence flux, and the highest

overvoltages in the rotor windings [191].

The maximum amplitude of the transient rotor voltage is

given in (46) for a symmetrical fault [182]. A discussion of the

maximum rotor voltage amplitude produced by an asymmetrical fault [see (47)] is reported in [99]. As shown in Table III and

(44), deeper voltage sags lead to higher transient voltages,

and larger dip asymmetry increases negative-sequence voltages

and the maximum rotor voltages, as shown in the following,

respectively:

(vro_transient )max

L0

(|s|(1 d)v1s + (1 s)dv1s ) (46)

Ls

(vro_asym )max

. (47)

Ls

e

Without specific control action, the rotor overvoltages produce high ac rotor currents with synchronous frequencies superposed upon the low-frequency steady-state rotor currents

injected by the RSC [156], [182], [192]. The rotor overcurrent

may exceed 23 times the nominal rotor current, which is not

acceptable [192]. On the stator side, these currents appear as dc

components [192], [193].

[192], [194]. If the system in Fig. 1 is assumed, the GSC

controller intends to regulate the dc-link voltage to its nominal

value, causing a GSC overcurrent of up to 1.5 times the nominal

value. Even with GSC control action, the dc-link voltage can

reach values of about 23 times higher than the nominal dc-link

voltage, beyond the limit of the dc-link capacitor [192].

The positive-sequence flux produces a similar torque behavior to that of the balanced operation, but the negative-sequence

flux tends to create motoring action that results in an increase in

torque pulsation at twice the synchronous frequency [89], [99],

[191] and a reduction in the average torque [195]. The presence

of the second harmonic in the electromagnetic torque can cause

undesired mechanical oscillations, reducing the turbine life

span and creating higher acoustic noise [89], [195].

During the grid disturbance, there is a mismatch between

the mechanical and electromagnetic torque that leads to rotor

overspeed [196]. However, this is not too significant since the

rotor inertia acts as a storage system for the energy surplus, and

a certain increase in speed (10%15%) is acceptable [156].

An induction machine fed by unbalanced voltages produces

unbalanced flux [191] that can lead to unexpected magnetic

saturation, excessive heating, and reduced generator lifetime

[195]. Moreover, it will draw unbalanced currents that will

increase the grid-voltage unbalance and cause overcurrent problems [89].

Immediately after the voltage sag clearance, the sudden change

in the stator voltages causes the natural flux [182] to appear again.

This causes the electromagnetic torque to oscillate, causing

increased stress on the turbine shaft [192].

C. Systems and Control for LVRT Compliance With DFIG

As stated earlier, the grid disturbances cause rotor overcurrents and overvoltages together with a dc-link overvoltage that

can lead to converter failure if no protection is included [182],

[191], [192], [197]. Different protection devices are depicted in

Fig. 22. Their operation and some control approaches to comply

with the LVRT requirements will be discussed here.

The initial solution implemented by manufacturers to protect

the rotor and the converter was to short-circuit the rotor windings with the so-called crowbar and to disconnect the turbine

from the grid [198], [199]. This solution is not allowed with

the LVRT requirements set at the current GCRs because the

WECSs do not support the utility to resume normal operation.

If the RSC is sized to generate a voltage equal to the rotor

overvoltages of (46) and (47), it will be able to fully control

the rotor currents [182], [186], [191]. This is the best solution

to deal with rotor overvoltages because it allows full control

of the DFIG at all times. To achieve it, overmodulation in the

RSC would be required [200], in spite of the increased rotor

current harmonics. A method to design the RSC size based on

the maximum rotor overvoltage and overcurrent is presented

in [90]. One of the most extensive analysis of the operation

limits for the RSC under grid disturbance is presented in [201],

which considers the impact of limited ratings for the GSC and

RSC during grid disturbances. Oversized converters allow more

controllability, but the DFIG topology loses its advantages of

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

2791

Fig. 22. Rotor and converter protection devices: crowbar, dc-link chopper, ESS, and ac switch [156], [213].

converter is sized to manage 30% of the total DFIG power

[3], [181], [202] and is not normally rated to generate a voltage

equal to the rotor overvoltages [182]. It is also noted that, for

deep grid-voltage sags, the RSC oversizing is far beyond the

converter steady-state ratings. Converter sizing is thus a tradeoff

between the LVRT requirements and the cost, together with

other protection elements such as the crowbar and the dc-link

chopper.

DFIGs are always equipped with a crowbar, as shown in

Fig. 22, which is a device that short-circuits the rotor windings

through resistors, thereby limiting the rotor voltage and providing an additional path for the rotor current [185]. Two crowbar

options are available [156]. The first option is the passive

crowbar implemented with a diode rectifier or two thyristors in

antiparallel. This implementation requires the crowbar current

to be forced to zero to deactivate the device, and full control

over the crowbar deactivation is not possible. The second option

is the active crowbar using IGBT switches; this allows crowbar

deactivation and, consequently, faster recovery of the DFIG

control. The crowbar resistance value affects the rotor and

current behavior [197]. Large crowbars result in better damping

of the rotor and stator overcurrents, and the torque overshoot.

It also reduces the reactive power consumption. However, very

large crowbars can cause current spikes upon deactivation and a

high voltage at the rotor slip rings, resulting in voltage stress on

the rotor windings [193], [194]. In [194], Kasem et al. suggest

a crowbar resistance of 0.3 p.u. if the maximum rotor voltage

is limited to 1.2 p.u. The calculation of the crowbar resistance

using

(48)

(Rcrowbar )max =

3.2Vs2 2(vr )2max

is discussed in [193], where (vr )max is the maximum allowable

rotor voltage, Ls = Ls + Lr L0 /(Lr + L0 ), and Vs is the stator

voltage.

Upon activation of the crowbar, the RSC can be switched

off [192], [194], [203]. However, the rotor currents continue

diodes of the RSC, leading to a very fast dc-link voltage

increase and a possible activation of the dc-link chopper to limit

the dc-link voltage value [192], [203].

During crowbar operation, rotor currents are not controlled

by the RSC, and the machine acts as a single-fed induction

generator with rotor resistors. The machine consumes reactive

power that can contribute to deepening the grid-voltage sag

[203]. The GSC must supply the grid with reactive power, as

demanded by the LVRT requirements, and the reactive power

to the machine [204], [205]. In [194], it is proposed to connect

the GSC and the RSC in parallel, using suitable ac switches, to

supply more reactive power to the grid.

If the DFIG is not able to supply the reactive power support required by the GCR, dynamic VAR compensators, static

VAR compensators [206], or static synchronous compensators

[207][210] can be installed at the DFIG terminals to provide

it. Other equipment, such as the dynamic voltage restorer, can

also be used [211].

After the fault clearance, transient rotor overvoltages appear

again, and the system experiences a disturbance similar to that

of the initial fault. This would require a crowbar [or dc-link

chopper activation (see Fig. 22)] for a second time [192], [194].

Unlike asymmetrical disturbances, symmetrical grid disturbances only cause transient rotor overvoltages, and the crowbar

mode is active until the rotor currents die down. After this,

the crowbar is disconnected, and the RSC is started again to

control the rotor currents. Since the fault is still present, the

active power reference is reduced to avoid overload. The DFIG

can contribute to the reactive power support to the grid. Note

however that reactive power support is provided by the GSC

throughout the crowbar mode period [192], [204], [212]. In

[214], the crowbar is disconnected when the rotor currents fall

below a threshold value instead of reaching zero, reducing the

crowbar mode time.

The dc-link chopper [156], as shown in Fig. 22, is another

protective device to keep the dc-link voltage within acceptable

limits. It can concurrently operate with the crowbar [156],

[192], [203]. The dc-link chopper is not essential for fault

2792

operation [192], [203]. The ESS [213], [215] connected to

the dc-link absorbs the extra energy supplied to the dc link

and returns it to the DFIG in normal operation. However, it

significantly increases the complexity and cost of the WECS.

A good performance comparison using a crowbar, a dc-link

chopper, and ESS methods is found in [213].

The stator switch shown in Fig. 22, [156], [185], [216]

is another device to meet the LVRT requirements. The stator is disconnected for a short period using this switch; the

RSC is blocked, and the generator is demagnetized. After the

RSC is restarted, the stator is reconnected, and the operation

is resumed. During stator disconnection, the GSC supplies

reactive power to the grid. This implementation limits the

transient magnitude and duration and keeps full control over

the generator during the largest part of the disturbance interval

[156], [216].

As discussed earlier, there is a mismatch between the electromechanical torque and the mechanical torque in the presence

of the grid disturbance. Pitch control can also be used to reduce

the mechanical torque [156], [192] to avoid rotor overspeed.

However, pitch control can change the blade angle at a relatively slow rate [217], which is too slow to help the system to

respond to a grid fault.

the rotor to reduce rotor overcurrents. A combination of demagnetization and virtual resistance control is found in [188]. For

symmetrical dips, reduced rotor currents in comparison with

[186] are reported. Operation under asymmetrical faults has not

been reported.

A PI controller with a resonant compensator is presented

in [110], [224], and [225] for operation under distorted gridvoltage conditions. Although results seem promising, the LVRT

issue is not addressed.

In [226] and [227], the conventional controller used in normal operation is switched to a vector-based hysteresis current controller during grid faults. Good system performance

is achieved; however, the operation limits are not specified,

and there are drawbacks to the hysteresis control: higher harmonic content, higher switching frequency or, if the maximum

switching frequency is limited, large error bands that produce

significant low-order harmonics.

Sliding control has been successfully applied to DFIG in

[228] under unbalanced conditions and a harmonically distorted

grid. Future application of this control method to the LVRT

problem can be expected.

VII. C ONCLUSION

D. Control Methods for LVRT Compliance With DFIG

This subsection summarizes the control methods for LVRT

compliance. The goal is to control rotor voltages and currents,

to reduce the rotor overvoltages and/or overcurrents, and to

avoid the crowbar activation in order to keep full DFIG control

at all times to meet the LVRT requirements. However, in

many cases, the crowbar activation cannot be avoided, and the

crowbar mode concurrently works with the control method.

Some control approaches regulate rotor and GSC currents

in the positive and negative dq reference frames [90], [98],

[219][221] based on a positive- and negative-sequence models

of the DFIG [99]. The main control goals cover the DFIG

active and reactive power to meet the LVRT requirements.

As discussed in Section III-B, each power converter has four

degrees of freedom, allowing to include additional control goals

as, for instance, the regulation of the dc-link voltage, stator

current balancing, and cancelation of the oscillations in the

active power, rotor current, and torque.

Although crowbar activation cannot be avoided in case of

severe asymmetrical faults [90], a noncrowbar method to reduce

the rotor overvoltages based on injecting demagnetizing flux

currents from the RSC is proposed in [33], [186], [221], and

[222]. Full DFIG control is retained, but a large rotor current

capacity is needed, and there is limited capability in the case of

asymmetrical faults. If the crowbar is activated, the use of the

demagnetizing current reduces the crowbar mode time [223].

A robust controller in the stationary frame is presented

in [106], claiming full control in all LVRT cases. However, the

results have been obtained with an oversized converter that can

accommodate rotor overvoltages and full rotor current control.

With a suitable-sized converter, this control method may have

some limitations.

the field of control systems for DFIGs in wind energy applications. After reviewing the papers related to conventional

control methods for DFIGs connected to balanced systems,

it is concluded that vector control, typically orientated along

the stator flux, is still the most adopted method for regulating

the rotor currents of DFIGs. With this control methodology,

decoupling of the reactive power and electrical torque is simple

to achieve. However, as discussed in Section II, most of the

control schemes presented in Section II-DF can provide good

overall performance.

Regarding sensorless control of variable-speed DFIGs, the

most popular methods are based in MRAS schemes, with the

RCMO providing good performance in both stand-alone and

grid-connected operation of DFIGs. The TBMO is also an

interesting method for sensorless vector control, particularly

because the direct and quadrature rotor currents can be directly

obtained from the components of the signals without

resorting to transformations to a synchronous rotating axis.

Concerning sensorless methods, more research can be required

in some areas, particularly because the performance of the rotor

position observers proposed in the literature have not been

evaluated for LVRT operation.

In this paper, the control systems for the operation of DFIGs

connected to unbalanced grid or loads, have also been assessed.

Several control targets for unbalanced operation have been

proposed in the literature, e.g., to eliminate the oscillations

in the total active power output from the DFIG, to reduce

the oscillations in the total reactive power supplied to the

network, or to supply a grid current with no negative-sequence

components. To fulfill these control targets, the RSC and/or

the GSC can be used. The current trend is to use both power

CRDENAS et al.: CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR OPERATION OF DFIGs IN WIND ENERGY APPLICATIONS

are available in this case.

Control systems for ancillary services and grid-frequency

support have also been discussed in this paper. In the past,

DFIGs where mostly controlled for MPPT operation. Nowadays, it is expected that WECSs based on DFIGs can provide

droop control and inertia emulation. This has been reviewed in

this paper.

Finally, in this paper, LVRT control systems for DFIGs have

been discussed. The operation of the elements typically used for

LVRT compliance, such as crowbars, choppers, static switches,

and other elements, has been analyzed and extensively discussed in this paper.

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in Punta Arenas, Chile. He received the B.S. degree

from the University of Magallanes, Punta Arenas, in

1988 and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nottingham, Nottingham, U.K., in 1992

and 1996, respectively.

From 1989 to 1991 and from 1996 to 2008, he

was a Lecturer with the University of Magallanes.

From 1991 to 1996, he was with the Power Electronics Machines and Control Group, University of

Nottingham. From 2009 to 2011, he was with the

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Santiago, Santiago, Chile.

He is currently a Professor of power electronics and drives with the Department

of Electrical Engineering, University of Chile, Santiago. His main research

interests include the control of electrical machines, variable-speed drives, and

renewable energy systems.

Dr. Crdenas was a recipient of the Best Paper Award from the IEEE

T RANSACTIONS ON I NDUSTRIAL E LECTRONICS in 2005 and the Ramon

Salas Edward Award from the Chilean Institute of Engineers in 2009.

Chile. He received the Electrical Engineering degree

from the University of Concepcion, Concepcion,

Chile, in 1984 and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from

the University of Nottingham, Nottingham, U.K., in

1992 and 1996, respectively.

From 1985 to 2008, he was a Lecturer with

the University of Magallanes, Punta Arenas, Chile.

He is currently with the Department of Electrical

Engineering, University of Concepcin. His main

research interests include the control of power electronics converters, ac drives, and renewable energy systems.

in Barcelona, Spain. He received the M.Sc. and

Ph.D. degrees in electrical and electronic engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain, in 1993 and 2004,

respectively.

Since 1994, he has been an Associate Professor

with the Matar School of Technology (Tecnocampus Matar-Maresme), UPC, Matar, Spain. From

2006 to 2007, he was with the Departamento de Electrnica, Universidad Tcnica Federico Santa Mara,

Valparaso, Chile, conducting postdoctoral research. In 2009, he was a Visiting

Researcher for three months with the Department of Electrical and Computer

Engineering, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada. His research interests

include multilevel conversion and ac power conversion applied to renewable

energy systems.

and Ph.D. degrees from Bath University, Bath, U.K.,

in 1976.

He is a Research Fellow in superconducting systems with the University of Bangor, Gwynedd, U.K.

In 1984, he was appointed as a Lecturer of control with the University of Nottingham, Nottingham,

U.K. In 2000, he was appointed as a Professor of

electrical drives; in 2004, as a School Head with the

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering; and

in 2008, as the Associate Dean for Teaching and

Learning with the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham. He is

the author of nearly 300 research papers. He has received over 5 million

in research contracts and has successfully supervised 31 Ph.D. students. His

research interests include motor drive control, cover power system modeling,

power microgrid control, aircraft power systems, and motor drive systems,

particularly the control of ac machines.

Dr. Asher was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Power

Electronics Association until 2003 and the Chair of the Power Electronics

Technical Committee of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society until 2008.

He is currently an Associate Editor for the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society.

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