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Paper accepted for presentation at the 2011 IEEE Trondheim PowerTech

Application of a D-STATCOM to Mitigate Arc


Furnaces Power Quality Problems
A. Alzate, Member, IEEE, A. Escobar, Student Member, IEEE and J. J. Marulanda, Student
Member, IEEE

Abstract-- Arc furnaces are one of the main causes in power


quality degradation in power industrial lines. Their high
nonlinearity and time varying characteristics produce high
harmonic distortion as well as voltage fluctuations.
This paper describes both the modeling and application of a
D-STATCOM for power quality analysis and its advantage to
mitigate power quality problems introduced by the arc furnace
operation. Both the D-STATCOM and the arc furnace are
modeled in PSCAD-EMTDC. Using voltage, current and power
measurements at the point of common coupling (PCC) of a
30MVA steel mill, both arc furnace non-linear characteristic and
stochastic behavior, during the metal melting process, are
modeled and adjusted.
The D-STATCOM presented uses a nonlinear control
strategyadaptive hysteresis bandto compensate load reactive
power variations. The dq0 theory is used to refer the three-phase
system into a dq0 frame to achieve the analysis.
The results show the advantage of using the D-STATCOM at
PCC to mitigate power quality issues.
Index TermsFurnaces, harmonic distortion, modeling, static
VAr compensators, reactive power control.

I. INTRODUCTION

lectric power quality has been a subject of interest during


recent years for utilities since they must bring high-quality
power to customers. Most power utilities face the problem that
power electronics based loads and non-linear loads are main
cause of power quality degradation. Arc furnaces are widely
used in modern steel mills and provide a relatively simple way
for melting metals. They are used in the production of
aluminum, copper, lead and high purity steel among others.
However, arc furnaces are recognized as one of the main
causes of power quality degradation, introducing voltage
flicker in power systems, particularly at the PCC. For instance,
flicker causes light fluctuations, resulting in annoyance to
other users depending on its frequency and magnitude.
Voltage flicker severity depends on both the frequency and the
voltage amplitude variation at the PCC. Commonly, small
This work was supported by the agreement between COLCIENCIASCODENSA-UTP for the project 111046721783.
Alfonso Alzate is Professor of Departamento de Ingeniera Elctrica de la
Universidad Tecnolgica de Pereira (email: alalzate@utp.edu.co).
Jesser J. Marulanda works in the Grupo de Investigacin en Electrnica de
Potencia de la Universidad Tecnolgica de Pereira (email:
jjmarulanda@utp.edu.co).
Andrs Escobar Meja is Professor of Departamento de Ingeniera
Elctrica de la Universidad Tecnolgica de Pereira and Ph.D student of
University of Arkansas, USA. (email: andreses1@utp.edu.co).

978-1-4244-8417-1/11/$26.00 2011

voltage variations in the frequency band of 0.5-25Hz are


enough to be noticed. In addition to generating voltage flicker,
arc furnaces are sources of current harmonics due to the
nonlinear characteristic of the electric arc and its stochastic
operation as well as inter-harmonics components. As a
consequence of the electric arc operation, malfunctions in
electric equipment on adjacent feeders may result.
To provide technical and economical solutions to electric
arc furnace operation problems, both final customers and
utilities are implementing power electronics based devices to
minimize those problems. Typically, the static synchronous
compensator D-STATCOM and the static VAr compensator
SVC are used to compensate for reactive power fluctuations
[1].
The D-STATCOM is an excellent cost-effective solution to
reduce the impact of non-linear load operation in power
systems [1][2]. This has been installed in steel plants and
other high-polluted electrical environments offering many
benefits. In reference [2] differences between the DSTATCOM and the static VAr compensator (SVC) are
provided for certain power system.
This research work presents the advantages of the DSTATCOM to mitigate the impact of arc furnace operations at
the PCC. Section II describes the behavior of the arc furnace
based on its non-linear nature represented by the V-I
characteristic which is derived from the input currents and the
voltage applied to the arc furnace. Section III describes the DSTATCOM structure and the non-linear control technique
used to compensate for power quality problems providing
stability and robustness at PCC. Finally, in section IV the
results of the simulation are presented using PSCAD. The
appendix section presents some data that were used to achieve
the simulation.
II. ARC FURNACE MODEL
The three-phase PSCAD-EMTDC model of the electrical
distribution system feeding a steel plant is presented in Fig. 1.
The steel plant is fed by a high-voltage line and the arc
furnace is connected to the utility through transformers T1
(110/13.8 kV High-Voltage/Medium-Voltage) and T2
(13.8/0.55 kV Medium-Voltage/Low-Voltage) as is shown.
The utility is modeled as its Thevenin equivalent (ideal
voltage source in series with short-circuit impedance).
Transformer T1 is rated at 30 MVA with 7.65% of shortcircuit voltage and no-load loses count since its rated at high
voltage.

Fig. 1. Arc furnace model in PSCAD. The D-STATCOM is located at PCC to compensate voltage fluctuations.

At the 13.8 kV bus, reactors are placed to provide damping


when the arc furnace is operating and fixed capacitors are used
to inject reactive power. Note that the D-STATCOM has been
including at the capacitor bus. Transformer T2 is rated at 42
MVA with 5.75% of short-circuit voltage. This transformer
has a tap changer at the secondary side in order to change the
furnace input power.
The electric arc furnace model is complex and quit difficult
to obtain due to its operation. Fast variations in the input
current to the arc furnace during melting process are mainly
caused by changes in the arc length, which result from
electrodynamic forces and variation in electrode positions [3].
The non-linear characteristic of the arc furnace is shown in Fig
2 and is presented because after the arc ignition has been
started, the anode-cathode voltage remains constant while the
current is changing in time.
This research work uses the arc furnace model based on
energy conservation principle developed in [4] and uses the
non-linear differential equation (1) which is described in [5]
[6]:

The instantaneous arc voltage depends on current variations


and is determined using (2):

(2)

where is the arc instantaneous voltage, is the constant


of proportionality for the model. The arc furnace dynamics is
introduced by the deterministic, Gaussian probability
distribution and chaotic variation of [ 7]:


(3)

where is the frequency in rad/s of the cyclical


variations, , , and are modulation factors, is a
random signal with normal probabilistic distribution and is
a chaotic signal in the frequency range of 3-25Hz. Using the
data from Table I and setting , ,
, the current waveforms at the primary side of the
transformer T1 are presented in Fig. 3.
TABLE I.

(1)

where is the arc radius, is the instantaneous arc current,


and are proportionality constants used to adjust the
simulated model to the real model obtained from a real steel
facility [7].

(rad/s)

MODEL PARAMETERS

PHASE A
0.040
0.056
0.084
20

PHASE C
0.040
0.070
0.056
20

PHASE C
0.040
0.084
0.070
20

Now, Fig. 4 shows the three-phase reactive power absorbed


by the arc furnace measured at PCC.
400

ia

ib

ic

300

0.5

100

Current (A)

Varc pu

200

-0.5

-100

-200

-1
-1

-0.5

0.5

-300

Iarc pu
-400
9.6

Fig. 2. V-I arc furnace characteristic.

9.65

9.7

9.75

9.8

Time (s)

Fig. 3. Current waveforms at T1 primary side.

9.85

3
25
24
23

Q (MVAR)

22
21
20

Q~

19
18
17
16
15

5.5

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

10

Time (s)

Fig. 4. Reactive power at PCC.

Fig. 5. Equivalent circuit of the shunt compensator PWM-VSI.

The flickermeter is used to determine the value of PST


which results from voltage variations at the point of common
coupling. This instrument is used to measure flicker and is
based on the international standard IEC-61000-4-15 [8].
Before doing flicker measurements, the model is tested
using signals specified in IEC standard. This standard provides
the magnitude and the frequency of six rectangular modulating
signals for which the value of the PST should be 1.00 0.05.
Table II lists in the first row the simulated PST values for the
phase voltages at PCC. In the second row the values of the
PST99% obtained from real measurements are listed. The PST99%
is obtained from the cumulative probability curve of a total of
1,008 samples taken during whole week with a sample time of
10 seconds.

The control system is designed in such a way that the


reactive power fluctuations of the load connected at the PCC
are reduced.

TABLE II.
Simulated
PST99% Measured

REAL AND SIMULATED PST VALUES


PHASE A
1.75
1.72

PHASE C
1.57
1.78

PHASE C
1.70
1.64

Table II indicates that the proposed model recreates the


dynamic of the system.
III. D-STATCOM MODELING AND CONTROL
One of the principal advantages of this FACTS device is
that it has the capability to adapt by itself to changes that may
occur in the electric power system, such as voltage flickers
and harmonics, generated by loads like the electric arc
furnace. The D-STATCOM also has the advantage over other
FACTS devices that it minimizes the possible occurrence of
resonances, reduces harmonics, and balances the voltage at the
PCC. In short, the D-STATCOM is suitable to reduce voltage
fluctuations below required limits by power quality standards.
The simplified equivalent circuit for the D-STATCOM is
depicted in Figure 5. The circuit has a voltage source inverter
(VSI) with a dc-link capacitor which value is set in 100mF to
keep the inverter input voltage constant. The fundamental
component of the converter output voltage is represented by
the voltage source. The converter is connected in parallel
with the arc furnace using a coupling inductor which
usually represents the coupling transformer. The parameters of
the coupling transformer are listed in the Appendix section at
the end of this document.

A. Control system. Compensation currents calculation


Due to the fact that the inverter bandwidth is large enough,
it acts as an ideal voltage source that can be used to control the
instantaneous current injected in the node where the
compensator is connected.
The Park transform [9] is applied to the three-phase load
currents to determine the equivalent which rotates at
fundamental frequency speed (60Hz) in the same direction
than positive sequence voltages. In the new dq reference frame
the current associate to the fundamental component are
constants while other components associated with harmonic
distortion and the inverse sequence fluctuate in time. These
fluctuating signals can be avoided through a filtering process
[10]. Equations (4) and (5) describe this process:
 

(4)

 

(5)

in the new dq reference frame the dc component associated


with the d axis is related with the active power whereas the dc
component associate with the q axis is related with the
reactive power. In order to determine the compensation
currents   , required to improve the power quality, it
is assumed that the distribution system provides the active and
reactive power components plus the capacitor current in the
inverter dc-bus (losses current). So, the D-STATCOM affords
to the system the alternate current component. The dq load
currents before the installation of the compensator are defined
in equations (6), (7):


(6)



(7)

Figure 6, shows the block diagram of the controller. In this


diagram, the compensation currents are determined using both

Fig. 6. Control circuit block diagram simulated in PSCAD.

the and the currents. A saturation block is implemented


to provide over-current protections to the inverter. The
magnitude of the vector can be written in terms of the dq
currents in the new reference frame:



(8)

the angle between the current vector and the d axe is


determined by equation (9),


(9)

the maximum value that the current can reach is


represented by and depends on by the saturation block.
Projecting the on the dq axes, is possible to get the current
that must be injecting by the compensator as is presented in
(10) and (11):


(10)



(11)

using the Park inverse matrix is possible to get the threephase reference currents that are applied to the inverter.
B. PWM using hysteresis adaptive band
One of the most effective techniques used by shunt PWMVSI compensators is the hysteresis current control.

The principal advantage of this technique is that it has a


very fast dynamic response [11] when a transient phenomenon
affects the load; however, the commutation frequency varies at
the fundamental frequency which can cause erroneous
operation in the inverter and an increase in losses. To
minimize commutated frequency variations in the hysteresis
control technique, the control of the current by an adaptive
band has been proposed in [12]. This control strategy changes
the hysteresis band width HB in order to keep constant the
inverter commutations time t1 and t2. After HB is determined
by the current control strategy, its applied to a hysteresis
comparator circuit which produces pulses that trigger the
inverter semiconductor devices.
Figure 7 shows voltage and current signals that are
modulated by pulse width for the phase link inductance. The
upper inverter semiconductor device is activated when current
reach the lower hysteresis band at point 1. The lower
inverter semiconductor device is activated when current
reach the upper hysteresis band at point 2 and so on.
The band-width HB can be determined using the
commutation frequency (12 kHZ), the inverter dc voltage
(6.8 kV), the instantaneous ac voltage at the
compensator point and the derivative of the compensating
current as is described in equation (12):


(12)

same procedure is follow to determine the band-width for


the other phases.   are equal in magnitude but
shifted.
C. DC voltage control
The main function of this controller is to keep a constant dc
value in the inverter. In order to do this a PI controller is
implemented to regulate the D-STATCOM losses current. The
proportional gain of the PI controller is calculated based on
energy conservation principle [13] and is:

Fig. 7. Current and voltage waveforms for the hysteresis current control.

(13)

where is the capacitor at the inverter dc bus, is the

D. Sizing the capacitor at the dc inverter side


The capacitor is used for smoothing the reactive power that
is consumed by the load. This is sized using the energy
conservation principle as well as the fact that the compensator
either injects or absorb the fluctuating reactive power resulting
from the arc furnace operation [14]. The capacitor is sized
having into account the following situations:
1. An increase in the load current fundamental component:
When the load current increases, the energy storage in the
capacitor must be release fast enough to compensate for the
reactive power is demanding for the load. For this particular
case, the capacitor is sized as follows:


400
ia

ic

200

Current (A)

100

-100

-200

-300

-400
9.6

9.65

9.7

9.75

9.8

9.85

Time (s)

Fig. 8. Compensated currents at transformer T1 primary side.


25
24
23
22
21
20
19

Q~

18
17

(14)

16
15

where is the minimum voltage expected at the


inverter dc side (set up at 6.8 kV) when the compensator
injects energy into the power grid. is the maximum
increment in the load current fundamental component which
occurs when the arc furnace electrodes are in short-circuit.
2. A reduction in the load current fundamental component: In
this case the increase of the load impedance magnitude is
considered, which means that the load now is demanding less
current and reactive power. In order to maintain the reactive
power constant, the capacitor must be sized in such way that it
can store the energy required for the load during its operation.
The capacitor size is given by:

IV. SIMULATION RESULTS


Figure 8 shows the three-phase currents at the primary side
of transformer T1 once the D-STATCOM is connected at the
13.8 kV bus. The compensator minimizes current fluctuations
by injecting reactive power. The reactive power flowing
through transformer T1 is presented in Fig. 9.

5.5

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

10

Fig. 9. Reactive power at transformer T1 primary side.

Figure 9 indicates that adding the D-STATCOM at PCC,


the reactive power characteristic is smoothed improving the
power quality of the arc furnace. Comparing Fig. 9 and Fig. 4,
it is clear how much reactive power is compensated.
Figure 10 shows the PST index for the 115 kV bus with and
without the D-STATCOM. When compensation is applied, the
compensator has the capability to mitigate reactive power
variations caused by arc furnace operation.
The voltage profile at PCC where the DS-STATCOM is
connected is presented in Fig. 11.

(15)

where is the maximum expected voltage in the


capacitor (10 kV) and is the arc furnace fundamental
current deviation during arc furnace operation.
The capacitor is selected as the maximum value between
and .

Time (s)

Instantaneous Flicker Level



ib

300

Q (MVAR)

reference continues voltage, 6.8 kV, is the period of the


voltage fundamental component, 16.67ms, and is the
voltage amplitude at the compensator connection point 7.96
kV. When the control error, defined as the difference between
the measured voltage and the reference voltage at the inverter
dc-bus, is large and positive, the current losses
increase reducing the control error. When the control error is
negative, the compensator injects current into the power grid
to maintain the reference voltage constant by discharging the
capacitor

Compensation
No Compesation

6
5
4
3
2
1
0

5.5

6.5

7.5

8.5

9.5

10

Time (s)

Fig. 10. The flicker severity index (PST) at the 115 kV bus indicates how
much the power quality has been improved due to D-STATCOM operation.

6
1.04

Parameters of the transformer use to connect the DSTATCOM to the power grid.

Phase voltage PCC (pu)

1.03

Compensation
1.02

3 Phase Transformer MVA = 30 MVA


Base operation frequency = 60Hz
Winding #1 Type: Delta
Winding #2 Type: Delta
Positive sequence leakage reactance = 3.0744 mH
Winding 1 Line to line voltage (RMS) = 13.8 kV
Winding 2 Line to line voltage (RMS) = 3.5 kV

1.01
1
0.99
0.98
0.97
0.96

10

Time (s)

VII. REFERENCES

Fig. 11. Voltage in p.u. at PCC when the D-STATCOM is connected.

[1]

The amount of distortion in the current wave forms at


transformer T1 location is quantified by the total harmonic
distortion index (THD) which is presented in Table III.

[2]

TABLE III
THD (%) COMPARISON ONCE COMPENSATION IS APPLIED

No compensated
Compensated

PHASE A
14.96
7.63

PHASE B
13.61
7.55

PHASE C
12.83
7.88

[3]

[4]
[5]

V. CONCLUSIONS
The arc furnace proposed model is suitable to assess the
impact of ac arc furnaces on power quality which is especially
helpful in the planning stage of new plants on new distribution
systems. The model aids in evaluating the performance of
compensation systems such as D-STATCOM and evaluating
their advantages to solve power quality problems.
The results obtained by simulations validate the advantage
of the D-STATCOM to mitigate the power quality problems
generated by arc furnaces operation.
In addition to reducing the PST index, the compensator also
minimizes reactive power variations generated by the load and
improves voltage profiles level at PCC.
The adaptive hysteresis band used as a current control
technique for the D-STATCOM is a useful control strategy
which permits operating at a constant switching frequency,
minimizing switching losses and reducing total harmonic
distortion at PCC.

[6]

VI. APPENDIX

[14]

Parameters of the control circuit block diagram modeled in


PSCAD and presented in Fig. 6.
Phase locked loop
Proportional gain = 50.0
Integral gain = 500.0
Off-set angle to PLL = 1.57079 rad
Low pass filter
Gain = 1.0
Damping Ratio = 0.2
Characteristic Frequency = 2.0Hz

[7]
[8]
[9]
[10]
[11]
[12]
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