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International Journal of Power Electronics and Drive System (IJPEDS) 

Vol. 8, No. 4, December 2017, pp. 1455-1466 

ISSN: 2088-8694, DOI: 10.11591/ijpeds.v8i4.ppl455-1466 


□ 1455 


Reactive Power Compensation in Industrial Grid via 
High-power Adjustable Speed Drives with Medium Voltage 

3L-NPC BTB Converters 


Radionov A.A., Gasiyarov V.R., Maklakov A.S., Maklakova E.A. 

South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia 


Article Info 


ABSTRACT 


Article history: 

Received Sep 10, 2017 
Revised Nov 18, 2017 
Accepted Dec 1, 2017 


Keyword: 

AC-DC power converters 
DC-AC power converters 
Medium voltage 
Reactive power control 
Variable speed drives 


The objective of this study is to develop and research a new method of 
reactive power compensation in industrial grid via high-power adjustable 
speed drives (HP ASDs) with medium voltage (MV) three level neutral point 
clamped back-to-back (3L-NPC BtB) converters. The article is concerned 
with the mathematical description, control system designing and obtaining of 
experimental results. An important advantage of the new method is that 
specialized equipment is not necessary for its implementation. The analysis 
of our experimental research shows that the developed reactive power 
compensation method has been successfully applied for main HP ASD of 
plate mill rolling state 5000 (Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, PJSC). 
Some ways for future industrial application prospects and improvements of 
the designed method are outlined in the conclusion of the paper. 

Copyright © 2017 Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science. 

All rights reserved. 


Corresponding Author: 

Alexander S. Maklakov, 

Department of Mechatronics and Automation, 
South Ural State University, 

76 Lenin Pr. 454080, Chelyabinsk, Russia. 
Email: alexandr. maklakov.ru @ ieee .org 


1. INTRODUCTION 

In recent years, the use of power converters has been increasing, mainly due to the global demand 
for electrical energy. Modern power converter topologies for high-power application are able to transmit and 
convert electric power with small losses and minimal negative influence on the environment [1-5]. Current 
economic forecast demonstrates that the converter market for power energy and industry applications will 
continue developing and improving in the XXI st century. «MarketsandMarkets” reports that in the years 
coming the volume of average annual investments in the field of power engineering will increase up to 
10% [6]. Primarily, it will be connected with the renovation of energy infrastructure and implementation of 
renewable energy projects of Europe and the USA and with the increase of demand from fast developing 
economics of China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa [7], Consequently, research in the field of power 
converters to improve energy efficiency and power quality acquire special significance [8-10]. 

Currently, non-reversible and reversible medium voltage (MV) high-power (HP) adjustable speed 
drives (ASDs) based on multilevel converter topologies are main electrical energy consumers in oil, gas, 
metallurgical, mining, chemical, cement, paper and other industry applications [11-13], 

HP ASDs can be found commercially in single or paralleled units ranging from a power capacity 
of 0.4 to 200 MVA. They operate at the medium-voltage of 2.3 to 13.8 kV, however, a typical drive voltage 
is 3.3 kV. The operation of HP ASDs in MV has some benefits such as lower current ratings, smaller cables, 
smaller dc-link energy storage components and higher efficiency; therefore, it is the mainstream solution 
found in the HP-ASDs in practice [14], 


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MV 3L-NPC BtB converters are most often applied for the HP ASDs in industrial enterprises. 
Typical power circuits as an illustration are shown in Figure 1. Because of the toughening of international 
standards to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and power quality, multipulse grid connection circuits are 
the most promising for both raising energy efficiency and the quality of converted energy. These circuits are 
used at one of the world's largest steel producers and a leading Russian metals company Magnitogorsk Iron 
and Steel Works, PJSC. 



Figure 1. Power circuits for HP ASDs: a) 5000 mm plate mill, b) 1750 mm hot-strip mill and 2000 mm cold 

mill, c) 2000 mm cold mill (MMK Atakas) 


2. PROBLEM DEFINITION AND ARTICLE PURPOSES 

Currently, power quality and energy efficiency are the most important direction in the enterprise 
development to reduce production costs. In practice, our experience indicates that distribution grid companies 
penalize industrial plants for high level of consumed reactive power. In such situation, it is profitable to 
provide an industrial distribution grid with proper reactive power control. Furthermore, the profound effects 
reactive power has on the security, efficiency and transmission capacity of industrial grid are well-known 
[15-17], 

Reactive power compensation is one of the most effective ways to reduce consumed electric 
energy and improve power quality. The examples of how reactive power compensation can improve the 
technical-and-economic indexes of an industrial power grid are [18-21]: 

a. Reduce cost and generate higher revenue for the customer; 

b. Reduce network losses; 

c. Avoid penalty charges from utilities for excessive consumption of reactive power; 

d. Increase system capacity and save costs on new installations; 

e. Improve system power factor; 

f. Increase power availability; 

g. Improve voltage regulation in the network. 

Nowadays, static VAR compensators (SVCs) and static synchronous compensators (STATCOMs) 
are the most useful to control the dynamic reactive power level in the industrial grid [22-24]. It is important 
to note the main difference between STATCOM and 3L-NPC BtB converters is their load sides, but there is 
the same connection in the grid side. 

The majority of cases reported in the literature relate to the static reactive power compensation 
using active front-end (AFE) rectifier. This approach was firstly introduced for the dragline eclectic drives 


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case in [25]. In addition, most existing works in this field have been done using either wind or solar electrical 
systems [26]. 

This article will present some experiments showing the potential use of dynamic reactive power 
compensation via HP ASDs with medium voltage 3L-NPC BtB converters. A new method of the reactive 
power control that has been applied for this problem is described. As a research object, the main HP ASDs of 
the plate mill rolling state 5000 (Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, PJSC) has been chosen. To investigate 
a reactive power compensation mode, it is necessary to perform synthesis of the new control system of the 
3L-NPC BtB converter for operating conditions of the main HP ASDs of the plate mill rolling state 5000 by 
using a mathematical description. 

3. 3L-BTB-NPC CONVERTER AS CONTROLLING OBJECT 

The well-known mathematical models of multilevel converters are based on a splitting method. It 
allows one to split electrical circuit on sub-electrical circuits and to ensure their interaction. However, such a 
way does not provide for the making of convenient mathematical models and development of a control 
system [27-29]. 

The 3L-BtB-NPC converter as shown in Figure 1 contains 24 semiconductor power modules 
V7j-VT 2 4, 24 forward diodes VD r VD 2h 12 clamped diodes VD cl -VD cl2 and two equivalent capacitors 
C,j t r C ,/ ( ;2 between which a neutral point 0 is formed [14-16]. The mathematical description method is based 
on discrete logic functions y abc , -semiconductor device switching states .S'„/, r / 2 , v for the 3L-BtB-NPC converter 
(grid and load side) 

!> ( s abc\n- and S abc2n ,) = 1 and (S abc3rv and S abc4rv ) = 0 

Y abcn> ~ ' 0’ {Sabclrv anc $ $abcin■ ) = ' and (^nfcclrv or $abcArv ) = 0 

— ^abcin’ an d S abc4rv ) — 1 and (S abcln , and S abc 2rv ) — 0 

-load side 

1, ( S ahch , and S abc2v ) = 1 and ( S abc3v and S ahc4v ) = 0 

Y abcv = j ( S ab C 2v and S abciv ) = 1 and {S abch , OY S abc4v ) = 0 (2) 

-K ( S abc3v and S abcAv ) = 1 and and S abc2v ) = 0 


Grid side Medium Voltage 3L-NPC BtB converter Load side 



Figure 2. Power circuit of 3L-NPC BtB converter 


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The discrete logic functions y abc form the states of the switching functions F abcl2rv . The switching 
functions F abc i 2 rv form the logical signals that determine the level of the DC link voltage for each phase of the 
3L-BtB-NPC converter 


Y abcrv * ( Y abciv — ^ ) 


abc\2rv 


According to Kirchhoff s laws, system equation was derived as 

^abcT ~ ^abcr hbcr Z abcr 
Mabcl — abcv ^abcv ( Z abcf + Z abcl ) 



( 

1 b.c 

--Y 

3 ta 

A 


f 

1 b.c 

--Y 

3 ta 


\ 

U abcr ~ U dcl 

f 

abclr 

F nlr 

+ U dc2 

F abc2r 

F nlr 



V 

J 


V 




/ 

1 b.c 

— Y 

3 ta 

> 


f 

1 b.c 

--Y 

3 ta 


\ 

U abcv = U dc\ 

77 

r abciv 

F nlv 

+ u dc2 

F abc2v 

F n2v 



\ 

J 


V 


/ 


*dc 1 


{ F alrhr + Pbldbr + F cldcr ) ( F alvhv + F blv*bv + ^clv4v ) 

P ■ C dc\ 

{ F a2rhr + F b2rhr + F c2r 4r ) “ { F a2vhv + F b2vhv + ^c2v4v) 


P-C, 


dc 2 


P , =“aT ■ 4r + U bT 'hr + U cT '4 




' 4r ) 


(3) 


(4) 


where i abcr and i abcv - grid and load side phase currents. A; Z abcr and Z abcv - grid and load side complex 
impedance. Ohm; u abcT and u abc i - grid and load side phase voltages, V; u abcr and u abcv - grid and load side 3L- 
NPC BtB converter voltages, V; u dcI2 - DC voltages, V; P, and Q r - grid side active and reactive power, W, 
VAR; p - operator of differentiation. 

Then, the system Equation (4) was transformed into a rotating coordinate system dq using the Park 
transformation. The voltage grid orientation for the grid side and load voltage orientation for the load side 
were used. After applying the transformation, the system (4) has the following view 


u dT 

Udr F Pfr 

Z dr 

s 

1 

’ Z qr ' 

l qr 


U qT 

- u qr + l qr 

Z qr 

+ CO j 

’ Z dr ' 

ldr 


U dl = 

u dv +l dv 


+z di )~ co 

\ Z qf 

+ Z ql ) ' iqv 

U ql = 

u +i 

qv qv 

(V 

+ Z ql ) + C0 

'{ Z df 

+ Z dl\ hv 

U dqr 

~ U dc\ * Fdqlr + U dc2 * 

F dq2r 



U dqv 

— ^del * Fdqi v + Mdc2 

F dq2v 




_ 3 

U dcl ~ 0 ' 

_ 3 

U dc2 ~ 0 ' 

P r = U dT ' hr + U qT ' l qr 

Qr ~ U qT ' hr + U dT ' V 


( F d\r ' hr + F qlr ' V ) ( F dlv ' hv + F qlv ' V ) 


Cdc 1 ' P 


[ F d2r ' hr + F q2r ' hr ) I ^d2v ' hv + F q2v ' V ) 


( 5 ) 


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where i dqr and i dqv - grid and load side dq phase currents, A; Z dqr and Zdqv - grid and load side dq complex 
impedance. Ohm; u dqT and u dq/ - grid and load side dq phase voltages, V; u dqr and u dqv - grid and load dq side 
3L-NPC BtB converter voltages, V; F abcl2n , - dq switching functions; co, and oo/ - grid and load side dq 
angular frequencies. In our case, for the system (5) active i d and reactive i q currents of the 3L-BtB-NPC 
converter are regulated by the VOC which functional diagram is shown in Figure 3. 



Figure 3. Functional diagram of the control system 


The control system is two-loop and consists of two-channel current control systems and the 
external DC voltage control loop, reactive power control loop and a load control system. It allows for a 
separate regulating of the active i d and reactive i q current components. To realize this linear control method, 
the abc/dq transformation for the measured phase current i abcmeg to i dqmeg has been applied. Deviations from 
the difference between the reference current signals i dqre j and measured current signals i dqmeg are processed by 
PI current controllers. Additional signals from cross-coupling compensation (CCC) blocks are the summed 
outputs of PI current controllers and fed to the PWM units. Phase-locked loops (PDFs) are used to calculate 
grid and load voltage angles 0 n „ The active current loop of the grid side is subordinated to the external DC 
voltage control loop. Deviations from the difference between the reference DC voltage signal u dcre f and 
measured DC voltage signals u dcmeg are processed by a DC voltage controller. The internal reactive current 
loop i qr is subordinated to the external reactive power control system. 

Control system designing with a reactive control loop was synthesized on the basis of the system 
"3F-NPC BtB converter - industrial grid" shown in Figure 4. This system consists of voltage E BtB , equivalent 
inductance L 2 , equivalent resistance R 2 , transformer T, grid voltage E g , transformer secondary winding 
voltage E t , equivalent inductance Lj, and equivalent resistance R 


Reactive Power Compensation in Industrial Grid via High-power Adjustable... (Radionov A.A.) 

















































































































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Figure 4. System "3L-NPC BtB converter - industrial grid" 


The power flow from the point B to the point C can be calculated based on the following Equations [23-27] 


e bc ~ 


E t -E BtB -cos(a) + Z 2 •sin(a))-£' r 2 R 2 

r 2 2 +x 2 2 


Qbc - 


e t - E BtB-{ x 2 -cos(a) —f? 2 -sin(a)) —£ r 2 -X 2 

R 2 2 + X 2 2 


( 6 ) 

(7) 


S 


BC ~ 


e t ' (t? BtB ^ • E BtB ■ Ej • cos (a) + E T ~ j 

\ Ri+x 2 2 


(8) 


where e bc —jX E BtB, Qbc - f( E BtB> «)i Sbc =f(E BtB , a) - active, reactive and apparent power functions in the 
system "3L-NPC BtB converter- industrial grid"; E r - secondary voltage transformer; a-shift angle between 
E t and E BtB . The apparent power function S BC = f(E B ,B, a) has been applied to reactive power control by the 
shift angle a and the voltage E BtB . As shown in Figure 5. 



Figure 5. Apparent power function in the system "3F-NPC BtB converter - industrial grid" 


A limitation level of supplying reactive power Q B cum is calculated offline for each reference DC voltage by 
the following Equation 


Qbc Min -\Rbc Pbc 

The Equations (6-9) were used to define maximum apparent and reactive power in the connection 
point of the industrial grid and the ASDs with the 3L-NPC BtB converters. Using calculated results, it 
allowed compensating a share of the static or dynamic excess reactive power in the grid via the ASDs. It is 


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noted that a range of the shift angle between the transformer secondary winding voltage and the 3L-NPC BtB 
voltage is low. It indicates that the reactive power control system have to provide high accuracy and 
performance reliability in all operation conditions of the ASDs with the 3L-NPC BtB converters [30-32]. 

A functional scheme of the proposed reactive power control method is shown in Figure 6. The 
scheme provides a real-time measurement of the reactive power at the secondary control level and produce a 
reactive power reference signal at the local control level of the 3L-NPC BtB converter. If in the connection 
point of substation and the ASDs there is a requirement to increase or reduce the reactive power level, the 
3L-NPC BTB converters will be able to generate or consume a shape of reference reactive power. An 
important advantage of the new method is that specialized equipment is not necessary for the 
implementation. 



Figure 6. Functional diagram of the reactive power control system 


4. RESEARCH OBJECT 

The main HP ASDs of the plate mill rolling state 5000 (Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, 
PJSC) was used as a study object. The drive comprises two synchronous motors (SMs) for each work roll, six 
3F-NPC BtB converters, 18-pulse connection based converters on three power transformers with the voltages 
phase shifts 20°, 0°, and -20° of the secondary windings. Basic technical information of the SMs, 3F-NPC 
BtB converters and the power transformers is presented in Table 1. The 3F-NPC BtB converters of the 
considered HP ASDs are able to convert 30 MVA instantaneous peak apparent power. It is a maximum 
power Smax ~ Pmax at the unit power factor. Furthermore, the 3L-NPC BtB converters can provide the 
power factor +0.8, i.e. generate or consume about 20 MVAR reactive power. 


Table 1. SM Technical Information 


Pm, [MW] 

12 

Um, [V] 

3300 

4at> [A] 

2460 

/rat, [HZ] 

10 

cos(tp) 

1 

3F-NPC BTB Converter Technical Information 

Pm, [MW] 

U al , [V] 

4ab [A] 

U [Hz] 

U dc ,a„ [V] 

8.4 

3300 

800 

500 

5020 


Power Transformer Technical Information 


Sra„ [MVA] Uu [kV] U 2 , [kV] /,, [A] 4 [A] t/ sc , [%] 

3300 10 3.3 329 997 16 


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Figure 7 shows the developed reactive power control system for the main HP ASDs of the plate 
mill rolling state 5000 (Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, PJSC). The industrial grid is based on Smart 
Grid technology in which the HP ASDs with the 3L-NPC BtB converters operate in parallel with the 
nonlinear and reactive load. The load can be the not ASDs or ASDs with unidirectional and bidirectional AC- 
DC converters using diode or thyristor rectifiers. 


5. RESEARCH RESULTS 

Transition processes were obtained by using the ibaAnalyzer software at the sample frequency 500 
Hz. The operation conditions of the main HP ASD of the plate mill rolling state 5000 in the range of 
roughing and finishing rolling for the difficult-to-form steel grade are shown in Figure 8 and Figure 9. These 
experiments were carried out without reactive power consuming and generating. The following nomenclature 
was taken: w m - SM angular speed, s' 1 ; M m - SM torque, MNm; P g , S,, - consumed active and apparent power 
in the grid connection, MW and MV A; t - time, s. 

Figure 9 shows that the main HP ASD of the plate mill rolling state 5000 has a maximum load at 
finish rolling and there is no possibility to generate additional reactive power. But in Figure 8 it is clearly 
seen that at roughing there is an underutilization of the apparent power. 

Based on the experimental results, it was concluded that the main HP ASD of the plate mill rolling 
state 5000 can be applied as a static or dynamic reactive power compensator in the range of roughing. Using 
the designed reactive power control (Chapter III. B), it was possible to achieve 6.4 MVAR reactive power 
generation in all the roughing range of the main HP ASD of the plate mill rolling state 5000 (Magnitogorsk 
Iron and Steel Works, PJSC). It is clearly seen in Figure 10. 


Calculation 

1 

1 f 

reactive power 

1 (vA 

1 v >7 



Rate Power - 12 MVA 
Voltage - 3.3 kV 
Power modules — IEGT 
Front-End - AFE 
Control - VOC and FOC 
Modulation - SHE and SV 
Connection — 18-pulse 


12 MW 


Rate Power - 12 MVA 
Voltage-3.3 kV 
Power modules - IEGT 
Front-End - AFE 
Control - VOC and FOC 
Modulation - SHE and SV 
Connection — 18-pulse 


Figure 7. Research object 


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20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 


Figure 8. Operation condition at roughing 



Figure 9. Operation condition at finish rolling 


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Figure 10. Reactive power generation at the roughing 


6. CONCLUSION 

The new reactive power compensation method in the industrial grid via high-power adjustable 
speed drives with the medium voltage 3L-NPC BtB converters has been proposed. It can be recommended to 
correct a power factor or compensate static or dynamic reactive power. A level of compensated reactive 
power should be calculated in accordance with load impedance diagrams and parameters of the grid side and 
3L-NPC BtB converters. 

An important advantage of the new method is that specialized equipment is not necessary for the 
implementation. The analysis of experimental research shows that the developed reactive power 
compensation method has been successfully applied for the main HP ASD of the plate mill rolling state 5000 
(Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, PJSC). 

The huge prospects of HP ASDs with 3L-NPC BtB converters to integrate them into Smart Grid 
systems have been determined. It is a good solution as they are able to provide a high power flow and control 
a reactive power flow by the control system of 3L-NPC BtB converters. It can reduce a share of the 
consumed reactive power from the grid and improve power quality. 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The work was supported by Act 211 Government of the Russian Federation, contract Ns 
02.A03.21.0011. 


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BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AUTHORS 



1997 - Diploma of an engineer, Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Russia; 2000-PhD 
(technical science), Moscow State Technical University (MEI), Russia; 2009-Dr. Sc.(techn.), 
Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Russia; 2014 to present-Vice-Rector for Education 
Affairs, South Ural State University, Russia. His research interests include the field of power 
electronics, motor drive systems and mechatronics. 



2007 - Diploma of an engineer, Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Russia; 2012-PhD 
(technical science), Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Russia; 2014 to present-Head of 
the Department “Mechatronics and automation”. South Ural State University, Russia. His 
research interests include the field of mechatronics and motor drive systems. 


Reactive Power Compensation in Industrial Grid via High-power Adjustable... (Radionov A.A.) 






1466 □ 


ISSN: 2088-8694 



2013 - Diploma of an engineer, Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Russia; 2017-PhD 
(technical science), South Ural State University, Russia; 2015 to present-Lecturer of the 
Department “Mechatronics and automation”, South Ural State University, Russia. His research 
interests include the field of power electronics and motor drive systems. 



2015 - Diploma of an engineer, Magnitogorsk State Technical University. Russia; 2017- 
master's degree (technical science), South Ural State University, Russia; 2017 to present- 
Lecturer of the Department ‘‘Mechatronics and automation”, South Ural State University, Russia. 
Her research interests include the field of automation and control systems. 


IJPEDS Vol. 8, No. 4, December 2017 : 1455 - 1466