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A Comparison of Active Power Filter Control Methods in Unbalanced and Nonsinusoidal Conditions

G.D. Marques
SecqBo de Miquinas ElCctricas e Electrdnica de Potzncia
IST, AV. Rovisco Pais, 1096 Lisboa, Portugal
gmarques @alfa.ist.utl.pt
Abstract - Active power filters are used to eliminate current
harmonics near nonlinear loads. This paper evaluates four
different methods of determining the compensating current
for a shunt active filter that is working under nonsymmetrical conditions. The methods compared are the
Instantaneous Reactive Power Theory, the Modified
Instantaneous Reactive Power Theory, the Synchronous
Reference Frame Theory and the Modified Synchronous
Reference Frame Theory. The comparison is based on
simulation results. In balanced sinusoidal source voltages, the
difference between the results obtained by the four methods
are of minimum importance. For unbalanced and nonsinusoidal source voltage Conditions, the results obtained by
the methods referenced are quite different. The synchronous
reference frame method had shown the best choice for all
situations studied in this paper.

paper compares four control methods to obtain the


compensating
current under
non-sinusoidal
and
asymmetric conditions.
This paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes
succinctly the four methods that will be compared in this
paper. The comparison is presented in section 3 with the
help of a simulation program. The results obtained with the
four above mentioned methods will be compared in
symmetrical and in non-symmetrical conditions. The
nonlinear load to be compensated is a three-phase diode
bridge. Non-symmetrical conditions are studied in two
different cases. In the first situation, the load is asymmetric
and the voltage remains symmetric. In the second situation
the non-symmetrical conditions are obtained when the
three-phase voltage system has a direct and an inverse
component. The conclusion is presented in section 4.

I. INTRODUCTION
11. ACTIVE POWER FILTER CONTROL METHODS
The majority of power consumption has been drawn by
linear loads. Modern loads typically contain power
electronic devices. The current drawn by these modern
devices is non-sinusoidal and therefore contains
harmonics.
Shunt active filters were proposed as a means of
removing current harmonics. In an active power filter, a
controller determines the harmonics that are to be
eliminated. The output of this controller is the reference of
a three-phase current controlled inverter. Fig. 1 illustrates
the principle of a shunt active filter. The nonlinear load is
connected to the power system and is supplied by the nonsinusoidal current .,i The active power filter is connected
in parallel to the mains, on the point of common coupling
PCC, and supplies the current harmonics needed to
maintain the source current sinusoidal.
Traditionally active power filters are studied under
sinusoidal and symmetrically voltage conditions. This

Power
System

Active
Power
Filter

A. PqMethod
The p q theory [l], also known as the instantaneous
reactive power theory, defines the active and reactive
power as:

Non-Linear
Load
Where x denotes currents or voltages. When there is no
neutral point i,=O, then:

Fig. 1. Principle of an active power filter

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Shunt active power filters inject ac currents on the


network. An outer controller determines the reference ac
currents that should be injected and thus compensated. A
three-phase voltage inverter with current regulation is then
used to inject the compensating current into the power line.
There are some different methods for implementing the
detection of harmonic currents. These methods were
studied in symmetrical conditions in the literature. The aim
of this paper is to qualitatively determine the differences
between four of those methods for a three-phase system
with unbalanced system of voltages and loads.

1998 IEEE

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pjld]

[y]=[e.-ec
e; -e;

(4)

%-ec][]
e;,-e;.

The ap currents can be obtained by the p and q using:

Now the determinant is:


where

A=e:+ei

As in the p q method, the reference currents can be


calculated using the same criteria as on the p q method.

The instantaneous active and reactive power p and q can


be decomposed into an average and an oscillating
component.

P = Pav

+ Pos

(7)

9 = 4av + 40s

i,*= -(i,

*
+ ih)

The compensating reference currents are calculated to


compensate the instantaneous reactive power and the
oscillating component of the instantaneous active power.

The ap components can be calculated using the ap


transformation.

so:

C. Synchronous referenceframe method

Pc = Pos

(8)

4c 4 L

In the synchronous reference frame method [3], the load


current is transformed into the conventional rotating frame
dq. If 8 is the transformation angle, the transformation is
defined by:

In this case the source transmits only the non-oscillating


component of the active power. Whence

Ps = PLav

4s

=o

(9)

The reference source currents, using (5),are:

The compensating reference currents are:


.*

.*

(19)

Where i,ymisp are ideal source currents, and iLa, iLp are the
measured values of the load currents.

B. Modified pq method
The modified pq method is presented in [ 2 ] .The active
power p and reactive power q are defined respectively as:

p = e,i,

+ e$,, + e,i,

q = e;i, + e$,, + e;ic

(13)

Where e(,, e,, ec lag eo, e,, and ec respectively by 90


degrees. For a three wire system,

i,

+ ih + ic = 0

(14)

From ( 1 2) and (1 3),

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Where x denotes voltages or currents.


In the synchronous reference frame, 0 is a time variant
angle that represents the angular position of the reference
frame. This reference franne is rotating at constant speed in
synchronism with the three-phase ac voltages.
To implement the synchronous reference frame method
some kind of synchronizing system should be used. In [4]
and [SI a phase-locked loop (PLL) is used for the
implementation of the this method.
The fundamental current of the dq components is now a
dc value. The harmonicis appear like ripple. Harmonic
isolation of the dq transformed signal is achieved by
removing the dc offset. T,his is accomplished using a high
pass filter (HPF). The reference currents are obtained with
an inverse transformation. Fig. 2 illustrates a block
diagram of the dq synchronous reference frame method.
Three is no need to supply voltage information for a
SRF based controller. However the phase position angle
must be determined in some way.

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pq Method

IL2

-4
e

/ I .
I / I-"

"r"

"r"

Fig. 2. Principle of the synchronous reference frame method

D. Modified synchronous reference frame method


The modified synchronous reference frame, is presented
in [6], [7]. It is presented and named the instantaneous idiq method. This method is similar to the synchronous
reference frame method, Fig.2. The transformation angle is
now obtained with the voltages. The major difference is
that the speed of the referential is no longer constant. It
varies instantaneously depending of the waveform of the
three-phase voltage system.
Let 0 be the transformation angle (variable in time).
This angle is computed using the ac voltages using (20)
and (21).

2-20
0

- - - ..

_ I _

0.005

0.01
Time

[SI

- -

- 8 -

0.015

0.02

Fig. 3. Source currents obtained in symmetrical conditions.

In this method, no synchronizing circuit is needed.

but there are some points, during the commutation of the


diodes, where some imprecision occur. That is due to the
influence of the commutation on the voltage waveform.

111. COMPARISION BETWEEN THE FOUR METHODS


To evaluate the performances of the various methods,
several simulations were performed. The load used is a
three-phase diode rectifier. In the first situation, a
sinusoidal and symmetrical ac voltage system is studied. In
the second case, a non-symmetrical load and a symmetrical
voltage was used. In the third situation, unsymmetrical
voltage and load conditions were considered. A 220V
direct sequence voltage, and a 50V inverse sequence
voltage and a null zero-sequence voltage were used.
A. Symmetrical load and source
The results obtained in this case are presented in fig. 3.
The ac line currents presented are the reference source
currents obtained by the methods referenced. The
influence of the APP on the PCC voltage was not
considered.
It is possible to conclude that the differences between
the four methods in symmetrical conditions under
sinusoidal voltage waveforms are of minor importance.
The best method is the synchronous reference frame
method that exhibits practically sinusoidal currents. The
source currents in the other methods are almost sinusoidal

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B. Unsymmetrical load and symmetrical source voltage

The results obtained in the previous subsection are


dependent on the voltage waveform. It was verified in
several situations that those results are still valid when the
load is unbalanced.

C. Unsymmetrical load and source voltage

I ) Load waveforms: On the point of common coupling


the voltage is the one shown on fig. 4. The a
voltage component is considerably higher than the
component. The influence of the commutation of
the diodes is clearly visible.
The currents on the load are presented in fig. 5. These
waveforms are common to all methods studied.

2 ) Results obtained with p q Methods: The results


obtained with the pq method are presented in fig. 6, 7, 8
and 9. Fig. 6 shows the APF compensating currents while
fig. 7 shows the source currents obtained. The source
current spectra for both methods are presented in Fig. 8
and 9.

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pq Method

PCC Voltages
6001

0.005

0.01

0.015

0.02

Modified pq Method

-600:

0.005

0.01

0.015

0.02

Time Is]

Fig. 4. Voltages on the point of common coupling


Load currents
25

-25l
0

I
0.005

0.01

0.015

0.02

T" [s]

Fig. 5 . Load currents


D q Method
Harm. order

Harm. order

Fig. 8. Spectra of the source currents @9 method).

18.7

16- .

14. .
12. .

g10. .
m
8-.

6 -.
0

0.005

0.01

Time [SI

0.01 5

0.02

4-

2-

Modified pq Method
5

10

00

Harm. order
Fig. 9. Spectra of the source currents (modified p q method).

The p q method has a poor performance from the


harmonics point of view. The source currents are not
sinusoidal. However, Fiig. 8, the amplitude of each
harmonic is practically the same in a and in p components.
The behavior of the modified p q method is different.
The a and p components are very different, Fig. 9. To the
voltage a component, the higher component, corresponds
a lower CL current component, and conversely.
The better characteristic, from the point of view of
harmonics, obtained with the modified p q method is due to
the waveform of the determinant (6) and (17) under

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performance in respect of harmonics, but has a better


performance in respect to the unbalance.

pq Method

x105

Synchronous Reference Frame Method

Z2o _ _ _ _ _ _ : . . . . . . ; . . . . . . ; . . . . .

0.005

0.01
Time [SI

0.015

0.02

Fig. 10. Waveform of the determinant of the p q method.

_ _ _ _ - _ _ - - . _ - -

-2-

- - .

_ I _

~.

_ I . .

. .

. I _ .

.-

- -

-3
0

0.005

0.01
Time [SI

0.015

LL
q-20

0.02

_ _ .. '_
......1..

Fig. I 1. Waveform of the determinant of the modified p q method.

unbalanced conditions. Fig. 10 and Fig. 11 show the


waveform of both determinants for this case.

3 ) Results obtained with the synchronous reference


frame Methods: Fig. 12, 13, 14 and 15 present the results
obtained with the synchronous reference frame methods.
As the a0 active power filter currents are different, the
source currents are also different. The best results, even
when compared with the presented on the previous
subsection, are obtained with the synchronous reference
frame method. In this case the source currents are
practically sinusoidal and balanced. The method is also
insensitive to the perturbations on the voltage due to the
nonlinear load, as the commutations of the diodes.
The modified synchronous reference frame method has
a good performance in respect to the peak value of the
source currents but it is poor in respect to harmonics and
unbalance. The source currents are far from the sinusoidal
waveform. When compared with the modified p q method,
the synchronous reference frame method has a lower

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_ - - __ _ - - _
8

0.01
Time [SI

0.005

0.015

0.02

Fig. 12. Compensating currents obtained with the synchronous reference


frame methods

- -

3-20
0

- -

_ I _

- - -

~ - - ~ - _ , _-

2-20

- -

- 8 -

- - - .
0.02

0.005
0.01
0.015
Modified Synchronous Reference Frame Method

0.005

0.01
Time [SI

- -

_ a _

- -

0.015

- 0.02

Fig. 13. Source currents obtained.

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Appendix
Parameters used: R,,=lO Q, Ldc=.OIH, L,=.OOlH, R,=l!2
u,,=220v u@=5
ov
V. ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Part of the costs related with the publication of this
paper was supported by CAUTL,.
VI. REFERENCES

5
Harm. order

10

[I] Akagi, H. ; Kanazawa, Y. ; Nabae, A. Instantaneous


Reactive Power Cornpensators Comprising Switching
Devices Without Energy Storage Components, IEEE
Trans. on Ind. Appl., vol. IA-20, no.3, MayIJune
1984, pp 625-630.

10

Harm. order

Fig. 14. Spectra of the source currents (SRF method).

[2] Komatsu,
Y.;Kawabata,
T.
Experimental
Comparison o f pq and Extension pq method for Active
Power Filter European Power Electronics Conference
EPE97 pp2.729-2.734, Trondheim, Norway
14-

[3] S. Bhattacharya, D. M. Divan and B. Banerjee,


Synchronous Frame Harmonics Isolator using Active
Series Filter, European Power Electronics Conference
EPE91 pp 3-030,3.035. Firenzi, Italy

-12.
s

2a 10.

86.

4.

[4] P. Verdelho, G. D. Marques, An Active Power Filter


and Unbalanced Current Compensator IEEE
Transactions on Industrial Electronics vol. 44, NO3
June 1997, pp 321-328.

200

Harm. order

Harm. order

Fig. 15. Spectra of the source currents (modified SRF method).

[5] P. Verdelho, G. D. Marques, Active Power Filter


Control Circuit with Phase Locked Loop Phase Angle
Determination PEMC98, Sep. 8-10, 1998 Praha.

IV. CONCLUSION
The comparison of four active power filter control
methods was investigated in this paper. It is clear that
under balanced and sinusoidal voltages these four methods
gives similar results. The differences arrive when the
voltage is perturbed by the load, i.e. when there are
harmonics on the load. In this case the methods gives
similar results but the synchronous reference frame method
gives the best results. Under non-sinusoidal and
unbalanced conditions, all methods give different results.
The synchronous reference frame method is the best. It
drives sinusoidal and balanced currents on the source and
is insensitive to voltage perturbations.
The modified reference frame method gives equal peak
currents on the source but its waveform is far from the
sinusoidal waveform.
The modified pq method gives acceptable waveforms in
respect to harmonics but is poor in respect to the voltage
unbalance.
The p q method gives good results in sinusoidal and
balanced voltages but its performance is poor in respect to
voltage unbalance. The source currents resulted are not
sinusoidal but are balanced.

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[6] V. Soares, P. Verdelho, G. D. Marques, A control


method for active power filters under unbalanced nonsinusoidal conditions Power Electronics and Variable
speed drives PEVD96 Se,ptember, 23-25, pp120-124.
[7] V. Soares, P. Verdelho, G. D. Marques, Active
Power Filter Control Circuit Based on the Instantaneous
Active and reactive Current id-iq Method Power
Electronics Specialists Conference, Pesc97 St. Louis,
Missouri, June 22-27, 1997, pp- 1096-1101.
[8] S. D. Rourd, D.M.E. Ingram, An Evaluation of
Techniques for Determining Active Filter Compensating
Currents in Unbalanced Systems European Power
Electronics Conference EPE97, pp 4.767, 4.772,
Trondheim, Norway.
[9] Leonard0 Pittrorino, Jacques du Toit, Johan Enslin,
Evaluation of Converter Topologies and Controllers for
Power Quality Compensators Under Unbalanced
Conditions Power Electronics Specialists Conference
PESC97 St. Louis, Missouri, June 22-27, 1997, pp- 11271133.

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