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Title: Control of a modular multilevel flying capacitor based STATCOM for distribution systems
Author: Nwobu, Chigozie John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 9911
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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Voltage fluctuation and power losses in the distribution line are problems in distribution networks. One method to mitigate these problems is by injecting reactive power into the network using a Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM). This can be used both for regulating the voltage and reducing the losses. A STATCOM is critically dependent on a grid synchronisation scheme that can accurately track the changes occurring in the grid phase and frequency. The Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) is a promising topology for STATCOM applications because of its simple modular circuit structure that allows for higher voltage ratings, and conventionally uses a stack of sub-modules which are either two-level half or H-bridge converters. As a novel alternative, the thesis investigates the practicality of a STATCOM based on a three-level flying capacitor (FC) converter. Two variants of this topology are presented; the FC Half-bridge and FC H-bridge. A comprehensive study is undertaken to compare these with the Half and H-bridge sub-module under STATCOM operation. Most importantly, an FC H-bridge-based STATCOM is investigated for reactive power compensation. The challenges of multilevel, multi-module PWM control schemes achieving good waveforms at low switching frequency, whilst maintaining module capacitor voltage balance, are thoroughly addressed. Simulation results validate the operation for both line voltage regulation and power factor correction. An experimental power system with an FC-based STATCOM rig is designed and built, and validates the simulation results for power factor correction. It demonstrates correct operation of a control scheme that includes a system for maintaining capacitor voltage balance. Another new contribution is the investigation of a phase locking technique based on the Energy Operator (EO). The method, combining two different EO computations, is shown to achieve fast and accurate detection of frequency and phase angle when combined with an appropriate filter, and crucially operates well under unbalanced voltage conditions. The technique is compared with two other well-known phase locked loop (PLL) schemes, showing that it outperforms the others in terms of speed and accuracy. A hardware implementation of the EO-PLL validates the principle, showing the simplicity of the method.
Supervisor: Zhang, Li Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available