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Title: Investigation of FACTS devices to improve power quality in distribution networks
Author: Rehman Shaikh, Muhammad Asim
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 9100
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Flexible AC transmission system (FACTS) technologies are power electronic solutions that improve power transmission through enhanced power transfer volume and stability, and resolve quality and reliability issues in distribution networks carrying sensitive equipment and non-linear loads. The use of FACTS in distribution systems is still in its infancy. Voltages and power ratings in distribution networks are at a level where realistic FACTS devices can be deployed. Efficient power converters and therefore loss minimisation are crucial prerequisites for deployment of FACTS devices. This thesis investigates high power semiconductor device losses in detail. Analytical closed form equations are developed for conduction loss in power devices as a function of device ratings and operating conditions. These formulae have been shown to predict losses very accurately, in line with manufacturer data. The developed formulae enable circuit designers to quickly estimate circuit losses and determine the sensitivity of those losses to device voltage and current ratings, and thus select the optimal semiconductor device for a specific application. It is shown that in the case of majority carrier devices (such as power MOSFETs), the conduction power loss (at rated current) increases linearly in relation to the varying rated current (at constant blocking voltage), but is a square root of the variable blocking voltage when rated current is fixed. For minority carrier devices (such as a pin diode or IGBT), a similar relationship is observed for varying current, however where the blocking voltage is altered, power losses are derived as a square root with an offset (from the origin). Finally, this thesis conducts a power loss-oriented evaluation of cascade type multilevel converters suited to reactive power compensation in 11kV and 33kV systems. The cascade cell converter is constructed from a series arrangement of cell modules. Two prospective structures of cascade type converters were compared as a case study: the traditional type which uses equal-sized cells in its chain, and a second with a ternary relationship between its dc-link voltages. Modelling (at 81 and 27 levels) was carried out under steady state conditions, with simplified models based on the switching function and using standard circuit simulators. A detailed survey of non punch through (NPT) and punch through (PT) IGBTs was completed for the purpose of designing the two cascaded converters. Results show that conduction losses are dominant in both types of converters in NPT and PT IGBTs for 11kV and 33kV systems. The equal-sized converter is only likely to be useful in one case (27-levels in the 33kV system). The ternary-sequence converter produces lower losses in all other cases, and this is especially noticeable for the 81-level converter operating in an 11kV network.
Supervisor: Green, Tim C. ; Mitcheson, Paul D. Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral