Power Hardware-in-the-Loop-Based Performance Analysis of Different Converter Controllers for Fast Active Power Regulation in Low-Inertia Power Systems

José Rueda Torres, Zameer Ahmad, Nidarshan Veera Kumar, Elyas Rakhshani, Ebrahim Adabi, Peter Palensky, Mart van der Meijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Future electrical power systems will be dominated by power electronic converters, which are deployed for the integration of renewable power plants, responsive demand, and different types of storage systems. The stability of such systems will strongly depend on the control strategies attached to the converters. In this context, laboratory-scale setups are becoming the key tools for prototyping and evaluating the performance and robustness of different converter technologies and control strategies. The performance evaluation of control strategies for dynamic frequency support using fast active power regulation (FAPR) requires the urgent development of a suitable power hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) setup. In this paper, the most prominent emerging types of FAPR are selected and studied: droop-based FAPR, droop derivative-based FAPR, and virtual synchronous power (VSP)-based FAPR. A novel setup for PHIL-based performance evaluation of these strategies is proposed. The setup combines the advanced modeling and simulation functions of a real-time digital simulation platform (RTDS), an external programmable unit to implement the studied FAPR control strategies as digital controllers, and actual hardware. The hardware setup consists of a grid emulator to recreate the dynamic response as seen from the interface bus of the grid side converter of a power electronic-interfaced device (e.g., type-IV wind turbines), and a mockup voltage source converter (VSC, i.e., a device under test (DUT)). The DUT is virtually interfaced to one high-voltage bus of the electromagnetic transient (EMT) representation of a variant of the IEEE 9 bus test system, which has been modified to consider an operating condition with 52% of the total supply provided by wind power generation. The selected and programmed FAPR strategies are applied to the DUT, with the ultimate goal of ascertaining its feasibility and effectiveness with respect to the pure software-based EMT representation performed in real time. Particularly, the time-varying response of the active power injection by each FAPR control strategy and the impact on the instantaneous frequency excursions occurring in the frequency containment periods are analyzed. The performed tests show the degree of improvements on both the rate-of-change-of-frequency (RoCoF) and the maximum frequency excursion (e.g., nadir).
Original languageEnglish
Article number3274
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Decoupled renewable power generation
  • Fast active power-frequency control
  • Frequency stability assessment
  • PHIL


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