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A Novel Hybrid Directional Comparison Pilot Protection Scheme

for the LCC-VSC Hybrid HVDC Transmission Lines


Yanting Wang*, Baohui Zhang*

*School of Electrical Engineering, Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, China, wangyt.hvdc@stu.xjtu.edu.cn

structures and the control strategies at two ends of the line are
Keywords: Hybrid HVDC system, transmission line different, leading to different fault characteristics. Therefore,
protection, directional comparison pilot protection, the performances of the same directional unit at rectifier side
directional unit, fault direction characteristics. and inverter side are different.
In order to enhance the sensitivity and improve the
Abstract performance of the transmission line directional comparison
pilot protection in hybrid HVDC system, this paper analyses
In the hybrid HVDC system, the rectifier station adopts the the fault direction characteristics at rectifier side and inverter
line commutated converter (LCC) and the inverter station side, and selects the proper directional unit for the rectifier
adopts the voltage source converter (VSC). Since the side and inverter side respectively according to their unique
converter structures and the control strategies at two ends of fault characteristics. Finally, a hybrid directional comparison
the line are different, the fault characteristics at rectifier side pilot protection scheme for the LCC-VSC hybrid HVDC
and inverter side are different. In order to enhance the transmission line is proposed. Extensive fault simulations
protection sensitivity, this paper proposes a hybrid directional validate the performance of the proposed protection.
comparison pilot protection scheme for LCC-VSC hybrid
HVDC transmission lines, based on the respective fault 2 The LCC-VSC hybrid HVDC system
direction characteristics at rectifier side and inverter side. The
LCC-based rectifier side adopts the traveling wave energy
based directional unit and the VSC-based inverter side adopts 2.1 Topology structures
the current fault component based directional unit. Simulation
results show that the proposed protection scheme identifies The basic structure of a LCC-VSC hybrid HVDC
the internal fault accurately and selects the faulty line transmission system is shown in Figure 1. The rectifier station
correctly. Besides, it has adequate sensitivity under high- is comprised of 12-pulse LCC bridges with dc filters,
resistance faults. smoothing reactors, converter transformers and ac filters. The
inverter station is comprised of two-level three-phase VSC
bridges with dc capacitors, smoothing reactors, phase reactors,
1 Introduction converter transformers and ac filters. The rectifier station and
The hybrid high voltage direct current (HVDC) system inverter station are linked by the bipolar overhead dc
comprising a line-commutated converter (LCC) at the transmission lines. M and N are the positions of line
rectifier side and a voltage-source converter (VSC) at the protection measuring devices.
inverter side combines the low capital cost and power loss of
the LCC, with various advantages of the VSC system, such as
no commutation failure problem, the ability to supply weak
and even passive networks, and the independent control of
active and reactive power [1-3].
Overhead dc transmission lines usually pass through complex
terrains in harsh environments, leading to a high fault rate.
Therefore, the transmission line protection is important to the
safe operation of the hybrid HVDC system [4].
The pilot directional comparison protection for transmission
lines has good performance and is widely used in both ac and
dc transmission systems [5-7]. The protection identifies the
internal fault based on the fault direction information at two
ends of the line. The protection principle is reliable and the
Figure 1: The topology structure of the LCC-VSC hybrid
requirement for the communication channels is not harsh
HVDC system.
since only status messages are transmitted and the data
synchronization is not seriously needed.
Generally, directional units at each end of the line are the
same. However, in the hybrid HVDC system, the converter

1
2.2 Control strategy positive, the fault is internal fault, otherwise the fault is
external fault.
The LCC-based rectifier adopts constant dc current control
combined with minimum firing angle control and voltage
dependent current order limiter (VDCOL). During the normal
operation, the rectifier converter is under the constant dc
current control. In the case of fault, VDCOL reduces the dc
current order according to the dc voltage drop, thus the fault
current gradually decreases to the new dc current order under
the control system.
The VSC-based inverter adopts the direct current control,
which is divided into the inner loop current control and the Figure 3: Simplified diagram of the hybrid HVDC system.
outer loop voltage control. The inner loop current controller
regulates the ac current directly. The outer loop voltage
controller includes an active power class control and a 3.2 The current fault component based directional unit
reactive power class control, which are chose as the constant
(1) Principle and criterion
dc voltage control and the constant reactive power control
For both rectifier side and inverter side, under the positive
respectively in this paper. Limited by the control strategy and
the structure of the converter, the inverter side is not able to direction fault, the current fault component is positive in the
fault transient phase, while under the negative direction fault,
control the dc side fault current.
the current fault component is negative. Therefore, the
The control characteristic curves of Ud-Id in hybrid HVDC
integration value of current fault component in a period after
system is shown in Figure 2.
fault occurs could be utilized to identify the fault direction: if
the integration value is larger than the setting threshold value,
the fault is determined as a positive fault; otherwise, the fault
is determined as a negative fault.
The calculation expression and the directional criterion are as
follows
N
'I 'i(k )
k Ns
(1)

'I ! 'I set (2)


Figure 2: The control characteristic curves of Ud-Id in hybrid
where 'I is the integration value of current fault component.
HVDC system.
'i is the current fault component. Ns and N represent the
starting and ending point of the integration, respectively.
'I set is the threshold value.
2.3 Simulation model
In this paper, a bipolar LCC-VSC hybrid HVDC system (2) Performance analysis
shown in Figure 1 is built in PSCAD/EMTDC. The rated Due to the great differences of the converter devices and
voltages are 500 kV and the system capacity is 1200 MW. control strategies between the rectifier and inverter, current
At the rectifier station, the smoothing reactor inductance is fault component waveforms at two ends of line are different
300 mH, and 12/24 and 12/36 double tuned filter banks are under internal faults. Figure 4 shows the current fault
adopted. The structures and parameters of dc filters are given component waveforms at rectifier side and inverter side when
in the Figure 10 and Table 3 in the Appendix. At the inverter the solid grounding fault occurs at the mid-point of the
station, the smoothing reactor inductance is 20 mH, and the positive line at 1.5 s.
dc capacitance is 200 F at each pole. The length of the dc
transmission line is 1000 km, and the frequency-dependent
line model is adopted.

3 The directional units

3.1 Definition of fault direction


A simplified diagram of a single pole in the bipolar hybrid
HVDC system is shown in Figure 3. The positive direction of Figure 4: Current fault component waveforms at each end of
current is defined as the current flowing from the dc bus to the line under an internal fault.
the dc line and the fault directions are defined as shown in the
diagram. If the fault directions at two ends of the line are both After fault occurs, current at LCC-based rectifier side
increases rapidly, then the fault current decreases gradually

2
under the action of control system. As for the VSC-based fault-generated backward and forward traveling wave, Eb and
inverter side, after the line fault occurs, dc capacitors Ef. Eb and Ef can be calculated by the integration of square of
discharge to the fault point, and the large discharging current fault-generated backward and forward traveling wave, ub
flows through the protection measuring device. Since the and uf
inverter station can not control the fault current, the current N
2
fault component measured at the inverter side has large Eb k N 'ub (k )
magnitude and increases continuously. Therefore, the s
(5)
N
integration values of current fault components at the inverter E f 'u 2
( k )
f
side is much larger than that at the rectifier side. k Ns
Figure 5 shows the integration values of current fault where Ns and N represent the starting and ending point of the
components at each end of the line under various positive line integration respectively.
faults. The fault distance represents the distance from the fault Define as the ratio of Eb and Ef. If the ratio is larger than the
point to the rectifier station. From the analysis above, it can setting threshold value 0, the fault is determined as the
be concluded that the current fault component based positive direction fault. The directional criterion is as follow
directional unit has higher sensitivity at the VSC-based O Eb E f ! O0 (6)
inverter side than at the LCC-based rectifier side.

(2) Performance analysis


At the LCC-based rectifier station, smoothing reactors and dc
filters compose the line boundary. At the VSC-based inverter
station, dc capacitors and the smoothing reactor compose the
line boundary. The reflection coefficients at the rectifier end
and inverter end can be expressed as
Z L ( s) / / Z F ( s)  Z c
krec ( s) (7)
Z L ( s) / / Z F ( s)  Z c
(a) (b) ( ZC ( s)  Z L ( s))  Z c
Figure 5: Integration values of current fault components at kinv ( s) (8)
( ZC ( s)  Z L ( s))  Z c
each end of the line under internal faults: (a) faults with 0
resistance, (b) faults with 100 resistance. where ZL is the impedance of the smoothing reactor, ZF
represents the impedance of the dc filters, ZC is the impedance
of the dc capacitor, and Zc is the wave impedance of the
3.3 The traveling wave energy based directional unit transmission line.
With the parameters given in section II, the amplitude-
(1) Principle and criterion frequency characteristic of krec and kinv are calculated and
According to the traveling wave theory, the fault-generated shown in Figure 6.
traveling wave propagates from the fault point to each end of
the line after fault. The forward and backward traveling wave
fault components are
'u f ('u  Zc 'i ) 2 (3)

'ub ('u  Zc 'i ) 2 (4)


where 'u is the voltage fault component, 'i is the current
fault component and Zc is the wave impedance of the
transmission line.
For a positive direction fault, the forward traveling wave
detected by the protection measuring device is the reflection Figure 6: Amplitude-frequency characteristic of reflection
of the backward traveling wave. Since the reflection coefficient at rectifier end and inverter end.
coefficient is not larger than 1, the amplitude of the forward
traveling wave is not larger than that of the backward It can be seen from the figure that krec varies with the
traveling wave. For a negative direction fault, the initial wave frequency and krec d 1 , thus the energy of the traveling wave
detected at the protection measuring device is the forward reduces after reflection at the rectifier side line boundary.
traveling wave spreading from the fault point though the line However, the magnitude of kinv is 1 for all frequency.
boundary. After that, only forward traveling wave exists Therefore, the ratio of the backward traveling wave energy to
within the time needed for traveling wave to spread two times the forward traveling wave energy, , is larger at the rectifier
the length of the transmission line. Namely, in the transient side than at the inverter side, where should be close to 1.
phase of fault, the forward traveling wave is much greater Figure 7 shows the ratio at each end of the line under
than the backward traveling wave. Therefore, the fault different positive line faults.
direction can be determined by comparing the energy of the

3
5 Hybrid directional comparison pilot
protection scheme
Based on the respective fault direction characteristics of
rectifier side and inverter side, a hybrid directional
comparison pilot protection scheme for the LCC-VSC hybrid
HVDC transmission lines is proposed. The protection is
composed of a starting unit and different directional units at
the rectifier side and inverter side. The sampling rate of the
protection is 10 kHz. The data window for the calculation is
selected as 5 ms. The criteria of each unit and the flow chart
of the protection scheme are described below.

5.1 Starting unit


Figure 7: The ratio at each end of the line under different
internal faults. The current gradient is utilized to detect the abnormality. The
calculation expression and the start criterion of the protection
To sum up, with the same threshold value, the sensitivity of are as follows
the traveling wave energy based directional unit at the LCC- 2 5

based rectifier side is much higher than the VSC-based i (k ) i(k  j )  i( k  j )


j 0 j 3
(9)
inverter side.
i(k ) ! ' (10)
where i(k  j ) is the jth sampling current value prior to the
4 The Faulty pole identification principle present moment. i is the calculated current gradient. is
the threshold value of the fault starting unit. The setting of the
Due to the electromagnetic coupling effect between the
threshold value should guarantee the reliable starts for all
parallel transmission lines of the bipolar HVDC system, faults
internal faults and prevent the frequency starts caused by the
on one line induces changes of voltage and current on the
current fluctuations during the normal conditions. It is set to
non-faulty line, which might cause the maloperation of the
be 0.02 p.u.
transmission line protection on the non-faulty line. Therefore,
the accurate identification of the fault pole is necessary.
The research shows that grounding fault on one of the bipolar 5.2 Directional unit at the LCC-based rectifier side
overhead dc transmission lines produces an overvoltage on The directional unit at the rectifier side adopts the traveling
the non-faulty pole [8]. In the transient phase of fault, the wave energy based directional unit. The calculation
voltage of non-faulty pole varies around the steady-state value expressions and the criterion are as described in Equation (5)
under the coupling overvoltage disturbance, thus the polarity and (6) and the threshold value O0 is set as O0 1 .
of the voltage fault component is not constant. As for the
faulty pole, the voltage decreases below the steady-state value In order to prevent misjudgements under faults on the other
after fault occurs and the voltage fault components are transmission line, the faulty pole identification criterion is
negative. Therefore, the polarity characteristics of the voltage added. After the protection starts, the polarities of voltage
fault component could be used to identify the faulty pole. fault components are judged at each sampling point in the 5
Figure 8 shows the voltage waveforms of positive pole (non- ms data window and the polarity summation is calculated to
faulty pole) and negative pole (faulty pole) at each end of the represent the overall polarity characteristic:
line when solid grounding fault occurs on the negative line 1 'u(k ) ! 0
pu (k ) (11)
line at 1.5 s. Voltages are all normalized into per unit values. 1 'u(k )  0
N
Pu pu (k ) (12)
k Ns

where 'u is the current fault component. pu represents the


polarity of the voltage fault component: 1 for the positive
polarity and -1 for the negative polarity. Pu is the polarity
summation in the 5 ms data window. Ns and N represent the
starting and ending point of the calculation, respectively.
If the summation Pu is negative, the pole is determined as
Figure 8: Voltage waveforms of faulty pole and non-faulty faulty pole. If the summation is positive, the pole is
pole. determined as non-faulty pole. The criterion of the faulty pole
identification is as follow:
Pu  0 (13)

4
Only if both Equation (6) and (13) are satisfied, the fault resistances. The following results are obtained from the
directional unit at the rectifier side judges the fault as positive protection of positive line.
direction fault.
6.1 Internal faults
5.3 Directional unit at the VSC-based inverter side
Table 1 shows the calculation and fault direction
The directional unit at the inverter side adopts the current discrimination results of the directional units at rectifier side
fault component based directional unit. The calculation and inverter side, as well as the final identification results of
expressions and the criterion are as described in Equation (1) the protection under different internal fault conditions. F1 0
and (2) and the threshold value 'I set is set as the integration km 0 indicates the internal fault F1 occurs at 0 km from the
value of 0.02 p.u. in 5 ms, which is 1 under the 10 kHz rectifier side with 0 transition resistance.
sampling rate.
Similarly, the faulty pole identification criterion expressed in Rectifier side Inverter side Final
Fault conditions
Equation (13) is added to prevent the misjudgements. Only if Pu Flag I Pu Flag
result

both (2) and (13) are satisfied, the directional unit at the F1 0km 0 20.03 -50 1 92.83 -46 1 Internal
inverter side judges the fault as positive direction fault.
F1 500km 0 13.54 -50 1 104.7 -50 1 Internal

5.4 Flow chart F1 1000km 0 57.44 -50 1 594.4 -50 1 Internal

F1 0km 100 28.31 -50 1 58.68 -48 1 Internal


The flow chart of the hybrid pilot directional comparison
protection is shown in Figure 9. The fault starting unit F1 500km 100 34.60 -50 1 66.89 -50 1 Internal
calculates the current gradient, and once the start criterion is F1 1000km 100 5.21 -38 1 151.9 -50 1 Internal
satisfied, the directional unit starts the calculation and fault F1 0km 500 14.80 -50 1 22.55 -38 1 Internal
direction discrimination. The directional flag F_rec and F_inv
are 1 for the positive direction fault, otherwise they are 0. If F1 500km 500 9.84 -50 1 27.41 -48 1 Internal

both ends determine the fault as positive direction fault, the F1 1000km 500 3.20 -22 1 36.66 -50 1 Internal
fault is judged as internal fault, and the restart logic will be
executed. Otherwise, the fault is determined to be outside the Table 1: Test results of internal faults.
protection zone, and the protection will return.
It can observed from the table that both rectifier side and
inverter side determine the faults as positive direction faults.
Therefore, the faults are judged as internal faults correctly.
Besides, the protection has adequate sensitivity even under
faults with 500 transition resistance.

6.2 External faults


Both faults on the other line and the faults outside the
transmission line are beyond the protection zone. The
protection should identify them as external faults correctly.
Table 2 shows the calculation and fault direction
discrimination results of the directional units at rectifier side
and inverter side, as well as the final identification results of
the protection under various external fault conditions. The
fault locations of F2-F9 are as depicted in Figure 1. AG and
ABC represent the single-phase grounding fault and three-
phase fault respectively. F10 0 0 km indicates the grounding
fault F10 occurs on the negative line at 0 km from the rectifier
side with 0 transition resistance.
It can be observed from the table that the protection identifies
all the external faults correctly, and the faulty pole
Figure 9: The flow chart of the protection scheme. identification criterion plays its role in avoiding the
misoperation of the protection under faults on the other line.
6 Simulation results
In order to verify the performance of the proposed protection
scheme, various simulations are carried out including
different fault types, different fault locations and different

5
Rectifier side Inverter side Filter C1(uF) C2(uF) L1(mH) L2(mH) R()
Final
Fault conditions 12/24 0.9 1.81 38.93 19.22 500
Result
Pu Flag I Pu Flag 12/36 0.3 0.23 77.86 102.95 -
F2 0.0065 -50 0 75.4563 -50 1 External

F3 0.0007 -50 0 43.91 -50 1 External


Table 3: Parameters of dc filters.
F4 AG 0.0147 -50 0 23.9 -50 1 External
References
F4 ABC 0.0006 -50 0 44.53 -50 1 External

F5 AG 0.0104 -24 0 24.13 -28 1 External


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comparison scheme of transient energy, IEEE Trans.
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Based on the respective fault direction characteristics of [8] N. G. Hingorani. Transient overvoltage on a bipolar
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proposed. The LCC-based rectifier end judges the fault (1970).
direction using the traveling wave energy based directional
unit, and the VSC-based inverter end adopts the current fault
component based directional unit. The protection combines
the superiorities of each end and enhances the protection
sensitivity. Simulation results show that the protection is able
to identify the internal fault accurately and not affected by the
faults on the other line. Besides, the proposed protection
scheme has adequate sensitivity even under faults with high
transition resistance.

Appendix

Figure 10: Structures of dc filters at rectifier station.