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4th Power Electronics,Drive Systems & Technologies Conference (PEDSTC2013),Feb 13-14,2013,Tehran,Iran

Primary and Secondary Frequency Control in an Autonomous


Microgrid Supported by a Load-Shedding Strategy
Alireza Raghami

Mohammad Taghi Ameli

Mohsen Hamzeh

Department of Electrical Engineering

Department of Electrical Engineering

Department of Electrical Engineering

Power & Water University of Technology

Power & Water University of Technology

Sharif University of Technology

(PWUT)

(PWUT)

(SUT)

Tehran, Iran

Tehran, Iran

Tehran, Iran

Email: Raghami@stud.pwut.ac.ir

Email: Ameli@pwut.ac.ir

Email: M.hamzeh@ee.sharif.edu

Abstract- This paper proposes a frequency control strategy for

microgrids operation. In these hierarchical methods, each level

an islanded inverter-based microgrid which based on the priority

has different objectives and consequent tasks.

of supply, has got two distinct types of loads, namely sensitive

In the first level, the primary control tries to accurately

and deferrable. The proposed strategy consists of primary and

share the load demand among the DG units, at the price of

secondary levels of generation control supported by a load

frequency deviation. Considering the sensitive loads which

shedding scheme. The primary control regulates the output

can be a portion of microgrid local loads, there is a need for

power of the distributed generator (DG) units to be proportional

restoration of frequency.

to their ratings while secondary control has got the duty of

This need is responded by the

secondary control action [3],[4],[5],[6].

frequency restoration after each load change. Functionality of


these two levels is demonstrated to be independent of each other.

Numerous studies have been conducted to address these

Both controls are in distributed forms which have no need of

hierarchical levels and they propose several methods, but the

Moreover, the proposed load

total approaches could be divided into two main groups. The

shedding strategy is activated occasionally to restore frequency

communication infrastructure.

first group is known as supervisory methods which need high

despite the limitation of secondary control since the sensitive

bandwidth

loads always demand high power quality. The performance of the


proposed control scheme is verified by using digital time-domain
simulation

studies

in

the

MATLAB/SIMULINK

communication

high

software

bandwidth

methods

environment.

the

other

communication,

they

use

droop

based

[7].

Reference [8] investigates the ability of the droop control


characteristics.
Extensive
I.

demonstrates

INTRODUCTION

As technological progress and new regulatory rules are

which

capability

of

has

been

droop

done

based

recently

methods

in

normal operation and emergency situations. These methods


use the frequency changes as the communication signal to

of traditional economies of scale forces the large power

share the power demands among DGs according to their rated

stations to be substituted with small DGs [1].

power.

On the one hand the penetration of DGs is growing, but on

Also they provide an opportunity for microgrids

expansion to have more DGs without a need for control

the other hand recent experiences have shown that their

systems to be redesigned [2],[4],[9].

growth needs to be well organized, otherwise this growth just

As mentioned above, in the hierarchical schemes, due to

causes new problems to what traditional power systems have

the action of primary control frequency deviates from the

had before. One way to approach the mentioned problems is to

nominal value and secondary control is used to restore it. But

use microgrid concepts, which can include the integration of

due to limited generation capacity of few available DGs, some

high level distributed energy resources. Microgrids are low or


medium voltage structures which have been developed from
system basics.

research
the

different conditions of power system operation, including

coming, the power system is facing continuous changes. Loss

distribution

and

method to be applied to low voltage grids with resistive

Keywords- microgrid, frequency, primary control, secondary


control, droop method, load-shedding

the

infrastructure,

suggests the distributed controls which are independent of

They could have lots of

situation might arise which

energy shortage inhibits the

frequency

so

to

be

restored,

this

paper

proposes

complementary load-shedding strategy which takes the control

functions such as islanding operation, improving reliability

of deferrable loads. The objective of this strategy could be

and also having environmental benefits with incorporating

described to guarantee the stable operation with the focus on

distributed renewable resources [2].

preserving the required power quality of the sensitive loads.

Similar to the traditional power systems, frequency control

Aforementioned implies to have some deferrable loads which

is one of the important issues in islanding operation of

could be reduced in emergency situations.

microgrids that needs to be addressed properly. In this area,

The remainder of this paper introduces the primary control

hierarchical frequency controls are common strategies in

level and its constituent functions in section II, while section III
describes the secondary control and frequency restoration

978-1-4673-4484-5/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE

282

algorithm. The proposed load-shedding strategy is represented

w
A

in section IV and section V verifies the predecessor sections


via

time-domain

simulation.

Also

remarkable

notes

are

lli

outlined in section VI.


II.

DROOP BASED PRIMARY CONTROL

In this study, the droop based methods have been used for
The basics of droop method can be found in [10]. The

Pmax

Pmin

power-sharing of electronically interfaced DGs (EI-DGs).

(a )

main idea that supports the use of droop control for EI-DGs is
the emulation of natural inertia of large rotating generators.
Droop based algorithms do not need high bandwidth data
possible without imposing any limitation on DGs location.

Voltage
Source
Inverter

Droop
Control

communication line. They make proper power-sharing of DGs


Microgrids which consist droop controlled EI-DGs use peer

t---.-- Microgrid

to-peer and plug-and-play technology in a very effective way

[11],[12].

V,I

Power Calculation

The relationship between the output power and frequency


of a droop controlled EI-DG can be expressed as:
'
O
OJ
OJ
Gp (s) (P _po)
=

'

Where p and p

Figure 1. (a)

(1)

'

(b)
A sample droop characteristic (b) Schematic diagram ofan
EI-DG operating as a Voltage Source Inverter

are respectively the DG output power in

new operating point

and

its reference value.

frequency in the new operating point and

OJ 0

'
OJ

is

the
OJ

'

O
is equal to p .

Gp(s)

(4)

mn l1P

(5)
mn /1P"
(5) shows that in the droop method, output power
ml

is the active power transfer


Equation

function and usually deemed to be a constant proportional

. . .

mn_I !1P,,_1

of each unit is proportional to its rated power.

gain.

G,,(s)

(2)

III.

Droop constants of each DG could be designed as follows:


/';.OJ

m=
Pmax

Here

/';.OJ ax
m

is

the

maximum

Fig. 2 depicts the basics of secondary active power -

(3)

In the Fig. 2, OJi


allowable

frequency

generation,

characteristic

shows

the

droop

characteristic

and

schematic

any frequency deviation to determine the amount of power

DGs output power which its calculation needs the terminal


voltage and output current to be measured.
In a microgrid with n generating units, if it is assumed to
mn

the

operating

Linel

Wi
...
........

As Fig. l(b) shows, the input of the droop control unit is the

m2, ... ,

are the initial frequency and

OJ;

point

and

'

moves

along

the

droop

are respectively frequency

frequency to the initial value, the droop characteristic should be

which should be injected by the EI-DG.

mp

The new frequency is lower than the initial one. To restore

In simplest form, Fig. 1 (a) implies that droop method uses

(i.e.

and

and active power in the new operating point.

diagram of an EI-DG working as voltage source inverter.

have droop gains as constants

initial output power of the DG unit. With increasing the

be delivered by the inverter [4].


1

SECONDARY FREQUENCY CONTROL

frequency control.

deviation and Pmax is the maximum active power which can


Fig.

OJ

of all units are the same, using (4) yields:

Equation (1) implies that rated frequency is only possible


p

Due to the fact that in all operating point, frequency values

nominal values of the parameters.

when

is its reference.

The aforementioned references are usually chosen to be the

Wi

) , we have:

Wi

-------

I
I

--------

L-

(4)

........
........
........
....

------------------

I
1

-----------------

.... ""

...

... Line2
Linel

--------------------__

____

Pi

Figure 2. Secondary control basic function

283

Pi

shifted up. So the new droop characteristic would be Line2 .


While the gradient of the line remains the same as Line1

[13].

In an islanded microgrid with several DG units, when load

Wi

demand changes, the vertical shift of droop characteristic


should be done the same for all of the DGs. With the aim of
frequency restoration, the reference value

(p,

) should be

p"

changed in order to shift the droop characteristic. If

is

defmed as the new active power reference of the ith unit,


accurate power sharing of DGs needs the new references to
follow:

r
ml = ... = m/>/ = ... = mnP:

(6)

So when local loads of microgrid change with the amount


equal to , this change is shared between all DGs and for

Figure 3. Active power-control block diagram of a DG

each unit i, we have:

/).0)

Where

f..P,

= mM.
I

(7)

introduces the active power change and

I'lOJi

(11)
Writing the initial condition at time t

is

Ai)'

the frequency change for the unit that can be measured with

constant (i.e.

droop characteristic. Also in order to restore frequency,

frequency changes as:

p,

Total load changes equal to

0 extracts the

results in

should have changes as follow:

d 0
r
- PI = k resPI /).0)1
dt
Rewriting (11) via (12 ), we have:

M.

d 0
r
-P = kresP/).O)
dt
I

/).O)(t)= n

(8)

-L-e

=!..

(13)

Ij1 m
j

Here T is the time constant

!!:.... pOn = k resPn'/).O)n

process and is defined as:

dt

The

speed

coefficient

of

kres

frequency
.

Equation

restoration

(8)

depends

implies

that

the

on

T=

the

droop

droop coefficient
Finally

in

kres

to

is as important as

output limit control function.


Since steady state violation of the DG rated capacity is not
acceptable. The energy limitation should be enforced in the

conduct

an

accurate

frequency

control of the inverter interface. The output limit control

restoration process, the phase angle between voltage vectors

function just is activated when the output power of the

should be kept fixed, for the ith unit we have:

controlled DG goes beyond the DGs rating. This function

d
d 0
-(/).O)) = m-P
dt
dt
I

Using

emulates the physical limitations of the DG capacity.

(9)

IV.

(8) in (9) results:

(14)

r
kres m;

system. It consists of primary, secondary control in addition to

(m,) [13].

order

1
--

Fig. 3 depicts the block diagram of frequency control

characteristic lines are being shifted proportional to the rated


capacity of each unit. Coefficient

of frequency restoration

r
(/).O)J - kres m;/).O); =

PROPOSED LOAD SHEDDING ALGORITHM

In islanding operation of microgrids, when local loads

exceed the available DGs' active power, the frequency starts

(10)

to decrease. It is reasonable to shed some low priority loads. If


not, it might end in worse failure, up to the total island cut off

Equation

[3],[14].

(11) shows the solution of this differential

Implementing an underfrequency load-shedding (UFLS)

equation

algorithm implies to have some deferrable loads. With this


purpose,

Consortium

for

Electric

Reliability

Technology

Solutions (CERTS) as a pioneer in the field of microgrids uses

284

The test model is an autonomous microgrid whose nominal

the combination of sensitive and controllable loads together

frequency and voltage are 50 Hz and 380 V respectively.

[2],[15].

Maximum power generation limits arbitrarily chosen to be 50

TABLE I represents the proposed UFLS scheme. This is a


three steps load-shedding algorithm. The UFLS units of the

kW and 75 kW.
According to (3), droop constants ofDGl andDG2 are set

microgrid use the algorithm to execute the deferrable load in

to be 0.01

emergency situations.

and 0.0067 HzlkW,

respectively.

The power

electronic interfaces are two bridges of IGBTD


/ iodes with a
TABLE!.

PROPOSED UFLS SCHEME

nominal chopping frequency of 2 kHz. The microgrid test

Stage

Frequency
Threshold (Hz)

Measure of Deferrable
Loads Shed (%)

Delay
Time (s)

49.8

IS

0.7

49.7

15

0.7

49.6

15

0.7

system has got one sensitive load and two deferrable loads
which are controlled by UFLS scheme.
Four cases would be investigated which in all of them,
sensitive load changes cause the control systems to react.

Results/or Case

A.

1)

In this case, only primary frequency control is applied. The


initial amount of sensitive load is 50 kW while two deferrable

The first threshold is set on 49. 8 Hz and with a 0. 7 s delay

loads have a total power demand of 50 kW. Fig. 5 depicts the

time. It means when frequency starts falling, load-shedding

active power output of each DG and system frequency. The

depends on two factors. On the one hand the threshold should

simulation sequence was as follows.

be triggered and on the other hand the execution command

Until 4. 0 s the initial load demands are constant, as a result

remains left out until the delay time passes by. The other two

DGI andDG2 generate 40 kW and 60 kW respectively, while

load-shedding steps could be explained in the same way.


Since

most

of

the

frequency

declines

resulting

the frequency is 50 Hz. To investigate power sharing in terms

from

of load variation, at 4. 0 s the sensitive load was decrease from

transient disturbances and some other could be managed with

50 kW to 25 kW. Consequently DG1 and DG2 decrease their

secondary control action, the implemented delay dissociates the

output power to 30kW and 45 kW. New frequency would be

UFLS and secondary control timely. The aforementioned delay

50. 1 Hz.

time could be determined using the time constant of frequency

Again when the sensitive load demand turns into 70 kW at

restoration, expressed by (14).


V.

8 s, the output of DGs were 48 and 72 kW respectively, and

SIMULA liON

system frequency dropped to 49.93 Hz. Results show that

AND RESULTS

during simulation, the output power of DGs always remain

The microgrid test system has a model similar to the one

proportional to their ratings. So the primary control has

used in [13], with slight modification in the line connection

succeeded to conduct a proper power-sharing.

and parameters. Fig. 4 shows a single line diagram of the test

la)

system.

lFl

DG 1

PDGl

13 mH

lOF

---+

CFl

10u

50kW

Busl

25kW

'''- ----

f
.,;
, --

lOF Bus2
---+

C"
75kW

Figure

50.1

:. 50.05
),
C)

PDG2

13 mH

-----------

I
If
I

-POG1

POG2

Ib)

0.02+JO.040

DG 2

30

,
,

Deferrable load 1

, ,, - ,,,... ,

l"

"'. --.-- _ ..... . .....

70

;:l

Deferrable Load 2
25kW

50

IT

49.95
49.9
3

4. Single-line diagram of the microgrid test system

"'-..

Time/secl

10

11

Figure 5. Results for Case I-in presence of primary control: (a) Active
power output of DGs.

285

(b) System frequency

12

la)

la)

70

"

60 1""--

""-

40

.. _--

-_ ...

If

-_ ..

\..

30

POG1

40

POG2

30

-.--

----

POG1

Ib)

I ....I'.

I:

50

I:

Figure

II
::J

\ /V

II. 49.9
8
7
Time/sec)

g
"- 49.8

II.

10

11

49. 7

12

6. Results for Case 2-in presence of primary control and secondary

Figure

control: (a) Active power output ofDGs. (b) System frequency

VI'----

II

7
8
Time/sec)

10

11

12

7. Results for Case 3: 5% excess demand in presence of primary

control and secondary control supported by the UFLS: (a) Active power
output ofDGs. (b) System frequency

Resultsfor Case 2)

B.

I: 49.9

--

49.95

50

/'

II

POG2

Ib)
50. 1

'"

Ii' 50.05

...

._-

....'\
'

IfI

\
\

() 50
o
II.

also its falling tendency escalates.

In this case, both primary and secondary control levels are

In this situation, since frequency triggered the first UFLS

applied to the power converters. Fig. 6 shows the simulation

threshold, 15% of deferrable loads would be curtailed at 4.77

results for Case 2. The two deferrable loads are the same as

s. It is important to note that in this scenario, the second UFLS

Case 1, and power demand of sensitive load experiences the

threshold is touched but without delay time passed by, it

same changes.

would be left out. So with just one step load-shedding,

In all three time intervals which were discussed in Case 1,

frequency starts to increase in a way that again secondary

The DGs generate similarly, but with the action of secondary

control would be able to restore nominal frequency.

control the frequency could be regulated at nominal value

Resultsfor Case 4)

D.

which is a great benefit for sensitive load. The aforementioned


benefit has been gained in a situation that the DGs output

In this case, primary and secondary generation control and

remains proportional to their ratings again. It means that while

UFLS scheme are applied together to test the condition of

the primary control is conducting the proper power sharing, at


the

same

time,

the

secondary

control

shifts

the

power

sensitive load 10% excess demand over the total rating of


DGs. Fig. 8 shows the simulation results for Case 4.

references of DG units in a way that frequency restoration

la)

achieved.

80

But it should be noted that if the load demand exceeds the

60

control levels would be challenged. This is investigated in the


next two cases and the UFLS scheme ability is tested as an

-850
II.

approach to deal with this challenge.


C.

,
I
I

70

total rating of DGs, the mentioned benefits of both generation

40

Resultsfor Case 3)

-----

---

""'"
POG1

30

._-

POG2

Ib)

In this case, primary and secondary generation control and


UFLS scheme are applied together to test the condition of
N

sensitive load 5% excess demand over the total rating ofDGs.


Fig. 7 depicts the active power output of each DG and

J:

system frequency. The initial amount of sensitive load is 25

I:
II

so. 2

kW while two deferrable loads initially have a total power

5- 49.8

demand of 50 kW.

II.

At 4.0 s, the sensitive load demands increase to the value

49.6

1\V

of 81 kW, as a result DGI and DG2 try to compensate with


increasing their output powers.

Figure

Since both of them reach to their maximum ratings, not

I-.

50

8
Time(sec)

10

11

8. Results for Case 4: 10% excess demand in presence of primary

control and secondary control supported by the UFLS: (a) Active power

only frequency could not be regulated at nominal value but

output ofDGs. (b) System frequency

286

12

The initial power demand of all of the loads and initial

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Renewalbe and Sustainable