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Load

Modeling in Harmonics Analysis with OpenDSS


27May2013
Revised8January2015

Original Load Model


TheLOADobjectmodelforharmonicsanalysisfromthetimeitwasmadeopensourcein2008until
March2013wasaNortonequivalentasshowninFigure1.Thecurrentsourceinthemodelwassetto
thevalueofthefundamentalcurrent,Ifund,timesthemultiplierfortheSPECTRUMobjectassociatedwith
theLOADforthefrequencybeingsolved.Theloadequivalentadmittance,G+jB,wasrepresentedinthe
modelasshownwithonlyBadjustedforfrequency.Thus,loadswhichwerehighlyresistivecould
providesignificantdamping.

Figure1.OriginalNortonEquivalentModelofaLOADElementinHarmonicsMode

ThismodelwassufficientformostcaseswhereLOADobjectswereretainedforharmonicsanalysis.
Mostharmonicsproblemsondistributionsystemsaretheresultofresonancewithpowerfactor
correctioncapacitorbanks.Adistributionplannerwantingtogetanideaofwhetherornotacapacitor
configurationwouldcauseaproblemcouldsimplesolveapowerflowandthenexecuteaSolve
Mode=Harmonicscommand.ThiswouldautomaticallyconvertallLOADobjectsintothemodelin
Figure1andsolveforallfrequenciespresentisallSPECTRUMobjects.
Forfrequencieswherethesystemisnotnearresonance,mostofthecurrentexitedthemodelthrough
theterminalsintothepowersystem.ThevaluesofGandBaredeterminedtoyieldthespecifiedload
kWandkvarat100%ratedvoltage.Theshortcircuitimpedanceofthetypicalpowersystemlookinginto
itfromaloadisusuallylessthan5%oftheloadsequivalentimpedance.Therefore,verylittlecurrentis
siphonedoffintotheshuntadmittancebranchofthemodel.
Atfrequencieswherethesystemwasnearresonance,thedrivingpointimpedancelookingintothe
systemcanbeveryhigh.Therefore,asignificantportionoftheharmoniccurrentisbledoffintothe
admittancesofmodel,whichalsoprovidessignificantdampingoftheresonanceaswillbediscussed
later.

Revised Load Models (March 2013 and January 2015)


InMarch2013,usersintheOpenDSSdiscussionforumcomplainedthattheterminalcurrentsdidnot
matchtheexpectedharmoniccurrent.Thisisduetosomeofthecurrentbeingsiphonedofffromthe
currentsourceintotheNortonequivalentadmittance.Aspecialbetaversionwasmadeinwhichthe
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shuntadmittancepathwascompletelyremoved.This,incidentally,wastheoriginalapproachwhen
OpenDSSwasfirstdevelopedin1997.Whenuserscomplainedthatthemodelgreatlyexaggeratedthe
voltagesthatwouldappearatfrequenciesnearresonantconditions,theequivalentshuntadmittances
wereaddedtotheLOADmodel.UserswerecontentwiththisapproachuntilMarch2013whenthe
shuntadmittancesweretemporarilyremoved.Soitnotsurprisingthatusersonceagainobjectedto
therebeingnorepresentationoftheloaddamping.
Inresponse,optionswereaddedtotheprogramandtotheLOADobject,specifically,togivetheuser
controlovertheloadmodelinHarmonicsmode.AsofVersion7.6.3.13,theLOADmodelforharmonics
modeisasshowninFigure2.

Figure2.RevisedLOADModelinHarmonicsMode

UserscanspecifywhatpercentageoftheloadistobemodeledasaserriedRLandtheremainderwill
beconsideredtobeaparallelRLmodel.APropertyhasbeenaddedtotheLOADobject:
Property
%SeriesRL

Description
PercentofloadthatisseriesRLforHarmonicstudies.Defaultis50.Remainderis
assumedtobeparallelRandL.Thishasasignificantimpactontheamountof
dampingobservedinHarmonicssolutions.Thevaluesoftheshuntadmittances
aredeterminedbythespecifiedpowerat100%ratedvoltage.

Inaddition,aglobaloption,NeglectLoadY,hasbeenaddedthatwillenableuserswhosodesireto
completelyneglecttheloaddamping.Itisdefinedasfollows:
Option
NeglectLoadY

Description
{YES/TRUE|NO/FALSE}DefaultisNO.ForHarmonicsolution,neglecttheLoad
shuntadmittancebranchthatcansiphonoffsomeoftheLoadinjectioncurrent.

IfYES,thecurrentinjectedfromtheLOADatharmonicfrequencieswillbenearly
ideal.

Tousethis,youwouldusetheSetcommand,forexample:
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SetNeglectLoadY=Yes
Solve!(powerflow)
SolveMode=Harmonics

InJanuary2015,anotheroptionforthedefiningtheshuntadmittanceoftheLOADmodelbecame
available.TheSeriesRLbranchofthemodelisgenerallythoughttoapproximatelyrepresenttheservice
transformerreactanceandotherreactancesinserieswithmostlyresistiveloads.Thisiswhatthemodel
wouldmostcloselyrepresentifitsvaluesaredeterminedfromthespecifiedpower(kWandkvar)
values.TheseriesRLbranchisalsogoodrepresentationofmotorsforharmonicsstudies,butthevalues
wouldnotbedeterminedfromthepowervalues.Theywouldbedeterminedbytheblockedrotor
impedancesorsubtransientimpedances.Foramotor,theXwoulddominateinsteadoftheR.
Therefore,twomorepropertieswereaddedtotheLOADmodeltoforcetheseriesbranchtomore
closelymodelmotorandotherrotatingmachineloads:puXharmandXRharm,definedasfollows.
Property
puXharm

XRharm

Description
Specialreactance,pu(basedonkVA,kVproperties),fortheseriesimpedance
branchintheloadmodelforHARMONICSanalysis.Generallyusedtorepresent
motorloadblockedrotorreactance.Ifnotspecified(thatis,set=0,thedefault
value),theseriesbranchiscomputedfromthepercentageofthenominalloadat
fundamentalfrequencyspecifiedbythe%SERIESRLproperty.

AppliestoloadmodelinHARMONICSmodeonly.

Atypicalvaluewouldbeapproximately0.20pubasedonkVA*%SeriesRL/100.0.
X/RratioofthespecialharmonicsmodereactancespecifiedbythepuXHARM
propertyatfundamentalfrequency.Defaultis6.

Bydefault,puXharm=0,whichsignifiestotheprogramthattheseriesRLbranchofthemodelistobe
computedfromthepowervalues.Ifspecifiedasavalue>0itisinterpretedasaperunitvalueonthe
kVAbaseofthemachinerepresentedbytheseriesbranch.Iftheseriesbranchissetto50%(the
default)thatmeanshalfofthekVAisassumedtobemotorloadandthatisusedasthebasetosetthe
valueofXintheseriesbranch.TheRvalueintheseriesbranchisthendeterminedbytheassumedX/R
ratioatfundamentalfrequency.ThetypicalrangeforX/Rforconventionalmotorswouldbe
approximately36.However,somehighefficiencymotorscanhavevaluesgreaterthan10.
Thiskindofseriesbranchmodelmayreducesomeofthelowerharmonicsbecauseitoffersalower
impedancetotheinjectedcurrent,butishighlyinductiveandtendstoblockcurrentsfromflowinginto
theshuntpathathighfrequencies.Andbecauseitisinductive,itcancauseashiftinsystemresonances.
Thisisaneffectthathasbeenobservedinpracticeandiswhatinspiredtheadditionofthiscapabilityto
theLOADmodel.

Transformer X/R: XRConst Property


Generally,theresistanceinapowersystemhasaminoreffectontheflowofharmoniccurrentswhen
thesystemisnotinresonance.However,thedampingofharmonicresonancebyresistanceofloads,
lines,andtransformerscanhavequiteasignificantimpactonthelevelofharmonicvoltagedistortion
predictedbythemodels.
Substationtransformersandlargertransformerssupplyingindustrialconsumershavearelativelyhigh
X/Rratioof10orgreateratfundamentalpowerfrequency.Distributionservicetransformerssuchas
thosethatserveresidentialloadscanhaveamuchlowerX/R.Itwouldnotbesurprisingtofindthata25
kVAtransformerwouldhaveanX/Rratioonlyslightlygreaterthan1.0.Ineithercase,thereisaquestion
aboutwhattoassumeforthevariationofRforharmonicfrequencies.
IfnomodificationtothewindingRismade,theequivalentX/Rwillincreaseinproportiontothe
harmonic.Thiscanleadtoapredictionofverylittledampingatharmonicfrequencies.Forexample,ifa
substationtransformerhasanX/Rratioof10atfundamental,themodelwillhaveanX/Rof50atthe5th
harmonic,whichgenerallyresultsinanunrealisticallyhighQcircuitmodelwithexaggeratedpredictions
ofvoltagedistortion.Theapparentresistanceoftransformersincreaseswithfrequencyataratethatis
dependentonitsdesign.Thechiefcomponentoftheincreasecomesfromthestrayeddycurrentlosses
andcanbequitesignificantintransformersthathaveconductorswithlargecrosssectionalareas.Also,
designswithconductorsinparallelcanhavecirculatingcurrentswithinthewindingsthatyieldan
effectiveincreaseinR.
Untilversion7.6.3build13,theOpenDSStransformermodeldidnothaveanyprovisionsformodifyingR
asafunctionoffrequency.TheXRCONSTBooleanpropertywasaddedtotheTRANSFORMERobject.Itis
definedasfollows:
Property
XRConst

Description
={Yes|No}DefaultisNO.SignifieswhetherornottheX/Risassumedcontantfor
harmonicstudies.

IfXRConst=YESthewindingRisincreasedproportionaltofrequencyjustlikeX.Thisisatypical
assumptionofharmonicsanalystswhennootherdataareavailable.Thisapproximateswhathappensin
somelargepowertransformers.Itwillnotbeagoodfitforsometransformers,butatleastitaddssome
dampingtothemodeltonullifytheexaggeratedhighvoltagesandimpedancesthatwouldotherwisebe
predicted.
Thisparameterisnotgenerallyascriticalforsmallutilitydistributiontransformersinthefrequency
rangeuptothe13thharmonic.Thewindingsareconstructedwithwirehavingasmallcrosssectionand
thestrayeddylossesdonotgenerallyincreaseasrapidlyasforlargepowertransformers.Thenormal
lowX/Rofthesetransformerstendstocontributesomewhattothedampingofresonanceanyway,
yieldingresultsthatareonlymoderatelyconservative.
NotethatthedefaultisNO.Thus,scriptsfrompriorstudieswillyieldthesameresultwhenrunagain.
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FutureversionsofOpenDSSareslatedtohaveuserdefinedfrequencycorrectioncurves.Thecurveswill
beapplicabletotheREACTORmodelaswell.Untilthatfeatureisimplemented,ifitisnecessaryto
adjustRforfrequency,userscanscripttheresistanceandsolveforeachfrequencyseparatelyrather
thanusingthebuiltinHarmonicssolutionmodeorusetheREACTORmodeltoachieveanapproximate
frequencydependentresistancevariation.
Figure3showsaonelinediagramoftheOpenDSSREACTORmodel.Themodelisnominallyaseries,
multiphaseRLwithuserdefinedpropertiesofRandX.Inadditiontoscalarvalues,RandXmayalsobe
definedasmatrices.Afeatureofthemodelthat,perhaps,isseldomusedistheparallelresistance,Rp,
aroundtheentirebranch.Itsdefaultvalueisinfinite(open)sothatitdoesntenterintothecalculations.
However,itcanbeemployedtomodelfrequencydependenceofRLelements,includingtransformers.
ThiswouldrequireaseparateREACTORtobeaddedinserieswiththetransformeranddefinedwithan
appropriatevaluesothatthetotalthroughimpedanceofthetransformeriscorrect.

Figure3.OneLineDiagramofREACTORObject

Comparison of Models
Figure4illustratesthedifferentresultsthatcanbeobtainedbythevariousassumptionsabouttheload
dampingmodel.
ThisfigurewascreatedbyplacinganISOURCEonthesubstationbusofalargedistributioncircuitwith
1745busesand487LOADobjectsandrunningseveralcasesvaryinghowtheLOADshuntbranchmodel
wascreated.TheharmoniccurrentsourcesoftheLOADobjectsweredisabled.Thereare4capacitor
banksinthismodel.TheISOURCEwasassumedtohaveamagnitudeof1Aatallfrequenciesfromthe
fundamentaltothe25thharmonicin5Hzincrements.Thistypeoffrequencyscanisacommonwayto
characterizethefrequencyresponsecharacteristicofafeeder.
Thehighestandsharpestresonanceoccurswithnoloadtodampouttheresonance.Thismodeldoes
includetheresistancesofthelinesandtransformers.SettingtheXRConst=Yesforthesubstation
transformerdampsthesharpresonanceslightly.ThenexthighestresonanceoccursassumingtheLOAD
objectsarerepresentedbyaseriesRLderivedsolelyfromthespecifiedkW,kvarvalues.
ThecharacteristiclabeledDefaultis50/50parallel/series.ThemagnitudesarebetweentheAllSeries
RLmodelandtheAllParallelRLmodelasexpected.TheAllParallelRLmodelyieldsthemostdamping.If
wetaketheDefaultmodelanddeclarethattheseriespartismotorloadwithafundamentalfrequency
reactanceof0.20pu,weseethecharacteristicshifttotheright(higherfrequency)onthediagram.This
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makessensebecauseadding487smallsusceptancesinparallelwiththesubstationwillreducethenet
apparentreactanceinvolvedintheresonance,increasingtheresonantfrequencyfromapproximately
the10thharmonictothe12thharmonic.

ComparisonofHarmonicScanswith
DifferentLoadModelAssumptions
1000
NoLoad

|Z|DrivingPoint

NoLoad,X/RConst
100

AllSeriesRL
Default
Default+puXHarm=0.2

10
AllParallelRL

1
0

10

15

20

25

30

Harmonic

Figure4.ComparisonofEffectofUsingDifferentLoadModels

Figure5showsanothercomparisonoftheimpactofthedifferentLOADobjectmodels.Thisrepresents
theharmonicdistortionsolutionforbus82inthe123bustestfeeder.Itwasobtainedbydoing:
1. Apowerflowsolutionatthegivenloadlevel(SolveinSnapshotmode)
2. SolveMode=Harmonics
TheLOADobjectsatnonfundamentalfrequenciesareconvertedtocurrentsourcesusingthe
DefaultLoadharmonicSPECTRUMobject.Thus,OpenDSSsolvesatharmonics3,5,7,9,11,and13.The
resultsforthedifferentwaysofmodelingtheshuntadmittancebranchoftheLOADobjectsare
displayedonthefigure.
Thehighestdistortionispredictedwhentheshuntadmittancebranchisneglected(SetNeglectY=yes).
Thiswouldbetheexpectedresult.However,the7thharmonicvoltageispredictedtobehigherforboth
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th

theAllSeriesandDefault+Motorcases.TheIEEE123BusTestFeederhasresonancesnearthe5 and
7thharmonics.Itisinterestingtonotethatatfrequencieswherethesystemisnotresonant,theresults
arenotparticularlysensitivetothemodeloftheshuntadmittance.Itisonlyatfrequenciesnearthe
resonancesthattherearesignificantdifferences.
IfweignoretheNeglectY=yescase,thepredictedharmonicvoltagesdifferbylessthanafactorof2.
BecauseTHDiscomputedbysquarerootofsumofsquares,therewillgenerallybeevenlessdifference
intheTHDvalues.Interestingly,thedefault50/50modelcomesinaboutaverageforallcasesandthis
suggestsitshouldbeagoodguesswhennothingelseisknown.Employingthenewlyaddedcapabilityto
betterrepresentmotorloadsshiftsthesystemresonanceslightlyhigher,whichresultsinthe5th
harmonictobelowerandthe7thharmonictobehigher.Themainfactorsindeterminingthedistortion
arethecharacteristicsofthefeederlines,substationtransformer,andcapacitorbanks.
500
450
400

|V|atBus82

350

Default50/50

300

Default+XRConst

250

AllParallel

200

AllSeries

150

Default+Motor

100

NeglectY=Yes

50
0
3

11

13

Harmonic

Figure5.HarmonicDistortionSolutionforIEEE123BusTestFeeder