Capacitor-Less VAR Compensator Based on a Matrix Converter
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Reactive power, denoted as volt-ampere reactive (VARs), is fundamental to ac power systems and is due to the complex impedance of the loads and transmission lines. It has several undesirable consequences which include increased transmission loss, reduction of power transfer capability, and the potential for the onset of system-wide voltage instability, if not properly compensated and controlled. Reactive power compensation is a technique used to manage and control reactive power in the ac network by supplying or consuming VARs from points near the loads or along the transmission lines. Load compensation is aimed at applying power factor correction techniques directly at the loads by locally supplying VARs. Typical loads such as motors and other inductive devices operate with lagging power factor and consume VARs; compensation techniques have traditionally employed capacitor banks to supply the required VARs. However, capacitors are known to have reliability problems with both catastrophic failure modes and wear-out mechanisms. Thus, they require constant monitoring and periodic replacement, which greatly increases the cost of traditional load compensation techniques. This thesis proposes a reactive power load compensator that uses inductors (chokes) instead of capacitors to supply reactive power to support the load. Chokes are regarded as robust and rugged elements; but, they operate with lagging power factor and thus consume VARs instead of generating VARs like capacitors. A matrix converter interfaces the chokes to the ac network. The matrix converter is controlled using the Venturini modulation method which can enable the converter to exhibit a current phase reversal property. So, although the inductors draw lagging currents from the output of the converter, the converter actually draws leading currents from the ac network. Thus, with the proposed compensation technique, lagging power factor loads can be compensated without using capacitor banks. The detailed operation of the matrix converter and the Venturini modulation method are examined in the thesis. The application of the converter to the proposed load compensation technique is analyzed. Simulations of the system in the MATLAB and PSIM environments are presented that support the analysis. A digital implementation of control signals for the converter is developed which demonstrates the practical feasibility of the proposed technique. The simulation and hardware results have shown the proposed compensator to be a promising and effective solution to the reliability issues of capacitor-based load-side VAR compensation techniques.
Balakrishnan, Divya Rathna (2010). Capacitor-Less VAR Compensator Based on a Matrix Converter. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from