Power Electronic Control of a Partial Core Transformer
Thesis DisciplineElectrical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
The research programme at the University of Canterbury includes the development and applications of partial core inductors and transformers for high voltage testing of generator insulation. Unlike a conventional full core transformer, a partial core transformer has no limbs and yokes. A partial core transformer is a compromise between a full core and coreless transformer. It is superior to its full core counterpart as far as cost, weight and ease of transportation are concerned.
Partial core transformers have a low magnetising reactance and hence draw a high magnetising current. This characteristic makes them a perfect fit in applications where the load is capacitive in nature, such as a.c. power frequency high voltage testing of generator insulation and cable testing etc.
The work carried out for this thesis focuses on automatically controlling the amount of reactive power on the supply side of a partial core transformer. The considered design includes a third winding around the existing two windings. A power electronic controller is connected to the third winding, which modifies the VAr absorption characteristics of the magnetically coupled supply winding.
Two options are considered to achieve continuous reactive power control in the partial core transformer as explained below.
First, a thyristor controlled reactor (TCR) is proposed as the VAr controller. It is modelled using PSCAD/EMTDC software. Simulations reveal the design criteria, overall performance and the limitations of the suggested proposal. The TCR connected tertiary winding takes the capacitive burden of the supply. The model demonstrates the ability of the automatically controlled TCR to provide a continuous variation of reactive power without significant under or over compensation. This feature limits the supply current to its real component only, so the supply provides only the losses of the system.
Second, a voltage source converter is considered as the VAr controller. This is modelled in PSCAD/EMTDC and a hardware prototype is designed and built. Based on the analysis, the control algorithm (including a digital PI controller) is implemented using an 8 bit micro-controller, PIC18LF4680. The prototype is tested in the laboratory for both active and inductive load conditions as seen from the supply side. Performance of the hardware prototype is discussed in detail.
The PSCAD/EMTDC model and the hardware prototype successfully demonstrate the feasibility of a STATCOM controlled partial core transformer. The proposed system is capable of compensating a wide range of capacitive loads as compared with its TCR counterpart.
It is proved that the system is very robust and remains dynamically stable for a large system disturbance such as change in load from full capacitive to inductive and vice versa. This confirms that the system is capable of providing continuous VAr control.