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Premium power park: a review of the concepts, definitions and applications.

Electrical supply has been designed to operate under constant magnitude and frequency of sinusoidal voltage waveform and any deviation from these predesigned magnitude and frequency can cause power quality problems and resultantly failure of equipment on the customer side (Dugan et al. 2003). Among the power quality disturbances, voltage sag and harmonic distortion are the most important disturbances which affect many customers in the distribution systems. For example, voltage sags down to 80% of nominal voltage with a few tens of millisecond duration can cause interruption in processing plants, resulting in hours of downtime and lots of turnover losses (Bollen 1995; Arnold 2001; Madtharad et al. 2007; Farhoodnea et al. 2010). A study in UK has estimated that the average cost of financial loss for a 24 hour disruption for industrial customers during peak-time operation is approximately 16300 [pounds sterling] (Kariuki et al. 1996). Another study in South Africa estimates that 891 minutes of time lost in 1996 due to voltage sags cause around $2 million turnover loss for that year (Long et al. 1998). In 2001, Electric Power Research Institute claimed that short-duration power disturbances caused U$119 billion interruption costs per year for the United States (Lineweber et al. 2001).

However, as the concern for power quality grows, other related concerns such as reliability and availability of power also increase due to the presence of short-duration power quality events, growing demand, uncertain markets, and changing environmental regulations. Hence, the best solution to protect sensitive loads from power quality events is to feed sensitive customers with a premium grade power (Edinger et al. 2000). The concept of premium power is based on the use of state-of-the-art power electronic based devices called custom power devices and multi utility feeders to provide improved power for sensitive loads (Nara et al. 1999; Nara et al. 2000). This power must have a higher level of quality, reliability and availability (QRA) than the normal power supplied by the utility. The required devices to offer premium power can be installed for a single sensitive customer or to an industrial or commercial park that need enhanced power quality levels than the standard ones (Domijan et al. 2003; Chiumeo et al. 2010). In 1992, the concept of the premium power parks (PPP), also known as custom power park (CPP) was introduced by Westinghouse in order to meet improved QRA to give solution to customer demands and also offering different levels of power quality, which is helpful for customers in selecting the most proper level of power quality for their needs (Lasseter et al. 2000). To improve the overall QRA to customers, utility usually provide two utility side approaches in which the first approach considers a more reliable distribution configuration while the second approach considers the installation of custom power devices (Baggini 2008). The mitigation option should be determined based on the economic feasibility according to the required QRA (Arora et al. 1998).

Offering premium power services requires establishing a baseline for power quality to clarify the expected level of system performance. The most accurate evaluation of quality of provided power to the customer can be attained through long-term monitoring at the point of common coupling, which is not usually economical and practical. Other alternative and most reasonable method to collect such information is to use statistically valid data from a system-wide benchmarking project or a national survey to determine the baseline for power quality (Mansoor et al. 2000; Higgins et al. 2001; Madtharad et al. 2007). The determined baseline has several advantages for both utility and customer. It can help customers to evaluate the influence of normal power on their production and it can also help them to estimate the benefits and costs of their investment in premium power options. The baseline also allows utilities to estimate the requirements of their customers and provides an economic justification for customers to invest in premium power options (Madtharad et al. 2007).

In this paper, the concept of PPP and its related definitions, requirements and applications is presented. In addition, the various PPP configurations and custom power devices that are used to mitigate power quality problems are addressed. This work also presents some examples of experimental PPP implemented in the United States and Taiwan. In addition, the issues and challenges considered for the setting of PPP is discussed.

Premium Power Park Configuration:

Better quality of power can be obtained by installing custom power devices for a single customer or implementing PPP with different levels of QRA for a group of customers (Chiumeo et al. 2010; Chiumeo et al. 2010). Thus, PPP can be defined as a practical enhancement of existing power system using the state-of-the-art power electronic devices to meet customer requirements. PPP can be considered as a small part of a more global concept called FRIENDS (Flexible, Reliable and Intelligent Electrical eNergy Delivery system) (Nara et al. 1997). The basic components in a PPP are custom power devices that are used to mitigate or compensate specific power quality problems. A combination of these devices can be used in close electrical proximity to simultaneously compensate multiple QRA problems.

To provide premium power, reliable distribution configuration and application of custom power devices are considered. More reliable configurations are suitable for reducing the long-duration interruptions as well as to protect the system from short-duration interruptions (Baggini 2008). These configurations include automated loop distribution system (Conti et al. 2000) as shown in Fig. 1, primary or secondary selective schemes as shown in Fig. 2 which implements switching between two utility sources (David et al. 2006; Behnke July 2005) and spot or grid network as shown in Fig. 3. All these system configurations are used to mitigate sustained interruptions but not momentary interruptions and voltage sags (Cutler-Hammer 1999). These system distribution configurations cannot mitigate all types of power quality disturbances and therefore, custom power devices are considered to achieve a complete improvement of QRA.




Implementation of a PPP requires close cooperation between utilities and customers. Effective strategies in a PPP implement the combined use of state-of-the-art PQ monitoring system, proactive customer support, backup substation, strong transmission network, and independent transmission feeder to provide the backbone for a PPP. A PPP of this type can transform an ordinary commercial and industrial park into an attractive hub for a variety of power sensitive industries (Howe et al. 2002; Blajszczak et al. 2010).

Custom Power Devices In A Premium Power Park:

Custom power devices are basically power electronic based static controllers used for power quality enhancement on distribution power systems rated between 1 to 38 kV (Domijan Jr et al. 2005; IEEE 2011). The custom power devices may be classified as network reconfiguration type and compensating type of devices (Ghosh et al. 2002).

3.1 Network Reconfiguration Type Custom Power Devices:

The network reconfiguring types of custom power devices include static current limiter, static circuit breaker, static transfer switches and electronic tap changers devices (Ghosh et al. 2002; Meral 2009). The static current limiter is a series connected device that reduces the fault current level by inserting a series inductance in the faulty path. It consists of a pair of anti-parallel gate turn off thyristor (GTO) switches with snubber circuits and a current limiting inductor as shown in Fig. 4. In the pre-fault state, the GTO switches are closed and when a fault is detected, the switching state is changed to open state within a few microseconds and the fault current flows through the current limiting inductor (Gomez et al. 2009).


A static circuit breaker is a GTO based series connected devices that breaks a faulted circuit much faster than a mechanical circuit breaker which is used for ultra-rapid static protection (Cali et al. 1998). The basic structure of a static circuit breaker as shown in Fig. 5 is almost similar to the static current limiter excluding the limiting inductor, L which is placed in series with the thyristor switches. In a normal condition, GTOs are in the on state and act as normal current carrying elements. Once a fault is detected, the GTO switches are switched off and the thyristor pair is switched on. These changes in switching states will force the fault current to pass through the limiting inductor to protect GTOs from the surge current (Pollard 1973; Flurscheim 1982; Ghosh et al. 2002).


The static transfer switches (STS) are connected in the bus tie position and contain two pairs of anti-parallel thyristors as shown in Fig. 6 to allow fast transfer of power from the faulty feeder to an alternative healthy feeder within a time scale of milliseconds (Schwartzenberg et al. 1995; Sannino 2001). The STS are effective devices to protect sensitive loads against power quality disturbances especially for upstream voltage sags and swells (Anaya-Lara et al. 2002). To ensure a rapid transfer between a faulty feeder and an alternative healthy feeder, a make-before-break or break-before-make switching strategy is implemented in the STS controller circuit to reduce the negative switching impacts on the loads (Ghosh et al. 2004).


The basic diagram of an electronic tap changer (ETC) as shown in Fig. 7 contains a set of anti-parallel thyristor switches which are mounted on a particular transformer in order to rapidly change its turns ratio according to changes in the input voltage. The rating of an ETC essentially should be the same as the full rating of loads, because the ETC has to feed the entire load during power quality events (Larsson et al. 1997; Meyer et al. 1999). The ETC should be able to recover the output even for severe voltage sags with a time delay of a few milliseconds.


3.2 Compensating Type Custom Power Devices:

The most common compensating type of custom power devices include the distribution static compensator (D-STATCOM), active power filter (APF), dynamic voltage restorer (DVR) and unified power quality conditioner (UPQC). These devices have the task of load compensation, power factor and unbalance correction and voltage quality improvement (Strzelecki et al. 2008). The D-STATCOM configuration as shown in Fig. 8 is a shunt connected device which consists of an IGBT based AC/DC converter and a DC voltage source that is connected to the system through a coupling transformer and is mostly used for compensating power quality problems related to current. A D-STATCOM can operate in current or voltage control modes (Ledwich et al. 2002). In the current control mode, D-STATCOM operates as a shunt active power filter and power factor corrector. This operating mode is called the load compensation mode. In the voltage control mode, the D-STATCOM acts as a bus voltage regulator against power quality events (Chacko et al. 2011). The D-STATCOM has several advantages including fast acting, continuous regulation, low harmonic content, damping power system oscillation and improve both static and transient stabilities in power systems (Haque 2001; Chiumeo et al. 2010; Guopeng et al. 2010). In the literature, there are many approaches in designing D-STATCOM controllers. These approaches are generally based on phase angle and modulation index (MI) as control variables. By considering phase angle as a standalone control variable (Moran et al. 1993), the controller cannot provide fast adjustment in the inverter output voltage. To overcome this problem, a new control technique based on fixed DC voltage and variable MI was proposed by Schauder et al. (1993). However, the main drawback of this technique is that the harmonic level varies with the variable MI. Therefore, a novel controller scheme based on a steady state MI regulator has been developed to keep harmonics generated by the D-STATCOM as minimum as possible (Ben-Sheng et al. 2007).


Active power filter (APF) is a custom power device that is connected to the power system either in series or shunt configurations. However, the shunt APF is more popular because it can perform both power factor correction and harmonic filtering. The shunt APF mitigate harmonics by generating a current waveform in opposite phase to the harmonic component in the load current, where the series APF is used as a line impedance modifier to increase the line impedance for selected harmonics so as to prevent the injection of selected harmonic currents into the system. The main advantage of the series APF is its ability to mitigate voltage harmonics and to balance three phase voltages, which are important for voltage sensitive devices (Salam et al. 2007; Yingjie et al. 2008; Turunen 2009). In comparison with passive power filter, APFs are also able to eliminate harmonics without posing any negative effects on the fundamental frequency reactive power (Kiran et al. 2011).

A dynamic voltage restorer (DVR) is a series compensating device which injects voltage with required magnitude and frequency onto the faulted phase to regulate the bus voltage at the load and also to protect sensitive loads from voltage sag and swell (Bhaskar et al. 2010). It can also protect against voltage with depth up to 40% of nominal voltage within a few milliseconds (Wunderlin et al. 1998). A DVR consists a DC/AC power converter and a DC energy-storage device that is connected in series to a distribution line through a booster transformer (Haque 2001). The basic diagram of a DVR is shown in Fig. 9. To correct the voltage drop, active and/or reactive power injections are needed. A DVR can generate the required reactive power by itself, but to provide the active power, a DC energy storage is needed (Haque 2001). Usually, an optimization technique is applied to minimize the active power injection to increase the life of the energy storage device and duration of compensation (Haque 2001; Bhaskar et al. 2010). As mentioned earlier, both DVR and D-STATCOM are able to compensate voltage sag, but DVR is capable of mitigating voltage sag only on the downstream side, whereas the D-STATCOM can provide the same mitigation for voltage sag on both downstream and upstream sides (Haque 2001).


A unified power quality conditioner (UPQC) consists of a series and a shunt unit with a common DC energy storage capacitor as shown in Fig. 10. The UPQC can provide voltage and current compensation by coordinating the DVR and D-STATCOM so that one level power quality can be supplied to end users (Brenna et al. 2009). Thus, UPQC can perform shunt and series compensation at the same time and mitigate almost all power quality problems (Fujita et al. 1998; Vilathgamuwa et al. 1998). Due to the long distance between the locations of DVR and D-STATCOM, a coordination system which needs costly signal processing and communication systems is required.


Experimental Premium Power Park:

The first PPP plan was designed and implemented to supply customers with high quality power in the Delaware Industrial Park in Delaware, Ohio in 1999 by the American Electric Power. The project was implemented in three phases; developing an application methodology, simulation and implementation, and monitoring and performance evaluation (Domijan et al. 2000; Domijan et al. 2005). As shown in Fig. 11, the Delaware PPP consists of a DVR to protect the system against voltage sags and swells, a STS to monitor and divert power from the main source to an alternative source if a power quality event occurs upstream, and a Static Var Compensator (SVC) to provide fast voltage regulation.


In April 1999, the Taiwan Power Company started to organize a power quality management and improvement task force which lead to the design and development of the Taiwan Science-Based Power Quality Park in 2002. A lot of effort has been put on network infrastructures including network reconfiguration as well as replacing all overhead power lines with underground cables. To provide enhanced power quality, TPC installed two sets of DVR and several power quality monitoring devices at the park (Tzong-Yih et al. 2003).

Other examples of the implemented PPP are such as the University Research Park in Irvine, California and the Domain Multi-Energy Park in Austin, Texas. The integrated solutions in theses PPPs include using the combined custom power devices with distributed energy resources to improve QRA (McGranaghan 2007). Other possible configurations implemented in the PPP, are by using combined custom power devices comprising of backup generator, DVR and STS as shown in Fig. 12 (Meral 2009). This configuration can provide three different QRA level to feed conventional, sensitive, and critical loads shown in Fig. 12 as loads L-A, L-AA and L-AAA, respectively. This PPP has two incoming feeders which can provide improved grounding and insulation for all load levels. The STS protects all loads against upstream voltage sags and interruptions, while loads L-AA and L-AAA can receive the benefit of a backup generator which can come up to about 5 to 10 seconds in the case of two feeder loss caused by downstream transmission line faults or fault in both the preferred and alternate feeders. Furthermore, load L-AAA which is a critical load can have the advantage of DVR for mitigating downstream voltage sags. However, this configuration has several drawbacks which include inability to provide reactive power injection for power factor improvement and incapability to compensate current harmonics. To further improve the overall performance of the system, an active power filter is installed as shown in Fig. 13 to provide current harmonic compensation and reactive power injection at all load levels (Meral et al. 2009).



Fig. 14 shows another configuration of the PPP using a combination of STS, D-STATCOM and DVR (Chiumeo et al. 2010). This scheme provides three load levels named level A, AA and AA-B. At level A, the STS mitigate upstream interruption and voltage sag. At level AA, the DVR mitigates the negative effects of downstream voltage sag and interruption. The ability of the DVR in voltage sag compensation strongly depends on the DVR design and its coordinated operation with the STS. The D-STATCOM ensures that the loads connected to the A and AA are not affected by the voltage variations caused by the disturbing loads at level AA-B. In addition, the D-STATCOM can provide current harmonic compensation for all load levels.


Issues And Challenges In Developing Premium Power Park:

The issues and challenges in the implementation of PPP can are described as follows:

i. For successful implementation of PPP, it is important to integrate and coordinate different custom power devices in close electrical proximity. Uncoordinated operation of custom power devices may inject inrush current caused by series connected devices and resultantly transformer saturation or reverse current flow in the system. In addition, uncoordinated operation may create phase shift that are harmful for thyristor-based power supplies such as DC drives (Middlekauff et al. 1998).

ii. Using DG as a backup power supply can increase unexpected short circuit currents depending the on its capacity, penetration, technology, interface and connection point of DG (Zayandehroodi et al. 2010). In addition, DGs can negatively affect system protection coordination which leads to conflict and malfunction of protection devices in PPP at the time of fault occurrence (Zayandehroodi et al. 2009). In addition to DGs, custom power devices can also have a negative effect on the designed protection scheme. For example, for faults occurring downstream of DVR which result in voltage sag, the DVR may wrongly increase the short circuit current at the time of sag compensation(Gharedaghi et al. 2011).

iii. The voltage source converter based devices such as DVR and D-STATCOM tend to inject voltage and current harmonics into the system. These produced harmonics are the main cause of resonance problems and overheating of transformers and conductors (Farhoodnea et al. 2011). Hence, it is vital to use a sophisticated modulation scheme and proper filter to mitigate harmonics to acceptable limits (Wunderlin et al. 1998).

iv. Network reconfiguration as a power quality mitigation method is a complicated combinatorial, non-differentiable and constrained optimization problem which is not practical in many cases and may pose a huge financial investment to the utility (Ching-Tzong et al. 2003).

v. Selection of PPP location is an important factor that should be considered for its setup and implementation. Many factors have be taken into account such as commercial transportation, environmental quality and regulation, real estate availability and cost, utility costs and electric power QRA (Howe et al. 2002).


The concept of premium power and the necessity of creating PPP to enhance the quality, reliability and availability of delivered power to end users are presented in this paper. A review of various PPP configurations and custom power devices such as DVR, STS, D-STATCOM and active power filters which are the main components in a PPP is also described. The experimental PPPs that have been implemented are then addressed. Finally, the issues and challenges related to the development and implementation of PPP are discussed.


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Masoud Farhoodnea, Azah Mohamed, Hussain Shareef, Ramizi Mohamed

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering, University Kebangsaan Malaysia

Corresponding Author: Masoud Farhoodnea, Department of Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering, University Kebangsaan Malaysia

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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Farhoodnea, Masoud; Mohamed, Azah; Shareef, Hussain; Mohamed, Ramizi
Publication:Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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