New fault detection algorithm for an improved dual VSM control structure with FRT capability

Abdelrahim, Ahmed and Smailes, Michael and Ahmed, Khaled H. and McKeever, Paul and Egea-Àlvarez, Agustí (2021) New fault detection algorithm for an improved dual VSM control structure with FRT capability. IEEE Access, 9. pp. 125134-125150. ISSN 2169-3536 (

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Grid forming converters are a promising solution to enhance the stability of electrical networks with a high penetration of renewable generation. Virtual Synchronous Machines (VSM) are a particular type of grid forming converter, which can be implemented without an inner Current Control (CC) loop. This VSM implementation can provide a better inertial response than other grid forming structures with an inner CC. However, it cannot limit the current through the converter during a fault. A standard solution uses a VSM as the primary controller with a conventional inner CC acting as a backup controller during fault conditions, referred to here as a Dual VSM control structure. The switching action between the primary and the backup controllers is dependent on an accurate Fault Detection Algorithm (FDA). The conventional FDA mentioned in the literature has limitations in particular but not uncommon scenarios. The article shows the limitations of the conventional FDA in weak grids and unbalanced conditions and introduces a new FDA with improved performance. Two types of sensitivity analysis are used to study the dynamics of the proposed control approach. The First is the sensitivity of the proposed control structure to different fault locations in strong and weak grids. The Second is the sensitivity of the controller response to changing controller parameters. The second analysis is introduced as a reference for tuning and improvement of the control structure introduced.


Abdelrahim, Ahmed, Smailes, Michael, Ahmed, Khaled H., McKeever, Paul and Egea-Àlvarez, Agustí ORCID logoORCID:;