Four Categories of FACTS Devices

Four Categories of FACTS Devices

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The FACTS device concept was introduced by the Electric Power Research Institute in the late 1980. Since then facts devices have become more and more popular in power systems. Before the introduction of FACTS conventional power flow control techniques were there but they were not fast enough, need to be manually operated and lacked proper co-ordination leading to acceptance of FACTS devices. As years pass by more and more advancement in FACTS technologies are evolving.
FACTS controllers can be divided into four categories based on their connection in the network - Shunt Controllers, Series Controllers, Combined Series-Series Controllers and Combined Series-Shunt Controllers. These type of controllers are connected in shunt with the transmission line. Shunt controllers are of variable impedance type, variable source type or a combination of both. They inject current into the system at the point of connection and thereby inject or absorb reactive power and hence regulate voltage at the point of connection. Thyristor Controlled Reactor (TCR), Thyristor Switched Reactor (TSR), Thyristor Switched Capacitor (TSC) and Static Synchronous Compensator (Statcom) are the common shunt controllers. Series controllers are connected in series with the transmission line. They decrease the overall effective series transmission impedance from the sending end to the receiving end and thereby control the power flow. Static Synchronous Series Compensator (SSSC), Thyristor Controlled Series Capacitor (TCSC), Thyristor Switched Series Capacitor (TSSC), Thyristor Controlled Series Reactor (TCSR) and Thyristor Switched Series Reactor (TSSR) are some of the common series controllers.
Combined Series-Series controllers are connected in series with neighbouring lines with a DC link in between them. They control power flow through the installed lines and are also capable of exchange of active power between neighbouring lines. The Interline Power Flow Controller (IPFC) is one such controller Combined Series-Shunt controllers are the most versatile and powerful device among the FACTS device family. They are connected both in series and shunt with the transmission lines. Depending on its main control strategy they can act as shunt and/or series compensator, a power flow controller, a voltage regulator or a phase shifter. Unified Power Flow Controller (UPFC) is one such controller. In this work voltage stability improvement is focussed and hence the shunt FACTS device SVC is used here.
A. Static Var Compensator (SVC)
SVC is a shunt-connected static reactive power generator or absorber which can maintain or control specific parameters of the electrical power system (typically bus voltage). They are called static because they dont have any rotational components

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in them instead have power electronics based switches. The static switch employed is thyristor, without gate turn-off capability. They are basically a variable reactive admittance, which are controlled depending on the extent of voltage control needed. In other words when voltage varies, the firing angle of the static switch gets automatically varied thereby the reactive admittance gets varied which in turn controls the extent of reactive power getting injected or absorbed into the system. The reactive power injected or absorbed into the system is given by the relation given in Eq. (1)

QSVC = BSVC V 2 (1)

In equation (1) QSVC is the reactive power injected/ absorbed by SVC, BSVC is the susceptance of the SVC and V is the voltage of the bus at which SVC is connected. The voltage-reactive power characteristics of a practical SVC system are shown in fig 1. From the characteristics we can see that with increase in bus voltage SVC absorbs lagging reactive power and try to reduce the bus voltage. When voltage decreases SVC injects leading reactive power and thereby try to increase reactive power. The extent of absorption or injection depends on the firing angle of the thyristors. There is a linear range over which SVC try to regulate the bus voltage. The limit is decided by the maximum inductive and capacitive susceptance of the SVC. Beyond that range the

Fig. 1. Voltage – reactive power characteristics of an SVC
SVC can be divided into two categories namely
1) Thyristor-controlled and Thyristor-switched Reactor (TCR
and TSR)
2) Thyristor-switched capacitor (TSC).
A Thyristor Controlled or Switched Reactor(TCR/TSR) is a shunt connected FACTS device. It consist of a fixed(usually air core) reactor and a bidirectional thyristor valve. Due to the unavailability and high cost of large power rated thyristors usually a combination of thyristors are employed for constructing TCR and TSC. The main difference between TCR and TSC is that in TCR the effective admittance of the device can be controlled in a smooth manner within its limit, while in TSR the effective admittance is not controllable rather it is fixed. So a group of such units are used and whenever desired, the required number is turned on. Hence the admittance variation in TSR is like a step like manner. The construction of TCR and TSC are similar but in TSR the firing angle is always kept at zero degree but for TCR it is kept variable. The fig 2 shows a single unit of TCR and TSR.

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