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Interconnecting Subsea DC Collection Systems

into a High Reliability DC Grid

Huibin Zhang, and Dragan Jovcic, Senior Member, IEEE!, d."!
School o# $ngineering, %niversity o# &berdeen, &berdeen, %'
Abstract This paper presents a subsea DC collection grid
with robust control and protection scheme and flexible
expansion capability. By virtue of the DC/DC converter,
different sections of the subsea grid are functionally
interconnected and in the meantime decoupled in the event of
DC faults. The faults are selectively isolated and system
recovery from the faulty DC intertie branch is achieved by a
coordinated operation on DCDC converters and DC
disconnectors or standard !C circuit brea"ers#. ! test system is
presented which consists of two $%%&' renewable energy
sources and DC collection/transmission grids. The simulation
results confirm the ()$ security of the presented topology and
good control performance over DC faults.
Index TermsConverter modeling, *igh +re,uency
Components, DC -ower .ystems, DC power transmission, DC)
DC power conversion, (umerical simulation methods
I. I()R*D%C)I*(
)oday the meshed DC grid +ith a large number o#
converters has been envisaged as both economically and
technically #easible, and subsea a,,lications as such +ill
,otentially see its strong a,,lication in collecting sustainable
,o+er #rom o##shore rene+ables, or in the interconnection o#
di##erent electric transmission systems -./.
& utility ,o+er system demands ,o+er +ith a high level
o# reliability and es,ecially #or the subsea ,o+er systems the
,rotection schemes need to be critically evaluated, since the
marine environment re0uires heavier ca,ital investment +hile
im,oses di##iculty in system accessibility.
1ith &C systems the current zero crossing ma!es it
a,,licable #or &C brea!ers to interru,t the #ault current.
Ho+ever the lo+ im,edance +ith DC circuit +ill allo+ the
#ault current to rise #ast and signi#icantly +ithout current zero
crossings. )he DC grid re0uires the #ault currents to be
interru,ted in 234ms. DC C5s 6Circuit 5rea!ers7 +ith such
high ,er#ormances may ta!e 89: o# ;SC converter cost, and
currently such DC C5s are not commercially available -2/.
(o+adays, the technologies #or converting ocean ,o+ers
are still in in#ancy. It is expected that multiunit tidal
current and ocean wave plants will constitute the
norm of the future [3]. The issue of
standardization will also appear during the
course of building multiterminal HVD grids!
which ma" utilize existing HVD lines and
intends to provide transmission access to
o#shore renewable plants.
)he DC<DC converters enable multi,le #unctions in DC
grids, and they can simultaneously ,er#orm as DC circuit
brea!ers -=/. %nder #ault conditions, such DC<DC converter
naturally restricts the #ault current and isolates the #aulty
e0ui,ments #rom the remaining system. 1ith the ,resence o#
DC<DC converters, the high3,er#ormance DC C5s +ill not be
necessary. Instead, a DC disconnector 6or standard &C C57
can be used #or the ,ermanent #ault isolation.
DC<DC converters can also connect DC systems o#
di##erent DC technologies. )his is o# ,articularly interest in
the circumstance o# lac! o# standardizations at the beginning
o# H;DC grid a,,lication, +hile in the long term the inter3
connection o# di##erent transmission systems are in the vie+.
DC<DC converters might become crucial elements to
#acilitate a meshed DC grid. )he do+nside o# the DC<DC
converters is they have a,,ro>imately .?9:3299: ;SC
converter costs, im,lying that the number o# converters and
their location should be critically evaluated -4/.
*ne remaining challenge is the control o# the DC voltage
and the #lo+ o# ,o+er through the grid. Coordinated control
as voltage margin and droo, control have been considered.
@or a com,le> DC grid, a strategy tending to the localized
control on individual converters can also be con#igured in
#avor o# the ,o+er stability and security.
In this ,a,er, section II introduces a ne+ to,ology #or a
299A1 subsea DC collection grid. Section III #ocuses on its
control and ,rotection and I; on the Aatlab modeling. )he
simulation results to demonstrate the #unctionality o# this DC
grid under small signal disturbances and #ault conditions are
,resented in section ;.
II. )$S) SBS)$A
)he test subsea DC grid consists o# t+o branches, branch
. #or a .99A1 +ind energy #arm and branch 2 #or a .99A1
tidal<+ave energy #arm +ith their s,eci#ications sho+n in
@igure .. )he to,ology o# a,,lied CCC DCDC converter is
sho+n in @igure 2. )he t+o transmission branches are
assumed built at di##erent stages +ith di##erent local DC
voltages, i.e. a D9!; substation #or +ind energy congregation
and a =9!; substation #or tidal stream #arm. $ach branch
connects to an onshore 299A1 &C station in a radial
& =9!;<D9!; .99A1 DC<DC converter and a DC
intertie are installed to enable ,o+er e>change bet+een the
t+o branches. )he insertion o# this intertie DCDC converter
enables a grid3level loo, transmission to,ology +ith N-1
redundancy. )he intertie DCDC converter is located at the
lo+ voltage side substation 6=9!;7. &t the high voltage end
substation a #ast disconnector or a common &C Circuit
brea!er is used #or the ,ermanent isolation o# #aults.
This study is part of RenewNet 2 project funded by Scottish Fundin
!ounci" and European Reiona" #e$e"opment Fund
(ormally both +ind and tidal energy #arms deliver
sustainable ,o+er to the onshore utilities, and the intertie
DCDC converter dis,atches ,o+er as re0uired by grid
@igure . )he 299A1 subsea DC grid
@igure 2 )he CCC DCDC converter -=/
o,erator. I# there is DC #ault on one o# the 249!;dc
transmission lines, the #aulty transmission line +ill be
isolated by the &C side circuit brea!ers and the local 299A1
transmission DCDC converter. )he transmission 299A1
DCDC converter naturally restricts the current #ed into the
#aulty lines. 5y virtue o# the droo, control, the intertie
=9!;<D9!;<.99A1 DCDC converter +ill res,ond and the
e>cess ,o+er in the congregation substation +ill be directed
#rom the #aulty branch to the other branch.
I# there is a #ault on D9!; DC transmission line bet+een
the intertie DCDC converter and substation ., the intertie
DC<DC converter +ill limit the #ault current in#eed #rom
branch 2 =9!; system and ,revent #ault ,ro,agation. )he
#ault in#eed #rom branch . into D9!; system is limited close
to zero current by the +ind #arm D.4!;<D9!; DC<DC
converters and the transmission converter. *nce the #ault is
re,aired the ,o+er trans#er can be re3established through the
both 249!; DC cables.
III. SBS)$A C*()R*C &(D ER*)$C)I*(
)he subsea DC grid integrates energy ,lants #rom
resources o# +ind and tidal<+ave current. )he ,o+er
e>tracted #rom rene+ables is collected in the local substation
and boosted u, to 249!;dc #or long distance transmission.
@inally the DC grid inter#aces +ith the &C utilities by
&C<DC converters.
%& System contro"
1hen the #luid s,eed is lo+er than the rated value, the
main goal o# the rene+able energy control system is to
e>tract the ma>imum mechanical ,o+er. )he +ind generators
in the ,resented ,lat#orm uses the conce,t o# D@IG ho+ever
to reduce the ,lat#orm com,le>ity the D@IG system is
modulated as a current source regulated by active recti#iers.
)he voltages o# tidal EASG are diode recti#ied to give a
dc out,ut 'rec. )he ma>imum ,o+er trac!ing in the test
system is im,lemented by local DCDC converter E as sho+n
in @igure ., +ith the control relation de#ined by 6.7-D/F


+here Tref is the tor0ue re#erence, and T1 is the tor0ue
corres,onding to a recti#ied voltage $1 at ma>imum ,o+er
trac!ing status.
&C<DC converters .G8 +or! in constant DC voltage
control mode. )hey maintain the transmission line voltage at
249!;dc and regulate the &C side (3channel out,uts in line
+ith Grid Code re0uirements. In the test system, the
@igure 8 Coordinate #rames #or CCC DCDC converter -H/
o# the reactive ,o+er is set to be zero.
)he control strategy #or the CCC DCDC converter is
discussed in -H/. )hree re#erence #rames can be utilized #or
decou,ling the active and reactive ,o+er as sho+n in @igure
8. )he #rame d( re,resents a #rame aligned +ith the ca,acitor
voltage $c, and )1*1 and )2*2 are t+o coordinate #rames at
&C<DC bridges, ,ositioned at $1ac and $2ac.
&s sho+n in @igure =, converters %, + and # +or! in
voltage control mode and em,loy same control bloc!s. In
normal o,eration they maintain the DC voltage at lo+
voltage terminals. Converter E regulates the ma>imum ,o+er
trac!ing o# tidal energy in the tor0ue control mode. Converter
! +or!s in ,o+er mode combined +ith voltage droo, control
#or im,roved system stability. I# there is disturbance in one
branch, the energy in the other branch can be used to stabilize
the system.
+& System protection
In the event o# DC #aults, the DCDC converter limits the
dc #ault current naturally to close to rated level. Ho+ever it is
desired to reduce #urther #ault current as an e>am,le to enable
o,ening a disconnector or &C C5 at very lo+ current. &ll
DCDC converters em,loy a control strategy to regulate the
modulation indices according to the instantaneous state o#
DC voltages, as sho+n by IMinJ in @igure 4. 1hen the dc lin!
voltages o# t+o converter terminals are bet+een 9.2,u and
9.?4,u 6+hich is a DC #ault situation7, Mf,ref is ,ro,ortional to
the DC lin! voltage, and +hen the dc lin! voltage is less than
9.2 ,u, Mf,ref is brought to zero. I# Mf,refK Mth is detected #or a
time duration o# Ts, +hich im,lies a DC #ault condition, the
DCDC converter are enabled #or a ,eriod o# TsL and during
this ,eriod, i# the DC voltage increases above Mth- the DCDC
converter +ill return bac! to normal o,eration. I# the DC
voltage does not recover, the cycle is re,eated 2 more times.
)his logic #acilitates DC voltage recovery a#ter #ault is
isolated +ith a disconnector. In the test system, Mth M 9.D and
&s sho+n in @igure =, the control inde>es M1d, M1(, M2d,
M2( are modulated in coordinated manner by both control
loo,s and ,rotection schemes. @urthermore, during normal
o,eration i# lo+ DC voltage is detected #or 49ms at either
side o# the DCDC converter then the DCDC converter +ill be
,ermanently tri,,ed. )his control logic is re,resented by
N5loc!O signal in @igure 4, and '1dcnom and '2dcnom are the
nominal DC voltages at t+o converter terminals.
)he s+itching o# ,o+er electronics re0uires signi#icant
com,uting time i# detailed modes are used in the test system.
)o achieve acce,table ,er#ormance in accuracy and s,eed,
average3value models 6&;A7 are used -?/.
@igure = Control bloc! #or DCDC converter %, +, !, # and E
@igure 4 )he ,rotection schemes o# DCDC converters
%& !on$erter mode"s
Since there is no energy storage com,onent in the circuit, in
the &;A ;SC model the voltage and current on the ac side
and dc side o# are related by sim,le algebraic relations -?/, as
sho+n by e0uations 6273647. )he #re0uency o# to,ological
change o# the ;SC model is reduced and the solver
e##ectively reduces the iterations #or to,ological chec! and
com,uting time.
sin6 7 627
$ M t =
sin6 7 687
2 8
$ M t

sin6 7 6=7
2 8
$ M t

. 2 =
6 sin6 7 sin6 7 sin6 77 647
2 8 8
dc ca cb cc
i i M t i M t i M t

= + +
+here 'dc is the dc lin! voltageL M is the modulation inde>.
)he DCDC converter is modeled by Simulin! nonlinear
state s,ace model -P/, +ith the inter#ace bet+een &C and DC
e>,ressed asF
6 7
idc id id i( i(

= + 6D7
+here iM.,2, #or ,ort 1 and 2 res,ectively.
+& .ffshore enery par/ mode"
)he ,lat#orm sho+n in @igure . +ith 29 or 49 rene+able
units +ill be di##icult to simulate due to signi#icant
com,uting time. In simulation they are re,resented as t+o
single e0uivalent .99A1 generators, subse0uently
converters + and E are also modeled at .99A1.
)he .99A1 +ind turbine out,uts electrical ,o+er
bet+een 2..DA1 and .99A1 as the +ind s,eed varies
bet+een Dm<s3.9m<s. )he .99A1 EASG Simulin! model
used #or tidal energy out,uts electrical ,o+er bet+een
.2.4A1 and .99A1 as the tidal stream s,eed changes
bet+een 2m<s3=m<s, +ith diode recti#ied voltage varying
bet+een 2!;3=!;.
;. SIA%C&)I*( R$S%C)S
System res,onse to small signal disturbances is tested and
also #or t+o DC #aults. )he #ault locations are sho+n in
@igure .. )he DC #aults are tested during steady state +ith a
+ind s,eed o# ?m<s and tidal stream s,eed o# =m<s. &t the
moment +hen the #ault occurs, the intertie DCDC converter
! is dis,atching 9..4 pu tidal ,o+er #rom branch 2 into
branch ..
%& Sma"" sina" responses
@igure D con#irms system stability and correct o,eration
o# all control loo,s 6+ith no ,o+er dis,atch through the
intertie at this stage7. In ,articular the DC voltages at D9!;
and =9!; bus are !e,t at rated values #or +ide range o#
,o+er levels. &lso the reactive ,o+er control loo,s o,erate
normally #or +ide range o# ,o+er orders.
+& #! fau"t 1
@igure H sho+s the system res,onses #or a transmission
cable DC #ault condition on branch . at 2.4s. )he local
DC<DC converters limit the #ault current and ,revent #ault
,ro,agation. )he #aulted 249!;dc transmission line is
,ermanently isolated by o,ening &C C5. and bloc!ing
transmission DCDC converter % 649ms a#ter the lo+ DC
voltage is detected, using control in @igure 47. 5oth +ind and
tidal energy #arm o,erate normally during and a#ter the #ault,
and #ull .99A1 branch ,o+er is diverted through the intertie
branch a#ter the #aulted cable is isolated. )here +ill be no DC
voltage colla,se on D9!; 6or =9!;7 DC cable.
!& #! fau"t 2
DC #ault 2 is a ,ole to ,ole short circuit #ault at 2.4s on
the interconnecting cable a3c, and @igure ? sho+s the system
res,onses. During the #ault, DCDC converters %, + and !
initially limit the current. 1hen lo+ DC voltage is detected
#or 29ms, DCC5 is o,en and the #ault is ,ermanently
isolated. )hen 4ms later DCDC converters % and + increase
Mf,ref 6control bloc!s sho+n in @igure 47 and they
automatically resume normal o,eration. )his ,rocess is
com,leted +ithin 49ms be#ore the tri,,ing time o# DCDC
converters. In this case, branch . recovers #rom DC #ault 2
and the +ind ,o+er is continuously transmitted to onshore
utility .. )idal energy #arm o,erates normally during a#ter the
#ault and branch 2 retains #ull #unctionality.
)he details o# DCC5 o,ening ,rocess and converter
recovery ,rocess are illustrated in @igure P. '#!F2 is the local
voltage +hich dro,s #rom D9!; to zero at 2.4s due to short
circuit #ault. &t 2.42s, the current through DCC5 I#!!+ is zero
at the moment o# o,ening DCC5L at 2.424s DCDC
converters % and + begin to resume and the ,o+er delivery is
recovered at about 2.4Hs. )his is indicated by I#!+ and I#!%1,
+hich are the currents out o# DCDC converter + and into
DCDC converter % res,ectively.
In this test, during the #ault conditions a cho,,ed
resistor is used to maintain the o##shore D.4!; dc voltage
constant, +hich is triggered +hen the DC voltage reaches
@igure D Simulation results #or 299A1 DC collection grid
#or ste, changes in o##shore energy.
@igure H Simulation results #or ,ole3to3,ole DC #ault at 2.4s
on 249!;dc transmission line, branch .
@igure ? Simulation results, branch . recovery #rom ,ole3to3
,ole DC #ault at 2.4s on interconnecting cable a3c
;I. C*(CC%SI*(
)he o,eration and ,rotection o# a subsea DC collection grid
e0ui,,ed +ith CCC DCDC converters is ,resented. )he grid
,o+er can be reliably delivered under both small signal and
@igure P DCC5 o,ening ,rocess +ith I#!!+M9 and '#!F2M9,
and the recovery o# DCDC converters % and +
large signal disturbances. )his grid is ca,able o# connecting
di##erent DC transmission system +ith (3. security, or acting
as inter#aces #or &C utilities. )+o3branch system is sho+n in
this article but e>,ansion to multi,le branches is ,ossible.
Rene+able ,o+er branches can be recovered #rom DC
intertie #aults by the coordinated o,eration strategy on DCDC
converters and &C circuit brea!ers 6or DC disconnectors7.
)he above #unctions are achieved +ithout the ,resence o# #ast
DC circuit brea!ers.
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