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524

IEEETransactions on Energy Conversion,Vol. 10. No. 3, September 1995

UNDEREXCITATlON LIMlTER MODELS FOR POWER SYSTEM STABILITY STUDIES


IEEE Task Force on Excitation Limiters

Performance and Modeling Working Group of the Excitation Systems Subcommittee


Energy Development and Power Generation Committee
Abstract - Underexcitation limiter models suitable for use
i n large scale power system stability studies are presented.
These models are compatible with current IEEE
recommended excitation system models.
Using these
models, it is expected that most underexcitation limiters in
use on large system-connected synchronous machines can be
represented.
Keywords: excitation systems, excitation limiters, excitation
models, voltage regulators. power system stability.
INTRODUCTION
Most modern voltage regulators employed on large
synchronou! machines have the capability to do much more
than just regulate machine terminal voltage to a preset level.
These voltage regulators typically employ various auxiliary
control, limiting, and protective devices which are designed
to enhance performance and reliability. The voltage
regulator limiting functions generally have no effect on
excitation output during most normal operating conditions.
It is only during severe conditions in which the excitation
system, synchronous machine, or power system have been
pushed near or beyond defined operating limits that these
limiters act to modify excitation output.
Simulation programs used to evaluate power system
performance and stability typically include the capability of
representing the excitation systems of synchronous
machines. Increasing the complexity of the excitation
system model used on each synchronous machine i n a
simulation study by representing one or more of these
limiters of course increases the complexity and data
requirements of the overall study.
Paper preparation was coordinated by J.D. Hurley with contributions from
J.C. Agee (Chairman). R.E. Beaulieu. G.R. BBNM, J.D. Hurley.
C.R. Mummert. A. Murdoch. J.R. Ribeiro. and R.C. Schaefer.

95 WM 050-5 EC

A paper recommended and approved


by the IEEE Energy Development and Power Generation
Committee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society for
presentation at the 1995 IEEE/PES Winter Meeting,
January 29, to February 2, 1995, New York, NY.
Manuscript submitted July 26, 1994; made available
for printing December 6, 1994.

If a simulation study results in excursions which do not


reach a limiter's characteristic. then the simulation results
will typically be the same whether or not the limiter is
represented. If the results show excursions beyond the
limiter's characteristic, then the limiter model should be
added if the excitation system output response is important
i n the study results. When limiter models are applied, it is
important that they be correctly represented with accurate
model constants for each particular synchronous machine.

The purpose of this paper is to present underexcitation


limiter (UEL) models which can be applied to the excitation
system models of syiichronous machines. The task force
participants have attempted to obtain all available UEL
models from manufacturers and users. so that the resulting
models presented in this paper allow UEL representation for
excitation systems of various designs and manufacturers.
The excitation system models presented in IEEE Standard
42 1.5- 1992, "IEEE Recommended Practice for Excitation
System Models for Power System Stability Studies,"[ 13
incorporate inputs (labeled VUEL) to which the outputs of
the UEL models presented in this paper can be connected.
UEL APPLICATIONS
An underexcitation limiter (UEL) acts to boost excitation
whenever it senses a condition in which excitation level is
determined to be too low. Its output signal either adds to or
overrides the normal action of the voltage regulator to
control excitation level. A UEL is typically applied for one
or both of the following purposes:
0
To prevent operation which jeopardizes stability of the
synchronous machine or could lead to loss of
synchronism due to insufficient excitation. or
0

To prevent operation that would lead to overheating in


the stator end region of the synchronous machine,
typically defined by the lower portion of the machine
capability curve.

For a synchronous machine connected to a large power grid,


reductions in excitation of the synchronous machine can be
caused by a number of reasons, including the following:
0
The operator or plant computer may purposely or
inadvertently reduce the machine excitation by
lowering the voltage regulator control setpoint.

0885-8969/95/$04.00 0 1995 IEEE

525
0

Changes in the power system may increase system


voltage, causing the voltage regulator to reduce
excitation in an attempt to keep the synchronous
machine terminal voltage at its preset level by
absorbing reactive power.
There may be a fault in the voltage regulator or its
sensing circuits which results in an inadvertent
reduction in excitation below its normal level.

For whatever reason, continued excessive reduction in


excitation of an on-line synchronous machine will result in
the machine absorbing more and more reactive power, until
the stability limit or the machine stator end region heating
limit, or both, are exceeded.
If the concern is stability, insufficient excitation for a
particular loading condition may lead to the synchronous
machine field being so weak that the machine may pull out
of synchronism with the power system and have to be
tripped. Fig. 1 shows the case of a generator connected to an
infinite system through an external reactance Xe. In order
for the machine to stay in synchronism, certain relationships
between terminal voltage. real power, and reactive power,
must exist.

For a cylindrical rotor machine, numerous text books and


papers cover the derivation of the steady state stability limit.
Fig. 1 summarizes this stability limit which assumes
excitation is held constant as machine quantities vary.2
Consider a machine operating initially at point A, and the
operator is manually controlling excitation for constant
reactive power output. If the turbine power output is
gradually increased, the operating point of the machine will
tend to move along the line AB. After crossing the curve at
point B'. continued increase in turbine power output would
eventually cause the machine to pull out of synchronism.
Another condition that might cause loss of synchronism
could be produced by a change in the reactive requirements
of the system, such as an increase in system voltage, causing
the machine to absorb more reactive power and move its
operating point along the line AC. In this case the machine
would begin pulling out of synchronism after the operating
point crossed point C'.
A third condition might involve the operator lowering
excitation and thus reducing machine terminal voltage and
causing more reactive power to be absorbed. In this case the
operating point would follow curve AC, with the machine
beginning to lose synchronism when crossing point C", since
the steady state stability limit is reduced because of the
reduced terminal voltage.
The constant excitation steady state stability limit curve in
Fig. 1 assumes no excitation feedback control such as exists
with the voltage regulator in service. The actual steady state
stability limit due to the steady state and dynamic regulating
action of the voltage regulator in service may actually be
beyond the constant excitation stability limit, depending
upon the excitation system and power system dynamic
characteristics. In this case, the stability limit will typically
be characterized by undamped or growing oscillatory
behavior which may lead to loss of synchronism.

Constant Excitation

Fig. 1. Steady State Stability Limit and Typical


Underexcitation Limiter Characteristics.
I

It may seem contradictory to use the constant excitation


stability limit as a basis for a UEL setting if the UEL
operates with the voltage regulator in the automatic control
mode. Even though a voltage regulator may allow stable
machine operation beyond the steady state stability limit. this
limit is often used as a benchmark for stable underexcited
operation, because: (1) a certain degree of additional margin
can be desirable between the actual stability limit and the
UEL limit, (2) if the transmission system is weakened, the
actual stability limit may indeed be closer to the normal
constant excitation stability limit, and (3) the loss of field
relay setting may also be based on this steady state stability
limit. and it is important to properly coordinate the UEL
setting with the loss of field relay to assure that limiting
occurs before tripping.

526

UEL DYNAMIC BEHAVIOR


While the UEL may be applied for the purpose of limiting
steady state excitation to prevent exceeding underexcited
operating limits. it also has dynamic characteristics which
are important in its operation.
For example, if there is a sudden reduction in generator
excitation which requires UEL action, there will likely be a
transient undershoot of reactive power beyond the UEL
limits before the effect of UEL boosting is seen at the
synchronous machine terminals. Also, if the synchronous
machine is driven into the UEL limit and remains there,
then damping of synchronous machine oscillations may be
quite dependent on the UEL dynamic characteristics.
These examples. among others. illustrate the importance of
proper UEL models in those simulations where UEL action
has a significant effect on system performance. UEL models
presented in this paper will allow representation of the UEL
dynamic characteristics, Just as with the excitation system
models to which they are applied, these UEL models
typically have a limited bandwidth up to about 3 Hz.
UEL MODEL IMPLEMENTATION
The UEL typically senses either a combination of voltage
and current of the synchronous machine or a combination of
real and reactive power. The limits are typically determined
by the combination of signals crossing a reference level or
characteristic. When the reference level or characteristic is
crossed. either a non-linear element. such as a diode, begins
to conduct and allows the UEL signal to become a part of the
control of the excitation system or the UEL output exceeds
some low-level limit of zero to begin to boost excitation.
Fig. 2 shows an example of how the output of the UEL
model can interface with an excitation systetn model. This
example shows two possible inputs for the UEL output
(VUEL) as applied to a Type DClA excitation system
model.[l] Where alternate UEL inputs are shown in an
excitation system model, only one of these inputs would be
used for each application.

=K
+ ST,

In some equipment. the limiter is given full control (usually


through a diode) in an auctioneering circuit, so called
becauqe the highest 'bidding' input wins control. In the
excitation system model for this type of equipment, the
auctioneering circuit is represented by a High Value (HV)
gate. When the UEL output exceeds the normal voltage
regulator output, the UEL takes over control, replacing the
normal voltage regulator signal.

In other applications. the UEL is given control by providing


an additional input signal to the voltage regulator error
summing junction, and thus the automatic voltage regulator
signal is not completely replaced. Under normal conditions
when the UEL is not limiting, VUEL would typically be
zero. When limiting occurs, VUEL will increase above zero
and provide a boost signal to the voltage regulator summing
junction. In this type of application, the UEL gain should be
sufficient to overcome the possible bucking effect. of the
voltage regulator.
Since most UEL applications operate as a control system
replacing or supplementing the automatic voltage regulator
control, the UEL may have an additional input from one of
the variables associated with the exciter to provide damping.
On specific installations, the exciter may have characteristics
which do not require a separate damping signal. but in
general the damping is required. The damping and gain of
the UEL are often set to slow the action of the limiting so
that the transfer from the automatic voltage regulator control
to the UEL control is stable and does not cause oscillations
in the synchronous machine output. These effects often
delay the limiting action of the UEL during the first transient
voltage swings following a disturbance. In some transient
situations. the automatic voltage regulator may remain in
control of the voltage for the first second of response before
the UEL begins to control. especially if the automatic voltage
regulator is attempting to boost voltage.
RECOMMENDED UEL MODELS
In an attempt to encompass a wide range of UEL
applications. three UEL models have been developed.
Although UEL designs utilize various types of input sensing
and signal processing, their limiting characteristics are
usually plotted in terms of real and reactive power on MVar
vs. MW axes, although in many cases the specified limit in
terms of MW and MVar is terminal voltage dependent.
These models represent the following types of UEL limiting
characteristics as displayed on MVar vs. MW axes:
0

Circular characteristic (Type UEL1)

Straight line characteristic (Type UEL2)

Multi-segment straight line characteristic (Type UEL3)

Fig. 2. Type K I A Model With Alternate UEL Inputs.

527

Fig. 3. Type UELl Model for Circular Underexcitation Limiter.

TYPE UELl MODEL


The type UELl model has a circular limit boundary when
plotted in terms of machine reactive power vs. real power
output, similar to the limiter setting shown in Fig. 1. The
type UELl model is shown in Fig. 3. The phasor inputs of
IT and VT are synchronow machine terminal output current
and voltage with both magnitude and phase angle of these ac
quantities sensed.
Fig. 4 illustrates how the limiting characteristic can be
derived from the model parameters. Limiting occurs
whenever V u c exceeds V m . KUR determines the radius of
the UEL limit such that VUR has a pre-determined
magnitude and is also proportional to the magnitude of
machine terminal voltage VT. KUC determines the center of
the UEL limit. When KUC multiplied by the phasor of
quantity of VT is summed with the phasor quantity -jIT. the
resulting magnitude V u c determines whether or not the
machine operating point has reached the UEL limit.
Absorbing more reactive power (0) or sending more real
power (P) increaqes VUC and results in the machine
operating point moving toward the circular UEL limit.
Since the type UELl model derives the operating point using
IT and compares it with a radius and center proportional to
VT, this model essentially represents a UEL which utilizes a
circular apparent impedance characteristic as its limit. Since
machine loss of field relays often utilize a similar circular
impedance characteristic, this type of UEL generally allows
close coordination with a loss of field relay. Also, the UEL
limit boundaries in terms of P and Q vary with V.r2. just as
the steady state stability limit varies with V T ~ so
, the UEL
limit changes as terminal voltage variations alter the steady
state stability limit.

UEL NOT

'

Fig. 4. Type UELl Circular Limiting Characteristic.

or limited to zero by the UEL output limiter (in the case of


the UEL feeding the voltage regulator summing junction).
When conditions are such that the UEL limit is exceeded,
VUC > V m and the UEL error signal Vuerr becomes
positive. This will drive the UEL output in the positive
direction, and if the gain is sufficient, the UEL output will
take over control of the voltage regulator to boost excitation
to move the operating point back toward the UEL limit.
The VF input to the type UELl model allows provision for
an excitation system stabilizer signal from the voltage
regulator which can be used for damping of oscillations.

The following is a set of sample data for a type UELl model


for one manufacturer's brushless or static excitation system.
as applied to the HV gate input of a type AClA or STlA
excitation system modell. The limiter setting is based upon
the steady state stability limit for a generator synchronous
reactance x d = 1.76 p.u. and an external reactance Xe =
Under normal conditions when the UEL is not limiting, 0.30 p.u.:
KUC = 1.38 p.u. Km = 1.95 p.u. Tu2 = 0.05 sec.
VUC < V m and the UEL error signal Vuerr shown i n Fig.
KUF = 3.3 P.U.
KUL = 100 P.U. K u = 0
3 is negative. When amplified by the proportional ( K n )
and integral ( K u ) functions, the UEL output will either be
VUR"
= Vucmax = 5.8 P.U.
TUl= Tu3 = Tu4 = 0
VULM~=-~~~.U.
VULMAX = 18 P.U.
negative (in the case of the UEL output feeding a HV gate)

528

Fig. 5. Type UEL2 Model for Straight Line Underexcitation Limiter.


TYPE UEL2 MODEL

the slope of the UEL limit. Absorbing more reactive power

(0)or sending more real power (P) results in the machine


Fig. 5 shows the type UEL2 model. It has a linear limit
boundary when plotted in terms of machine reactive power
output (QT) vs. real power output (PT). The model inputs of
PT and QT can be left as is (unaffected by terminal voltage
VT) by setting the exponential constant kl= 0. If instead the
UEL senses the real and reactive components of machine
current IT, the model input values PT and QT can be divided
by VT using kl= 1. Similarly, PT and QT can be divided by
V T using
~
kl=2 in the model.

operating point moving toward the UEL limit.


Under normal conditions when the UEL is not limiting. the
UEL error signal Vuerr shown in Fig. 5 is negative. When
amplified by the proportional ( K n ) and integral ( K u )
functions, the UEL output will either be negative (in the case
of the UEL output feeding a HV gate) or limited to zero by
the UEL output limiter (in the case of the UEL feeding the
voltage regulator summing junction).

The type UEL2 model also allows provision for a separate When conditions are such that the UEL limit is exceeded,
input from machine terminal voltage VT with k2=1 or V T ~ Vuerr becomes positive. This will drive the UEL output in
with k2=2. If k2=0. then F2 = 1 and this path simply the positive direction, and if the gain is sufficient, the UEL
becomes a constant reference input via K w . similar to output will take over control of the voltage regulator to boost
excitation to move the operating point back toward the UEL
constant Vuoref. which can be used to bias the UEL limit.
limit.
Fig. 6 illustrates how the type UEL2 limiting characteristic
can be derived from the model parameters. Limiting occurs The type UEL2 model allows provision for input from
whenever specified proportions of the real and leading machine field voltage (EFD) through a rate-sensing function
reactive components of machine terminal conditions (which which can be used for damping of oscillations. Similarly,
may be modified by VT) exceed a reference value which may the lag and lead functions represented by TU1 through Tu4
may be appropriately adjusted in certain applications to
or may not also be modified by VT. The values of KUQ.
K u p and K w determine the distance from the origin and provide damping.
40
VARS
OUT(+)

(GARS)

Fig. 6. Type UEL2 Straight Line Limiting Characteristic.

TYPE UEL3 MODEL

setting the exponential constant k= O so that F


F2using
= IAlternatively. PT can be dividcd by VT or VT (by
k=l or k=2. respectively) and then multiplied by the same
factor after the appropriatc limit segment is established for
the machine operating point. Switch SWI determines which
segment is uscd as the limit at any particular time. based on
the value of V u p dcrivcd from thc machine real power
output (PT).

4=

Fig. 7 shows the type UEL3 model. It has similaritics to thc


type UEL2 model. but instead of having one linear limit linc.
the type UEL3 model allows up to four linear segments to
make up the limit boundary when plotted in terms of
machine reactive power output (QT) vs. real power output
(PT). UELs represented by the type UEL3 modcl attcmpt to
follow the underexcited portion of thc machine capability
curve or the steady state stability limit more closely than can
the type UEL2 model.
In determining the UEL limit boundary. thc modcl input PT
can be left as is (unaffected by terminal voltage VT) by

Fig. X illustrates how the typc UEL3 limiting characteristic


can be dcrived from thc model paramcters. This illustration
shows an cxample of a two-segment UEL characteristic, but
the concepts are the same for UELs with different number of
segments. Limiting occurs whenever specified proportions

40
[ Nofe:Assumes VT = 1 P.u., VUOref= 01

(VARS)

VARS
OUT(+)

vlJPl

QCT

-PT-aOP.

(WATTS)

I
I
I

PT.

I I

IJEL 1

dPIdQ = KU P2
KtiQ

,
c

*e

Fig. 8. Examplc of Typc UEL3 Multi-Scgment Limiting Charactcristic Using Two Segments

530
of the real (which may be modified by VT) and leading
reactive components of machine terminal conditions exceed
the reference value (VUref) for the appropriate limiting
segment. The limiting segment which applies for any
particular operating point depends upon the real power level,
optionally modified by terminal voltage. The values of
KUQ, along with K u p and VUref for each limit segment.
determine the placement and slopes of the UEL limit
boundary. Absorbing more reactive power (QT) or sending
more real power (PT) results in the machine operating point
moving toward the UEL limit.
Under normal conditions when the UEL is not limiting, the
UEL error signal Vuerr shown in Fig. 7 is negative. When
amplified by the proportional ( K n ) and integral (KuI)
functions, the UEL output will either be negative (in the case
of the UEL output feeding a HV gate) or limited to zero by
the UEL output limiter (in the case of the UEL feeding the
voltage regulator summing junction).
When conditions are such that the UEL limit is exceeded.
Vuerr becomes positive. This will drive the UEL output i n
the positive direction, and if the gain is sufficient. the UEL
output will take over control of the voltage regulator to boost
excitation to move the operating point back toward the limit.
If appropriate, the lag and lead functions represented by Tu1
through Tu4 may be applied to provide damping.

certain types of studies where the UEL may be activated


during conditions of the study.
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
[ 11 IEEE Std. 42 1.5- 1992. IEEE Recommended Practice.for

Excitation Systeni Models ,for Power System Stability


Studies.
[2] Carleton J.T., Bobo P.O.. and Burt D.A.. "Minimum
Excitation Limit For Magnetic Amplifier Regulating
System", AIEE Transaction on Power Apparatus and
Svstenls. Vol. PAS-73. Aug. 1954. pp. 869-874.
[3] Rubenstein A.S. and Temoshok, M., "Underexcited
Reactive Ampere Limit of Modern Amplidyne Voltage
Regulator", AIEE Transaction 011 Power Apparatus arid
Systems, Vol. PAS-13. Dec. 1954. pp. 1433-1438.
[4] Landgren G.L.. "Extended Use of Generator Reactive
Capability By a Dual Underexcitation Limiter", IEEE
Transactioiis on Power Apparatus and Systems. Vol.
PAS-99, JuVAU~.1980, pp. 1381-1385.
[5] Cawson W.F. and Brown H.E.. "Digital Computation of
Synchronous Generator Pullout Characteristics", AIEE
T~ansactioris011 Power Apparatus aiid Systems, Vol.
PAS-78. Feb. 1959,pp.. 1315-1318.

The following is a set of sample data for a type UEL3 model


for one manufacturer's bus-fed static excitation system, as [ 6 ]
applied to the voltage error summing junction of a type
STlA excitation system modell:
Vup1 = 0.3 p.u.
VUlref= 0.31 P.U. KUpl = 0
[7]
Vuzref= 0.34 P.U. Kup2 = 0.10 P.U. Vup2 = 0.6 P.U.
V ~ 3 ~ 0.42
f = P.U. Kup3 = 0.233 P.U. Vup3 = 0.9 P.U.
V ~ 4 ~ 1.86
~ f P.U.
= Kup4 = 1.833 P.U. k = 2
KUQ = 1 P.U.
KUI = 0.5 P.U.
KUL = 0.8 P.U.
TUV = 5.0 sec.
[8]
TUP = 5.0 sec.
T U ~ ~ = T U P ~ = T U ~ ~ = T U P ~ = T U ~ = u4=
T U ~0 = T U ~ =
V U L =~Vulmax
~ ~ = 0.25 P.U.
V&ref= 0
Vu~max'2.0 P.U Vusmin=-2.0 P.U. V ~ ~ m i l 1 = V ~ l I n 0i n =

"' Qr=

CONCLUSION
This paper presents three different UEL models. which
should allow the representation of a wide variation in UEL
designs.
These models are compatible for use with
excitation system models presented in Reference 1.
The UEL models presented i n this paper are limited i n
nature and do not necessarily represent all the functional
detail of the actual electronic equipment. These limiter
models are not normally included i n stability study models
and widespread usage is not anticipated. However, the
models will be usefbl on specific excitation installations in

Berdy J.. "Loss of Excitation Limits of Synchronous


Machines". IEEE Transaction on Power Apparatus and
Sy.stenis. Vol. PAS-94, Sep/Oct. 1975. pp. 1457-1463.
Nagy I.. "Analysis of Minimum Excitation Limits of
Synchronous Machines". IEEE Transactions on PAS,
Vol. PAS-89. JulIAug. 1970. pp. 1001-1008.
Anderson H.C.. Simmons H.O., and Woodrow C.A.,
"Systems Stability Limitations and Generator Loading",
AIEE Transactions on Power Apparatus aiid Systems,
Vol. PAS-72, June 1953. pp. 406-423.

[9] Heffron W.G. and Phillips R.A.. "Effects of a Modern


Amplidyne Voltage Regulator on Underexcited
Operalion of Large Turbine Generators", AIEE Transactioiis 011 PAS, Vol. PAS-71, Aug. 1952. pp. 692-691.
[ 101 Estcourt. Holley, Johnson. and Light. "Underexcited

Operation of Generators", AIEE Transactions on PAS,


Vol. PAS-72, No. 4, Feb. 1953. pp. 16-22.
[ 1 I ] Ribeiro J.R.. "Minimum Excitation Limiter Effects on

Generator Response to System Disturbances". IEEE


Traiisactions 011 Eiiergy Conversion, Vol. 6 , No. 1.
March 1991, pp. 29-38.

531
APPENDIX

NOMENCLATURE

EFD - Synchronous machine field voltage

F1. F2 - UEL terminal voltage multiplying factors


IT - Synchronous machine terminal current

k, k l , k2 - UEL terminal voltage exponents


K u ~- UEL center setting
KUF - UEL excitation system stabilizer gain
K u - UEL integrator gain
KUL - UEL proportional gain

Kupl .Kup2,Kup3,Kup4 - UEL segment power multiplier


KUQ - UEL reactive power multiplier
KUR - UEL radius setting
PT

Synchronous machine real output power

QT - Synchronous machine reactive output power


SWl - UEL linear segment selector switch

Tu1, Tu3 - UEL lead time constants


Tu2. Tu4 - UEL lag time constants
TUF - UEL excitation system stabilizer time constant
TUP - UEL real power filter time constant
TUQ - UEL reactive power filter time constant
TUV - UEL voltage filter time constant
VF - Excitation system stabilizer output
VT - Synchronous machine terminal voltage
VT' - Filtered synchronous machine terminal voltage
V u c - UEL center plus operating point phasor magnitude
VUEL - UELoutpUt
Vuerr - UEL error signal
VUOref - UEL linear offset reference
~ f segment reference
V u 1ref. V ~ 2 ~Vf ~. 3 ~ f . V u 4- UEL
VUImax. Vulmin - UEL integrator output limits
V U L ~ VULmin
~ ~ . - UEL output limits
Vupl , Vup2. Vup3 - UEL segment transition levels
VUR - UEL radius phasor magnitude
Vusmax. Vusmin - UEL switch output limits