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2, APRIL 2006

Voltage Regulation With STATCOMs:

Modeling, Control and Results
Amit Jain, Member, IEEE, Karan Joshi, Student Member, IEEE, Aman Behal, Member, IEEE, and
Ned Mohan, Fellow, IEEE

Abstract—This paper presents system modeling and control Aside from experimental procedures like Ziegler and Nichols
design for fast load voltage regulation using static compensators [9], to the authors’ knowledge, there is no standard procedure
(STATCOMs). The modeling strategy gives a clear representation for designing a load voltage controller that ensures the required
of load voltage magnitude and STATCOM reactive current on an
instantaneous basis. The particular coordinate transformation bandwidth and robustness to system variations. For example,
employed here also facilitates extraction of linearized system in [10], state feedback control is designed utilizing linearized
dynamics in conjunction with circuit simulators. It is rigorously STATCOM dynamics for dc bus voltage regulation and tracking
shown that the control problem of load voltage regulation using the reactive current to a reference that is generated via a PID
reactive current is nonminimum phase. Linear and nonlinear con- controller. The effect of variation in the distribution system pa-
trollers for the regulation problem are designed and compared via
simulation results. Internal dynamics of the STATCOM are mod- rameters is studied only with regard to the internal dynamics of
eled using the same strategy. Lyapunov based adaptive controllers the STATCOM. In [4], the composite system (i.e., the distribu-
are designed for controlling the STATCOM reactive current while tion system dynamics and the STATCOM dynamics) was con-
maintaining its dc bus voltage. Simulation results of the controlled sidered for regulation of load bus voltage and STATCOM dc bus
STATCOM integrated with the load bus voltage controller are voltage. For control design, a small signal model of the distribu-
presented to show efficacy of the modeling and control design.
tion system was derived by transforming the equivalent system
Index Terms—Flicker mitigation, nonlinear control, power impedance to a frame rotating at the system synchronous fre-
quality, static compensators (STATCOMs), system modeling,
voltage regulation. quency in steady state, thereby imposing a limitation on the dy-
namic response.
In this paper, a modeling strategy similar to that used for the
I. INTRODUCTION field oriented control of three phase ac machines is used (i.e.,
the frequency of the transformation is not assumed to be con-
I N A POWER distribution system, fast load voltage regula-
tion is required to compensate for time varying loads such
as electric arc furnaces, fluctuating output power of wind gener-
stant). This gives a clearer representation of instantaneous load
bus voltage magnitude and STATCOM reactive current without
ation systems, and transients on parallel connected loads (e.g., any restriction on the dynamics. This derived model is exact and
line start of induction motors) [1]–[3]. Reactive power sources can be used for control design using linear or nonlinear tech-
are commonly used for load voltage regulation in the presence niques. It is shown how circuit simulators with analog behav-
of disturbances. Due to their high control bandwidth, static com- ioral modeling capability can be used to extract linearized sys-
pensators (STATCOMs), based on three phase pulse width mod- temdynamics without the need for writing all state equations
ulated voltage source converters, have been proposed for this explicitly. As a first step, the system model is utilized to ad-
application [4]–[7]. For effecting fast control, the STATCOM dress the problem of bus voltage regulation with the STATCOM
is usually modeled using the axis theory for balanced three assumed to be a controlled reactive current source. It is rigor-
phase systems, which allows definition of instantaneous reactive ously shown that this control problem is nonminimum phase for
current and instantaneous magnitude of phase voltages (e.g., see certain operating conditions and thus has an inherent limitation
[8]). on the achievable dynamic response; a physical explanation for
Most literature on STATCOM control concentrates on control this phenomena is also presented. Subsequently, linear and non-
of STATCOM output current and dc bus voltage regulation for linear controllers are designed and their performance compared
a given reactive current reference. This current reference is gen- via simulation results. The next step involves controlling the
erated from a PID controller that regulates the load bus voltage. STATCOM to behave as a reactive current source while main-
taining its dc bus voltage. This problem is addressed by means
of a Lyapunov based adaptive controller. The STATCOM con-
Manuscript received April 23, 2004; revised November 23, 2004. Paper no.
TPWRD-00203-2004. trol rapidly regulates the reactive current to its reference (com-
A. K. Jain is with Analog Power Design, Inc., Lakeville, MN 55044 USA puted from the load bus voltage controller) and regulates the
(e-mail: dc bus voltage via the real current absorbed by the STATCOM.
K. Joshi and A. Behal are with the Electrical and Computer Engi-
neering Department, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699 USA (e-mail: The values of the parasitics used in the controller are obtained; on-line via gradient based estimation schemes. The controlled
N. Mohan is with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Depart- STATCOM is then integrated with the distribution system model
ment, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455-0213 USA (e-mail: and the load bus voltage controller. Simulation results of the in-
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2005.855489 tegrated system show the efficacy of the strategy.
0885-8977/$20.00 © 2006 IEEE

Fig. 2. Orientation of reference frames.

is the source resistance, and is the coupling capacitor.

Under the assumption that zero sequence components are not
present, (1)–(2) can be transformed to an equivalent two phase
- system by applying the following three to two phase trans-
where the complex number . This is followed
by a rotational transformation:
Applying the two transformations, (1) and (2) can be written as
Fig. 1. (a) One phase of the system model. (b) d-axis equivalent circuit. (c)
q -axis equivalent circuit. (6)
where is yet to be designed and may be a function of
The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes the time. The equivalent circuits corresponding to the real ( -axis)
distribution system modeling. The nonminimum phase nature of and imaginary ( -axis) components of the equation are shown
the system is discussed in Section 3. Section 4 compares the per- in Fig. 1(b) and (c), respectively
formance of linear and nonlinear controllers for load bus voltage
regulation. Nonlinear control of the STATCOM is presented in B. Choice of Reference Frame
Section 5. Simulation results of the integrated system are illus- We choose the reference frame similar to that used for
trated in Section 6. field-oriented control of three phase ac machines. Thus, the
angle used in (4) is implying
A. System Description Defining , where is the frequency of the infi-
The system considered here is a simplified model of a load nite bus phase voltages, we get , where is
supplied on a distribution system. A STATCOM is connected the constant magnitude of the infinite bus voltage. The relative
in parallel with the load. One phase of the model is shown in orientation of the vectors , and the reference frame
Fig. 1(a). It consists of: the source modeled as an infinite bus are shown in Fig. 2. Ignoring losses, a STATCOM only supplies
with inductive source impedance, the load modeled by a resis- reactive power so that . The system equations can now
tance 1, the STATCOM modeled as a controllable current source, be rewritten as
and a coupling capacitor. The coupling capacitor is included for (8)
two reasons: (1) a real STATCOM may have an L-C filter at its
output or have fixed compensation capacitors connected in par- (9)
allel, and (2) if the capacitor is not included, then the line current (10)
and the STATCOM output current are not independent [11] and (11)
the transformation is not well defined. It is assumed that the
source, load, and STATCOM are balanced three phase systems. (12)
The system dynamics are described by where (12) is derived using (7). It should be noted that varies
(1) with time and is different from . Simplified equivalent circuits
with this choice of reference frame are shown in Fig. 3.
Here, , and are vectors consisting C. Advantages of the System Representation
of the individual phase quantities denoted in Fig. 1(a), Since represents the instantaneous magnitude
is the load conductance, is the source inductance, of the phase voltages , while denotes the instanta-
1For simplicity of presentation, a purely resisitive load has been considered
neous reactive current supplied by the STATCOM and is the
here; this apparent loss of generality is, however, not restrictive and reactive control input to the system. In the absence of negative sequence
impedances can be effectively handled as discussed in [12]. components, all the state variables in (8)–(11) are constants in

increasing and reaches its steady state value. Linearization

of the system model revealed that the small signal transfer
function has one Right Half Plane (RHP)
zero for certain operating conditions. Bode plots of the transfer
function for various operating conditions, each corresponding
to a different value of , are shown in Fig. 5. The system
data used are taken from [7] but the load is assumed to be
purely resistive. The system parameters are

An inspection of the equivalent circuits shown in Fig. 3 re-

veals the peculiar behavior of our system. Assume that at
Fig. 3. Simplified equivalent circuits: (a) d-axis, (b) q -axis.
is increased as a step. Since the line inductance prevents
an instantaneous change in , the current reduces in-
steady state. Thus, the balanced three phase system is effectively stantaneously. Since the coupling capacitor precludes an in-
transformed to an equivalent dc system and the control problem stantaneous change in , the immediate effect is a reduction
is simplified to control of dc quantities as opposed to the si- in . If the operating condition of the system prior to the step
nusoidally varying quantities. (12) defines , and therefore , change was such that , then starts reducing due
using quantities in the frame so that the transformation is to a reduction in value of the controlled voltage source .
a diffeomorphism [13] (i.e., the to transform and its in- From the first order dynamics of (8), a decrease in is im-
verse are continuously differentiable). Thus, (8)–(12) define the minent. Once starts increasing due to a reduction of the
system completely and can be used to design linear or nonlinear controlled voltage source , then and consequently,
controllers. , start to increase. If the initial system condition is such that
The transformed system can be represented, in the form of , then a reduction in does not cause to de-
equivalent circuits, using circuit simulators with analog behav- crease. Thus, the system exhibits nonminimum phase behavior
ioral modeling capabilities. The and axis equivalent circuits only for . Fig. 6(a) and (b) show the simulated step
shown in Fig. 1(b) and (c) can be easily derived from the single response for the uncontrolled open loop system for cases where
phase circuit in Fig. 1(a). Inductors and capacitors are aug- and respectively. We refer the inter-
mented by appropriate controlled voltage and current sources ested reader to Appendix A for a nonlinear systems approach to
connected in series and parallel, respectively. Three phase proving the nonminimum phase nature of the system via a study
sinusoidal ac sources with constant amplitude are replaced by of its zero dynamics.
controlled dc sources (e.g., ).
Finally, two additional equations corresponding to (11)–(12) IV. LOAD VOLTAGE CONTROL
are needed to define and . Thus, a more complicated system
Based on the distribution system model described in the pre-
can be modeled without the need for writing all the state
ceding sections, we now proceed to design both linear as well as
equations explicitly.
nonlinear controllers. We then compare the dynamic and steady-
Since all the states are constant in steady state, operating point
state response of the control strategies via simulation results.
calculation is possible by equating the state derivatives to zero.
This can be done by a “dc bias point calculation” in a circuit A. Linear Controller
simulator. The system can be linearized about calculated oper-
ating points to obtain either state space data or bode plots of the Bode Plots of the linearized system shown in Fig. 5 are
linearized system. For this paper, MATLAB/SIMULINK along used along with the Single Input Single Output Design Tool in
with the Power System Blockset is used for modeling the equiv- MATLAB to design a simple linear controller with feedback
alent circuits. Fig. 4 shows the SIMULINK block diagram of the of the load bus voltage alone. The worst case bode plot, corre-
system. All results presented in this paper were obtained from sponding to the minimum value of RHP zero (1400 rad s ),
the equivalent circuits based model and verified by direct mod- is used. A purely integral compensator with the parameters
eling of (8)–(12). indicated below suffices


The distribution system modeled by the dynamics of (8)–(12)
has nonminimum phase when is chosen as the output of
the system with as the control input, i.e., the B. Nonlinear Controller Design
immediate effect of a step increase in is a reduction The nonlinear technique presented here involves a static co-
or “undershoot” in the output after which the output starts ordinate transformation followed by feedback linearization [13]

Fig. 4. SIMULINK block diagram of distribution system model.

Fig. 5. Bode plots of system for different values of I .

Fig. 6. Response of open loop system to step increase in i : (a) i (0) > 0,
in combination with a gradient based estimator for the load con-
(b)i (0) <0.

ductance. The control input is determined as follows:

, and is a control gain. Variables with the
superscript ‘ ’ represent quasi steady state solution obtained
by setting the left hand side of (8)–(12) to zero while replacing

Fig. 7. Parallel connection of a time varying load.

with its dynamic estimate in (8). The load conductance

estimate is obtained as

where is a positive control gain. Motivation behind this con-

trol scheme and detailed stability analysis are included in [12].

C. Simulation Results: Controller Comparison

The controllers designed above were verified via SIMULINK
based simulations. The nonlinear controller using feedback of
the measurable state (henceforth -controller), and the output
feedback linear controller are compared with respect to regu-
lation of voltage with change in load , change in voltage
reference , and the ability to mitigate voltage flicker due
to a parallel connected load with time varying resistance. For
study of flicker mitigation, it is assumed that a time varying load
is supplied by the same distribution system and connected as
shown in Fig. 7. The time varying load has a resistance which
is modeled as , where
[Hz] represents the frequency at which human eye is
most sensitive to the resulting light flicker [1]. System parame-
ters additional to those already stated are listed below
Fig. 8. Step change in v from 1.00 to 0.95 and back to 1.00 (p.u.).

of the current demanded by the time varying load and does not
try to regulate the load voltage explicitly. The percentage vari-
ation of voltage magnitude from its reference value is given by
For the nonlinear -controller, the best overall dynamic response
% . The percentage mitigation
was obtained with control gains , and .
obtained using the three controllers is listed in Table I. From
Fig. 8 compares the response of the designed controllers to
the table, it can be seen that the nonlinear -controller leads to
step changes in the reference bus voltage from 1.00 (p.u.) to
better mitigation of voltage flicker as compared with the linear
0.95 (p.u.) and back to 1.00 (p.u.). As seen, the -controller
controller and the active filter scheme. The 8.8-Hz parallel load
gives the best dynamic response. The linear controller has the
appears at beat frequencies in the axis frame. Since the
same settling time for both step increase and decrease in
open loop gain crossover frequency for the linear controller is
while the -controller shows a smaller settling time for a step
55 (Hz), the STATCOM cannot completely compensate for the
increase in . As the STATCOM cannot supply or absorb real
disturbance. The controller bandwidth cannot be increased any
current, changes in response to the demanded change in the
further due to the nonminimum phase nature of the system. In
load current. It should be noted that the case of a step change
comparison, the simulation results show that the -controller
in is only of academic interest. The more important case is
is less conservative and gives better performance. Simulations
that of a step change in load.
carried out with the system parameters ( , and )
Fig. 9 shows the response of the controllers to step changes
allowed to vary around their nominal values confirmed that the
in load conductance from 100% (nominal) to 150%. Using the
nonlinear controller is robust to changes in system parameters.
linear controller, the load bus voltage error reaches 0.01 (p.u.)
in 5 (ms). However, there is a substantial overshoot in and
. With the -controller, the voltage settling time is 5 (ms)
and the overshoots observed in , and are sig- In this section, we address the problem of controlling the
nificantly lower than those obtained with the linear controller. STATCOM to act as a reactive current source while maintaining
Fig. 10 compares the ability of the controllers to miti- its dc bus voltage. Provided that the STATCOM internal states
gate voltage flicker. The commonly used scheme where the are measurable, the primary control objective is to rapidly regu-
STATCOM acts as an active filter (e.g., see [2]) is also com- late the reactive STATCOM current to the reference value
pared. In this scheme, the STATCOM supplies the reactive part that is generated by the load bus voltage controller. A


Fig. 11. STATCOM circuit representation.

secondary control objective is to bound the dc bus voltage

around a desired value denoted by . An additional control ob-
jective is to mitigate the dependence of the controller on knowl-
edge of model parameters via the use of adaptive control tech-
Fig. 9. Step change in g from 100% to 150%.
A. STATCOM Dynamics
The STATCOM considered here is a three phase inverter with
a dc bus capacitor and inductive filter on the line side (Fig. 11).
It is assumed that the internal dynamics of the STATCOM are
slower when compared to the switching frequency of the in-
verter [14], so that the STATCOM dynamics can be written as

Here, is the inverter dc bus voltage, is the inverter

output current, denotes the load voltage, denotes the duty
ratios for the inverter, while the subscript “abc” implies vectors
consisting of individual phase quantities. Parameters in these
equations are— dc bus capacitance, capacitor leakage
conductance, inverter filter inductance, and combined
inverter and inductor parasitic resistance. It should be noted
that and together model all of the parasitic losses in
the STATCOM. After applying the three phase to two phase
transformation given by (3) followed by the rotational transfor-
mation of (4), the STATCOM dynamics can be rewritten as:


where has been previously defined in (11), and

represent the state variables of the STATCOM, while and
Fig. 10. Voltage flicker mitigation. are the control inputs.

Fig. 12. Block diagram of integrated closed loop controller.

B. Control Design where is a positive estimation gain, , and the

In order to achieve the primary control objective of regulating conductance estimation error . Based on (19) and the
the STATCOM reactive current to its reference, one needs stability analysis carried out in [16], the dynamic estimate for
to define a regulation error as the parasitic conductance is designed as

From (15), it can be seen that can be utilized to achieve the with a positive constant adaptation gain. Parasitics repre-
primary control objective. Using (16) and (15) the control input sented by and are expected to vary slowly in steady state;
is designed as hence, along with an estimator for , an estimator for is also
designed as:

where is a positive control gain.

The secondary control objective is to bound around its ref- where is a positive constant adaptation gain
erence. This objective cannot be achieved directly by through
, and
(13) as there might be a possibility of going to zero during
a transient. By evaluating transfer functions of the system lin- . For a detailed proof of stability of the above
earized about various operating points, it was observed that the control scheme, see [16].
dynamics of (13)–(14) are nonminimum phase when and
are chosen as input and output signals, respectively. A stability VI. SIMULATIONS OF THE INTEGRATED SYSTEM
analysis of the zero dynamics is presented in [15]. Therefore, The STATCOM model and its control were integrated with
is controlled indirectly by controlling . Advantage is the power distribution system and load voltage controller in
taken of the fact that the system states attain constant values in SIMULINK. The nonlinear bus voltage controller ( -controller)
quasi steady state conditions, hence can be calculated by described in Section IV. provide a reactive current reference
setting (13)–(15) to zero. Using (14), the control input is then signal, , to the STATCOM controller. The other reference
designed as input to the STATCOM control is the desired constant dc bus
voltage, . A block diagram clearly showing the STATCOM
and system level control schemes is shown in Fig. 12. Simu-
lation results for this integrated system are presented for two
(18) cases, viz., step change in load and step change in load
where is a positive control gain, denotes a dynamic estimate voltage reference value . In addition to the system param-
for the parasitic conductance which is yet to be designed, and eters already listed earlier, the following parameters from [4]
the tracking error . To derive , we first define were used for simulating the integrated system:
an auxiliary signal, to mimic the dc bus voltage


Fig. 14. System variables for step change in g from 100% to 150%.

Fig. 13. System variables for step change in v from 1.00 to 0.95 and back the STATCOM being a controlled reactive current source. Thus,
to 1.00 (p.u.). using the controlled STATCOM, the bus voltage controller reg-
ulates to its reference value . The real current drawn by
The controller and estimator gains were chosen as the STATCOM , follows its reference value with a small
lag, as expected from its higher time constant of (ms).
The dc bus voltage is regulated to its reference value of 400
[V]. The values of and used in the system model were
maintained constant. However, the convergence of the estimates
where and are the time constants associated with and to the actual values after each transient proves the effectiveness
, respectively. of the estimation schemes.
During each transient, the dc bus voltage deviates from Fig. 14 shows the system response to a step increase in load
its reference value . The control inputs and as de- from 100% to 150%. As seen, the load voltage magnitude
signed in (17) and (18) ensure that both and reach is regulated to its reference value. The STATCOM reactive cur-
their reference values. It is then easy to see from (13)–(15) that rent follows its reference value closely, the real current
, where, . This implies that converges to its reference value with a small time lag, and
converges to with a purely system dependent time constant the dc bus voltage converges to its reference value.
, which is of the order of 100 (s) for the system pa-
rameters listed above. The slow convergence of can also be
explained by recalling that (a) is controlled indirectly, and VII. CONCLUSION
(b) the static relationship of and leads to a
value that is of the order of ( for our system). Indeed, This paper described a method of modeling and control strate-
this poor response was manifested in the simulation results. In gies for fast load voltage regulation using STATCOMs. The
order to avoid this slow transient, the design of (17) and (18) modeling strategy, similar to that used for field-oriented control
was modified to use the reference value instead of ; this of ac machines, clearly defines the bus voltage magnitude and
resulted in a satisfactory response for . Details of the stability reactive current input from the STATCOM on an instantaneous
analysis with this modification are provided in [15]. basis. The particular coordinate transform used also facilitates
Fig. 13 shows the response of the system variables to step extraction of linearized system dynamics with the help of cir-
changes in the reference bus voltage from 1.00 (p.u.) to 0.95 cuit simulators having analog behavioral modeling capabilities.
(p.u.) and back to 1.00 (p.u.). As seen, follows its reference Thus, more complex systems can be treated without the need for
value very closely, thereby justifying the assumption of writing all of the state equations explicitly.

The control problem of load voltage regulation using reactive Choosing as a parameter, the equilibrium points for
current as the control input was shown to be the nonminimum (20) and (21) are computed. This allows for the local sta-
phase for certain operating conditions, thereby limiting dynamic bility analysis of the system via linearization of (20) and
response using linear output feedback. Assuming the STATCOM (21) about these equilibrium points. We begin by defining
to be an instantaneous reactive current source, a linear controller . For the case when
with output feedback and a nonlinear controller with state feed- corresponding to , a pair of eigenvalues is
back were designed and compared via simulations. Results show obtained one of which is positive. Since the linearized system
thatthenonlinearcontrollerhasabettertransientresponseforload corresponding to (20) and (21) is unstable for , the
changes and leads to better mitigation of flicker arising from time nonlinear system given by (20) and (21) is also unstable [13]
varying loads. Robustness of the nonlinear controller to variation (i.e., the system (8)–(12) has unstable zero dynamics). For
in system parameters was confirmed via simulations. corresponding to , a pair of complex conju-
Subsequently, the problem of controlling the STATCOM to gate eigenvalues with negative real parts is obtained. Since the
make it behave as a controlled reactive current source was ad- linearized system corresponding to (20) and (21) is stable for
dressed. The modeling strategy used earlier was extended to the , the nonlinear system given by (20) and (21) is locally
STATCOM. The STATCOM has two outputs that need to be asymptotically stable. For the special case when , the
controlled—the reactive current and the dc bus voltage—and zero dynamics are given by
two inputs consisting of the inverter duty ratios transformed to
the dq frame. Fast control of the reactive current is achieved
using direct feedback linearization with respect to one control and are asymptotically stable to the equilibrium point. Thus,
input. The other control input is used to indirectly regulate the dc it can be concluded that the system described by (8)–(12) is a
bus capacitor voltage via regulation of the real current to a quasi nonminimum phase for .
steady state value. The quasi steady state value depends on par-
asitics which are obtained online using gradient-based estima-
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Amit Jain (S’97–M’04) received the M.Tech. degree Aman Behal (M’03) received the M.Tech. degree
in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute
Technology, Bombay, India, in 1996, and the M.S. of Technology, Bombay, India, in 1996 and the
and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Ph.D. degree in controls and robotics from Clemson
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 2000 and University, Clemson, SC, in 2001.
2003, respectively. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor with the
Currently, he is with Analog Power Design, Inc., Electrical and Computer Engineering Department,
Lakeville, MN. His research interests include electric Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, where he has
motor drives, switched-mode power converters, and been since 2003. His research focuses on the control
utility applications of power electronics. of nonlinear systems with special interest in visual
servoing, robotics, underactuated systems, motor
control, and power quality.

Ned Mohan (S’72–M’73–SM’91–F’96) is Oscar A.

Schott Professor of Power Electronics at the Univer-
sity of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where he has been
Karan Joshi (S’04) received the Bachelor of teaching since 1976. He has been published in many
Engineering degree in electrical and electronics power electronics publications. He has written three
engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad, books: Power Electronics: Converters, Applications,
India, in 2001, and the M.S. and M.E. degrees in and Design (Wiley, 2003); Electric Drives: An Inte-
electrical engineering from Clarkson University, grative Approach (MNPERE, 2001); Advanced Elec-
Potsdam, NY, in 2003 and 2005, respectively. tric Drives, Analysis, Control and Modeling Using
His research interests are generator grounding, Simulink (MNPERE, 2001).
control of flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS) Dr. Mohan is a recipient of the Distinguished
devices, and power quality. Teaching Award presented by the Institute of Technology, University of