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Development of a low voltage static synchronous compensator STATCOM for educational use

Goodchild, Jordan (2016) Development of a low voltage static synchronous compensator STATCOM for educational use. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Electrical power quality is essential in the effective transmission and distribution of power to consumers. With the increase in non-linear loads it is becoming more prevalent to maintain the quality of power supplied. Voltage sagging or swelling and power factor are two of the major power quality issues. By introducing a static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) into a system these power-quality issues can be significantly reduced and maintained effectively.

This project developed and tested the idea of constructing a low voltage static synchronous compensator for educational use, in which students could safely experiment with the concept and tools of power quality control. The end design goal was to construct a device capable of displaying the concepts of a STATCOM by producing a low voltage Alternating Current (AC) waveform to supply the given loads. Features of this project were to include a real-time display of system parameters and a switch with the ability to change between voltage control and power factor control.

The project incorporates the use of various components to achieve the desired STATCOM. Integrated into this system is an Arduino Uno microcontroller. This controller produces the triangular carrier waveform through direct digital synthesis. Additionally, it is responsible for the measurement and display of system data. The control signals produced by the comparison of the filtered Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) triangular waveform with a sinusoidal control signal are fed into an Infineon Dual Half-Bridge. Following this the output of the bridge is fed through a low pass filter to produce the required output sinusoid for the STATCOM.

Through several experiments the output waveform of the STATCOM was monitored and recorded. One of the parameters monitored for the STATCOM output was the total harmonic distortion of the output waves. At low amplitude modulation values the output waveform resembles a sinusoidal output however as expected at higher values the output waveforms begin to distort and resemble a square wave.

The major recommended future works are to design a control algorithms capable of performing voltage control and power factor control to display the concepts of power quality control. In addition to this a method of switching between the two control modes will require installation.

The project is unfortunately not considered to be at a completed, ready to implement stage. However, sufficient work has been undertaken and completed for another willing student to finalise the project.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Carter, Craig
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