Main Content

Control Power Flow Using UPFC and PST


The example described in this section illustrates application of Simscape™ Electrical™ Specialized Power Systems software to study the steady-state and dynamic performance of a unified power flow controller (UPFC) used to relieve power congestion in a transmission system.

If you are not familiar with the UPFC, please see the reference page for the Unified Power Flow Controller (Phasor Type) block.

Description of the Power System

The single-line diagram of the modeled power system is shown in 500 kV / 230 kV Transmission System.

500 kV / 230 kV Transmission System

A UPFC is used to control the power flow in a 500 kV /230 kV transmission system. The system, connected in a loop configuration, consists essentially of five buses (B1 to B5) interconnected through three transmission lines (L1, L2, L3) and two 500 kV/230 kV transformer banks Tr1 and Tr2. Two power plants located on the 230 kV system generate a total of 1500 MW which is transmitted to a 500 kV, 15000 MVA equivalent and to a 200 MW load connected at bus B3. Each plant model includes a speed regulator, an excitation system as well as a power system stabilizer (PSS). In normal operation, most of the 1200 MW generation capacity of power plant #2 is exported to the 500 kV equivalent through two 400 MVA transformers connected between buses B4 and B5. For this example we are considering a contingency case where only two transformers out of three are available (Tr2= 2*400 MVA = 800 MVA). The load flow shows that most of the power generated by plant #2 is transmitted through the 800 MVA transformer bank (899 MW out of 1000 MW) and that 96 MW is circulating in the loop. Transformer Tr2 is therefore overloaded by 99 MVA. The example illustrates how a UPFC can relieve this power congestion. The UPFC located at the right end of line L2 is used to control the active and reactive powers at the 500 kV bus B3, as well as the voltage at bus B_UPFC. The UPFC consists of two 100 MVA, IGBT-based, converters (one shunt converter and one series converter interconnected through a DC bus). The series converter can inject a maximum of 10% of nominal line-to-ground voltage (28.87 kV) in series with line L2.

This example is available in the power_upfc model. Load this model and save it in your working directory as case2to allow further modifications to the original system.

Using the Machine Initialization tool of the Powergui block, the model has been initialized with plants #1 and #2 generating respectively 500 MW and 1000 MW and with the UPFC out of service (Bypass breaker closed). The resulting power flow obtained at buses B1 to B5 is indicated on the model by red numbers. This load flow corresponds to load flow shown in the single-line diagram, in 500 kV / 230 kV Transmission System.

Power Flow Control with the UPFC

Parameters of the UPFC are given in the dialog box. Verify, in the Power data parameters, that the series converter is rated 100 MVA with a maximum voltage injection of 0.1 pu. The shunt converter is also rated 100 MVA. Also verify, in the control parameters, that the shunt converter is in Voltage regulation mode and that the series converter is in Power flow control mode. The UPFC reference active and reactive powers are set in the magenta blocks labeled Pref(pu) and Qref(pu). Initially the Bypass breaker is closed and the resulting natural power flow at bus B3 is 587 MW and -27 Mvar. The Pref block is programmed with an initial active power of 5.87 pu corresponding to the natural power flow. Then, at t=10s, Pref is increased by 1 pu (100 MW), from 5.87 pu to 6.87 pu, while Qref is kept constant at -0.27 pu.

Run the simulation and look on the UPFC scope how P and Q measured at bus B3 follow the reference values. Waveforms are reproduced below.

UPFC Dynamic Response to a Change in Reference Power from 587 MW to 687 MW

At t=5 s, when the Bypass breaker is opened, the natural power is diverted from the Bypass breaker to the UPFC series branch without noticeable transient. At t=10 s, the power increases at a rate of 1 pu/s. It takes one second for the power to increase to 687 MW. This 100 MW increase of active power at bus B3 is achieved by injecting a series voltage of 0.089 pu with an angle of 94 degrees. This results in an approximate 100 MW decrease in the active power flowing through Tr2 (from 899 MW to 796 MW), which now carries an acceptable load. See the variations of active powers at buses B1 to B5 on the VPQ Lines scope.

UPFC P-Q Controllable Region

Now, open the UPFC dialog box and select Show Control parameters (series converter). Select Mode of operation = Manual Voltage injection. In this control mode the voltage generated by the series inverter is controlled by two external signals Vd, Vq multiplexed at the Vdqref input and generated in the Vdqref magenta block. For the first five seconds the Bypass breaker stays closed, so that the PQ trajectory stays at the (-27Mvar, 587 MW) point. Then when the breaker opens, the magnitude of the injected series voltage is ramped, from 0.0094 to 0.1 pu. At 10 s, the angle of the injected voltage starts varying at a rate of 45 deg/s.

Run the simulation and look on the UPFC scope the P and Q signals who vary according to the changing phase of the injected voltage. At the end of the simulation, double-click on the blue block labeled “Double click to plot UPFC Controllable Region.” The trajectory of the UPFC reactive power as function of its active power, measured at bus B3, is reproduced below. The area located inside the ellipse represents the UPFC controllable region.

UPFC Controllable Region

Power Flow Control Using a PST

Although not as flexible as the UPFC, the phase shifting transformer (PST) is nevertheless a very efficient means to control power flow because it acts directly on the phase angle δ, as shown in Power Transfer Between Two Voltage Sources Without and With PST. The PST is the most commonly used device to control power flow on power grids.

Power Transfer Between Two Voltage Sources Without and With PST

You will now use a PST with an on load tap changer (OLTC) to control the power flow on your power system. A phasor model of PST using the delta hexagonal connection is available in the Simscape > Electrical > Specialized Power Systems > Power Grid Elements library. For details on this PST connection, please refer to the Three-Phase OLTC Phase Shifting Transformer Delta-Hexagonal (Phasor Type) block reference page.

Delete the UPFC block in your model as well as the magenta blocks controlling the UPFC. Also delete the UPFC Measurements subsystem and the UPFC scope. Add the Three-Phase OLTC Phase Shifting Transformer Delta-Hexagonal (Phasor Type) block from the Simscape > Electrical > Specialized Power Systems > Power Grid Elements library into your model. Connect the ABC terminals to the B_UPFC bus and connect the abc terminals to the B3 bus. Now, open the PST block dialog box and modify the following parameters:

Nominal parameters [Vnom(Vrms Ph Ph) Pnom(VA) Fnom (Hz)]

[500e3 800e6 60]

Number of taps per half tapped winding


The nominal power is set to 800 MVA (maximum expected power transfer through the PST). The number of taps is set to 20, so that the phase shift resolution is approximately 60/20 = 3 degrees per step.

In the power system, the natural power flow (without PST) from B_UPFC to B3 is P=+587 MW. If V1 and V2 in Power Transfer Between Two Voltage Sources Without and With PST represent the internal voltages of systems connected respectively to B_UPFC and B3, it means that the angle δ of equation 1 is positive. Therefore, according to equation 2, to increase power flow from B_UPFC to B3, the PST phase shift Ψ of abc terminals with respect to ABC terminals must be also positive. For this type of PST the taps must be moved in the negative direction. This is achieved by sending pulses to the Down input of the PST tap changer.

The tap position is controlled by sending pulses to either the Up input or the Down input. In our case, as we need to increase phase shift from zero toward positive values, we have to send pulses to the Down input. Copy a Pulse Generator block and connect it to the Down input of the PST. Open the block dialog box and modify the following parameters:



Pulse Width (% of period)


Therefore, every 5 seconds the taps will be moved by one step in the negative direction and the phase shift will increase by approximately 3 degrees.

Finally, connect a Bus Selector block to the measurement output m of the PST. Open its dialog box and select the following two signals:

  • Tap

  • Psi (degrees)

Connect these two signals to a two input scope to observe the tap position and the phase shift during simulation. Set the simulation time to 25 s and start simulation.

On the VPQ lines scope, observe voltages at buses B1 to B5 and active and reactive power transfer through these buses. The variation of tap position, PST phase shift Ψ and active power transfer through bus B3 (power through PST) and B4 (power through transformer Tr2) are reproduced on the figure below.

Control of Active Power Through B3 and B4 by Changing Tap Position of PST

Each tap change produces a phase angle variation of approximately 3 degrees, resulting in a 60 MW power increase through B3. At tap position -2, the power through transformer Tr2 as decreased from 900 MW to 775 MW, thus achieving the same goal as the UPFC for steady state control. You could get a better resolution in phase angle and power steps by increasing the number of taps in the OLTC.

You can notice that the discrete variation of phase angle produces overshoots and slight oscillations in active power. These power oscillations which are typical interarea electromechanical oscillations of machines in power plants 1 and 2 are quickly damped by the power system stabilizers (PSSs) connected on the excitation systems.

If you disconnect the PSS from the vstab input of the excitation system (located in the Reg_M1 and Reg_M2 subsystems of the power plants) you will realize the impact of PSS on interarea oscillation damping. The active power through B3 with and without PSS is reproduced below. Without PSS, the 1.2 Hz under damped power oscillations are clearly unacceptable.

Damping of Power Oscillations by PSS