Flicker mitigation in industrial systems
Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.
This thesis investigates the compensation of voltage flicker in an industrial environment. Industrial loads draw progressively less sinusoidal currents. These currents cause non-sinusoidal voltage drop over the line impedance, causing a distorted line voltage. The light output of incandescent electric lighting systems is quadratically proportional to the line voltage, and thus variations in the line voltage cause irritating variations in the output of such systems. Two tools to analyse flicker problems are developed: A USB data logger is built to log measured waveforms to computer hard disk. These data are analysed using a MATLAB implementation of the IEC-specified flicker meter. A converter-based flicker compensator is found to be the only compensator capable of compensating general flicker loads. Such a compensator is developed using the synchronous reference frame filtering technique. Several aspects of the compensator are dealt with in detail including selection of a current control strategy, calculation and implementation of the converter duty cycles and compensation of the various non-idealities in such a controller. Full compensation is contrasted to reactive compensation – the second option being less expensive but also less effective in the compensation of certain loads. The effectiveness of reactive compensation is found to be dependent not only on the type of load, but also on the type of line feeding the flicker load. Three industrial flicker loads are measured and analysed: a three-phase welder, a sawmill and a rock crusher. These loads are simulated, and the compensation proposed confirmed via these simulations. The compensation of the three-phase welder is tested using a hardware scale model. This verified the operation of the proposed flicker compensator in practice.