Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan Carlos Balda
Important adverse effects of unbalanced loading in three-phase distribution feeders are additional system losses, overheating of feeders and motor loads, and unequal voltage drops. The main goal of this project is to develop an unbalanced-current static compensator (UCSC) for correcting current imbalances in three-phase distribution systems, and thus, overcoming the above adverse effects. The UCSC compensates for both active and reactive components of each phase current. The initial topology will consist of fundamental-frequency (distribution) transformers, H-bridges for AC-DC conversion, and electrolytic capacitors. The research team will explore different topologies in order to determine the most cost-effective option. The development of the control algorithm is one of the most important activities. Each phase of the UCSC injects a compensating current into the distribution feeder independently of the currents injected into the other two phases. The research team will analyze the operation of the USCS as stand-alone equipment or coordinated with the substation power transformer. The first year of the research project will consider the UCSC design for a selected application including simulations to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed ideas. The second year of the project will seek to develop a prototype.