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Voltage stabilization in microgrids via quadratic droop control


J. W. Simpson-Porco, F. Dörfler, F. Bullo

IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, pp. 7582-7589

Motivated by the growing interest in energy technology and smart grid architectures, we consider the problem of voltage stability and reactive power balancing in low-voltage electrical networks equipped with DC/AC inverters (“microgrids”). It is generally believed that high-voltage equilibria of such networks are stable, but the locations of these equilibria are unknown, as is the critical network load where stability is lost. Inspired by the “control by interconnection” paradigm developed for port-Hamiltonian systems, we propose a novel droop-like inverter controller which is quadratic in the local voltage magnitude. Remarkably, under this controller the closed-loop network is again a well-posed electrical circuit. We find that the equilibria of the quadratic droop-controlled network are in exact correspondence with the solutions of a reduced power flow equation. For general network topologies, we study some simple yet insightful solutions of this equation, and for the frequently-encountered case of a parallel microgrid, we present a concise and closed-form condition for the existence of an exponentially stable high-voltage network equilibrium. Our condition establishes the existence of a critical inductive load for the network, which depends only on the network topology, admittances, and controller gains. We compare and contrast our design with the conventional droop controller, investigate the relationship between the two, and validate the robustness of our design through simulation.


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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@InProceedings { SimD_r:2013:IFA_4909,
    author={J. W. Simpson-Porco and F. D{\"o}rfler and F. Bullo},
    title={{Voltage stabilization in microgrids via quadratic droop
    booktitle={IEEE Conference on Decision and Control},
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