Research Article Open Access

Electric Power System Under-Voltage Load Shedding Protection Can Become a Trap

Luiz Augusto Pereira Fernandes, Alexandre Rocco, Heraldo Silveira Barbuy and Geraldo Caixeta Guimarães


Problem statement: Under-Voltage Load Shedding (UVLS) protection of Electric Power Systems (EPS) is frequently used against Voltage Collapse (VC), however when there is automatic bus voltage regulation with excessive capacitive compensation, the UVLS scheme may not trip. In this case, load shedding must be based in a Voltage Collapse Proximity Indicator (VCPI). Many UVLS procedures may not be appropriate today. Approach: In order to elucidate the problem stated, several studies were carried out using MatLab/SimPowerSystems. In the first case, it was simulated a reduced electric system consisting of an infinite-bus feeding a load through a large impedance line. Two other cases were simulated now including a fixed capacitive impedance (representing a saturated SVC or similar) with 25 and 60 MVAr, both with a generator regulating the load bus voltage. Graphic curves representing the load bus voltage versus time were obtained with the application of a ramp power load. Results: In all cases the curves showed if there was sufficient time to command the UVLS scheme. The usual UVLS criteria failed for the third case. As the capacitive reactive power of the saturated compensation devices was increased, their equivalent capacitance, corresponding to the sum of maximum MVAr capacities, grows. The load demand increase, after MVAr saturation, can cause a voltage decrement which is too fast for UVLS adequate operation. Conclusion/Recommendations: Based in past experiences, any operator could be confident on existing UVLS protection of some area, but a VC can occur with the current situation without UVLS trip, as stated. It was suggested to check the current UVLS operation conditions, especially in areas where there was a growth of both load demand and reactive power resources. When UVLS method is found ineffective, then a suggestion is to replace it by a technique based upon some VCPI.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 6 No. 8, 2009, 1526-1530


Submitted On: 31 May 2009 Published On: 31 August 2009

How to Cite: Fernandes, L. A. P., Rocco, A., Barbuy, H. S. & Guimarães, G. C. (2009). Electric Power System Under-Voltage Load Shedding Protection Can Become a Trap . American Journal of Applied Sciences, 6(8), 1526-1530.

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  • Electric power system
  • load shedding
  • SVC saturation
  • UVLS
  • voltage collapse