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Isolated electrical power systems

The main interests in this work were isolated electrical power systems which are best described as power systems not interconnected with the national grid. The industrial power systems isolated from the grid are specifically established to provide electrical power supply to industrial plants. They range from a few kW to up to a few hundreds of MW.

Practical problems in design of industrial isolated power systems (harmonics related)
Practical problems in design of industrial isolated power systems (harmonics related) – photo credit: ABB

Thesis Outline

This thesis is arranged in the following Chapters:


Chapter 1

Chapter 1 is an introductory part which describes the purpose and objectives and gives a brief narrative about the work carried out in this research. The research work was carried out on a part time basis and it has complemented full time engineering design work performed on various industrial plants.

The experience gained over the work period was incorporated into this thesis through various text, tables, charts and figures. This chapter lists those projects in a chronological order.


Chapter 2

Chapter 2 describes the literature search about industrial power systems in the areas of power generation, distribution and electrical loads.

The key focus area of this work is the current and voltage harmonics on industrial power systems and the source of harmonics caused by non-linear loads such as electric heaters, variable speed drives, cyclo-converters, LCI and VSI synchronous drives.

A literature search was carried out with the aim to find out what types of issue are associated with the focus areas.

It starts with a brief summary of literature sources, followed by a summary of the literature related to:

  1. Electrical power systems for industrial plants;
  2. The source of current harmonics in industrial plants;
  3. Practical issues with system harmonics;
  4. Industrial power system harmonics; and
  5. Mitigation strategy for reducing system harmonics.

All literature listed in this chapter is directly referenced in the body of the report and is highly relevant to this research work.


Chapter 3

Chapter 3 focuses on electrical power systems with an average load of up to 25 MW such as oil and gas off-shore production facilities. Two plant types are described and analysed, firstly an FPSO followed by a wellhead platform. The chapter starts with a description of the design process of an off-shore oil and gas industrial power system.

Front end engineering, detail design, electrical engineering specifications, industry standards, and statutory regulations are some of the topics covered in this section.

The chapter focuses on the selection of power generation type and the number of units. It explains the design process based on load list calculation and then proposes a new approach based on power system modelling suitable for load flow, short circuit and harmonic studies. The issues associated with subsea cables supplying off-shore facilities are discussed and calculation of the voltage drop of the subsea cable supplying a small load is described.

A separate section of this chapter describes various non-linear loads seen as the source of current harmonics, such as AC UPS systems, LV and MV VSD systems, rectifiers and thyristor controlled electric process heaters.

The last section includes harmonic measurements on an interconnected industrial plant comprising a large rectifier. It describes a technical solution implemented for the plant expansion project and the harmonic mitigation techniques applied in the design.

Configuration of typical wellhead platform electrical power
Configuration of typical wellhead platform electrical power

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 describes a typical gold processing plant comprising around 100 MW power generation capacity. The plant distribution network consists of cables and transmission lines powering various load centres.

The major non-linear load includes cycloconverters feeding SAG mill synchronous ring motors. Functional description of the SAG mill is briefly described followed by the description of practical cycloconverters.

The analytical formulae of the load waveform for a typical 6-pulse cycloconverter are presented. In 2005 harmonic measurements and switching transients were carried out on a gold processing plant comprising two SAG mills. The results of the measurements are presented and linked to the power system analysis technique.

The hypothesis set out in the previous chapter suggesting that harmonic studies be carried out at a very early stage of the design process is discussed in the context of the harmonic measurement analysis. A list of original contributions is provided at the end of the chapter.


Chapter 5

Chapter 5 describes a typical LNG plant comprising its power generation and large electrically driven compressor motors. Such plant would have the capacity of around 500 MW.

The chapter describes a practical solution for electrically driven compressors and recommends the type of electrical drive best suited for the plant.

LCI and VSI variable speed drives are described and advantages and disadvantages of each type are listed. Special focus is put on the generation of current harmonics on the line side and mitigation strategies for reducing the system harmonics.

The timing and scope of harmonic analysis is discussed and compared with current industry practice.


Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is the last chapter and it is comprised of conclusion statements. It summarizes material presented in previous chapters and contains design guidelines about the location and selection of non-linear loads in a typical isolated industrial plant.

It states original contribution and provides recommendations for further research.

Title: Harmonics related problems in practical design of isolated industrial power systems – Stjepan Maticevic, Thesis presented for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Curtin University
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Pages: 260
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Practical problems in design of industrial isolated power systems (harmonics related)
Practical problems in design of industrial isolated power systems (harmonics related)

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One Comment


  1. Sampath Bidari
    Nov 28, 2019

    Electrical is Such a Branch of Engineering ,Which is useful in everyone’s every day life.It drives every thing,every where.

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