Grid frequency stability from a hydropower perspective

Sammanfattning: Many AC grids suffer from decreased frequency stability due to less system inertia. This has increased the risk of large-scale blackouts. This thesis and its papers address the frequency stability problem from a hydropower perspective.Grid frequency stability assessments often require accurate system inertia estimates. One approach is to estimate the inertia of all individual power plants and sum up the results. We implemented three inertia estimation methods on a Kaplan unit and compared their results. The generator contributed with 92-96% of the unit inertia, which verified the results from previous studies. However, the three methods estimated slightly different values for the unit inertia, which raises the question of when to use which method.Hydropower often deliver frequency control, yet we found no studies which validate Kaplan turbine models for large grid frequency disturbances on strong grids. Therefore, we performed frequency control tests on a Kaplan unit, implemented three hydropower models, and compared the simulation results to the measurement data. The models overestimated the change in output power and energy delivered within the first few seconds after a large change in frequency. Thus, it is important to have sufficient stability margin when using these types of hydropower models to assess the grid frequency stability.The Nordic transmission system operators are updating their frequency control requirements. We used measurement data and simulation models to assess whether improved runner blade angle control could help a Kaplan unit fulfill the coming requirements. The results showed that improved runner control does not improve the performance sufficiently for requirements fulfillment. The requirements are based on an assumption on minimum system inertia and became easier to fulfill if they were implemented with more system inertia. Thus, more inertia could allow more participants to deliver frequency control in the Nordic grid.