A robust exciter controller design for synchronous condensers in weak grids

Sajjad Hadavi, Dayan Rathnayake, Shantha Gamini Jayasinghe, Ali Mehrizi-Sani, Behrooz Bahrani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Weak grid scenarios and low-inertia systems are emerging issues in power systems, which could lead to voltage and frequency instabilities. Synchronous Condensers (SynCons) have recently drawn renewed attention as a promising solution to provide system strength and inertia support. Even though the exciter control of SynCons is a well-established technology, further developments are required to guarantee the stability of post-fault operations, in particular, in weak grids. This paper proposes a data-driven approach for designing higher-order optimized exciter controllers to meet this requirement. A pseudo-random binary sequence (PRBS)-based system identification method is used to obtain frequency response data of the power system, from the exciter point of view, which is then fed into the proposed optimal control design procedure. The proposed exciter controller is tested for voltage ride-through and fault scenarios in a single machine infinite bus (SMIB) case and the IEEE 39-bus test system to assess its performance compared to the conventional AC1A exciter controller. The results obtained through simulation tests carried out using the PSCAD/EMTDC software verify that the proposed exciter controller guarantees the post-fault stability in both strong and weak grids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1857-1867
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Exciter control
  • Frequency response
  • Oscillators
  • Power system stability
  • Reactive power
  • Regulators
  • robust controller
  • Rotors
  • Stability criteria
  • synchronous condenser
  • system identification
  • weak grid

Cite this