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The proliferation of power electronics-based equipment has produced a significant impact on the quality of electric power supply. Nowadays, much of the equipment is based on power electronic devices, often leading to problems of power quality. At the same time this equipment is typically equipped with microprocessor-based controllers which are quite sensitive to deviations from the ideal sinusoidal line voltage. Conventional power quality mitigation equipment is proving to be inadequate for an increasing number of applications, and this fact has attracted the attention of power engineers to develop dynamic and adjustable solutions to power quality problems. One modern and very promising solution that deals with both load current and supply voltage imperfections is the Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC). This thesis investigates the development of UPQC protection scheme and control algorithms for enhanced performance. This work is carried out on a 12 kVA prototype UPQC. In order to protect the series inverter of the UPQC from overvoltage and overcurrent during short circuits on the load side of the UPQC, the secondary of the series transformer has to be short-circuited in a reasonably short time (microseconds). A hardware-based UPQC protection scheme against the load side short circuits is derived and its implementation and effectiveness is investigated. The main protection element is a crowbar connected across the secondary of the series transformer and consisting of a pair of antiparallel connected thyristors, which is governed by a very simple Zener diode based control circuit. Also, the software-based UPQC protection approach is investigated, the implementation of which does not require additional hardware.
Axente, Iurie : Unified Power Quality Conditioner: protection and performance enhancement. Dublin : Dublin Institute of Technology, 2008