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Figure 1. A simple diagram of Synchronverter operation environment

Synchronverters or virtual synchronous generators[1][2] are inverters which mimic synchronous generators[3] to provide "synthetic inertia" for ancillary services in electric power systems.[4]


Standard inverters are very low inertia elements. During transient periods, which are mostly because of faults or sudden changes in load, they follow changes rapidly and may cause a worse condition, but synchronous generators have a notable inertia that can maintain their stability.

Recently by using more and more renewable energies, especially solar cells, more inverters have been used in grids and because of mentioned reason, this could endanger power system reliability.[5][6]


Hydro-Québec began requiring synthetic inertia in 2005 as the first grid operator. To counter frequency drop, the grid operator demands a temporary 6% power boost by combining the power electronics with the rotational inertia of a wind turbine rotor.[4] Similar requirements came into effect in Europe in 2016.[7][8]

Synchronverter Model[edit]

Figure 2. Power part of a synchronverter
Figure 3. The per-phase model of an SG connected to an infinite bus

Synchronverter structure can be divided into two parts: power part (see figure 2) and electronic part. The power part is energy transform and transfer path, including the bridge, filter circuit, power line, etc. The electronic part refers to measuring and control units, including sensors and DSP.

The important point in modeling synchronverter is to be sure that it has similar dynamic behavior to Synchronous generator (see figure 3). This model is classified into 2-order up to 7-order model, due to its complexity. However, 3-order model is widely used because of proper compromise between accuracy and complexity.[9]

where and are dq-axes components of terminal voltage.

While synchronverter terminal voltage and current satisfy these equations, synchronverter can be looked as Synchronous generator. This make it possible to replace it by a synchronous generator model and solve the problems easily.

Control strategy[edit]

Figure 4. Typical control structures for a grid-connected power inverter.(a) When controlled as a voltage supply.(b) When controlled as a current supply.

As shown in the figure 3, when the inverter is controlled as a voltage source, it consists of a synchronization unit to synchronize with the grid and a power loop to regulate the real power and reactive power exchanged with the grid. The synchronization unit often needs to provide frequency and amplitude.[10] But when inverter is controlled as a current source, the synchronization unit is often required to provide the phase of the grid only, so it is much more easier to control it as a current source.[11]

Figure 5. Compact control structure for a grid-connected inverter.

Since a synchronous is inherently able to synchronize with the grid, it is possible to integrate the synchronization function into the power controller without synchronization unit.[12] This results in a compact control unit, as shown in the figure 4.



Figure 6. Power part of three-phase synchronverter.

As mentioned before, synchronverters can be treated like synchronous generator, which make it easier to control the source, so it should be widely used in PV primary energy sources (PES).[13]


Wind turbine[15][4][edit]

DC microgrid[edit]

Synchronverter also is suggested to be used in microgrids because DC sources can be coordinated together with the frequency of the ac voltage, without any communication network.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fang Gao, M. Reza Iravani. “A control strategy for a distributed generation unit in grid-connected and autonomous modes of operation”, IEEE Transactions on power delivery, volume 23, pp. 850-859, (2008)
  2. ^ Yong Chen, Ralf Hesse, Dirk Turschner, et al. “Improvingthe gr id power quality using virtual synchronous machines”, Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Power Engineering, Energy and Electrical Drives, pp. 1 -6, (2011).
  3. ^ Qing-Chang, Zhong; Weiss, George (2011). "Synchronverters: Inverters That Mimic Synchronous Generators". IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. 58 (4): 1259–1267.
  4. ^ a b c Fairley, Peter (7 November 2016). "Can Synthetic Inertia from Wind Power Stabilize Grids?". IEEE. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Synchronverter-enabled DC power sharing approach for LVDC microgrids". IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. 2016.
  6. ^ Waffenschmidt, Eberhard; S.Y. Hui, Ron. "Virtual inertia with PV inverters using DC-link capacitors".
  7. ^ "Network Code on Requirements for Grid Connection Applicable to all Generators (RfG)". ENTSO-E. April 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  8. ^ "The utilization of synthetic inertia from wind farms and its impact on existing speed governors and system performance". ELFORSK. 2013. p. 6 (Summary). Retrieved 18 April 2017. Installing wind turbines with synthetic inertia is a way of preventing this deterioration.
  9. ^ Zhang, Chang-Hua; Qing-Chang, Zhong; Jin-Song, Meng; Xin, Chen. "An Improved Synchronverter Model and its Dynamic Behaviour Comparison with Synchronous Generator".
  10. ^ S. Shinnaka, “A novel fast-tracking D-Estimation method for single-phase signals,” IEEE Trans. Power Electron., vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 1081–1088, Apr. 2011.
  11. ^ M. Kazmierkowski and L. Malesani, “Current control techniques for threephase voltage-source PWM converters: A survey,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 45, no. 5, pp. 691–703, Oct. 1998.
  12. ^ Zhong, Qing-Chang (2014). "Self-Synchronized Synchronverters: Inverters Without a Dedicated Synchronization Unit". IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. 29 (2).
  13. ^ Ferreira; Brandao (2016). "Single-phase Synchronverter for Residential PV Power Systems".
  14. ^ Aouini, Raouia, et al. "Synchronverter-based emulation and control of HVDC transmission." IEEE Transactions on Power Systems 31.1 (2016): 278-286.
  15. ^ Ma, Zhenyu. Synchronverter-based control for wind power. Diss. © Zhenyu Ma, 2012.
  16. ^ Peyghami, Saeed; Davari, Pooya; Mokhtari, Hossein; Chiang Loh, Poh (2016). "Synchronverter-Enabled DC Power Sharing Approach for LVDC Microgrids". IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics.