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Model of generator saturation for use in power system studies

G. Shackshaft, B.Eng., Ph.D., Mem. I.E.E.E., C.Eng., F.I.E.E., and P.B. Henser, M.Sc, Ph.D., D.I.C., A.C.G.I., C.Eng.. M.I.E.E.

Indexing terms:

Electric generators, Electric reactance, Magnetisation, Power systems

The representation of magnetic saturation of generators in power system studies is re-examined in the light of new test data obtained on 500 MW and 660 MW units. A new saturation model, of adequate simplicity for use in multimachine studies, is formulated and checked for accuracy. The parameters for use in the model are obtained firstly from no-load measurements but later in the paper it is shown that the parameters can be obtained from on-load measurements. The primary incentive for the work was to devise a method for the accurate calculation of generator rotor angle when operating at leading power factors. In the event, the model is shown to produce accurate calculation of both rotor angle and excitation requirements over the whole of the normal operating range.
List of symbols

Xdo,Xqo = unsaturated synchronous reactances (i.e. airgap-line values) Xd,Xq = saturated synchronous reactances Xado, Xaqo = unsaturated mutual reactances Xad > Xaq saturated mutual reactances Xa = armature leakage reactance Xsai Xd0 ~Xqo = saliency reactance Xi = saturated mutual reactance of intermediate axis 0 = angle between airgap voltage and direct axis (degrees) 5 = rotor angle, degrees Vag airgap-line voltage Id. Iq = stator currents Suffixes d and q indicate direct- and quadrature-axis parameters, respectively. Unless otherwise stated, all parameters are in per-unit. 1 Introduction

lation of the initial rotor-angle in the Northfleet exercise were due to inadequate representation of saturation in the quadrature axis. It was also concluded that none of the saturation models in use could adequately represent all the observed effects, and that further test evidence, involving both no-load and on-load results on a generator, was required. The CEGB has since carried out a number of such measurements on large generators (two 500 MW and one 660 MW units), and these have enabled a new saturation model to be formulated and validated; the purpose of this paper is to report this work.
2 2.1 The representation of saturation Mathematical model

The saturation characteristics of the direct and quadrature axes are represented by the following two equations (Fig. 1 refers):

= l+md (V*W) = l+mQ


Accurate calculation of iron-saturation effects in synchronous machines has been the objective of many workers during the last decade. The methods employed have been based on the use of digital computers and have been categorised as finite-difference,1 finiteelement2 and discrete-reluctance3 methods. All have examined the problem from the machine designer's point of view, and have been primarily concerned with the accuracy of calculation of excitation requirements, and, hence, very complex models have been solved; in general, computation time has been of secondary importance. In the same period, power-system analysts have come to understand the importance of machine saturation in large-scale system studies and have been seeking suitable analytical methods. Here, the main concern is to devise a simple model which is very efficient in computing time, bearing in mind that a power system involving many machines is likely to be studied, and yet to have a model which is sufficiently accurate for the purposes for which it is being used. The main problem has recently been identified as that of calculating or measuring the saturation characteristic of the quadrature axis to enable an accurate calculation of generator rotor-angle to be made. The importance of quadrature-axis saturation was generally recognised as a result of an international exercise organised by CIGRE4 which was based on system fault tests carried out by the CEGB on an underexcited 120 MW generator at Northfleet Power Station.5 The exercise was primarily concerned with comparing the accuracy of calculation of mechanical and electromagnetic transients, but an important byproduct was that it revealed errors in the calculation of the starting rotor-angle of the test generator. This led to a further CIGRfi investigation6 which sought to collect test evidence on the saturation characteristics of generators, particularly of the quadrature axis, and on the models used to represent it in computer programs. On the basis of the test evidence submitted, it was concluded that, for large modern machines, the saturation characteristics of the direct and quadrature axes are quite different, and that the errors in the calcu-

Hence, given the airgap voltage in the axis under consideration, the mutual reactances in the direct and quadrature axes are given by
Xads =

(3) (4)

Xaqs =

excitation current, p.u Paper 8368P, first received 1st December 1978 and in revised form 17th April 1979 Dr. Shackshaft and Dr. Henser are with the System Technical Branch, Planning Department, Central Electricity Generating Board, 15 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7A U, England Fig. 1

Normalised saturation characteristics

a Airgap line b Direct axis c Quadrature axis

PROC. IEE, Vol. 126, No. 8, AUGUST 1979

759 0020-3270/79/080759 + 05 $01-50/0

The above representation of saturation characteristics is not new. It is being used in many computer programs for power-system analysis, but this particular representation is not an important aspect of the model described herein. The first assumption used in the model, which is based on experimental observation, is that there is a sinusiodal variation of permeance in the airgap between the direct and quadrature axes. Hence, the mutual reactance in any intermediate axis (Xt), for a given airgap voltage is defined by Xi = Xads cos 0 + Xaqs sin 6 (5)

The second assumptipn used in the model, which is also based on experimental observation, is that the difference between the saturated values of the direct- and quadrature-axis mutual reactances is constant (Xsa{), and that these reactances are sinusiodally distributed about the intermediate mutual reactance (Xt) according to the following two equations:

direct and quadrature axes; each test was carried out from rated stator voltage (hence approximately constant airgap voltage) with the field winding on open circuit, and it is the initial conditions for the test that provide the key information. Such tests were carried out on only one (generator C) of the three generators to be discussed herein. From the measured initial values of active and reactive powers, stator voltage and current and rotor angle, and using the equations given in Appendix 9, values were calculated for the mutual reactance of the axis in which the airgap was positioned (Xt) and also for the mutual reactances in the direct (Xad) and quadrature (Xaq) axes. These calculated values are shown in Fig. 3, and whereas the curves, drawn using the assumption stated above, do not give a perfect fit, the agreement is sufficient to justify investigation of the assumptions. Two points need be made at this stage regarding the assumptions and the fitted test points shown in Fig. 3: (i) The sinusoidal variation of the reactance (Xt) is entirely consistent with Park's original formulation of the 2-axis model.7 Park ignored saturation in postulating sinusoidal variations, but the proposed model includes saturation and postulates sinusoidal variations for constant airgap voltage. (ii) The assumption that there is a constant difference between direct- and quadrature-axis synchronous reactances (i.e. regardless of load, saturation, etc.) has no sound theoretical basis, and it must be judged on the overall effectiveness of the model.
2.3 Data for the model

+ -^sril XggiSin sin 06 A i "" =.



+ Xulcos 6


The saturated values of the corresponding synchronous reactances are given by y


- y


^ '

The mutual reactance variations associated with the above assumptions are portrayed in Fig. 2.

The essential data are the saturation characteristics of both direct and quadrature axes. The characteristic of the direct axis presents no problem as this is always measured in the works prior to dispatch to the site. However, owing to repairs, many generator stators are not now associated with the rotors with which they were works-tested, and so new opencircuit characteristics were measured on site for each of the three generators discussed herein. Additionally, measurements were made of the saturation characteristic using the alternative method, in which the generator is excited from the power system with its rotor angle held at zero and with no field excitation; the stator voltage is varied using the generator transformer taps. Good agreement was obtained




Fig. 2

Diagrammatic portrayal of assumed variations of mutual reactances


Reasons for choice of model




The test information, which led to the choice of the model described above, was obtained somewhat by accident, since it came from tests which were not intended to explore saturation characteristics. The tests, which are known as either stator-decrement or fluxdecay tests and are used to obtain transient parameters, were carried out with the initial airgap voltage in various positions between the 760

Fig. 3

Measured mutual reactances and fitted curves

x Interdediate axis o Direct axis 0 Quadrature axis

PROC. IEE, Vol. 126, No. 8, AUGUST 1979

Table 1

Parameter Rated MW Power factor

Data source Design Design Test Calculation Calculation Test Test Test Test

A 660

B 500

C 500



0-85 2-055 1-81 0-185 0085 70 0-42 80

0-85 2-77 2-47 0-17 016 7-0 0-37 80

0-85 2-71 2-50 0-20 0095 70 0-39 8-0

Table 2 MEAN ERRORS IN ROTOR ANGLE AND FIELD CURRENT CALCULATIONS Generator Generator Generator A B C Number of tests 45 35 49 Mean rotor-angle 0-22 119 0-26 error, degrees Mean field-current 1-26 112 -109 error, %


0 5 b -10 -5 15

a. d,"08 o> o





0-5 -






quadrature-axis current, p.u Fig. 4 Measured points on saturation characteristic of quadrature axis and fitted curve
-5 active power, p io -10 -5

Fig. 6 Histograms of rotor-angle and field-current errors

a, b and c Rotor-angle errors for generators A, B and C, respectively d, e and / Field-current errors for generators A, B and C, respectively

-0-5 lead reactive power, p.u.

05 lag


Fig. 5 Performance chart of generator showing typical range of test points (Generator A)
Normal operating boundary Test point

but with the rotor angle held at 90. The problem lies in extrapolating the measured results, the range of which is limited by the generator transformer taps, to cover the full range of operating flux levels. The points in Fig. 4 show a typical range of test results, and it can be seen that the voltage can neither be reduced sufficiently to allow a check to be made on the calculated position of the airgap-line, nor be raised sufficiently to cover the full operating range of flux levels (Vag equal to about 1-1 p.u. is required for this, and up to 1-0 p.u. if the important leading power-factor range is to be adequately covered). This problem is discussed further in Section 5.

Testing the model

between the results obtained from the two methods for all three generators, and, thus, some test justification was obtained for the calculated values of the armature leakage reactance (Xa). The saturation characteristic of the quadrature axis presents rather more of a problem. It has to be measured on site with the generator excited from the power system, as described above for the direct axis, PROC. 1EE, Vol. 126, No. 8, AUGUST 1979

The procedure used to check the validity of the model was to construct it, as described above, using the results of open-circuit and no-load tests to obtain parameters, and then to use the model to calculate conditions with the generator on load and compare these with test results. The model parameters for the three generators discussed herein are given in Table 1. It is to be noted that only two of the parameters are obtained from design calculations. 761

The range of a typical set of on-load tests is shown in Fig. 5. Generally speaking, the measurements ranged from 25%100% of the rated load, with the reactive power loading ranging between the rated reactive load and that corresponding to a measured rotor angle of 90. For each test point, the model was supplied with the measured values of terminal voltage and active and reactive powers, and it used these to calculate values for rotor angle and field current. These calculated values were then compared with the measured values and the errors used to assess the accuracy of the model. The errors are defined by the following equations: Rotor-angle error (degrees) = calculated value measured value Field-current error (%) = (calculated value measured value) x 100 measured value





(1-81) 0-46 (0-42)


Generator Generator C B 2-41 2-55 (2-50) (2-47) 0-49 0-38 (0-39) (0-37)
9-4 6-7

Mean rotor-angle error, degrees (All tests) Mean rotor-angle error, degrees (Leading p.f. tests) Mean field-current error, % (All tests) Mean field-current error, % (Lagging p.f. tests) 015

(80) 0-46


The errors are plotted in histogram form in Fig. 6, and the mean errors are given in Table 2. The histograms show the number of results obtained in a given error band (1 for rotor angle and 1% for field current); each small square on the histograms represents a test result. It can be seen that in all cases the errors are reasonably distributed about near zero mean error and thus the scatter of the points can be attributed to test measurement errors. As stated earlier, the primary concern is to provide a model which gives a good calculation of rotor angle, particularly at leading power factors, having regard to the fact that in existing models the error tends to increase as operation is changed from lag to lead. To check on this, the errors were plotted against reactive power and an example is shown in Fig. 7. There is a slight, but not really significant, change in the mean rotor angle between lagging and leading operation; similar results were obtained for the other two generators. 4 Comparison with other models

0-22 0-25 (0-24) 1-50 (1-26) 0-18 (-016)


0-56 (1-38) 0-81 (112) -0-45 (-0-39)


(-109) -113 (-1-70)

Fig. 8a shows the errors using the proposed model, with a mean rotor-angle error of 0-7. Fig. 8b shows the errors for the model, frequently used by the CEGB and by others, in which the direct-axis saturation characteristic is used to saturate both direct and quadrature axes in an equal manner;8 the mean error is +5-1. Fig. 8c is for the model in which the direct-axis saturation characteristic is used to saturate the direct axis alone; the mean error is +7-4. Fig. 8d is for the model used in Fig. 86, except that the measured quadrature axis saturation characteristic is used to saturate both axes; the mean error is 2-3. An infrequently used model, which is not shown in Fig. 8, in which both saturation and synchronous saliency are ignored (XQ = Xd = constant), gives a mean error of +13-9. 5 An alternative approach

To demonstrate the improved accuracy of the proposed model, the rotor-angle errors for various models are shown in histogram form in Fig. 8. The results used in this comparison are from all the on-load leading-power-factor tests conducted on Generator A.
rotor -angle error, degrees

Having reached this stage in the work, at which it was considered that the model had been satisfactorily validated, we can pose the question as to what could be done if neither no-load test information nor calculated parameters are available on the quadratureaxis saturation characteristic: alternatively stated, can a model of the quadrature axis be constructed using on-load test information alone? The lack of no-load information can arise from one of two reasons: (i) Some supply authorities are reluctant or unable to carry out the no-load tests because of problems of turbine heating caused by no-load running. (ii) Some authorities do not fit tap changers to generator transformers and thus an adequate range of test results cannot be obtained. The following routine has been devised in an attempt to answer the above question using the proposed model. It is assumed that the saturation characteristic of the direct axis is known.


15 field -current error.


(i) For each on-load test, calculate Vag and 8 from measured data. (ii) For each test, calculate values for Xd and XQ using the equations given in Appendix 9 (excluding those points near to 0 and 90 rotor angle because of inaccuracy in the calculation) and then calculate the mean value of the difference between Xd and Xq to obtain Xsat.









-5 10

15 -10 -5

-06 lead Fig. 7





06 lag

Fig. 8

reactive power, p.u

Histograms of rotor-angle errors for various saturation models (Generator A)

a Model presented herein b Direct-axis characteristic saturating both direct and quadrature axes c Direct-axis characteristic saturating direct axis alone d Quadrature-axis characteristic saturating both direct and quadrature axes

Rotor-angle and field-current errors as affected by reactive power loading (Generator A) 762

PROC. IEE, Vol, 126, No. 8, AUGUST 1979

(iii) For each test, calculate Xad (= Xd Xa) and Xaq (= Xq Xa) and, using eqns. 6 and 7, calculate a value for Xt. (iv) For each test, calculate a value for Xads (using the direct-axis saturation characteristic) and use this in eqn. 5 to calculate Xaqs. (v) Using the above calculate values for Vag and Xaqs for each test, together with Xaq0 (= -^ado ~Xsai), carry out a least-square-error fit onto eqn. 4 to obtain values for mQ and nq. The above routine could have been applied to all the on-load test points for each generator to obtain a best fit for all points. However, it was decided to use only those points at nominal full load and thus to simulate the way in which model parameters might be obtained in the future. (There are 9, 8 and 12 test points at nominal full load for Generators A,B and C, respectively). The model data thus obtained were checked by using it, as described in Section 3, to calculate rotor angle and field current for all the on-load tests. The results obtained using the above routine (the on-load method) are summarised in Table 3, which also contains, in brackets, the corresponding results obtained using the no-load method. The first three items in Table 3 define the quadrature-axis saturation characteristic and the last four items indicate the accuracy with which rotor angles and field currents are calculated. Comparison of the no-load and on-load methods reveals differences between the saturation characteristics but no significant differences between the mean errors in rotor angle and field current; the standard deviations of the errors for the two methods are very similar. The conclusion to be drawn from this would appear to be that a highly accurate determination of the quadrature-axis saturation characteristic is not essential using the proposed model. Overall, it has been demonstrated that a satisfactory model can be obtained from on-load measurements. The measurements can be made at the normal operating load of the unit and should cover as large a range of reactive power loading as possible. 6 Conclusions

The model has been applied to turbogenerators alone because no adequate test results are available for hydrogenerators. However, there is evidence6 that the direct- and quadrature-axis saturation characteristics of hydrogenerators are quite different, and thus the model could also find application for such machines.


The test results used in this paper are mainly due to the efforts of M.D. Barber and A.T. Poray, who organised the generator tests on which this work is based. The authors are grateful to the Central Electricity Generating Board for permission to publish this paper.


1 FUCHS, E.F., and ERDELYI, E.A.: 'Non-linear theory of turbo-alternators., IEEE Trans., 1972, PAS-91 pp. 583-599 2 CHAR1, M.V.K., and SILVESTER, P.: 'Analysis of turbo-alternator magnetic fields by finite elements', ibid., 1977, PAS-90, pp. 454-464 3 BINNS, K.J., and SMITH, J.R.: 'Prediction of load characteristics of turbogenerators', Proc. IEE, 1978,125, (3), pp. 197-202 4 CHORLTON, A., and SHACKSHAFT, G.: 'Comparison of accuracy of methods for studying stability. Northfleet exercise', Electra 1972 23, pp. 9-49 5 SHACKSHAFT, G., and NEILSON, R.: 'Results of stability tests on an underexcited 120 M W generator', Proc. IEE, 1972, 119, (2), pp. 175-188 6 SHACKSHAFT, G.: 'Generator parameters for stability studies', CIGRE, 1967, Paper 32-15 7 PARK, R.H.: 'Two-reaction theory of synchronous machines; generalised method of analysis Part V,AIEE Trans., 1929,48, pp. 716-730 8 SHACKSHAFT, G.: 'General-purpose turbo-alternator model', Proc IEE 1963,110, (4), pp. 703-713 9 BINNS, K.J.: 'Prediction of the no-load magnetisation characteristics of large turbogenerators', ibid., 1965,112, (4), pp. 720-730

The model proposed herein is superior in all respects to any other known model of comparable simplicity, and it is recommended for use in power-system studies. The examples used to demonstrate its effectiveness have been based on measured data. However, to enable the model to be used in studies of new machine designs, calculated data will be required. This raises the question as to whether or not the saturation curve for the quadrature axis can be predicted accurately at the design stage. Binns9 has shown that modern methods can do this for the direct axis, and there is reason to assume that the same could be done for the quadrature axis. Both no-load and on-load methods have been used herein to obtain the saturation characteristic of the quadrature axis. Both methods have produced good results and neither has been demonstrated to be superior to the other. However, the on-load method is recommended for the following reasons: (i) It involves minimum disruption to the normal operation of a generator when measurements are made. (ii) The range of airgap voltage over which measurements can be made are those prevailing during normal operation. (0-9 to 1-1 p.u. for on-load method compared with 0-75 to 0-95 for no-load method). (iii) All the quadrature-axis parameters are obtained, and, in particular, a design calculation of the unsaturated synchronous reactance is not needed.

Calculation of 2-axis reactances

The following per-unit equations are used to calculate the synchronous reactances in the direct and quadrature axes from the measured test quantities:

Xd = iVq +IqRa + Xq = (Vd+IdRa)/Jq

In which Vd = Vt sin 5 Vq = Vt cos 5 Id = / , sin (5 + 0) O S (5 + 0) Iq = It C 0 = tan" (Qt/Pt)


(10) (11)

(12) (13) (14)


Vt, It, Pt and Qt are the measured stator voltage, stator current, stator active and reactive powers, respectively; Ifd is the measured field current and 5 is the measured rotor angle.

PROC. IEE, Vol. 126, No. 8, AUGUST 1979