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6, JUNE 2014


Two Degrees of Freedom Active Damping Technique

for LCL Filter-Based Grid Connected PV Systems
Moin Hanif, Member, IEEE, Vinod Khadkikar, Member, IEEE,
Weidong Xiao, Member, IEEE, and James L. Kirtley, Jr., Fellow, IEEE

AbstractIn grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems, lowpass filters are utilized to reduce injected current harmonics.
LCL filters have recently drawn attention for PV system grid
interfaces due to their small size and they have shown better
attenuation to switching harmonics than simple L filters. However,
the LCL filter causes resonance resulting in oscillation and instability issues. This paper proposes an effective active damping
technique by introducing a two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) PID
control structure. The 2DOF control structure allows the independent action of PI and D terms giving two degrees of freedom. The
design is based on a typical three-phase grid-tied PV system. The
active damping control loop is formed by using the existing grid
side inductor currents and thus eliminating the need of additional
sensors. The relative stability is illustrated in frequency domain by
using bode plots. A real-time hardware-in-loop study is performed
to validate the performance of the proposed 2DOF technique to
damp out the LCL filter resonance.
Index TermsActive damping, LCL filter, photovoltaic (PV)
system and resonance damping.


ONCERNS related to the increasing costs of conventional energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and security of
centralized power generations have forced the power industry
to move toward a decentralized distributed generation (DG)
system. These DG units are integrated into the low voltage (LV)
power distribution systems and are used to deliver renewable
and clean energy such as PV power, wind power, and fuel
cell power to the utility through the interfacing inverters. Gridconnected DG systems come as pulse width modulated (PWM)
voltage source inverters (VSIs) that can inject controlled active
and reactive powers as required. Output currents of such an
inverter need to be filtered to prevent the current harmonics
around the switching frequency from entering the utility grid
[1]. A third order LCL filter is preferred over an L or LC
filter due to the 60 dB/decade attenuation of the frequencies
above the resonance frequency and the reduction in physical
Manuscript received November 23, 2012; revised February 18, 2013 and
April 21, 2013; accepted June 24, 2013. Date of publication July 24, 2013; date
of current version December 20, 2013. This work was supported by Masdar
Institute of Science and Technology under MI-MIT grant (Award 10PAMA1).
M. Hanif is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of
Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa (e-mail:
V. Khadkikar and W. Xiao are with the Institute Center for Energy, Masdar
Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (e-mail:;
J. L. Kirtley, Jr. is with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA (e-mail: kirtley@MIT.EDU).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TIE.2013.2274416

size of the inductor [2]. A small inductance in an LCL filter is

effective, as the capacitor impedance is inversely proportional
to the frequency of the current. The LCL filter exhibits first
order inductive behavior to allow proper current control and
high frequency rejection to guarantee proper filtering. However,
an LCL filter can cause stability problems due to the undesired
resonance caused by zero impedance at certain frequencies.
To avoid this resonance from contaminating the system, several damping techniques have been proposed [1][14]. One way
is to incorporate a physical passive element, such as, a resistor
in series with the filter capacitor [3]. This passive technique,
however, causes power loss in the added passive element and
reduces the overall LCL-based system efficiency. A second
approach is to modify the LCL inverter control structure such
that the damping is achieved without any power loss [1], [2],
[4][14]. An active damping control loop is introduced around
the inverter to introduce a negative peak that compensates the
positive peak caused by the presence of the LCL filter. In
[13], a design procedure is given to optimize the LCL filter
parameters that make the system stable at certain switching
frequencies without implementing any passive damping.
The active damping techniques in the literature [1], [2], [4]
[14] can broadly be categorized as techniques that either do
[4][8] or do not require additional sensors [1], [2], [9][14].
In [4][6], the measured filter capacitor voltage is used as a
feedback variable for active damping. Similarly, the measured
filter current is used to form virtual resistance in [7] and
[8]. An attempt is made to eliminate the capacitor voltage
or current sensor by estimating either the capacitor voltage
as in [1] and [9] or the capacitor current as in [10]. Such
an estimation, however, depends on the accuracy of the plant
model parameters, which, may be sometimes unknown or vary
with temperature and/or system operating conditions.
Another interesting approach, which is the main focus of
this work, is to modify the inverter control structure so that
the need for capacitor voltage or current information (either
measurement or estimation) is eliminated. Liserre et al. have
proposed a sensorless technique utilizing high order digital
filters in the forward path of inverter current control loop [2],
[11]. The performance of this technique is further evaluated in
[12]. It is noticed from [2], [11], [12] that a tuning method (such
as genetic algorithm which adds complexity) may be required
to tune such high order digital filters.
In [14], an approach, in which the existing grid side inductor
currents are used in the inverter current control loop, is utilized
to achieve sensorless active damping. This method preserves
the meaning of filtering the resonance by using the grid side

0278-0046 2013 IEEE



Fig. 1. Configuration of LCL filter based grid connected PV VSI.

inductor currents as feedback, and achieves active damping

simply by modifying the inverter current control loop. However,
as highlighted in [14], the proposed digital infinite impulse
response (IIR) filter based sensorless active damping technique
has the following challenges [14].
It is based on a true digital control system with a full
Z-transform representation of the plant and the controller.
In reality, the system comprising of inverter and LCL filter
are analog in nature, therefore, the full digitalization is an
approximation process.
Iterative optimization is required in [14] to meet the specified design of the second order IIR Butterworth filter
which increases the control complexity, the computing
burden and also requires optimization expertise.
In [14] the LCL damped system achieves a limited reduction (68%) in the current oscillations compared to the
undamped LCL system.
This paper proposes a two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) PID
control structure to achieve effective active damping for three
phase grid-connected PV inverters. The proposed analysis uses
the existing grid side inductor currents and focuses on the
system dynamics in continuous time. This 2DOF PID controller
is a general approach and can be easily tuned, using conventional techniques to obtain the required stability margin. The
proposed technique is validated both by simulation and a real
time hardware-in-loop (HIL) experimental study.
Fig. 1 shows the diagram of a three phase grid-tied PV power
system, which adopts the dual stage conversion topology. The
LCL filter is the interface between the VSI and the point
of common coupling (PCC). For ac filtering analysis in a
dual stage PV system with a dc-dc converter (not shown in
Fig. 1), the dc side can be considered as a finite voltage source,
therefore its dynamics are decoupled from the ac side.
Voltage-oriented control is adopted to control the PV inverter
systems [1][3]. For unity power factor operation, the grid side
inductor current, ILg , is regulated to be a sinusoidal waveform
and in-phase with the grid voltage. The detail control is discussed later in Section V. Using the design guidelines from [15]
and considering a maximum total harmonic distortion, THD
of 5% at current output, the LCL parameters are chosen and
shown in Table I (Appendix).
We define: f1 , the fundamental frequency of the grid voltage;
fres , resonance frequency; fc , controller sampling frequency

and fsw , switching frequency. The following design constraints

are considered [2].
For good filtering performance: the resonance frequency
should be in the range of 10f1 < fres < (fsw /2).
The controller sampling frequency should be at least 2fsw .
Stability of the LCL filter is dependent on the ratio of
fres /fc . If the grid side inductor current is used for the
inverter control, then the following relationship should be
maintained for a stable operation: (fres /fc ) > (1/4) (i.e.,
(fres /fsw ) > (1/2)).
Since there is no alternative to achieve a good filtering
performance except by having fres < (fsw /2), the switching
frequency, fsw is chosen such that it is about five times the filter
resonance (5fres ) for effective attenuation of higher order
current harmonics. However, since fc is set to at least 2fsw , it
causes the ratio fres /fc to be less than 1/4, which, consequently
causes resonance (instability). Therefore, the LCL filter resonance needs to be damped to achieve a stable operation.
The LCL-based system is modeled in the s-domain to
evaluate the system dynamics. For modeling purposes and to
derive the transfer function of the LCL system, it is assumed
that the three phase voltages at the PCC are sinusoidal and
balanced. Therefore, for stability analysis the grid voltage is
neglected, i.e., the grid voltage is treated as a disturbance, which
is a short circuit in the high frequency range. Nevertheless,
as grid voltages are always not sinusoidal and balanced, the
grid voltage (Vg ) is fed forward within the control structure,
which is explained later in Section VI. Another assumption is
that the equivalent series resistances of the passive components
including the inverter side inductor Linv , grid side inductor
Lg and the filter capacitor C are neglected for clarity. These
parasitic elements may provide an additional passive damping
effect that would improve the overall system stability. The
system without passive resistances thus, represents the worst
case for the design process. Fig. 2(a) gives the block diagram
representation of the undamped LCL system including the
inverter. The open loop transfer function (OLTF), GLCL , for
this system in the frequency domain can be written as
GLCL (s) =

Vdc /2
ILg (s)
Vm (s)
Linv Lg Cs3 + (Linv + Lg )s


where Vdc is the dc link voltage, Vm is the normalized modulating signal, ILg is the grid side inductor current. The average
model for the inverter is represented by a gain of Vdc /2 that is
applied to the PWM reference signal.
Following the parameters shown in Table I, the bode plot of
the transfer function in (1) is shown in Fig. 2(b). A sharp peak
is noticeable in the bode diagram at the resonance frequency
of 1.949 kHz. This peak needs to be compensated to have
a flattened low-pass response. It can be clearly noticed from
GLCL (s) in (1) that the denominator has a polynomial without
an s2 term. Therefore, the overall closed loop system is not
stable according to the Rouths stability criterion. It can also
be confirmed from the bode plot analysis. This suggests that an



Fig. 2. Block diagram and frequency response of undamped LCL filter based
grid connected PV system. (a) Block (b) Bode plot.

additional damping term should be incorporated to stabilize the

As highlighted above, to satisfy Rouths criterion for stabilizing the overall closed loop system, a finite s2 term needs
to be introduced into the denominator. This can be done by
calculating the second derivative of the controlled current ILg ,
which passes through a damping gain k, and adding it to the
modulating signal Vm as shown in Fig. 3(a). This leads to a
transfer function that can be written as
ILg (s)
Vdc /2
Vm (s) (ks2 ILg (s))
Linv Lg Cs3 + (Linv + Lg )s


Vdc /2
ILg (s)
Vm (s)
Linv Lg Cs3 + (Vdc /2) ks2 + (Linv + Lg )s


Due to the noise in any measured signal, especially when using digital controllers such as a digital signal processor (DSP),
the calculation of derivatives does not lead to a reasonable
result. Therefore, in [14] an approximation of the derivative
term (s2 ) by means of a digital filter is made. The challenges
associated with such an implementation are already discussed
in the introduction section. In addition to the challenges, the
approach in [14] shows difficulty to reduce the resonance peak.
As shown in the bode diagram of Fig. 3(b), the recommended
method in [14] lowers the resonance peak and reduces 68% of
the current oscillations, but still shows considerable gain at the
resonance frequency (7.7 kHz).
The next section proposes a 2DOF PID controller. This is
an alternative way of achieving the missing s2 term in the
denominator of the OLTF of the damped LCL system. In
contrast to the active damping technique in [14], the proposed
2DOF PID active damping technique is simple to implement
and can achieve a well damped system (i.e., a well reduced
resonance peak) without any additional sensors. This 2DOF
PID controller can be realized by analog or digital methods.

Fig. 3. Block diagram and frequency response of actively damped LCL filter
based system using approximated s2 term by means of a digital filter as suggested in reference [14]. (a) Block diagram with finite s2 term. (b) Bode plot.

Fig. 4. Block diagram of the 2DOF PID controller.


A 2DOF PID control structure shows flexibility to achieve
a better control performance compared to traditional one degree of freedom (1DOF) PID control [16]. This extra freedom
separates the set-point response from the disturbance rejection
response and allows harmless pole-zero cancellations [17]. In
traditional 1DOF PID control structure, PI (kp and ki ) and D
(kd ) actions are interrelated such that they cannot be controlled
separately. On the other hand, the 2DOF control structure
allows the independent action of PI and D terms giving two
degrees of freedom. We propose a 2DOF PID structure to regulate the inverter current following a given set-point and perform
the function of active damping. Fig. 4 shows the block diagram
representing the LCL filter based PV inverter system including
the proposed active damping loop. The proposed 2DOF PID
controller consists of a PI controller in the main forward loop
and a derivative term in the feedforward loop. For practical
implementation, the D action is achieved by an ideal derivative
term using a low-pass filter. This low-pass filter attenuates the
high frequency noise and therefore, the filter derivative term is
expressed as (kd td s)/(1 + td s), where kd is the derivative gain



good control feature in terms of command following and lowfrequency disturbance rejection. Further, the noticeable change
in phase in the low frequency range (below fres ) indicates
highly damped gains around the resonance frequency and guarantees the closed loop system stability. It can be further noticed
that there is no change in gain or phase at higher frequencies
above fres , which maintains the attenuation performance to
avoid the higher order harmonics from being injected into the
grid by the PV inverter. Another comparison of the reduction
in the resonance peak by the proposed method [see Fig. 5(b)]
to the method proposed in [14] [see Fig. 3(b)] shows that
the proposed method is capable of better resonance reduction.
The next section describes the approach used to determine the
unknown parameters kd , td , kp and ki for the proposed 2DOF
PID controller.

Fig. 5. Block diagram and frequency response of actively damped LCL

filter based system using proposed 2DOF PID controller. (a) Block diagram
(b) Bode plot.

(or damping gain) and td is the time constant of the first order
low-pass filter. Vg is fed forward within the control structure.
Fig. 5(a) shows the block diagram of the inverter, LCL filter
and the filtered derivative term. The filtered derivative term
represents the feedforward loop of the 2DOF PID controller.
The feedforward loop is added to the modulating signal Vm as
shown in Fig. 5(a). The new transfer function that includes the
derivative action can be written as
IL (s)
Vdc /2

3 +(L
td k d s
inv g
inv +Lg )s
Vm (s)+ ILg (s) 1+td s


The new damped LCL transfer function GLCL_damped constitutes, a fourth order polynomial in the denominator that
contains all the orders of the s term and can be derived as
in (5), shown at the bottom of the page.
The bode plot of the transfer function in (5) is shown in
Fig. 5(b). Comparing Fig. 5(b) to Fig. 2(b), the positive peak
of the gain at the resonance frequency fres , in the undamped
LCL system has been damped by about 98%. Additionally, the
increased gain in the low frequency range (below fres ) shows

GLCLdamped =

Gsystem =

kp +


Substituting (5) into (6), we get (7), shown at the bottom of

the page.
To tune the four unknown parameters kd , td , kp and ki of
the 2DOF PID controller in (7), the following two steps are
carried out.
1) Step 1Tuning of Gains kp and ki : In [7], a detailed
procedure to tune kp and ki values is given. However, taking
into account the effect of sampling and transport delay as well
as additional delay caused by signal sensing following, the
controller synthesis considers the modified expressions:

2fco (Linv + Lg )





Vdc (1 + td s)/2

Linv Lg Ctd s4 + Linv Lg Cs3 + (Linv td + Lg td )s2 + Linv + Lg

Fig. 6 shows the expanded version of Fig. 5, which is the

block diagram of the proposed 2DOF PID control structure,
applied to the undamped LCL system. The derivative feedforward loop of the 2DOF PID filters the controlled current,
ILg . To design a stable 2DOF PID controller for the plant
(inverter with LCL), the systems OLTF needs to be formulated
and analyzed. The OLTF comprises the PI current controller,
kp + (ki /s), a 1.5Ts delay [consists of sampling delay (Ts )
and transport delay (0.5Ts )] that is modeled as e1.5Ts s in the
forward path and GLCL_damped as expressed in

Gsystem = kp +
(e1.5Ts s ) GLCL_damped . (6)

1.5Ts s

Vdc kd td

Vdc (1+td s)

Linv Lg Ctd s4 + Linv Lg Cs3 + (Linv td + Lg td )s2 + Linv + Lg


Vdc kd td



Fig. 6.


Block diagram of the actively damped LCL system (2DOF PID + 1.5Ts + plant).

where fco is the system cross over frequency.

To decide the fco for the calculation method, it can be noted
from Fig. 5(b) that the control bandwidth cannot exceed or
even closely approach the resonance frequency fres as that
would create a 180 phase lag, which then, would result in
unstable oscillation in the closed loop system. Nonnegligible
delays caused by digital sampling and pulse width modulation
would also further constrict the fco . Therefore, the value of fco
is assigned to be 0.3fres , which is fairly a conservative value
[7]. This prevents the interference between the LCL resonant
component and the maximum harmonics of the currents that
need to be controlled.
The gains kp , ki , and kd are for the actual current values
of the model. When per unit (p.u.) values are used within the
controller with a base power of 10 kVA and a base voltage
of 240 V, then the gains kp = kp puaf , ki = ki puaf
and kd = kd puaf are transformed using the p.u. attenuation
factor (puaf = 19.64).
The calculated values for the gains kp and ki are 0.54 and
198, respectively, for the above system.
2) Step 2Tuning of Gains kd and td : According to the
Rouths criteria, in a stable system, all the coefficients of
characteristic equation of (7) should be positive. To guarantee
the system stability, the tuning on kd and td can be expressed
by using the coefficient of the last term of the denominator in
(7), as follows:
kd td

2(Linv + Lg )

Fig. 7. Bode diagram of the system showing gain and phase margins (PI +
1.5Ts + damped LCL).


The derivative gain kd (kd puaf ) is considered as 1 and

td is calculated by considering kd td as half of the right hand
side of (10). This gives the value of td = 1.47 104 and thus,
the cutoff frequency of LPF becomes 1080 Hz. The derived
control parameters are summarized in Table II in the Appendix.
Following (7), the system bode diagram is shown in Fig. 7. The
system relative stability is demonstrated by the phase margin
and gain margin, which are 48.9 and 4.57 dB, respectively.
Fig. 8. Control diagram (2DOF PID for active damping).


Simulation was carried out in the Matlab/Simulink environment based on the system shown in Fig. 1 and the parameters
given in Tables I and II. Table II gives the system parameters
including grid voltage, line frequency, dc link voltage, and
system capacity. The performance of the proposed 2DOF PID
based active damping method with the designed controller
parameters, determined in the previous section, is verified by

simulation. The 10 kW PV inverter supplies 5 kW of passive

resistive load and the grid. Fig. 8 shows the overall controller
diagram of the three phase grid-tied system including the
proposed active damping loop and dq reference frames.
The inverter controller consists of an outer dc link voltage
control loop with an inner current loop that guarantees a good
dynamic and steady state performance. In this paper, the dc
link is represented by a finite source of 800 V dc. A phase



Fig. 9. Simulation results of the undamped LCL filter based grid connected
PV system.

locked loop (PLL) is used to determine the reference frequency

and phase of the grid voltage at the PCC. The three grid
side inductor currents are transformed using dq synchronous
reference frame to Id_CC and Iq_CC .
The currents Id_CC and Iq_CC are compared to the Id_ref
which adjusts the active power and the Iq_ref = 0 for zero
reactive power, respectively. The generated errors are then
passed through the current controller (PI controller) to generate
the voltage references for the inverter.
To get a good dynamic response, Vd_CC and Vq_cc are both
fed forward, as shown in Fig. 8. A gain of 2/Vdc is used on
the three phase grid voltages before the dq transformation to extract the modulating signals (i.e., modulation indexes) for each
of the phases as V
ac = mVdc /2). Since the feedforward voltage
in the control loop now considers the grid voltage disturbance
(the grid voltage was neglected during modeling in the
Section III), the control is immune to the impact from the
grid distortion disturbances. Therefore, an improved quality of
the controlled current is expected when the practical system is
tested under grid voltage harmonic disturbances. The generated
reference voltages in dq reference frame are then transformed
back into a stationary reference frame that can be used as
command voltages to generate high frequency PWM voltages.
For comparison, the LCL system without active damping
control is simulated and the result is shown in Fig. 9. For
simplicity, results of only phase-A in p.u. values are shown.
The oscillations in the grid side inductor current (ILgA )
with significant amplitude can be noticed due to inadequate
damping. Fig. 10 gives the simulated results with the proposed
2DOF active damping method. Note that the power delivered
by the PV system to the main grid is shown as out-of-phase
injected current. It demonstrates that the proposed method
effectively suppresses the oscillations providing a stable system
performance. The THD of gird side inductor current (ILg_A )
is noticed as 2.6% at rated output power injection.
The effectiveness of the 2DOF active damping technique
is compared with another well-known capacitor voltage based
active damping technique [1], [9]. To test the robustness of
the controller, the system is tested with a three phase distorted
and unbalanced load. A single-phase full bridge rectifier is
connected between phase-A and -N. The load on the dc side

Fig. 10. Simulation results of the actively damped LCL filter based grid
connected PV system with proposed 2DOF active damping technique.

Fig. 11. Performance of proposed 2DOF PID active damping technique under
distorted and unbalanced three phase load.

of the rectifier is composed of an inductor (100 mH), resistor

(10 ) and a parallel connected capacitor (200 F). The loads
on the Phase-B and Phase-C are a resistor (80 ) and series
combination of resistance-inductor (30 + 10 mH), respectively. The load currents (ILoad_ABC ) due to the non-linear and
unbalanced load combination are shown in Fig. 11.
The LCL filter based system performance with the proposed
2DOF PID active damping method and with the capacitor voltage based active damping technique is shown in Figs. 11 and 12,
respectively. For both cases, the active damping control loop is
activated at 0.02 s. As noticed from Figs. 11 and 12 (expanded
results, after time 0.04 s), both the active damping techniques
give satisfactory performance. However, the capacitor voltage
based technique requires estimation of capacitor voltage that
depends on the accuracy of the plant model parameters. The
proposed 2DOF active damping technique uses the existing
grid side currents to achieve the desired performance. The
THD of ILg is noticed as 3.4% using the proposed technique,
which is better than 4.8% that is achieved with the capacitor
voltage based technique. The proposed method shows a fast


Fig. 12. Performance of capacitor voltage based active damping technique

under distorted and unbalanced three phase load.


Fig. 13.

HIL experimental result of the undamped LCL system during steady

response entering steady state by comparing Figs. 11 and 12.

This comparison shows that the proposed 2DOF PID controller
is effective in damping the LCL resonance and is not affected
by the distortion in the load current.
A real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) experiment is carried out to validate the effectiveness of the proposed 2DOF
damping technique. The HIL system consists of an FPGA based
digital simulator from OPAL-RT and a DSP. The plant is allocated within one core of the 8-core OPAL-RT system. The plant
represents the power system, which includes the inverter, LCL
filter, three-phase load and grid as given in Fig. 1. The controller
(Fig. 8) of this PV VSI system is implemented on a separate
DSP, DS1103 of dSPACE. The input/output limits of the OPALRT and DS1103 are +/16 V and +/10 V respectively. The
three phase PCC voltages and grid side inductor currents are
the analog outputs of the OPAL-RT plant which are sent to the
DS1103 controller via its own ADCs. The DSP decides the
PWM reference signals via the PI controller such that all
the 10 kW active power is transferred to both the load and the
grid as described in Section VI. The PWM output from DS1103
is sent to the inverter gate drivers within the OPAL-RT plant via
its own time stamped digital inputs (TSDIs). The TSDIs are
capable of precisely realizing the high frequency PWM pulses.
The setup is run with the same gains kp , ki , kd and the
time constant td that were used for simulation. Furthermore,
the identical parameters, as given in Table II, are used for
HIL experimental systems. The dSPACE DSP controller is
run at a discrete fixed time step of 50 s (TS ). In all the
experimental results, the voltages and currents are represented
in p.u. where 1 p.u. = 1 V. Fig. 13 shows the HIL experimental
result obtained at steady state for the undamped LCL system.
As expected, the system is unstable and the output oscillations
are saturated to 5 p.u. for safe OPAL-RT and DSP operation.
Fig. 14 shows HIL experimental results that the system stabilizes as expected when the active damping 2DOF PID loop
is enabled while the system is running without any damping.

Fig. 14. HIL experimental result when the active damping loop for the LCL
system is enabled.

Fig. 15. HIL experimental result the actively damped LCL system during
steady state.

Fig. 15 depicts the steady state results of the actively damped

LCL system where 1 p.u. grid side inductor current is the output from the inverter. Current of 0.5 p.u. is transferred to the
5 kW load and remaining 0.5 p.u. is injected into the grid. The
capacitor current is high frequency current harmonics absorbed



Fig. 16. HIL experimental result: transition of the inverter power supply level
from 50% to 100%.

Fig. 18. Effect of grid voltage distortion on the quality of controlled current
(without feedforward).

Fig. 17. Effect of grid voltage distortion on the quality of controlled current
(with feedforward).

with close to zero fundamental current. ILg and Ig are well

filtered by the LCL filter as expected. The THD of grid voltage
is 2.4% while the THD of the ILg is 2.5%. Using the proposed
2DOF active damping technique, the magnitude of the current
oscillations is reduced by about 98% in comparison with the
undamped system.
Fig. 16 shows the experimental results obtained when a step
change in the current reference from 0.5 p.u. to 1 p.u. is made.
The actively damped 2DOF PID current controller tracks the
reference satisfactorily within one power cycle. In Fig. 17, the
experimental results show a distorted grid voltage with 5% of
5th harmonic and 5% of 7th harmonic. The test of grid voltage
feedforward discussed earlier demonstrates that the controller
responds well toward any grid distortion that may occur in any
real system. The result shows that the grid voltage has THD of
8.1% and the injected current (ILg ) has 3.8% THD (which is
well below the considered 5% THD limit).
For comparison purposes, the system is tested without the
feedforward loop and the result for this case is shown in Fig. 18.
A THD of 8.7% is noticed in the controlled current (ILg )
without the feedforward loop. For further improvement of the
harmonic contents of the controlled current, ILg , selective
harmonic current compensators may be considered, which lies

outside the scope of this paper. Also, the robustness of the above
2DOF PID current controller (active damping) is analyzed with
different grid impedance values. Initially the grid impedance
consisted of 0.1 resistance and 1 mH inductance. The system
is tested with varied grid impedance (2 mH, 5 mH, and 10 mH)
and has no effect on the THD of the controlled current. THD of
ILg remains between 2.4% to 2.6%.
In this paper, a two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) PID active
damping method is proposed to attenuate the resonance that
is caused by the LCL filter based PV system. The proposed
method is straightforward to design and uses the existing grid
side inductor currents by eliminating the need for additional
sensors. It is shown that oscillations are damped by about
98% using proposed 2DOF PID technique. A general controller
tuning process is also presented without compromising on
the filtering performance of the LCL filter. The control loop
secures a phase margin of 49 with consideration of the time
delay (1.5Ts ) caused by digital control. The simulation and HIL
experiment results validate the effectiveness of the proposed
active damping technique. The proposed 2DOF PID controller
does not affect the quality of the controlled current during practical grid voltage distortion, grid impedance variation
and unbalanced/distorted load. The HIL experimental study
validates the controller design considering a digital controller
delay to tune the 2DOF PID gains and simulation results.



The system parameters and controller coefficients are listed
in Tables I and II, respectively.


Moin Hanif (M11) received the 1st class B.Eng.

(Hons.) degree in electrical and electronic engineering with High Achievers Award scholarship from
University of Nottingham, Nottingham, U.K., in
2007, and the Ph.D. degree from Dublin Institute of
Technology, Ireland, in 2011.
He worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Masdar
Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi,
UAE, from October 2011 to 2012. From November
2012, he has been appointed as a Senior Lecturer at
the Department of Electrical Engineering, University
of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. His research interest is in the
area of power electronics converters and their control, MPPT of photovoltaic
power, Islanding detection, grid integration of renewables, and micro/smart grid
Dr. Hanif has received a number of research grants from the University of
Cape Towns Research Committee and also serves as a member on the editorial
board of International Journal of Applied Control, Electrical, and Electronics
Engineering (IJACEEE).

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Vinod Khadkikar (S06M09) received the B.E.

degree from the Government College of Engineering, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, India, in 2000, the M.Tech.
degree from the Indian Institute of Technology
(IITD), New Delhi, India, in 2002, and the Ph.D.
degree in electrical engineering from the cole
de Technologie Suprieure (E.T.S.), Montral, QC,
Canada, in 2008, all in electrical engineering.
From December 2008 to March 2010, he was a
Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Western
Ontario, London, ON, Canada. Since April 2010 he has been an Assistant
Professor at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
From April to December 2010, he was a Visiting Faculty at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA. His research interests
include applications of power electronics in distribution systems and renewable
energy resources, grid interconnection issues, power quality enhancement,
active power filters and electric vehicles.

Weidong Xiao (M07) received the M.Sc. and Ph.D.

degrees from the University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, Canada, in 2003 and 2007, respectively.
He is a Faculty Member with the electric power
engineering program at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE. In 2010, he
spent eight months working as a Visiting Scholar
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to his academic career,
he worked with the MSR Innovations Inc. in Canada
as an R&D Engineering Manager focusing on
projects related to integration, research, optimization and design of photovoltaic
power systems. His research interest includes photovoltaic power systems,
dynamic systems and control, power electronics, and industry applications.

James L. Kirtley, Jr. (F91) received the S.B. and

Ph.D. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA, in 1968 and
1971, respectively.
He is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at
MIT. He has worked for General Electric, Large
Steam Turbine Generator Department and for Satcon
Technology Corporation. He is a specialist in electric
machinery and electric power systems.
Dr. Kirtley served as Editor in Chief of the IEEE
1998 to 2006 and continues to serve as Editor for the journal and as a member
of the Editorial Board of the journal Electric Power Components and Systems.
He was awarded the IEEE Third Millenium medal in 2000 and the Nikola Tesla
prize in 2002. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Massachusetts and is
a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering.