The application of high-power voltage-source converters (VSCs) to multiterminal dc networks is attracting research interest. The development of VSC-based dc networks is constrained by the lack of operational experience, the immaturity of appropriate protective devices, and the lack of appropriate fault analysis techniques. VSCs are vulnerable to dc-cable short-circuit and ground faults due to the high discharge current from the dc-link capacitance. However, faults occurring along the interconnecting dc cables are most likely to threaten system operation. In this paper, cable faults in VSC-based dc networks are analyzed in detail with the identification and definition of the most serious stages of the fault that need to be avoided. A fault location method is proposed because this is a prerequisite for an effective design of a fault protection scheme. It is demonstrated that it is relatively easy to evaluate the distance to a short-circuit fault using voltage reference comparison. For the more difficult challenge of locating ground faults, a method of estimating both the ground resistance and the distance to the fault is proposed by analyzing the initial stage of the fault transient. Analysis of the proposed method is provided and is based on simulation results, with a range of fault resistances, distances, and operational conditions considered.
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- fault analysis
- fault location
- multiterminal dc network
- voltage-source converter (VSC)