Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ASYNCHRONOUS INTERGRID TRANSFER APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1997/034362
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An arrangement for transferring electric power from one polyphase circuit to another without introducing harmonic distortions comprises a torque motor (14) and a rotating electric machine (12) having two sets of windings (18, 26). Each of the windings is connected to a respective one of the polyphase electric circuits. The two windings have the same number of magnetic poles and generate coincident rotating magnetic fields having the same direction of rotation. When torque is applied (e.g. to the shaft of a rotor carrying one of the windings) in the same direction as that of the rotating magnetic fields, electric power is transferred from the rotor-connected circuit to the stator-connected circuit. The invention provides apparatus (10) and method for controlling the frequency at which power is supplied to a polyphase load, or to manage instabilities in weak links between generating stations.

Inventors:
LUCE JOHN W (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US1997/003716
Publication Date:
September 18, 1997
Filing Date:
March 10, 1997
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LUCE JOHN W (US)
International Classes:
H02J3/06; H02J3/34; H02K47/18; H02M5/36; H02K47/22; H02K47/30; (IPC1-7): H02M1/20; H02M7/00; H02M7/48; H02M7/5387; H02J3/38
Foreign References:
US5341280A1994-08-23
US5239251A1993-08-24
US4992721A1991-02-12
US4941079A1990-07-10
US4922124A1990-05-01
US4870558A1989-09-26
US4445049A1984-04-24
US4251736A1981-02-17
US4019115A1977-04-19
US3701938A1972-10-31
US3694728A1972-09-26
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. Apparatus transferring electnc power between two polyphase electnc circuits, the apparatus compnsing a rotating machine and a torque motor, the rotating machine comprising a first set of windings having a predetermined number of poles, the first set of windings electrically connected to a first of the circuits and generating a first rotating magnetic field having a predetermined direction of rotation about an axis, and a second set of windings having the predetermined number of poles, the second set of windings electrically connected to the second circuit and generating a second rotating magnetic field having the predetermined direction of rotation, and connection means operatively connecting the torque motor intermediate the two sets of windings so as to apply a torque therebetween, the torque applied to the second set of windings having the predetermined rotational direction when electric power is transferred from the first circuit to the second circuit, die torque oppositely directed when electnc power is transferred from the second circuit to d e first circuit The apparatus of Claim 1 wherein die first set of windings compnses stator windings wound on a stationary stator, the second set of windings compnses rotor windings wound on a rotor having a shaft and wherein die connection means comprises means coupling the torque motor to the shaft The apparatus of Claim 1 wherein the first and d e second sets of windings have equal power ratings The apparatus of Claim 1 wherein die torque motor is capable of four quadrant operation Apparatus of Claim 1 wherein the torque motor is powered from one of the two circuits Apparatus of Claim 1 wherein the torque motor is a hydraulic motor powered by a hydraulic pump dπven by an electnc motor drawing power from one of die two circuits Apparatus of Claim 1 further compnsing voltage adjusting means attached intermediate one of the two circuits and one of the windings connected thereto Apparatus of Claim 7 wherein the voltage adjusting means compnses a tapped transformer 9) Apparatus transferring electric power between two polyphase electnc circuits, d e apparatus compnsing a rotating machine and a torque motor, d e rotating machine comprising a first set of windings having a predetermined number of poles, the first set of windings electπcally connected to a first of die circuits and generating a first rotating magnetic field having a predetermined direction of rotation about an axis, and a second set of windings having the predetermined number of poles, d e second set of windings electrically connected to the second circuit and generating a second rotating magnetic field having die predetermined direction of rotation, and connection means operatively connecting the torque motor intermediate d e two sets of windings so as to apply a torque dierebetween, the magnitude of die applied torque controlling die magnitude of die power transferred The apparatus of Claim 9 wherein the first set of windings comprises stator windings wound on a stationary stator, die second set of windings compnses rotor windings wound on a rotor having a shaft and wherein the torque motor is connected to d e shaft The apparatus of Qaim 9 wherein both die first and the second sets of windings have equal power ratings The apparatus of Qaim 9 wherein die torque motor is capable of four quadrant operation The apparatus of Claim 9 wherein the torque motor is powered from one of die two circuits The apparatus of Qaim 9 wherein die torque motor is a hydraulic motor powered by a hydraulic pump driven by an electnc motor drawing power from one of the two circuits The apparatus of Qaim 9 further compnsing voltage adjusting means attached intermediate one of die two circuits and one of d e windings connected thereto The apparatus of Qaim 15 wherein d e voltage adjusting means comprises a tapped transformer 17) A method of transferring electnc power between two polyphase electnc gnds, the method compnsing the steps of a) connecting a first of die two gnds to a first set of polyphase windings having a first predetermined number of poles, thereby producing a first rotating magnetic field having a first predetermined direction of rotation about an axis, b) connecting the second gnd to a second set of polyphase windings rotatable with respect to die first set of windings, the second set of windings having the predetermined number of poles, diereby producing a second rotating magnetic field coincident widi die first magnetic field and rotating in the predetermined direction, c) applying a torque between die two sets of windings, die torque applied to die first set of windings in die predetermined rotational direction to transfer power from the second gnd to die first gnd, die torque applied in the opposite rotational direction to transfer power from the first gnd to d e second gnd The mediod of Claim 17 further comprising steps al) and a2) intermediate step a) and step b) of al) connecting a synchroscope intermediate the second gnd and die second set of windings, and a2) rotating die second set of windings with respect to the first set of windings until each voltage on d e second set of windings is in phase with die corresponding voltage on the second gnd An electric power transfer system comprising a first polyphase electric power grid, a second polyphase electric power grid, and an asynchronous converter transferring electnc power from one of the two gnds to die odier, die converter compnsing a stator having a set of stator windings electncally connected to the first grid, die stator windings generating a first rotating magnetic field having a predetermined direction of rotation about an axis, a rotor compnsing a set of rotor windings disposed about a shaft rotating about die axis, die rotor windings electrically connected to the second gnd, the rotor windings generating a second rotating magnetic field rotating in the predetermined direction, and a torque motor applying a torque to die shaft The system of Claim 19 wherein the torque motor is capable of four quadrant operation The system of Claim 19 wherein the torque motor is powered from one of d e two gnds Apparatus of Qaim 19 wherein d e torque motor is a hydraulic motor powered by a hydraulic pump dπven by an electric motor drawing power from one of d e gnds Apparatus of Claim 19 further compnsing voltage adjusting means attached intermediate one of die two gnds and one of d e windings connected thereto Apparatus of Claim 23 wherein the voltage adjusting means compnses a tapped transformer 25) A system for managing a weak link between a first and a second generating stations, the system comprising an asynchronous converter transferring electnc power from one of the two stations to the odier, die converter compnsing a stator having a set of stator windings electrically connected to the first station, die stator windings generating a first rotating magnetic field having a predetermined direction of rotation about an axis, a rotor comprising a set of rotor windings disposed about a shaft rotatable about the axis, die rotor windings electncally connected to d e second station, die rotor windings generating a second rotating magnetic field rotating in die predetermined direction, and a torque motor applying a torque to die shaft.
Description:
TITLE OF THE INVENTION Asynchronous Intergπd Transfer Apparatus

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention provides means for transferring power between two electrical utility grids

BACKGROUND ART

It is an established practice in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power to interconnect a plurality of polyphase power sources into a "grid" comprising a plurality of sources synchronized to have identical frequency, number of electrical phases, and electrical phase angles Grids may be very large and may include multiple utility systems as well as a large number of co-generation sites Within the United States there are only four such grids

It is also known to transfer electric power from one grid to another This is usually done by a cumbersome process of converting AC electric power at a first frequency and a first phase from the supplying grid into DC power, which is then transferred to the second gnd and inverted to AC power at a second frequency and second phase It is customary to carry out this process using well known solid state devices, such as transistors or rectifiers, in the rectification and inversion steps The use of semiconductor devices in the prior art of intergπd transfer leads to the generation of substantial harmonic current and voltage distortion It is conventional to overcome this problem by providing three filters (one on the DC link, and one on each AC end of the inter-grid transfer apparatus), an approach that can increase the amount of land needed for the lntergπd transfer station by nearly 50%

Various means of avoiding harmonic distortion in AC-DC electrical power conversion have been suggested The inventor's teachings in this area have included his US Patent 4,870,558, and his pending US patent application 08/287,489, the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

An asynchronous converter of the invention comprises a) a rotating electric machine having a first set of windings connected to a first polyphase electric circuit and a second set of windings connected to a second polyphase electric circuit, and b) a torque-applying means acting to apply torque between the two windings The two windings have the same number of magnetic poles and generate coincident rotating magnetic fields having the same direction of rotation When a torque is applied (e g , to a rotor shaft) in the same direction as that of the rotating magnetic fields, electric power is transferred from the rotor-connected circuit to the stator-connected circuit When the direction of the torque is reversed, the direction of the power transfer is also reversed The two polyphase circuits may differ in voltage, in frequency and in number of electrical phases, but it is expected that in most cases the number of phases will be equal to three for both circuits and the operating frequencies of the two circuits will differ by no more than a few percent

It is an ob(ect of the invention to provide apparatus for transferring poly-phase electric power from a first grid having a first frequency and first phase to a second gnd having a second frequency and second phase without thereby creating harmonic current distortion on either grid

It is also an object of the invention to provide apparatus for transferring poly-phase electric power from a first grid to a second gnd without creating harmonic voltage distortion

It is an additional object of the invention to provide means for compensating for phase-to-phase voltage imbalances when transferring power from one grid to another

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide means for managing weak link instabilities occurring in power transfers between portions of a utility gnd

It is also an object of the invention to provide means of adjusting power factors in transferring power from one gnd to another

It is yet a further object of the invention to improve the efficiency of inter-gπd power conversion

It is also an object of the invention to provide an inter-gπd power transfer system that is smaller and more economical than pnor art systems

It is yet a further specific object of the invention to reduce the installed cost of inter-gπd power conversion apparatus by eliminating the cost of land used in pnor art equipment for siting filtering

equipment and the like used to remediate harmonic distortion created by pnor art conversion methods

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a schematic perspective view of a three-phase embodiment of the apparatus of the invention Two of the three slip rings have been omitted from Fig 1 in the interest of clanty of presentation

Figure 2 is a schematic electrical circuit diagram of a three-phase version of the apparatus of the invention

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Turning initially to Fig 1, one finds a preferred embodiment of the asynchronous converter 10 of the invention compnsing a rotating electrical machine 12, a torque motor 14, and voltage adjusting means 16, 17 In a preferred embodiment the rotating machine 12 is very much like a wound rotor induction motor (also known as an AC slip ring motor) in which the rotor slots, windings, slipπngs and brushes are designed to carry full power at all times The stator windings 18 on the stator 20 of the rotating machine 12 are wound for the voltage and phasing of the first electnc gnd 22, while the rotor 24 has rotor windings 26 wound for the voltage and phasing of the second grid 28 Both the rotor 24 and stator 20 are wound for the same number of magnetic poles Because the apparatus of the invention may be used to transfer power in either of the two possible directions, both the rotor and stator windings are preferably designed to have the same power rating, which is not commonly the situation for an induction motor

Although the rotating machine 12 is depicted in the most common configuration in which rotor windings 26 are disposed about a shaft 38 rotatable within a fixedly mounted stator 20, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that other known configurations could be employed For example, a rotating machine 12 could be configured with two sets of polyphase coils facing each other and having coaxially coincident magnetic fields, where one of the sets of coils can rotate relative to the other Although the use of a facing coil configuration is uncommon in the generation and use of poly-phase electric power, analogous single-phase devices have been used For example, magnetos for internal combustion engines have been made with a stationary circular array of coils, mounted on the engine block, facing a rotating array of permanent magnets mounted on the flywheel (an arrangement employed on the Model T Ford automobile some eighty years ago) This facing coil configuration could have an advantage in that the two sets of coils could easily be made to have the same size and shape and thereby to provide identical power ratings

It is also well known to make a rotating machine 12 having two sets of coaxial polyphase coils in which the outer of the two sets of coils rotates while the inner set is held stationary (1 e , a configuration similar to an induction motor in which the apparent stator rotates about a fixed apparent rotor) It is additionally known (e g , in the art of electrically propelled torpedoes) to add a second set of bearings and brushes in order to configure a rotating machine 12 similar to a motor in which both the rotor 24 and stator 20 rotate in a fixed frame of reference (in the torpedo example each of two counter-rotating propellers is dπven by one of the rotating sets of coils) What is important to the invention is that the rotating electrical machine 12 compnses two sets of polyphase windings having coincident magnetic fields, and that one of the windings is rotatable relative to the other in either of the two possible senses of rotation about a common axis

The rotor windings 26 may be connected to the rotor gnd 28 via the illustrated combination of a voltage adjusting means 17, brushes 40, 42, 44, and slip rings 39, 41, 43 It will be understood by those skilled in the art that other known means of connecting a gnd 28 to the rotor windings 26 may also be employed Such means include, inter alia, a revolving transformer As will become clearer in the ensuing disclosure, the rotor 24 of the asynchronous converter 10 may be nearly stationary for extended intervals or may rotate very slowly, hence, the brushes 40, 42, 44 may have to be specially designed to avoid localized erosion of the slip rings 39, 41, 43 which would impede subsequent motion of the rotor 24 Such special brush designs may encompass mounting the brushes 40, 42, 44 in rotatable collars (not shown) and oscillating them back and forth over a restricted angular range Alternately, one could employ a brush collar (not shown) disposed intermediate the slip ring and an external contact, the brush collar having inward and outward facing brushes and a separate means of rotation so that both sets of brushes would move across their respective contacts quickly enough as to avoid local erosion

The apparatus 10 of the invention is expected to be primarily used as a means of transferring electric power between two three-phase grids 22, 28, both operating nominally at the same frequency (e g , fifty or sixty Hertz) It should be noted that the apparatus 10 will operate if the gnds 22, 28 have a greater disparity in frequency (although in this case the power expended in the hydraulic torque motor 14 portion of the apparatus will be significantly greater, as will be subsequently descnbed herein) The asynchronous converter 10 will also operate if the number of phases on the stator 22 and rotor 28 gnds differ

A torque motor 14 connected to the shaft 38 of the rotor 24 is used to supply torque continuously at typically low rotational speeds In this application the torque motor 14 must supply a torque between the windings 18, 26 in either of the two possible rotational directions, and must either dnve or be dnven This preferred arrangement, in which the torque-applying means is also capable of absorbing a torque applied to it, is commonly called four quadrant operation A variety of different motor types, embracing

hydraulic, pneumatic, and electric motors may be considered for this application

A converter 10 of the invention may be constructed with any orientation of the rotary axis — e g , as shown in Fig 1, with the slip rings 39, 41, 43 and brushes 40, 42, 44 disposed intermediate the rotating machine 12 and the torque motor 14 It will be understood that any of a wide variety of different placements of these elements could be chosen — e g , one could consider placing the slip rings 39, 41, 43 and brushes 40, 42, 44 on the opposite end of the shaft from the hydraulic motor 14 As a specific example, consider a converter with a vertical axis of rotation, and with the torque motor 14, rotor 24 and stator 20 immersed in an oil bath (not shown) as is common in transformer art, but not commonly done in rotating machinery because of viscous drag losses (It is expected that in most of its uses, the apparatus of the invention will operate with very low rotational speeds, so drag losses are of little concern) In the exemplar design, the slip rings 39, 41, 43, and brushes 40, 42, 44 would be on the upper end of the shaft 38 (I e , would be on the opposite side of the rotating machine 12 from the torque motor 14) so as to be above the level of the oil It will be understood to those skilled in the art of power generating and conversion equipment that other liquid or gaseous cooling media could be used in either forced or convectively circulated arrangements

Voltage adjusting means 16, 17 are used to adjust the power factor As is known in the art, such means may compnse tap transformers 16, 17, preferably set up on both sides of the rotating machine 12

Other known equipment used in the system of the invention compnses contactors 46, 48 connecting or disconnecting one side of the rotating machine 12 from its respective power grid 22, 28, power factor indication instruments 50, and a synchroscope 62 The power factor meters 50 are conventionally connected to the gnds 22, 28 with voltage connections to each of the phases and with current connections to at least two of the three phases made by means of current transformers 58

When the asynchronous converter 10 is connected between two poly-phase gnds 22, 28, currents in the stator and rotor windings 18, 26 induce coincident rotating magnetic fields in the magnetic circuit of the machine 12 In the asynchronous converter 10 of the invention, the stator windings 18 and rotor windings 26 are connected to the phase conductors of the power gnds 22, 28 so that each winding 18, 26, if acting alone, would generate a rotating magnetic field rotating in the same predetermined direction Each of these rotating magnetic fields would be substantially constant in angular velocity

If the torque motor 14 does not exert a torque on the shaft 38, the rotor and stator magnetic fields will interact to produce a torque bringing the two fields into alignment If the two gnds 22, 28 have the same frequency, the rotor 24 will initially move until the fields are aligned Thereafter, the rotor 24 will remain stationary, the fields will rotate at synchronous speed and the flux density will be determined

by the winding-turns, voltages and frequency, as is well known in the art If, on the other hand, the two gnds 22, 28 are operating at slightly different frequencies, the rotor 24 will rotate at a speed proportional to the frequency difference and to the number of poles for which the rotating machine 12 is wound If the gnd 22 connected to the stator windings 18 has the higher of the two frequencies, the rotor 24 will turn in the direction of the rotating magnetic field Conversely, if the grid 22 of the stator windings 18 has the lower frequency, the rotor 24 will turn in the opposite rotational direction It will be understood to those skilled in the art that although the grids 22, 28 are shown as conventional three-phase gnds, the asynchronous converter 10 of the invention would work with any number of phases greater than one

Power is transferred between gnds by applying torque to the shaft 38 of the asynchronous converter 10 If torque is applied in the same direction as that of the rotating magnetic field, power is transferred from the gnd 28 connected to the rotor windings 26 to the gnd 22 connected to the stator windings 18 Conversely, if the applied torque is directed oppositely to the rotating magnetic field, power is transferred from the stator gnd 22 to the rotor gnd 28 The power transferred is the anthmetic product of the torque and the rotational speed of the rotating magnetic field

If the frequencies of the two gnds 22, 28 differ, the applied torque may act either in the same sense or in an opposing sense to the rotational direction of the shaft 38 Under some operating conditions the torque motor 14 may be overhauled by the rotating machine 12 and should therefore preferably be capable of four quadrant operation When the sending gnd has the lower frequency, the torque motor 14 (which may be powered from either gnd) provides some of the transferred power If, on the other hand, the sending gnd has the higher frequency, the torque motor 14 is overhauled and the excess power is dissipated as heat

The hydraulic power dissipated increases with the dispanty in frequency between the two gnds 22,

28 When coupling two nominally sixty Hertz gnds, one expects to encounter an average dispanty of less than 0 1 Hz Fault conditions, however, can raise this dispanty with a concomitant drastic increase in power dissipation Because faults are mostly of very short duration, the thermal mass and mechanical inertia of the asynchronous converter 10 can be chosen to be high enough to provide an adequate margin of operating safety without having to operate disconnect means 46, 48 to remove the converter 10 from service The rare cases of extended duration faults can be dealt with either by disconnecting the apparatus 10 from the gnds 22, 28 or by designing the converter 10 to operate under these worst case conditions Designing the converter 10 to operate under worst-case frequency mis-match conditions is likely to be self-defeating both because of the increased size and cost of the hydraulic system 56, and because of the undesirability of operating a hydraulic system 56 for most of the time at a small fraction of its rated output

The power transfer descnbed supra occurs regardless of the relative voltages of the two grids 22, 28, but the power factor presented to each gnd is a function of those voltages It is therefore preferred to employ voltage adjusting means 16, 17 to adjust the power factors on the two gnds 22, 28 to a desired value, which will commonly be close to unity Consequently, a preferred embodiment of the invention compnses power factor indicating instruments 50 connected to both gnds 22, 28 An imbalance in the phase voltages of either gnd 22, 28 will produce a negative sequence third harmonic of the difference frequency that will result in a power transfer fluctuation and increased losses in the asynchronous converter 10 As is known in the art, this problem can be addressed by appropnate adjustment of individual phase taps 52 on the tapped transformers 54 comprising preferred voltage adjustment means 16, 17

An asynchronous converter 10 using a hydraulic motor 14 as a torque-applying means could be started from rest by pressunzing the hydraulic system 56 associated with the torque motor 14 and the hydrostatic bearings (not shown) of the rotating machine 12 The stator windings 18 would then be connected to its power gnd 22 The torque motor 14 would be operated to slowly turn the rotor 24 until a synchroscope 62, connected to the rotor windings 26 and to the other gnd 28, indicated that each rotor voltage was in phase with the corresponding phase voltage on its gnd 28 The rotor windings 26 would then be connected to the grid 28 by an appropnate contactor 48 and the torque motor 14 would be powered to supply torque in an appropnate direction so as to transfer power in the desired direction Finally, taps 54 would be adjusted to bring the power factors to a desired level

In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, designed for the transfer of lOOMW of electnc power between two gnds 22, 28, each compnsing one or more polyphase electnc power sources 30, 32, the stator 20 and rotor 24 could be wound for three phases, eight poles, and 13 8 kV The torquing function could be supplied by a pair of low speed, high torque hydraulic motors 14 powered by a pump 34 The electric motor 36 powering the pump 34 could be supplied from one or the other of the gnds 22, 28 It will be understood that the torque motor 14 may be connected directly to the shaft 38, or may be connected through other known connection means such as an overhaulable gear dnve (e g , a 30 1 reduction gear) compatible with the four quadrant operation of the motor 14 (e g , a worm gear speed reduction means, which would not allow the rotating machine 12 to overhaul the torque motor 14, would not be compatible with four quadrant operation)

If one of the two exemplar gnds 22, 28 is operating at 60 Hz and the other is operating at 59 94 Hz, the rotational speed of the shaft 38 would be 0 9 RPM and the hydraulic motor speeds (at a 30 1 reduction) would be 27 RPM At full load the converter shaft 38 torque would be 782,264 foot-pounds, requiring a total hydraulic power of 134 HP, which would be either taken from the grid 28 powering the

pump 34 or, if the torque motor 14 is being overhauled by the rotating machine 12, would be dissipated as heat in a relieving regulator (not shown) It may be noted that in this example the dissipation represents a power loss, under load conditions, of 0 1%

It may be noted that the asynchronous converter 10 of the invention may also be used within an electnc gnd as a means of managing instabilities in weak links In conventional utility practice a grid 22 may compnse two power generating stations 30A, 30B connected by a "weak link" powerline 60 capable of regularly carrying a fraction of the power output from either of the generating stations 30A, 30B That is, the gnd 22 commonly compnses a plurality of local generating stations 30, each providing most of its output power to a vanety of local loads (not shown), where the gnd functions to relieve imbalances between the local generators 30 and local loads These imbalances, which commonly are a small fraction of a given generating station's capacity, are handled by the weak link 60, which can be overloaded and become unstable

An asynchronous converter 10 connected within a weak link 60 between two generating stations

30A, 30B could be used to manage weak link instabilities In the normal operation of such a system — I e , when the weak link 60 was operating in a normal stable mode - the hydraulic motor 14 would require substantially no power, as the two generating stations 30A, 30B linked by the weak link 60 are synchronized

Although the present invention has been described with respect to an exemplar preferred embodiment, many modifications and alterations can be made without departing from the invention Accordingly, it is intended that all such modifications and alterations be considered as within the spint and scope of the invention as defined in the attached claims

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The invention provides apparatus and method for transferring electrical power from one electncal utility gnd to a second one where the two gnds are operating at slightly different frequencies and phases