Bulk Power System Dynamics with Varying Levels of Synchronous Generators and Grid-Forming Power Inverters

Yashen Lin, Brian Pierre, Hugo Villegas Pico, Ryan Elliott, Jack Flicker, Brian Johnson, Joseph Eto, Robert Lasseter, Abraham Ellis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

16 Scopus Citations


Inverters using phase-locked loops for control depend on voltages generated by synchronous machines to operate. This might be problematic if much of the conventional generation fleet is displaced by inverters. To solve this problem, grid-forming control for inverters has been proposed as being capable of autonomously regulating grid voltages and frequency. Presently, the performance of bulk power systems with massive penetration of grid-forming inverters has not been thoroughly studied as to elucidate benefits. Hence, this paper presents inverter models with two grid-forming strategies: virtual oscillator control and droop control. The two models are specifically developed to be used in positive-sequence simulation packages and have been implemented in PSLF. The implementations are used to study the performance of bulk power grids incorporating inverters with gridforming capability. Specifically, simulations are conducted on a modified IEEE 39-bus test system and the microWECC test system with varying levels of synchronous and inverter-based generation. The dynamic performance of the tested systems with gridforming inverters during contingency events is better than cases with only synchronous generation.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


Conference46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-74107 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-76330


  • Droop control
  • frequency control
  • gridforming inverters
  • inverter control
  • photovoltaic inverters
  • virtual oscillator control


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