Evaluating Methods for Measuring Grid Frequency in Low-Inertia Power Systems: Preprint

Jocelyn Ting, Bin Wang, Rick Kenyon, Andy Hoke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Accurate measurement of grid frequency is a critical component of reliable grid control. Traditionally, methods such as phase locked loops (PLLs) and discrete Fourier transforms (DFTs) have been used in inverters and phasor measurement units (PMUs) to measure frequency. However, as the percentage of inverter-based resources (IBRs) such as solar and wind has increased, these conventional frequency measurement methods are proving unable to guarantee reliable control in some cases. One challenge is measuring frequency during transient events, where there is a disruption in the steady state sinusoidal voltage. During these events, the underlying frequency of the grid may barely change, but measurement methods report a large spike in frequency due to the disrupted waveform. New methods must balance between suppressing spikes in frequency during faults, and providing fast, accurate, measurements in all other grid operation conditions, especially during events with high rate-of-change-of frequency (ROCOF), which are more prevalent in high-IBR power systems. This paper first surveys frequency measurement methods that have been proposed to reduce measurement errors during transient events. Then, both conventional and more novel frequency measurement methods are tested against an IEEE standard and industry recommendations, and their performance is evaluated for events simulated in PSCAD. Results quantify the trade-offs in performance during different grid conditions and lead to suggestions for the most appropriate frequency and ROCOF measurement methods for low inertia grids.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2022
EventIEEE Kansas Power & Energy Conference 2022 - Manhattan, Kansas
Duration: 25 Apr 202226 Apr 2022


ConferenceIEEE Kansas Power & Energy Conference 2022
CityManhattan, Kansas

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-81400


  • frequency
  • frequency measurement
  • inertia
  • low-inertia power systems
  • transient events


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