Grid-Following Inverters and Synchronous Condensers: A Grid-Forming Pair?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

21 Scopus Citations


As power systems across the globe continue to achieve higher instantaneous penetrations of power electronic converter-interfaced renewable sources, the stability of these power systems is challenged because of the removal of synchronous machines, from which stability is traditionally derived. Although technological solutions to these stability challenges are on the horizon, such as the use of grid-forming inverters, they are not yet widely applied to larger power systems, which presents operational challenges for power systems achieving these high instantaneous penetrations today. A potential interim solution using existing technologies is to pair synchronous condensers with grid-following inverters, which might prolong the stability of an operating power system while synchronous generators are turned off during periods of high renewable energy availability. This work examines the transient stability of such a solution using PSCAD simulations of a two-bus system coupled to a varied-length transmission line, with a synchronous condenser at one bus and a grid-following inverter with grid-support functionality at the other. The system is exposed to load step, balanced fault, and unbalanced fault perturbations. It was found that this simple system returned to a steady state for transmission line lengths up to 125 km after 10% load steps, or a variety of fault types.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Event2020 Clemson University Power Systems Conference, PSC 2020 - Clemson, United States
Duration: 10 Mar 202013 Mar 2020


Conference2020 Clemson University Power Systems Conference, PSC 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-75848 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-77679


  • grid-following inverters
  • inertia
  • synchronous condensers


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