Resilient Inverter-Driven Black Start with Collective Parallel Grid-Forming Operation: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As the modern power systems are experiencing exceptional changes with increasing penetration of inverter-based resources (IBRs), system restoration using IBRs has received attention. Using local grid-forming (GFM) assets near consumers, engineered to establish grid voltages in the absence of a stiff grid, i.e., bottom-up restoration, a distribution system would obtain high system resilience, by not relying on the bulk power system restoration requiring significant human intervention and procedure to restore. This paper studies the technical feasibility of the novel approach with detailed electromagnetic transient (EMT) simulations. To thoroughly evaluate the potential of GFM inverters and technical challenges in IBR-driven black start, a detailed three-phase inverter model is developed, including negative-sequence control for voltage balance and a phase-by-phase current limiter to sustain momentary overloading during the black start. To examine dynamic aspects of the black start process, the EMT simulation also models transformer and motor dynamics to emulate their inrush and start-up behaviors as well as network dynamics. In addition, active involvement of grid-following distributed energy resources (DER) is also studied to facilitate the black start process. It is shown that, by allowing multiple GFM inverters to collectively black start without master-slave coordination, a system can achieve high resilience even with a fraction of assets lost. Two test cases of inverter-driven black start using two and one GFM inverters, respectively, for a heavily unbalanced 2-MVA distribution feeder are demonstrated. Takeaways for further study and field deployment are provided.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2022
Event2023 IEEE Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies North America (ISGT NA) - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 16 Jan 202319 Jan 2023


Conference2023 IEEE Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies North America (ISGT NA)
CityWashington, D.C.

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-86244 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-83947


  • grid-forming inverter
  • inverter black start
  • inverter-based resources
  • negative sequence control
  • phase current limiter
  • system restoration


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