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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


As modern power systems are experiencing exceptional changes with increasing penetrations 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 could obtain high system resilience by not relying on the bulk power system restoration, which requires significant human intervention and procedure. 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 the 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 startup behaviors as well as network dynamics. In addition, active involvement of grid-following distributed energy resources is also studied to facilitate the black-start process. By allowing multiple GFM inverters to collectively black start without leader-follower coordination, we demonstrate that 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 pages5
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE Power and Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference, ISGT 2023 - Washington, United States
Duration: 16 Jan 202319 Jan 2023


Conference2023 IEEE Power and Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference, ISGT 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-83947 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-86244


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


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