Testing GFM and GFL Inverters Operating With Synchronous Condensers

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Inverter-based resources (IBRs) are quickly evolving into a source of reliability services to the electric grid. Penetration levels of variable generation are rapidly increasing, ranging from 60% -70% in some systems. To go further, a fundamental shift is required to address challenges associated with grid stability. Synchronous condensers (SCs) are considered an important complementary technology in such transitions. This paper provides one-of-a-kind insights into real experimental results from operating a real MW-scale system consisting of a 2.2-MVA grid-forming (GFM) and grid-following (GFL) battery energy storage system, 2.5-MVA SCs, and a 3-MVA load bank operating as a small, islanded grid. Challenges that are expected in larger systems were mimicked in this small but real system to demonstrate seamless transitions from one mode to another as well as stable operation with different combinations of GFM and GFM resources, including a 'loss of last synchronous generator' case. The experimental results presented in this paper are a valuable resource to everyone involved in developing and validating models or developing controls of power systems consisting of inverters and synchronous condensers.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, PESGM 2023 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 16 Jul 202320 Jul 2023


Conference2023 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, PESGM 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-84564


  • grid-following converter
  • Grid-forming converter
  • stability
  • synchronous condenser


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