Understanding Small-Signal Stability of Low-Inertia Systems


Large-scale integration of renewable generation, usually interfaced to the network through power electronics, has led to drastic changes in power system dynamics. This paper presents novel insights into stability properties of such systems. For that purpose, a high-fidelity dynamic model of a generic low-inertia power system has been developed. The full-order, state-of-the-art control schemes of both synchronous and converter-based generators are included, with the latter differentiating between grid-forming and grid-following mode of operation. Furthermore, the dynamics of transmission lines and loads are captured in the model. Using modal analysis techniques such as participation factors and parameter sensitivity, the most vulnerable segments of the system are determined and the adverse effects of timescale coupling and control interference are investigated. More precisely, this work characterizes the maximum permissible penetration levels of inverter-based generation as well as the nature of the associated unstable modes and the underlying dynamics. Finally, potential directions for improving the system stability margin under different generation portfolios are proposed for several benchmark systems.

IEEE Transactions on Power Systems