Synthetic inertia provision through the control of doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG) wind turbines is an effective means of providing frequency support to the wider electrical network. There are numerous control topologies to achieve this, many of which work by making modifications to the DFIG power controller and introducing additional loops to relate active power to electrical frequency. How these many controller designs compare to one-another in terms of their contribution to frequency response is a much studied topic, but perhaps less studied is their effect on the small-signal stability of the system. The concept of small-signal stability in the context of a power system is the ability to maintain synchronism when subjected to small disturbances, such as those associated with a change in load or a loss of generation. Amendments made to the control system of a large-scale wind farm will inevitably have an effect on the system as a whole, and by making a DFIG wind turbine behave more like a synchronous generator, which synthetic inertia provision does, may incur consequences relating to electromechanical oscillations between generating units. This work compares the implications of two prominent synthetic inertia controllers of varying complexity and their effect on small-signal stability. Eigenvalue analysis is conducted to highlight the key information relating to electromechanical modes between generators for the two control strategies, with a focus on how these affect the damping ratios. It is shown that as the synthetic inertia controller becomes both more complex and more effective, the damping ratio of the electromechanical modes is reduced, signifying a decreased system stability.
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