In recent years, the Oil & Gas industry has been subjected to a progressive electrification process aiming to comply with global environmental requirements on CO2
emissions reduction. High-power electric motors fed by Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) have replaced gas turbines as drivers for gas compression applications. In Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants, unexpected downturns could be experienced in case of high torsional vibrations of power generations units. These torsional vibrations derive from the interaction among turbine-generator (TG) units and VFDs and are known as Sub-Synchronous Torsional Interactions (SSTIs). SSTIs can lead to instability when the overall electromechanical system lacks sufficient damping. In this scenario, electrical damping assessment is fundamental in order to ensure stability and reliable operation of an LNG plant. Negative electrical damping is strictly related to the negative incremental resistance behavior of the power converters and it is influenced by the converter’s control system. In this paper, a real case study based on Thyristor Variable Frequency Drives (TVFDs) is considered. Ad hoc dynamic models of the power converters and of the TG unit are developed and combined in order to provide an accurate estimation of the electrical damping. It is demonstrated that the electrical damping is affected by variations of the main control system parameters and how the use of a simplified model instead of an ad hoc model can impact the stability evaluation.
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