Islanding Detection in Microgrids Using Harmonic Signatures

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Merino J., Mendoza-Araya P., Venkataramanan G., BAYSAL M.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER DELIVERY, vol.30, no.5, pp.2102-2109, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/tpwrd.2014.2383412
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2102-2109
  • Keywords: Harmonic signature, islanding detection method, microgrid, VOLTAGES, CURRENTS, PLL
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In recent years, there has been a growing interest in incorporating microgrids in electrical power networks. This is due to various advantages they present, particularly the possibility of working in either autonomous mode or grid connected, which makes them highly versatile structures for incorporating intermittent generation and energy storage. However, they pose safety issues in being able to support a local island in case of utility disconnection. Thus, in the event of an unintentional island situation, they should be able to detect the loss of mains and disconnect for self-protection and safety reasons. Most of the anti-islanding schemes are implemented within control of single generation devices, such as dc-ac inverters used with solar electric systems being incompatible with the concept of microgrids due to the variety and multiplicity of sources within the microgrid. In this paper, a passive islanding detection method based on the change of the 5th harmonic voltage magnitude at the point of common coupling between grid-connected and islanded modes of operation is presented. Hardware test results from the application of this approach to a laboratory scale microgrid are shown. The experimental results demonstrate the validity of the proposed method, in meeting the requirements of IEEE 1547 standards.