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Static Synchronous Compensator

Provides reactive power compensation with improved operational voltage range and small footprint

GE's utility grade Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM) solution is a custom designed system to be installed on transmission grids. It provides grid operators with reactive power compensation and improved range of operational voltage with a faster response time and a smaller footprint than traditional SVC solutions.

GE's STATCOM solution leverages Voltage-Source Converter (VSC) technology based on Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) architecture, from GE's robust High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) design. The solution is an open-rack structure, where the valve is located inside a building making the accessibility and any required maintenance significantly easier than containerized solutions.

The uniqueness of GE's solution is the larger DC capacitance, a re-usable by-pass switch and industry leading Model-Based design STATCOM control platform.

GE Advantage
DC voltage source
Model Based Design
Project Approach

GE's STATCOM utilizes highly dynamic VSC based compensators, which when compared to SVC solutions, provides improved range of operational voltage, with higher reactive output at lower system voltage and robust recovery support under severe system disturbances and provides a smaller footprint. Key features of STATCOM System include:

  • Usually connected to High Voltage (HV) grid via a step down power transformer
  • Always a symmetrical power rating in the inductive and capacitive operating regions
  • Hybrid solutions available for increased power rating including: STATCOM, plus
  • Thyristor Switched Components,
  • Mechanically Switched components
  • or Static Var Compensator (SVC)
  • Reduced footprint compared to a classical SVC solution

Basic STATCOM Configuration and Main Components


GE provides an extensive portfolio of feasibility and network studies, project management skills, engineering capabilities, equipment, installation services and long term maintenance contracts, delivering an integrated and robust system providing utilities with the following competitive advantages:

Model based design

  • Model based design provides rapid technical responsiveness to the customer, from planning support and project execution to commissioning
  • Intuitive graphical interface provides fast, automatic, and error free code generation from control models, ensuring a greater level of confidence to the customer
  • Ease of integration to Control System software with Power System modelling tools such as PSCAD, providing the most accurate representation of system performance for planning and troubleshooting analysis
  • Advanced Digital Control based on open VPX offers future-proof higher control execution speed with higher controller-internal (backplane) data rates, and scale up without sacrificing speed
  • Supported components/technologies are the same state-of-the art used in commercial applications – with wider knowledge community, support, documentation. The physical size of VPX rack is half the size of the VME

System flexibility to ensure optimized performance

  • Open rack structure including unique modular valve design that facilitates a safe and clean maintenance environment, including individual access to control cards, DC capacitors and rechargeable bypass switch providing easier access and higher availability than containerized solutions
  • Based on large scale HVDC VSC valve design principles and standards, utilizing the most advanced MMC architecture with system redundancy through the valve, cooling system, P&C and passive optical network communication system
  • DC capacitor, which includes both a pressure switch and relief valve for safety, is rated 2 to 3 times more than competitive offerings, leading to much improved system performance during transient events and fault ride through capacity

Manufacturing excellence and deep domain technical expertise

  • Over 50 years' experience with over 380 global shunt compensation installations ranging from small industrial to large utility projects, in diverse applications and extreme environmental conditions
  • GE supports the entire value chain with a full range of competencies, eliminating project and logistical complexities of multiple vendor projects
  • Valves are produced in our state-of-the-art HVDC facility that is specifically designed for manufacturing and testing of VSC technology
  • All major STATCOM components are vertically integrated within advanced manufacturing facilities, certified to ISO 9001:2015 Environmental Standards, ISO 4001 and OHSAS 18001

An unrivaled DC voltage source for a better STATCOM

The function of a STATCOM system is to provide reactive compensation to the grid when it is needed most, during fault and transient conditions. GE's STATCOM solution is the only commercial solution that uses a 7mF capacitor as its DC voltage source for stabilizing the grid, nearly 2 to 3 times larger than competing solutions.

Operational Advantage of the GE STATCOM Solution

The operational advantages of this design decision can be clearly seen in the two figures below. When a three phase fault is introduced just after 0.2 seconds, the STATCOM current contribution with the larger, 7mF capacitor is nearly perfect, resuming it's steady state current profile within 25ms of fault inception.

Typical STATCOM Solution

By contrast, by modelling the performance of a typical STATCOM solution that would use a smaller, 3.5mF capacitor. The STATCOM current contribution is significantly impacted during the fault and takes nearly 4 times longer, or 100ms to recover upon fault clearing, and then goes through another 50ms of undesirable transient overshoots. Such transients, contrary to the objective of the STATCOM, produces more instability during and after the fault condition.

Using a larger capacitance provides more stored energy, delivering better fault ride through capability by delivering stable full current for a longer time duration.

GE's approach to STATCOM control systems represent the latest in design methodology by utilizing a powerful Model-Based Design approach. With this approach the STATCOM control system software is built using a core library of complex control algorithms that represents over 50 years of FACTS experience within GE, key features include:

Graphical Interface

Model Based Design utilizes a graphical interface for the design stage and translation of control models with automatic code generation for all testing and verification stages. With this approach, GE has enhanced the quality, reliability, and maintainability of the Advanced Digital Control system for STATCOMs.

Built-in Monitoring, Self Diagnostics & Event Logger

Extensive self diagnostic capabilities are built-in to maximize reliability, any degradation of performances or fault of components is pinpointed in real-time and can be easily replaced. When availability is at stake, the control system is configured in a dual lane redundancy concept which allows for the highest availability. A built-in event logger with automatic time stamping of 1 millisecond resolution and a synchronized transient fault recorder with up to 10µs sampling will allow for post event detailed analysis by experts.

Secure Remote Access

The control system can be remotely accessed via internet using secured protocol. It allows remote monitoring (using the built-in real-time monitoring function) and fault detection including diagnostic. To fulfill modern remote control interfacing requirements, the control platform supports an extensive set of industry standard protocols including IEC® 61850, DNP3 and IEC 60870. Custom protocols can be implemented as an option.

Proven Technology

Based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, the control platform runs on VPX military technology and meets all the requirements of the Flexible AC Transmission System (FACTS) market. Depending on the application complexity, the control platform consists of single or multiple racks, interconnected by high speed serial fiber optic interfaces. The fiber optic interface enables the boards in different racks to communicate with each other as if they were installed in the same rack without any software change.

Project Management Approach

GE's project management approach follows a well-established set of processes and procedures that have resulted in the highest on-time delivery in the industry. GE has the people, process and rigor that customers require for the planning and execution of complex projects, including defined processes for the definition, analysis, design, implementation and post service support that is required for successful projects.

project approach