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Current Source Converters (CSC) and Voltage Source Converters (VSC)

The main requirement in a power transmission system is the precise control of active and reactive power flow to maintain the system voltage stability. This is achieved through an electronic converter and its ability of converting electrical energy from AC to DC or vice versa. There are basically two configuration types of three-phase converters possible for this conversion process, Current Source Converters (CSC) and Voltage Source Converters (VSC). Modern HVDC transmission systems can utilize either traditional CSC or VSC as the basic conversion workhorse.


Voltage Source Converters (VSC)

Voltage Source Converters operating with the specified vector control strategy can perform independent control of active/reactive power at both ends. This ability of VSC makes it suitable for connection to weak AC networks, i.e. without local voltage sources. For power reversal, the DC voltage polarity remains the same for VSC based transmission system and the power transfer depends only on the direction of the DC current.


Current Source Converter (CSC)

In a Current Source Converter, the DC current is kept constant with a small ripple using a large inductor, thus forming a current source on the DC side. The direction of power flow through a CSC is determined by the polarity of the DC voltage while the direction of current flow remains the same.

Self-commutated Voltage Source Converters are more flexible than the more conventional Current Source Converter since they allow controlling active and reactive power independently.


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