Clock drift in digital controllers is of great relevance in many applications. Since almost all real clocks exhibit drifts, this applies in particular to networks composed of several individual units, each of which being operated with its individual clock. In the present work, we investigate the effect of clock drifts in inverter-based microgrids. Via a suitable model that incorporates this phenomenon, we prove that clock inaccuracies hamper synchronization in microgrids, in which the individual inverters are operated with a fixed uniform constant electrical frequency.
In addition, we show that the well-known frequency droop control renders stability of a lossless microgrid robust with respect to clock inaccuracies. This claim is established by using stability results reported previously by the authors for lossless inverter-based microgrids with ideal clocks. We also discuss the effect of clock drifts on active power sharing. The analysis is illustrated via a simulation example.