Skip to Main Content
Electric power systems that have major loads and generation centers separated by large distances may experience low-frequency power oscillations. This type of oscillation has occurred on the Pacific AC Intertie that connects southern California and the Pacific Northwest. A separate, almost parallel, dc-transmission line also connects these areas. The Bonneville Power Administration, which operates this transmission system, has overcome the instability by controlling the power transmitted on the dc-transmission line. A 30-MJ (8.4-kWh) superconducting magnetic energy storage unit with a 10-MW converter could also provide damping for this instability. The conceptual design of the 30-MJ coil and the cryogenic and electrical components of the system are described. The system is to operate at a maximum current of 5 kA and will modulate the AC Intertie at 0.35 Hz. Discharge will be controlled to retain a minimum stored energy of 20 MJ to limit cyclic strains in the coil and ac losses in the conductor. The conductor will be made of multistrand-copper and copper-matrix, multifilament NbTi superconducting wires on a stainless steel mandrel.