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Tighter controls for busier systems [power systems]

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2 Author(s)
Stahlkopf, Karl E. ; EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, USA ; Wilhelm, M.R.

A variety of new technologies are becoming available that will help utilities maintain power system reliability while handling the larger volume of transactions. For example, power electronic systems can provide unprecedented control over electricity flow on transmission networks, preventing or containing cascading disturbances. In addition, new sensor technology, faster communications between control centers, and advanced software tools can enable utilities to monitor system conditions in real time, letting them respond more quickly to disturbances and minimize their impact. Over the next decade, these technologies will facilitate increased power transfers through power delivery systems that are presently constrained, providing power at lower cost to a greater number of customers. It is a question of how to optimize power flow through an entire network by integrating multiple technologies and coordinating control over wide areas. Such integration and coordination will be necessary for deregulation to proceed smoothly toward its twin goals: reducing electricity costs to US consumers, while maintaining the high levels of reliability they have come to expect. The authors discuss the following technologies to help achieve these goals including: flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS), the next generation of FACTS controllers, hierarchical control of FACTS, on-line power systems analysis, control centre communications, and wide area measurement system

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )