Flexible high voltage Transformers for Resilient Grids.

March,2020, by Estefania Ruiz

A guaranteed supply of electricity has a huge economic value for the industry. According to an “Update of Business Downtime Costs” the average annual outage costs are around 7 billion dollars for the Industrial sector and 11 billion dollars for the Commercial Sector in the United States. In recent years, terrorism and vandalism has targeted electrical grid assets. A relevant attack was the one suffered by PG&E in 2013, where 17 transformers resulted damaged.

or rapidly recover from, a potentially disruptive event. High Voltage Transformers are vulnerable assets in the Electrical Power System. Despite the fact that the number of HV transformers is less than 3% of all transformers in the US, these transformers carry about 70% of electricity. Parameters such as voltage ratings and impedance differ among substations, requiring custom designs for every substation.

Since 2016 Prolec GE and Global Research Center (GRC) have been working in the development of a transformer that can be interchanged between substations. This project is part of the Transformer Resilience and Advanced Components (TRAC) program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). By matching relevant parameters as voltages and impedance to the substation, this new product will improve the grid resilience with its ability to adapt, allowing a rapid recovery from disruptive events.

CIP-014 weights the vulnerability of substations based on the number of transformers with voltage classes equal to, or greater than, 200 kV. In the substation, vulnerability increases as the voltage class or the number of lines with these ratings increase. The Scope of Grid Ready Flexible Transformers is aligned with CIP-014 and reflects 230 and 345 kV voltage classes.

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