STATIC CONDENSER FOR BETTER POWER TRANSMISSION DEDICATED AT TVA'S SULLIVAN SUBSTATION
"From a consumer's standpoint, STATCON could potentially help lower the cost of electricity and provide the high quality power needed by sensitive equipment such as computers," said Karl Stahlkopf, vice president of EPRI's Power Delivery Group. "From a utility's standpoint, STATCON provides a vital competitive advantage for confronting an era of deregulation," he added.
Deregulation, which would allow further open access to the electric transmission industry, would increase the number of electricity transfers. Bulk power, or wholesale, transfers already account for 40 percent of all electricity generated and are expected to increase significantly. These transfers are beyond the original design capabilities of the power grid. STATCON will redirect current flow and raise flow limits on transmission networks in a fraction of a cycle and help smooth out disturbances before they reach sensitive customer equipment.
"Solid-state electronic devices, like STATCON, can increase the operational reliability of our transmission system while decreasing capital and maintenance cost," said Bill Museler, TVA vice president Transmission/Power Supply Group. "This demonstration enables TVA to avoid installing an additional transformer bank at the Sullivan substation and possibly avoid building a new line in the future," he added.
Development of STATCON has been made possible by the availability of a new generation of solid-state electronic switch called the gate turn-off thyristor, or GTO. Use of GTOs enables the static condenser to regulate voltage without expensive external capacitors or reactors to avoid power disruptions.
Tests of STATCON at the Sullivan substation make this the most recent accomplishment in EPRI's Flexible AC Transmission System (FACTS) technology. FACTS enables utilities to better direct power flow and increase line capacity. The prototype STATCON equipment was designed, manufactured and tested at the Westinghouse Science and Technology Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
"Our new technology gives faster and more precise control of power flow," said Aris Melissaratos, Westinghouse vice president for science, technology and quality. "In addition, we estimate that the STATCON will need about 60 percent less real estate and installation labor than conventional control equipment."
The STATCON at TVA is rated at 200 million volt-amperes-reactive (Mvar) with an output that is continuously variable from minus 100 to plus 100 Mvar.
In the future, STATCON may be used to connect a stored energy source, such as a battery bank or superconducting coil, to a power line and thus supply real power to protect critical loads during outages.
"As construction of new transmission lines becomes more difficult, utilities are looking for better ways to control and optimize their existing power systems," said Karl Stahlkopf, vice president of EPRI's Power Delivery Group. "Our FACTS program provides utilities with the enabling technology to meet their goal, and STATCON represents a key component of this technology."
EPRI, founded in 1972 and headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., manages technology research and development programs for the electric utility industry to improve electricity production, distribution and use. Some 700 utilities are members of the Institute.
Westinghouse Electric Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a diversified, technology-based firm with leadership in a number of industries including broadcasting, electric power generation and electronic systems.
TVA is a federal corporation and operates one of the nation's largest electric systems serving 160 power distributors and nearly eight million consumers in seven Southeastern states. In addition to its electric utility operations, TVA carries out congressionally mandated responsibilities associated with the operation of the Tennessee River system, land management, economic development and the environment.
/EDITORS' ADVISORY: The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is releasing this information to national media today from Johnson City, Tenn. The technology involved was developed in Pittsburgh.
Color slides of STATCON and the TVA Sullivan Substation are available by calling Lori Telson at EPRI at 415-855-2272.
Westinghouse Electric Corporation press releases are available at no charge through PR Newswire's Company News On-Call fax service and on PRN's Web site. For a menu of available Westinghouse Electric Corporation press releases or to retrieve a specific release, call 800-758-5804, ext. 965075, or http://www.prnewswire.com on the Internet./
/CONTACT: Lori Telson of EPRI, 415-855-2272, Gil Francis of TVA, 423-632-8031, or Marion Stakor of Westinghouse, 412-256-2818/
CO: Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Electric Power Research
Institute; Tennessee Valley Authority ST: Tennessee, Pennsylvania IN: OIL UTI SU:
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