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EPRI FUNDS WESTINGHOUSE WORK ON ADVANCED POWER NET CONTROL

 EPRI FUNDS WESTINGHOUSE WORK ON ADVANCED POWER NET CONTROL
 PITTSBURGH, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation (NYSE: WX) is developing a new, all-electronic technology that will increase the capacity, efficiency and dependability of power lines, resulting in lower transmission costs and a reduced need for costly new generating plants or power corridors.
 The Westinghouse Science & Technology Center in Pittsburgh has been awarded more than $10 million in funding to date by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), research arm of the U.S. electric utility industry, for a multi-year research effort under EPRI's FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission System) initiative. The goal of FACTS is to develop the "transmission system of the future," according to EPRI.
 The two most recent EPRI contracts, totaling $8 million, extend the Westinghouse program through 1994. They fund design and construction of prototype 100 megavolt-ampere equipment for the Tennessee Valley Authority as part of a field demonstration of the technology within TVA's service area.
 The U.S. market for transmission system controls has been projected to reach about $1.5 billion by the year 2000 as utilities attempt, with minimal addition of power lines, to transmit more power over longer distances to balance regional shortages or simply to use more power from lower cost or cleaner generating sites.
 Officials at EPRI believe that technology developed under its FACTS initiative will be able to increase the power utilization of selected new and existing transmission lines by at least 50 percent.
 The Westinghouse approach is a complete departure from present transmission line compensation methods, which rely on bulky banks of capacitors and inductors to generate reactive power. It uses all-solid- state voltage sources to generate capacitive or inductive power internally, thereby providing dynamic, real-time control of all three parameters that determine power flow -- voltage, impedance and phase angle -- either concurrently or separately. As a result, many power lines will be able to transmit significantly more power than with present power-flow control equipment.
 "A compensation architecture without passive storage devices is a revolutionary concept," said Ted M. Foster, general manager of the company's Electronics, Information and Sciences Division. "It not only gives faster and more precise control of power flow and superior application flexibility but also lends itself to standard, modular equipment suitable for volume production. In addition, we estimate that it will require about 60 percent less real estate and installation labor than conventional equipment."
 A key component of the novel system is a static condenser, or STATCON, Foster said, so called because its operating characteristics (an a-c voltage behind a small coupling reactance) mimic those of a rotating synchronous condenser, a large capacitive reactor that utilities traditionally used to balance their transmission systems. The STATCON is designed around advanced solid-state switches. A high-power gate-turn-off (GTO) thyristor device is currently used; a promising new power device called an MOS-controlled thyristor (MCT) could replace the GTO when it becomes available.
 An important feature of the STATCON, Foster said, is that in addition to very efficient damping of dynamic disturbances it can provide peak power levelling. Unlike other compensation systems now in use -- even relatively advanced static VAR compensation -- when the STATCON is connected to a battery bank or other power source such as a superconducting coil it can supply real power to the line, or absorb it from the line, as needed.
 Utilities planning to incorporate such sources into their systems to help meet peak demands or to protect critical loads during power outages will find it easier and less costly to do with a STATCON, he said.
 -0- 9/14/92
 /CONTACT: Robert J. Benke of Westinghouse Electric, 412-642-3321, or fax, 412-642-4985/
 (WX) CO: Westinghouse Electric Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


CD -- PG003 -- 9180 09/14/92 13:00 EDT
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Date:Sep 14, 1992
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