Thermal Constraints Of Power Equipment And Line Circuits

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3.2 Thermal constraints Thermal constraints in existing power equipment and line circuits are inhibitive of their optimum power transfer capability. When the current that flows through power equipment exceeds its thermal rating, it over-heats and its insulation deteriorate precipitously. This reduces the equipment lifetime, leading to more potential faults. If too much current passes through the overhead line circuit, the conductor would lengthen, increasing the sag with reduced clearance to the ground. This would then increase the number of potential faults and public safety risks. The implementation of dynamic ratings in the Smart Grid system to increase circuit capacity is thus imperative to overcome the constraints highlighted above. 3.3 Operational constraints There has been a growth in efforts to connect generation to the distribution network over the past decade. DG, however, could potentially cause the voltage to exceed its upper limit, leading to short-circuit faults and damaging power equipment. Coordinated operation of generation, on-load tap changers and equipment to control the voltage in distribution circuits is thus required. The task is highly delicate: it requires a second-by-second balancing of generation and demand. Any imbalance would be reflected as a deviation of the frequency range from 50 or 60 Hz. Another area of interest for integration is renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which unfortunately, have variable and uncertain power output (see Figure 6). These factors inevitably impose challenges upon the conventional system to maintain supply-demand balance and system frequency. In order to address the complications highlighted above, the Smart Grid infrastructure allows frequency ... ... middle of paper ... ... in several countries, not much progress has been made in regards to clean energy policy. There are also no clear, specific scenarios, despite the fact that there are many alternative paths to a cleaner grid system. Having a specific set of scenario based on varying technological advances and uncertain generator cost can indeed be challenging. It is highly affected by changes in regulatory policies and the emergence of some disruptive technologies. These factors would further impact the design aspect as the level of complexity is dependent on the best known method (BKM), which may take years to develop. The above challenges are further exacerbated by the tendency to define the Smart Grid solely on the basis of technical performance. This may not by itself be a problem, but the policy path should consider a broader scope to include environmental impact of the grid.

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