Solar activity and transformer failures in the Greek national electric grid
Testing Research and Standards Centre, Public Power Corporation, 9 Leontariou street, GR 153 51, Kantza, Pallini, Athens, Attica, Greece
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 27 October 2013
Aims: We study both the short term and long term effects of solar activity on the large transformers (150 kV and 400 kV) of the Greek national electric grid. Methods: We use data analysis and various statistical methods and models. Results: Contrary to common belief in PPC Greece, we see that there are considerable both short term (immediate) and long term effects of solar activity onto large transformers in a mid-latitude country like Greece. Our results can be summarised as follows:
For the short term effects: During 1989–2010 there were 43 “stormy days” (namely days with for example Ap ≥ 100) and we had 19 failures occurring during a stormy day plus or minus 3 days and 51 failures occurring during a stormy day plus or minus 7 days. All these failures can be directly related to Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs). Explicit cases are briefly presented.
For the long term effects, again for the same period 1989–2010, we have two main results:
The annual number of transformer failures seems to follow the solar activity pattern. Yet the maximum number of transformer failures occurs about half a solar cycle after the maximum of solar activity.
There is statistical correlation between solar activity expressed using various newly defined long term solar activity indices and the annual number of transformer failures. These new long term solar activity indices were defined using both local (from the geomagnetic station in Greece) and global (planetary averages) geomagnetic data. Applying both linear and non-linear statistical regression we compute the regression equations and the corresponding coefficients of determination.
Key words: geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) / solar activity / technological system / non-linear phenomena / aeronomy
© I.P. Zois, Published by EDP Sciences 2013
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