J. Space Weather Space Clim.
Volume 8, 2018
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Published online||26 January 2018|
North Europe power transmission system vulnerability during extreme space weather
European Commission, Joint Research Centre,
Via E. Fermi 2749,
Ispra, VA, Italy
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 10 November 2017
Space weather driven by solar activity can induce geomagnetic disturbances at the Earth's surface that can affect power transmission systems. Variations in the geomagnetic field result in geomagnetically induced currents that can enter the system through its grounding connections, saturate transformers and lead to system instability and possibly collapse. This study analyzes the impact of extreme space weather on the northern part of the European power transmission grid for different transformer designs to understand its vulnerability in case of an extreme event. The behavior of the system was analyzed in its operational mode during a severe geomagnetic storm, and mitigation measures, like line compensation, were also considered. These measures change the topology of the system, thus varying the path of geomagnetically induced currents and inducing a local imbalance in the voltage stability superimposed on the grid operational flow. Our analysis shows that the North European power transmission system is fairly robust against extreme space weather events. When considering transformers more vulnerable to geomagnetic storms, only few episodes of instability were found in correspondence with an existing voltage instability due to the underlying system load. The presence of mitigation measures limited the areas of the network in which bus voltage instabilities arise with respect to the system in which mitigation measures are absent.
© R. Piccinelli and E. Krausmann, Published by EDP Sciences 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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