optimisation of transformer stations

DTU graduate assists Radius in technical and financial optimisation of automatic secondary substations

Thursday 07 Sep 17
by Stine-Lykke-Wagner


Guangya Yang
Associate Professor
DTU Wind
+45 45 25 56 19
The Danish electric operations company, Radius, is currently upgrading their secondary substations in order improve the operation of the grid. This, partly thanks to Mads Thelin Dalsgaard, who has developed a program for calculating the optimal placing of new automated secondary substations in the grid, as a part of his Master’s thesis at DTU Electrical Engineering.

Working as a student in the grid planning division at Radius, Mads got the idea of linking automatic secondary substations with a provident algorithm. The objective of his Master’s thesis therefore became to study whether general guidelines could be established when placing new substations in the grid in order to minimise the time of power cuts.

Electricity supply and power cuts
Radius owns and operates a large part of the Danish power grid supplying around a million companies and households with electricity. A grid like this requires approximately 10.000 substations. The purpose of the substation is to facilitate the electrical flow path from incoming wires to outgoing wires in a safe way. The substations therefore stand as nerve centres of the power distribution and are of significant importance regarding the time frame of power cuts.
The consistency of supply is generally at a very high level in Denmark and power cuts are currently unnoticeable but many components are aging, which might lead to problems in the future. To ensure better data as well as optimised operation and maintenance, Radius now plan to install these automatic substations to establish better communication and control within the system.

System communication
With the new automatic components, Radius’ control room will receive indications of power line faults. The communicative advantage is that the technicians will be able to detect a more exact location of the fault in a shorter amount of time. Radius will therefore be able to restore the supply from reserves quicker in case of power cuts. Affected companies and households will be able to receive electricity through other cables and inconveniences will therefore diminish.

“The automatic secondary substations work really well. In all current cases, we experience that fewer customers have experienced power cuts, and all of them in a shorter amount of time,” explains Daniel Kaiser-Almind, who is Senior Asset Analyst at Radius.

Data translation
The automatic substations generate data on the daily operation which will inform Radius’ asset managers on the state of the overall grid. The question is where to exactly place these stations in order to utilise the technology.
This is where former DTU student, Mads Thelin Dalsgaard, plays a big role as he has developed a model of calculation to predict exactly where to place these stations. He did so in supervision of Associate Professor Guangya Yang from DTU Electrical Engineering and Senior Power Grid Specialist Carsten Buhl Nielsen from Radius. By using the data available, Radius is able to place the automatic substations where they are utilised best and to reinforce general procedures of actions in case of faults.

Consequently, this gathering and utilisation of data does not only strengthen the operation but also reinsures a more inexpensive operation of the grid on the long term.

The thesis was completed in February 2017 and immediately after, Mads Thelin Dalsgaard joined Radius with a new position as Grid Analyst.

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