08 Jun 2018

Safely Providing Grid-Readiness Support for Substations

Aggreko supports Transmission and Distribution

Substations are an integral part of any electrical transmission and distribution system. By providing a connection point for generators, they receive high-voltage transmission lines and step down the power via transformers for low-voltage distribution networks, which provide power to homes and businesses. 

But for many operations managers, getting the substations ready for the grid is a daunting prospect. Because each substation contains electrical equipment, which is tasked with accepting and handling the load demand, it’s vital that they are safely tested before they are attached to the main network to ensure they operate reliably. 

Minimize Risks and Avoid Delays

Our engineers understand the importance of having grid-ready substations, which is why we deploy a range of temporary systems to act as the grid during the testing stages. This happens before the substation is connected to the grid to avoid any costly failures once the grid is fully connected. 

Because of this, we use temporary load-test systems to minimize safety risks and avoid any time-consuming commissioning delays. 

In the past, we have helped test a range of equipment, like new turbine generators, switchgear, overhead lines, protective relaying, and transformers, as well as many other applications. . 

Take one turbine generator for example, that required a functional test. In order to determine the performance of the new piece of equipment, we load-tested the entire system so that it could apply or reject all or some of the 20 MW required. 

Functional testing of varying voltage lines is vital with turbine generators, and by installing a separate load-bank system to test the integrity of the generator, we made sure it was fully-commissioned as quickly as possible. 

In another situation, we ran open-circuit and short-circuit tests on a substation transformer to take measurements and determine the core and winding losses. To do this, we provided a manually-controlled variable voltage source and designed and installed a selection of generators and a transformer container that let us vary the voltage to align with the requirements of the utility testing personnel. 

As a result, the substation transformer was put through its paces and declared fully-commissioned in the shortest time frame possible. 

Safety Comes First

When testing substations and getting them grid-ready, it’s absolutely vital that the processes carried out minimize risk as much as possible. 

By applying temporary solutions that allow operations managers to fully test the capabilities of their substations, the connections to the main grid can be applied safely and quickly without any delays in commission time or extra costs. 

We pride ourselves on providing effective, safe solutions that focus on getting substations working at the capacity needed by the site. By testing substations with grid-readiness support, utilities can expect their CAIDI and SAIDI scores to see improvement.