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Severe Solar Activity/Space Weather and the Global Threat to Electric Grids

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Severe Solar Activity/Space Weather and the Global Threat to Electric Grids John G. Kappenman Storm Analysis Consultants * A Review of Power Grid Vulnerability to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Severe Solar Activity/Space Weather and the Global Threat to Electric Grids


1
Severe Solar Activity/Space Weather and the
Global Threat to Electric Grids
John G. Kappenman Storm Analysis Consultants
2
A Review of Power Grid Vulnerability to Solar
Activity Geomagnetic Storms
Geomagnetic Storms are disturbances in the
Earths normally quiescent geomagnetic field
caused by intense Solar activity
Geomagnetic Storms have Continent-Wide
Planetary Footprints
Intense Solar Activity
3
A Review of Power Grid Vulnerability to Solar
Activity Geomagnetic Storms
A rapidly changing geomagnetic field over large
regions will induce Geomagnetically-Induced
Currents (i.e. GIC a quasi-DC current) to flow in
the continental interconnected Electric Power
Grids
Storm causes Geomagnetic Field Disturbances from
Electrojet Current that couple to Power Systems
4
March 13, 1989 Storm 739UT
Time 239-258 EST (739-758 UT)
20 Minutes of Bad Space Weather
5
Reported Power System Events March 13, 1989
Quebec Blackout in 92 Seconds at Intensity 0f
480 nT/min
Time 239-258 EST (739-758 UT)
6
March 13, 1989 Storm 2140UT
Time 440-530 PM EST (2140-2230 UT)
7
Reported Power System Events March 13, 1989
Intensity over Mid-Atlantic Region 300 nT/min
Time 1603-1730 EST (2103-2230 UT)
8
US High-Voltage Transmission Network
500 kV 765 kV serve 60 of US geographic
territory and 86 of US population
765kV
European and Asian Continental Grids are of
similar proportions
500kV
345kV
9
GIC Risk Factor Growth of Transmission
Network The larger the Grid the Larger the
Antenna to cause GIC
10
A Review of Power Grid Vulnerability to Solar
Activity Geomagnetic Storms
GIC flow in transformers can cause Power Grid
Blackouts Permanent Grid Damage
Areas of Probable Power System Collapse
Blackouts of Unprecedented Scale
11
A Review of Power Grid Vulnerability to Solar
Activity Geomagnetic Storms
GIC flow can also has potential to cause
wide-spread catastrophic damage to key Power Grid
Transformers Causing Restoration Problems
These Key Assets may take a Year or More to
Replace
Internal Damage due to one storm
Salem Nuclear Plant GSU Transformer Failure,
March 89
12
Severe Geomagnetic Storm Scenario At-Risk
345kV, 500kV, 765kV Transformers
Many Regions with High Damage Loss Estimated
Estimated that many large EHV Transformers would
have sufficient GIC exposure to be At-Risk of
Permanent Damage Loss Replacement could
extend into 4-10 years at current world
production rates
13
Great Geomagnetic Storms US Electric Grid
Vulnerability Trends and Preparedness
  • Threat
  • New Awareness that Geomagnetic Storm Severity is
    4 to 10 Times larger than previously understood
    Past Metrics did not measure risks correctly for
    power industry
  • Vulnerability
  • Power Grid infrastructures have experienced a
    Design Creep over past few decades that have
    unknowingly escalated vulnerability to these
    threats No Design Code Yet Exists
  • Consequences
  • Power Supply is an essential scaffolding of
    modern society
  • All other Critical infrastructures will also
    collapse with long-term loss of Electricity
  • Risk Events have catastrophic potential, the
    ability to take the lives of hundreds of people
    in one blow, or to shorten or cripple the lives
    of thousands or millions more, impact future
    generations of society

14
Great Geomagnetic Storms March 1989 Superstorm
May 1921 Storm Comparisons
Position of Westward Electrojet
Boundaries of Eastward Electrojet March 13, 1989
15
Great Geomagnetic Storms March 1989 Superstorm
May 1921 Storm Comparisons
Estimated Boundaries of Eastward Electrojet May
14-15, 1921 Larger More Intense than March 1989
16
Great Geomagnetic Storms March 1989 Superstorm
May 1921 Storm Comparisons
Severe Geomagnetic Storms will have an even
larger Planetary Footprint
17
Geomagnetic Storms GIC Conventional Wisdom
  • Conventional Wisdom
  • Only Power Grids at High Latitude Locations
    needed to worry about GIC
  • This did not explain Power Grid Problems Reported
    at Low-Latitudes

Southern Japan
/- 40o Geomagnetic
South Africa
  • A New Class of GIC Risks
  • Large GICs are possible at Low-Latitudes and Have
    Caused Problems
  • Potential for Severe Storm to Cause Impacts to
    Developed Grids on a Planetary Scale

18
Overview of South Africa EHV Transformer Failures
due to Oct-Nov 2003 Geomagnetic Storms Failures
linked to Long Duration / Low Intensity GIC
Exposure
Station 3 Gen Transformer 4 HV winding failure
Station 3 Gen. Transformer 5 evidence of
overheating
Courtesy Eskom, Makhosi, T., G. Coetzee
19
Nuclear Plant GSU Transformer Incidents Within 25
months after the March 1989 Storm
7
11
12
10
6
  1. Salem
  2. Oyster Creek
  3. South Texas
  4. Shearon Harris
  5. Surry 1
  6. Zion 2
  7. WNP 2
  8. Peach Bottom 3
  9. D.C. Cook 1
  10. Susquehanna
  11. Maine Yankee
  12. Nine-Mile

2
9
1
8
5
4
3
Latent Impacts of March 1989 Storm Delayed
Failures of Large Transformers at Nuclear Plants
suspected across US
20
Nuclear Plant GSU Transformer Incidents
  • Nuclear Plants have some special vulnerability
    issues
  • Severe Storms could initiate a Long Term Outage
    to large portions of the US electric grid
    Including many Nuclear Power Plants all at the
    Same Time
  • The Large Transformers in Nuclear Plants also
    have Higher Exposure to GIC, making them more
    Vulnerable to damage/failure
  • Transformer Damage - Fire Disruptive Failure of
    the Exposed Transformer - Collateral Damage to
    Vital Back-up and Cooling Systems at the Nuclear
    Plant
  • Fukushima demonstrated that loss of outside power
    (Grid Blackout) Plant Damage to Back-up Systems
    has severe consequences for both reactors and
    spent fuel pools

21
Nuclear Plant GSU Transformer Incidents
Movie of Transformer Disruptive Failure NOT DUE
TO GIC
Above Movie is Disruptive Failure of 3MVA
Transformer Nuclear Plant Transformers can be
400 Times Larger Capacity
22
Wrap-Up
  • The Nation has experienced a Several Decade Long
    Failure to Understand how Risk has Migrated into
    our Electric Grid Infrastructures from Space
    Weather Threats
  • What are the Issues We should Understand Going
    Forward
  • The Sun, Magnetosphere remain fully Capable of
    Producing Historically Large Geomagnetic Storms
    in the Future
  • Grid Design Evolutions have unknowingly Escalated
    GIC Risks and Potential Impacts
  • Un-Recognized Systemic Risk No Design Code Yet
    to minimize this Threat
  • Given Sufficient Time the Reoccurrence of Large
    Storm Event is a Certainty Only with Much more
    Serious Consequences
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