Utility Systems Division
Source: DOE/EE
Date: 3/1/96    Record No.: 10287
Contact: Robert Brewer, 202-586-2828

Utility Systems Division
The DOE Utility Systems Division handles T&D, EMF and district heating and cooling. Budget cuts have zeroed out the T&D program entirely, and with the new emphasis on renewables, they are looking for ways to contribute in that arena.

The work at Oak Ridge on "High-Phase Order" Transmission was completed and published--found to be a valid approach. A commercial demonstration has been operational in upstate NY since 1992. A 1.5-mile three-phase circuit was converted to six-phase, and offered a 73% increase in line capacity.

Real Time control studies are continuing, in particular the wide-area measurement work at PNNL with BPA and WAPA. The idea is to validate power system computer models so they can be relied upon to operate the transmission system closer to the margin.

In T&D asset management, DOE (and Oak Ridge) take the position that the industry (utilities, vendors, EPRI) have the responsibility for near-term real-time Operations & Maintenance improvements and techniques, and that DOE should take the broader long-term view. We encountered this idea at ORNL some time back, and discussed their "understand the basic physics and chemistry first" approach vs. a more pragmatic phenomenological approach (i.e., look at field data and use AI techniques, etc.