Power Systems Technology Program
Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Date: 1/1/94    Record No.: 10044
Contact: James VanCoeverin, 615-574-4829

Power Systems Technology Program
ORNL has been active in T&D research since 1974, and handles all DOE work in T&D. "System 2020 Workshop" (Denver 1990) identified high priorities for T&D (DOE and utilities). ORNL focus is on high capacity transmission and power electronics. A complex organizational framework to coordinate initiatives has very little utility representation except thru EPRI and BPA & WAPA.

-- High Capacity Transmission Options -- Goal is to develop new-construction options that increase power density on a corridor. Work is in areas of High-Phase Order and HVDC.

-- Real Time Control -- They see T&D network as the world's most complex process system, with trend away from "security by reserves" to "security by control." Goal is zero reserve capacity--"N-1" criteria are expensive in terms of idle equipment. (Niagara Mohawk is only other utility representation on technical committee for this.)

-- High Capacity Power Electronics -- Goal to reduce converter costs to make DC compete with AC at 150 miles instead of 400 mi.

-- Power Transients -- Geomagnetic Induced currents and EMP/Lightning transients

-- Equipment Diagnosis -- SF6 degradation detection-- major CRADA, with work at NIST, Ontario Hydro and ORNL.

-- Reliability Centered Maintenance of T&D equipment--approach is to understand underlying physical processes, and acquire data on degradation processes. [Alternate approach would emphasize codifying "expert" experience.]

Topics: T&D