1 EDF Overview & Organization
4. EDF Technologies & Programs
19. EDF Contacts & WEB Site
This report details findings about technology and technology transfer opportunities at the Electrical Equipment Department of EDF's R&D Division that might be of strategic interest to electric utilities in the US and elsewhere outside EDF. It is based on a visit to EDF in May 1996, as part of a larger project to examine R&D Communication Strategies.
EdF is one of the largest utility systems in the world, and as a state-owned
institution serves all of France. It was established at the end of World
War II, to rebuild the power system devastated by war, and replacing the
previous system of many separate public and private utilities. Annual revenues
exceed US$ 37 Billion. Total electrical production is over 440 billion
KWh, 80% of which is nuclear, 15% hydro, and only 5% fossil.
As seen from outside of France, EdF has its own unique approach to many
aspects of the utility industry. A review of its overall structure and
organization are beyond the scope of this study. However EdF is noteworthy
for having the lowest cost and most extensive nuclear power capacity in
the world, and for its confidence, at least until quite recently, that
it can continue as a single monolithic state owned entity, while the rest
of the industry world-wide is rapidly changing to an unregulated competitive
marketplace. (The source of recent doubt is actions of the European Community
to enact requirements for open markets in electricity as a condition for
This report focuses on the R&D Division of EdF, which is also unique in the industry. With an annual budget of over US$600 million/year (about 1.7% of revenues) is the largest in-house utility R&D operation anywhere. It employs over 2600 people, 1/2 of which are research engineers and scientists, at a four major research facilities in and around Paris.
The name in French for this division is "DER", for "Direction des Etudes e Recherche" (literally, "directorate of studies and research"). The wording makes an important distinction. It is "studies and research", not "research and development" (though EdF uses the usual term, "R&D" when translating its organizational terminology into English). DER does research, but it does not "develop" technology in-house, working closely with vendors instead.
DER performs studies to support the needs of the operating divisions
of EdF, for example, to prepare the standards and specifications for new
classes of equipment (closely monitoring industry developments), to develop
procedures and processes, or to evaluate trends in basic research (as an
active participant) for applicability to EdF.
The "next generation" of devices are approached by giving each of several manufacturers a development contract. While monitoring their progress, DER develops a specification which later may become the standard for all of EdF. There is a growing recognition, however, that the increasing internationalization of the power industry may make it less workable to have very rigid specifications and standards just for France. As a result, there is growing appreciation in DER for more of a "functional" approach, while maintaining a strong hand (e.g. not to leave it to the vendors who might offer equipment with lower first cost but hidden problems).
There are major differences comparing the business and technical culture of EdF with utility companies elsewhere. In particular, U.S. utility companies are (each) much smaller than EdF, and they devote a much smaller fraction of their revenues to research. DER takes more of an academic approach to science and engineering technology, and has the patience and resources for basic research and a long term view. U.S. utilities, in contrast, tend to see themselves as commercial firms who purchase their equipment from manufacturers. Any development effort must show a clear path to cost-effectiveness in a relatively short amount of time, and often is done jointly with a vendor. Research by U.S. utilities tends to be applications-oriented, and limited in scope (except via involvement with EPRI).
At the same time, there is a counter trend. Around the world, with increasing competition and restructuring, utilities, energy companies and equipment manufacturers are seeking new business and revenue opportunities through technology. It is a clear that EdF's R&D programs represent a very valuable resource in this context. And U.S. utilities may benefit greatly from it.
This report represents an experiment to present EdF's technology output in a way that may makes it easier for utilities and suppliers in the US and elsewhere to become aware of some specific results, products and capabilities. The ultimate goal is broader markets for EdF's R&D programs.
EdF has these major divisions (called "Directions"):
* Board of Directors and General Management
* Engineering and Construction Design power plants and coordinate construction
* Generation and Transmission Operate plants, build and operate transmission
* International Relations and Investments with international partners
* Research and Development (DER) R&D for all spheres of activity in the company
* Economic Forecasting and Strategy Analyses for demand, investments, organization
* Marketing and Business Determine policies for developing sales and new activities
* Financial and Legal Affairs Budget, financing, accounting, legal
These 3 divisions work for both EdF and Gaz de France (GDF):
* EDF GDF Services Distributes electricity and gas, builds and operates network
* Human Resources Develops and implements HR policy
* General Affairs Real Estate, Safety, Insurance, Pensions, etc.
DER has these major departments (called "Services"):
* Director's Office
* (AEE) Electricity Applications and Environment
* (RNE) Nuclear Reactors and Heat Exchangers
* (IPN) Information Prospective and Standardization (publications, web, etc.)
* (EP) Power Generation Systems
* (ER) Power Systems (Networks)
* (SME) Electrical Equipment (previously known as ERMEL)
* (AGT) General Administration
Each Department is composed of several branches (called departements).
SME, the focus of this study, has four such groups:
* Electrical Machines (ME)
* Substations and Lines (PEL)
* Cables, Capacitors, Automation, & Materials (CIMA)
* Electrical Equipment Lab (LGE)
The R&D program consists of major multi-year projects (usually involving a number of different groups within DER and other parts of EdF), shorter projects done at the request of an EdF operating group, and internal research projects.
DER is very focused on addressing the needs of its internal customers
within EdF, with whom they work very closely. There is a small amount of
work done for outside clients, particularly in performing tests that require
the special equipment and facilities. With a view that R&D budgets
may decline as competition increases, DER is increasingly thinking about
how it will function in the future and considering how to develop a bigger
external clientele and to diversify its sources of revenues.
Note: Contact names are given for each item.
The standard email address for R&D personnel at EdF is:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Please copy UFTO and Gerard Gambier, EdF/DER representative in the US (EPRI, Palo Alto), on your email correspondence, and rely on them for help if you have any difficulty making contact with EdF in France.
Gerard Gambier: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
(Numbers in parentheses are given for many of the items. These numbers refer to the page number in the 1997 SME Catalogue, when the same or a related item is described there.)
* Substation Systems - 6
- Systems Reliability (FIDELE, TOPASE)
- Reliability Centered Maintenance
- Substation EMF (ANAPOST)
- Substation of the Future
- Gas-Insulated Substation Monitoring
- On Line Monitoring of Instrument Transformers (CTs and PTs)
- Acoustic Monitoring for Medium Voltage (24 kV) Switchgear
- Characterization of Faults on Medium Voltage Networks
* Overhead Lines -- Mechanical & Electrical -- 8
- Insulation Coordination Workstation
- Tower structure modeling
- Thermal age testing of line equipment
- MEKELEC -- Electrical - mechanical interactions
- Optimization of Cable (ANACONDA)
- Wood pole tester (POLUX)
- EVELINE- Software for visual simulation of transmission lines
* New Devices for the Grid (FACTS, Superconducting) - 10
- High Tc SMES for Distribution
- SC Current Limiter (Low Tsc) for High Voltage Network
- High Tc Transformer
- Underground Gas Insulated Cable
- Simulation of HV Circuit Breakers
* High Power Electronics - 12
- HVDC- ASD Immune to Voltage Dips
- Active Filter (FARADE)
- Disturbance Simulator to Test Loads under Dirty Power (STRAP)
* Methods and Software to Calculate EM fields in Equipment (FLUX2D,
* Generator/Motor Analysis and Monitoring - 13
- Stator End Winding Vibration Modeling
- On-line monitor for Stator Bar Isolation (MIRAC)
- Rotating Machine Test Lab
* Transformer Analysis and Monitoring - 14
- High Frequency Stresses in Power Transformers
* Electromagnetic Compatibility - 14
- Lightning effects, mitigation, risk management, nuclear EM pulse
* Materials - 15
- Test and evaluate dielectric insulating materials, magnetic materials,
conducting polymers, superconductors
- Environment and Materials (MEE); Life cycle analysis
* Electrochemical Storage and Production - 15
- Fuel Cell analysis and modeling
- Electrolytic Hydrogen production
* Fieldbus - 15
- Automation, process control, customer communication interface
* Knowledge Management (DIADEME) 16
* Renewable Energy for Isolated Sites -- (with ADEME) 16
* EV Charging Infrastructure -- (DEBORA) 17
* Industrial Process Equipment & Power Converters - 18
- Reactive power software (ORMIN)
* Contacts at EdF/SME 19
* EdF Web Site 19
* Substation Systems
- Systems Reliability (FIDELE, TOPASE)
FIDELE is software for probabilistic assessment of mid voltage outgoing feeders, taking into account the dependability of the various equipment components. It can be used to improve the reliability of the feeder by comparing the impact of various structural modifications (sensitivity analysis), or to determine the relationship between equipment reliability and the quality of power supplied by the feeder. It also can quickly simulate switching operations to be made by operators, to speed up service resumption and locating faults, taking into account the probability that switch gear may fail to operate. (23)
Contact: (PEL) Jean Aupied firstname.lastname@example.org
TOPASE is an object-oriented knowledge base tool enabling a non-specialist in reliability analysis to carry out probabilistic study of substation system reliability. The user need only describe the substation in the form of a single line diagram by combining icons. The data base has all the information on failure rates of components, repair rates, protection settings, etc. TOPASE has been validated against manual studies for actual substations.
Contact: (PEL) Marc Le Du email@example.com
- Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is a well developed method which EdF uses successfully at all its nuclear plants. EdF is now applying these techniques experimentally to substations. RCM begins with functional analysis of the system and its components, analysis and classification of failure modes, and development of a decision framework which eventually can separate maintenance tasks into essential, optional and unnecessary categories. EdF has reported a full experimental adoption for a 400 kV substation, noting that cumulative experience and benefits are realized with each added application.
Contact: (PEL) Jean Aupied firstname.lastname@example.org
- ANAPOST is commercialized software for the evaluation of the electromagnetic environment of substations. It calculates the magnetic and electric fields (at power frequency), the EM field due to the corona effect, and transient EM fields due to high voltage switching. The substation is defined as an electrical network in three dimensional geometry. ANAPOST has been extensively validated with field measurements. Begun as a research project with a university, it is now standard throughout EdF, and is available commercially through an outside firm for Windows or Unix. A User's Group is being formed. (36)
Contact : (LGE) Louis Quinchon Louis.email@example.com
- Substation of the Future is a three year research study to develop functional specifications for primary substations of the future, taking into account current technology, understanding and practice, and future trends, both internal and external to the substation. In EdF, the primary substation is located between the Transmission system and the (medium voltage = 20 kV) Distribution system. One of the major external factors driving this project is the increasing internationalization of the power system, and the rise of standardization with foreign utilities, particularly in Europe. Technically, the substation is expected to evolve as a whole system, and in its component parts. A CIGRE Task Force is studying this. EdF wants to contact other utilities with similar interests and concerns, and is doing an survey of utilities and their current practices for specifying, evaluating, purchasing, and operating substations.
Contact: (PEL) Claire La Joie-Mazenc firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gas-Insulated Substation (GIS) Guide/Monitoring Gas insulated substations are compact and reliable, and have become well established on the EdF system, particularly at 225 and 400 kV. Their position in the network makes them especially strategic, and they therefore must have a high level of availability. EdF has developed an Expert Guide to provide operators with a wealth of information and expertise based on 20 years of experience with this technology. IT details main causes of incidents and failures, tools and methods for analyzing the state of the equipment, and information on procedures for action. Most problems arise from initial manufacture and installation, while the technology itself appears to be quite robust, with some exceptions that have led to design modifications.
The Guide also details the various types of diagnostic tools available to operators. Partial Discharge Monitoring is particularly recommended for early detection of deterioration, and EdF has refined this technique, where frequency domain analysis is shown to provide clear signals in the high frequency bands when there are protrusion-type defects, and time delay techniques can determine the location of the problem. A commercial version of this system is in development. (58-9)
Contact: (LGE) André Petit, email@example.com
Alain Sabot firstname.lastname@example.org
- On Line Monitoring of Instrument Transformers (CTs and PTs) Though CTs and PTs are generally reliable, failures can have serious consequences. EdF has over 40,000 such devices on the system. On-line monitoring is believed to be the best solution, particularly for existing units. (Newer versions tend to incorporate devices that limit the consequences of failures.) EdF has developed a system that can be easily installed without disturbing operations, and which can function in the electrically noisy environment of the substation. A sensor is clamped onto the ground connection, and a series of signal processing techniques can discriminate between internal and external discharges of the equipment. Changing patterns of internal discharge indicate the state of the insulation in the device. These electrical measurements can also be supplemented with chemical (hydrogen), pressure and acoustic measurements. (Ref. paper, "On-line Partial Discharge Detection System for Instrument Transformers", IEEE International Symposium on Electrical Insulation, 1996) (65)
Contact: (LGE) Christophe Moreau, email@example.com
- Acoustic Monitoring for Medium Voltage (24 kV) Switchgear Partial discharge generates high frequency vibrations which are transmitted to the enclosure via the gas or dielectric insulation, and which can be detected with a sensitive accelerometer. EdF has developed a system costing about $3000 which can be used in the field for periodic checks, for monitoring before and after maintenance, to aid in the location of a fault, or as a supplementary check when problems are suspected.
Contact: (LGE) Christian Aucourt, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Characterization of Faults on Medium Voltage Networks Beyond actual strengthening of the system, further gains in power quality and reliability are sought through continuous monitoring for signs of incipient failure, and faster diagnosis and repair of failures when they occur. EdF built an experimental network (1200 meters overhead, 300 meters underground, 250 kVA) on which faults can be artificially provoked while high speed data systems record the voltages on all three phases at several locations, to several hundred kHz. Time frequency analysis and wavelets have been used, giving encouraging results that certain kinds of faults can be identified. Further work will look at the feasibility issues to deploy such techniques on a wide spread basis (costs, sensors, systems, etc.), and how they would be adapted into distribution center operations.
Contact: (PEL) Guy Huard; Isabelle Allouche; Michel Le Bitoux
* Overhead Lines -- Mechanical & Electrical --
- The Insulation Coordination Workstation permits statistical studies of insulation coordination in relation to overvoltages from lightning strikes and switching transients, based on major enhancement and extension of the EMTP (EM Transients Program) software. (EMTP version 3.0 was developed by an international group, and EdF played an important role in testing it.) The workstation overcomes prior limitations, permitting complex system models, and responding to concerns over the inadequacy of simplified methods recommended in the IEC 71 standard for calculating overvoltage return times. It also permits design and operating studies, to assure that equipment is protected and that overcurrents are let to ground in case of breakdowns, and that protection levels are appropriately set. (EdF is deciding whether to do an English version for external use.)
Contact: (PEL) Robert Soler email@example.com
- Tower structure modeling Detailed and sophisticated numerical modeling of tower structures takes into account the nonlinear behavior of connections, bending, and plasticity of the lattice (not just compression and tension!) without adjusted parameters. It is based on a general class of structural codes used in EdF, with special application to towers, using tower-design terminology. It is generally not used for design--there are simpler tools for that--but to verify designs, and as an alternative to physical tests.
Contact: (PEL) Yves Mignard firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Tower Test Station, established in 1970 in an old quarry in the town of Sens, has extensive capability to apply forces in three dimensions to full size tower structures. There is also another facility for physical testing of line equipment. Both facilities sometimes provide testing services to external clients.
Contact: (PEL) Yves Mignard email@example.com
- Thermal Age Testing of line equipment -- EdF has Test Facilities for overhead line equipment that can simulate 30 years of service through heating and temperature variations, and subjecting connectors and conductors to 120% of normal maximum mechanical stresses.
Contact: (PEL) Yves Mignard firstname.lastname@example.org
- MEKELEC -- Electrical - mechanical interactions MEKELEC is software that permits accurate calculation of displacements and forces in transmission conductors and structures due to short-circuit currents or meteorological stresses (wind, ice, snow). A non-specialist can analyze complex structures, calculating EM forces, modeling rigid conductors in substations, calculating temperature rises, simulating cable rupture or cable laying, and study of spacers between phases. It has been validated by comparing results with those of an earlier code. By taking into account mechanical damping and electromagnetic forces at geometrical discontinuities, savings in dimensioning can reach 30%. (Related comment: EdF does not have a problem with transmission line wind vibration, because of the unique way they connect conductors to tower insulators.) (55)
Contact: (PEL) Jean Pauthenet email@example.com
- Optimization of Cable (ANACONDA) Existing transmission corridors must be optimized by increasing ampacity. Innovation in the conductors offers three possibilities. 1. Increasing the ampacity of the present conductor (aluminum),by changing the cross sectional shape and by further annealing. Tests are underway in collaboration with two major cable makers, indicating a 10 - 16% gain. 2. Operating at higher temperature--new types of conductors are more appropriate for new lines than for retrofit. 3. Composite materials, such as aluminum metal matrix or carbon fiber reinforcement. Evaluations are underway with Japanese and U.S. companies. Contact: (PEL) Jean-Pierre Michalsak
- Wood pole tester (POLUX) is a hand-held portable instrument to test the condition and strength of wood poles, non destructively, in the field. It gives an instantaneous indication (red or green light) whether the pole is safe to climb, and an estimate of the expected remaining service life. It succeeds where other attempts have failed, by measuring both compressive strength and moisture, and correlating the two variables and comparing against parameters developed from measurements under controlled conditions.
POLUX has been commercialized in Europe through a Swiss company, and EdF has accredited it for safety and is making it standard for use throughout their system. (53)
A brochure and technical paper are available.
Contact: Olivier Vanackere (EdF); J.L Sandoz (Controle Bois Structure);
A license issued to a group in Canada for all of North and South America, which has recently completed exhaustive testing and calibration (i.e. for the different wood species used in the Americas). Hydro Quebec reports that this is the only device available that can do the job. A service company has been set up in Quebec which is now embarking on a major pilot program to test 70,000 poles in Canada during the Summer of 1997. Recent modifications to the device include the addition of a handheld computer to provide visual data display, and future plans may include incorporation of GPS. In early discussions, US utilities say they rely on treatment, though this device can tell whether treatment is even necessary.
Contact: Edward Ezer, Pole+ Management, Inc. (Quebec)
- EVELINE- Software for visual simulation of transmission lines The landscape is represented in very realistic graphic images based on analysis of data from satellite and aerial stereo photographs. A 3-D model of a proposed transmission line can be inserted interactively onto the landscape, and it can be moved or modified, and viewed from any point of view. The software is being commercialized through an outside firm. A video is available in English that explains the product in more detail. (43)
Contact: (PEL) Guy Laurent firstname.lastname@example.org
* New Devices for the Grid (FACTS, Superconducting)
- Power Flow Control in Electric Networks Incorporation of new and unconventional control devices known as FACTS (e.g., static var compensators, phase shifters, series compensators, etc.) into high voltage transmission networks introduces new levels of complexity in the analysis and design of these systems. EdF has multiple competence in all aspects of these devices and their implementation, and can provide services to support design, installation and commissioning of the equipment: economic and functional comparison of alternatives, determination of ratings and costs, preparation of calls for bids and analysis of responses, monitoring of manufacture and acceptance testing. (20)
Contact Dominique Daniel email@example.com
- High Tc SMES for Distribution EdF's experience with Superconductivity Inc's (low temperature) microSMES device has convinced them that a high temperature approach is needed. Presently, however, HTSC wire is not adequate to the task. EdF has published a specification of what such a conductor must look like. (ref.: Magnetic Technology Conference., 11/95 Finland). A European BRITE R&D program is ongoing.
Contact: (ME) Clotilde Levillain
- SC Current Limiter (Low Tc) for High Voltage Network The basic current limiter function cannot be performed with normal materials. A distinctly non-linear effect is required to have zero or low resistance at normal current conditions, and high resistance for high fault currents. A superconductor can transition from superconducting to "normal", and give just the desired effect.
Where the Oak Ridge National Lab in the US has worked on a HTSC approach, EdF chose the Low TSC to get the desired performance. Collaborating with two manufacturers, they've built a limiter for the 63 kV system, rated at 1250 A and a blocking current of 5300 A. A unit at 40 kV and 1000 A was tested at EdF's Labs. Next, a single phase unit will be installed on EdF's 63 kV system. The ultimate goal is for application on the 225 kV transmission system. (21)
Contact: (ME) Christian Poumarede christian firstname.lastname@example.org
- High Tc Transformer EdF is collaborating with ABB/Switzerland in an experimental development program to build a HTSC transformer for distribution systems, starting with a 630 kVA rating. A combination of experimental and modeling work have evaluated performance under short-circuit conditions and validated various protection schemes. A test device is now under construction. EdF maintains a very active technology watch on superconductivity.
Contact: (ME) Clotilde Levillain
- Underground Gas Insulated Cable (GIC) The cost of gas insulated underground cable should now be 20-30x the cost of overhead lines, and EdF's goal is to bring it down to 10x. The technology is related to the gas insulated coaxial apparatus used in substations. EdF is concerned that public opinion could make it impossible to build some sections of new overhead lines, and they need to prepare alternatives for 2000 MVA rating.
-Synthetic insulated XLPE cables are also under study in a parallel effort.
-Ultimately one or the other will be chosen.
- Contact: (CIMA) Christian Boisseau email@example.com
EdF's GIC program involves three parallel efforts with different contractors (ABB, Siemens, and GEC Alsthom), and includes plans for using nitrogen with only a small amount of SF6. Single and three-phase systems are studied. GIC involves complex thermal, dielectric and mechanical challenges. For one, the system must remain strong enough for 40 years of leak-free operation, and soil changes and movement can't be allowed to damage components. Long term tests are planned on a 300 meter test loop at EdF Labs beginning in 1997.
Contact: (LGE) Dominique Feldmann firstname.lastname@example.org
- Simulation of HV Circuit Breakers In this major multi-year research effort, in collaboration with manufacturers Schneider Electric and GEC Alsthom, EdF has set a goal to develop a very complete understanding of the extremely complex physical processes that occur in the electric arc in an SF6 insulated circuit breaker. The conditions are extreme, with temperatures reaching 15-20,000 degrees K in the initial high current phase lasting 5-10 msec. This is followed by the extinguishing, post-arc, and dielectric stages. Concentrating on the first phase initially, research has studied aerothermodynamics, radiation, and arc-electrode interactions. Two major mockup systems have been built for testing and validation.
In addition to contributing new scientific data and understanding, the program is intended to make it possible to optimize and analyze new designs through simulation, rather than very expensive physical tests.
Contact: (CIMA) Alain Comte email@example.com
Jean-Claude Vérité firstname.lastname@example.org
* High Power Electronics -
- HVDC EdF was the first in the world to design and install a major multiterminal HVDC link, and has continued to be a pioneer and leader in the field, with numerous installations around the world, and a broad array of tools and capabilities to provide engineering and technical assistance during design, construction and operation. (17)
Contact: Alain Le Du email@example.com
- ASD Immune to Voltage Dips This patented technique for variable speed motors compensates for voltage dips and maintains constant motor torque during a disturbance, and prevents work stoppages caused by inability to restart a process quickly. Working with Leroy Somer, a motor manufacturer, EdF implemented this method in standard frequency converters at essentially zero additional cost. In a first test, a motor at half-load was immune to voltage dips of 35%. At full load and 45% three-phase dips, speed stabilized at a slightly lower value and shut-down was avoided. Performance was maintained for dips lasting as long as one second. Immunity thresholds and requirements can be adjusted to specific applications. (47)
These devices are now available commercially in Europe.
Contact: (ME) Alain David firstname.lastname@example.org
Maxime Dessoude email@example.com
- Active Filter (FARADE) Active filtering can provide more flexible and higher performance solutions for power quality problems involving the strong presence of harmonics that distort the wave form, as compared with passive tuned filters (capacitors and inductors). An active filter connected in parallel to the load injects current which correspond at each instant to the harmonic components of the current absorbed by the load, ensuring that the current on the network side is sinusoidal, as is the power supply voltage.
With two major manufacturers, EdF has developed and tested devices for use on sensitive industrial loads at 400 volts, and products are now available on the market (from Schneider Electric). Another feasibility project will tackle the problem of EdF's own requirements on medium voltage busbars, where active filters would offer a centralized solution to harmonic pollution of power systems (which can perturb power line carrier communication).
Contact: (ME) Pascale Michalak
- Disturbance Simulator to Test Loads under Dirty Power (STRAP) This 90 kW three-phase equipment is now commercialized through the LEM Company. By providing "dirty" power of many varieties, under microprocessor control, it permits direct assessments of the effects of power disturbances on electronic devices and electrical equipment, and the validation of technical solutions for those problems.
Contact: (ME) H. Pouliquen
* Methods and Software to Calculate EM fields in Equipment (FLUX2D, 3D)
Two dimensional calculations of EM Fields (e.g., in rotating electrical equipment) using finite element techniques require knowledge of current densities in the windings, but important end effects can't be handled properly in 2-D models. EdF, together with CEDRAT, which markets the code, have been able to link circuit equations with FLUX2D, the widely used field calculation code. EdF is now working on FLUX3D, a 3- dimensional version, for application to generators, motors and transformers, permitting more accurate analysis. This will make it possible, for example, to simulate the reaction of a generator's front end to a fault current, and thus to determine if design changes are needed. EdF and CEDRAT are constantly adding features to the software, under a quality assurance program to guarantee the results.
Contact: (ME) J.P Ducreux; C Guerin
* Generator/Motor Analysis and Monitoring -
- Stator End Winding Vibration Modeling Vibration in the end windings of big generator stator windings can be a serious problem leading to outages, and it is difficult to know what to do about it. EdF undertook a major program to understand the underlying electromagnetic, thermal and mechanical processes leading to this phenomenon. Numerical models have made it possible to test sensitivities to different parameters and validate the influences that modifications would have. Eigenvalues can be predicted, and vibrational amplitudes and transient stresses calculated. They now have a more clear understanding of the forces and modes that lead to damage. For example, it is now known that excitation forces increase as a function of active power, and that tangential and axial forces are high at leading power factor; radial forces are at a maximum at rated lagging power factor. Experiments were carried out on 600MW units, and in 1996, a 900 MW generator was instrumented to do further studies.
Contact: (ME) Nathalie Szylowicz firstname.lastname@example.org
- On-line monitor for Rotor Isolation (MIRAC) In partnership with the BERTIN Company, EdF sought a solution to this particular cause of unscheduled generator outages--the loss of insulation of the rotor which can lead to a short circuit between turns. An on-line monitor has been under test for over a year. Instrumentation mounted on the rotor measures the voltages continuously between the rotor and ground. Data are transmitted by an optical beam to a receiver, and then via optical cable to a processing unit, permitting continuous monitoring and early warning for possible faults. EdF owns the rights to this device, and may also license BERTIN to sell it commercially to others. C. Corenwinder
Other stator monitoring work extends to thermal behavior. Plugging of cooling water passages can lead to abnormal overheating and reduced performance, and normal thermocouple systems don't permit real-time estimation of load margins, because they can't identify all instances of local blockage. Fiber optic systems are being studied for this purpose. Also, detailed analysis of the thermo-hydraulics of the stator cooling circuit, based on experimental data, may make it possible to develop a better solution that relies on measurement of exit water temperature. EdF is also interested in partial discharge and vibration of bars, as additional targets for monitoring.
Contact: (ME) Nathalie Szylowicz email@example.com
- Rotating Machine Test Laboratory is a major test facility, unique in Europe, located in St. Denis, a suburb north of Paris, that does testing for EdF and for outside clients, such as qualification and acceptance tests, and on-site tests and measurements. They also provide engineering assistance, develop new testing methods and design and implement simulation facilities. They have two facilities for testing high voltage motors with horizontal or vertical shafts, a facility for testing low voltage motors, generators and converters, and adjustable loading equipment. The lab started 25 years ago to test motors for nuclear plants (to 10 MW, e.g. main coolant pump motors), and thanks to its work, EdF has had no incidents due to motors, as problems are found and corrected during tests, not in operation. As are all other test labs of the SME Department, this lab is accredited in accordance with European and international standards.
Contact: (ME) F. Arnoux-Guisse; Jules Giannetti firstname.lastname@example.org
* Transformer Analysis and Monitoring -
- High Frequency Stresses in Power Transformers -- Standard tests and specifications generally do not make it possible to eliminate risks of failure arising from excitation of internal resonances, which can cause overvoltages leading to faults in transformers. EdF has undertaken a detailed modeling program, using FLUX2D, and obtained natural resonant frequencies, and taken into account the interactions between the transformer and the power system. EMTP then permits calculation of stresses when the system configuration is changed, from which internal responses can be determined. Comparisons with measurements showed a good match with theory. The goal is to be able to predict, during the design phase, whether a transformer will be subject to problems of internal overvoltages on account of its location in the power system.
Contact: (ME) Olivier Moreau email@example.com
* Electromagnetic Compatibility -
- Lightning effects, mitigation, risk management, nuclear EM pulse -- EdF has a long history in the study of lightning, as an external phenomenon that imposes important constraints on power networks, and of the way power equipment interacts with this powerful environmental factor. EdF has an extensive body of technical information on these topics, and the personnel perform engineering studies for transportation and fuel companies to help them meet French government requirements that all facilities involving fuels undergo an extensive risk analysis.
Contact: (LGE) François Deschamp firstname.lastname@example.org
* Materials -
Test and evaluate dielectric insulating materials, magnetic materials, conducting polymers, superconductors -- technology watch; lab testing, appraisals and evaluations, sometimes for external clients.
Contact: (CIMA) Brigitte Pinel email@example.com
- Environment and Materials (MEE); Life cycle analysis -- A major database for all materials on the EdF system was completed in 1996, incorporating all regulations that relate to them (including transport). Life cycle analysis methods were developed for electrical equipment with respect to ozone, greenhouse gases, etc. Analysis is underway for several examples such as batteries, transformers, and new technologies under development, noting the practical limitations of life cycle analysis. This is one of the topics for the DIADEME knowledge project.
Contact: (CIMA) Brigitte Pinel firstname.lastname@example.org
* Electrochemical Storage and Production
- Fuel Cell analysis and modeling -- This major research program was just recently initiated, for a detailed and thorough examination of the fundamental processes of fuel cells and especially their interactions with the power network. At the first level, the physical behavior will be modeled, including chemical, electrical, thermal, mechanical and EM field aspects. Then at the system level, the whole fuel cell process will be simulated, modeling all components and flows. Finally, as the ultimate objective, the connection to the network will be examined, to study how a fuel cell might affect the network (e.g. introducing harmonics, which can result from dynamics of chemical processes, not just in the inverter), what the network might do to the fuel cell (e.g. what would a system crash do), and what effect would constantly varying power levels have on the fuel cell, and how fuel cells could participate in voltage regulation, etc..
Contact: (CIMA) Alain Comte email@example.com
- Electrolytic Hydrogen production -- In collaboration with GEC Alsthom and Gaz de France, EdF pursued the idea of using hydrogen for energy storage, and tackled the issue of capital cost and operating pressures of water electrolysis. They got to a proof of concept for an approach involving a new separator material, and higher current density and pressure, and an overall volume reduction of 20:1. The costs, however, were not lower than current technology, though there may be some benefits to the more compact design. The program is on hold, and is not being actively pursued at this time.
Contact: (CIMA) Philippe Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org
* Fieldbus -
- Automation, process control, customer communication interface-- analysis and tests.
The competition in this area is just as strong as in the U.S. EdF participates actively in standards development, and tests and evaluates many different devices and systems from different suppliers and developers.
Contact: (CIMA) Francis Gallon email@example.com
* Knowledge Management (DIADEME) Expert guides and knowledge-base electronic documents are under development for several topics, each one representing an important area of electrical equipment. The idea is to capture all relevant technical and scientific documents and install them as hypertext documents, complete with graphic images, photos, software, data and even video clips, and make it available in client-server mode using search and retrieval software. It may also be made available on a web site.
The first topics to be addressed are: Large Tranformers (product engineering and modeling); Overhead Transmission Lines (materials and diagnosis); Insulation Coordination; Finite Element Modeling; Biological Effects of EMF; and Impact of Equipment on the Environment. In addition, all publications and documents of the department are catalogued into the system.
So far, these topics are represented in Diademe with over 30,000 pages in 1500 documents, with documents ranging from one to hundreds of pages. The engineering staff of the SME department are to be the primary users, with some dissemination via CD ROMs to other parts of EdF.
Contact: (PEL) Jean-François Ballay firstname.lastname@example.org
* Renewable Energy for Isolated Sites -- (with ADEME)
EdF had a sizable program in solar energy which ended in '85 with uneven results due to insufficient quality control of systems and installation (by small vendors). A new major program started in 1993 with ADEME (French Agency for Energy and Environment) to facilitate the development of renewable energy for off-grid sites (several thousand isolated rural sites of less than 1 kW are identified in France) and in developing countries, where EdF's International Division wants to begin using wind and solar in place of diesel generators. EdF will spend about $6 million over four years on the program.
The first phase is focused on preparing functional specifications, based on analysis of requirements, costs, and feedback from existing systems. Beginning in 1997, the next phase will be to build benchmark installations to test and verify performance and customer acceptance, particularly in Africa where cultural issues can be critically important. Another aspect will be the design of a micro power station that integrates a combination of technologies, e.g. wind, PV, diesel and storage. Issues of particular interest are cost, battery life, and dispatchability. (Ref. paper in the Sept. '95 European PV Conference.) (29)
Contact: (PEL) Alain Schmitt email@example.com
Robert Soler firstname.lastname@example.org
* EV Charging Infrastructure -- (DEBORA)
EdF has an extensive program in electric vehicles, with emphasis on the infrastructure for battery charging. The approach has been to define the function of charging, eliminating any unnecessary aspects, and analyzing the market in terms of needs for location, number and type of charging station. Since EV's will represent a major new services offering, EdF participates actively in all deliberations about standards, safety, and equipment interoperability. Of particular concern is the design of a connector that customers can use safely. They coordinate closely with U.S. companies.
EdF is also very involved with manufacturers in the design of a new generation of equipment, with a priority on reducing capital and operating costs and improved integration into the urban environment. Their first public charging station in the city of La Rochelle provides both normal and rapid charging at public parking locations. Other chargers have been installed in underground parking garages in Paris. (30)
Contact: (ME) Herve Rochereau email@example.com
A special kind of Inductive Charger has been developed for the "Praxitèle" experiment in the town of St Quentin near Paris to deploy "shared" cars (self-service rental). The parking spaces are equipped with inductive coils which recharge the cars while they are parked, and doesn't involve any user intervention. (31)
Contact: (ME) Olivier Normand firstname.lastname@example.org
* Industrial Process Equipment & Power Converters
EdF R&D programs are involved in many different projects, providing technical assistance to industry, working with people from industry and EdF's industrial group to improve electrotechnology processes and equipment
- Improved Efficiency of Electric Arc Furnace -- EdF determined that increasing the short-circuit reactance of the power supply by inserting additional inductance reduces short-circuit currents and hence vibration and deterioration of electrodes, and also contributes to greater stability of the arc by smoothing the current near the zero-crossing. At the same time, these improvements are balanced against any effects such changes can have on the power supply and grid.
In another case, EdF helped a major steelmaker optimize the electrode configuration of a DC arc furnace for continuous processing, one of the largest such installations in the world. (66)
Contact: Philippe Mauras email@example.com
- Tubular heaters, in which electrical currents in the tube itself causes resistance heating of the process liquid circulating in the tube, has widespread potential application in metallurgical, chemical, food and agrochemical industries, as a more efficient faster heating method without many of the problems of heat exchangers.
They can run into difficulties from a number of electromagnetic effects, especially at the connections to the power supply. With the two parallel flows (electric and liquid), it is essential to ensure that the currents are properly distributed in each of the tubes, and that the impedance of the tubing (with liquid!) is well characterized. Proximity of the tubes to each other can cause imbalance due to coupling. EdF did 3-d finite-element modeling using FLUX 3D, and experimental pilot system measurements, leading to recommendations for manufacturers of this kind of equipment.
EdF has also done important work on power supplies for various tubular heating applications, to improve their harmonic, flicker and cost performance .
An alternative approach is to inductively couple currents into the tubes. EdF designed and built a 400 kW prototype in cooperation with TRANSFIX, a transformer manufacturer. In effect, the tubing is the secondary of a transformer.
Finally, there is work currently underway to use the fluid itself as the electrically conducting, and thus self-heating medium. This could be applicable in many specialized applications, where the fluid is not a good insulator. Based on numerical modeling and experimental verification, EdF has identified some basic rules for how such systems can be configured.
Contact: (PEL) Philippe Mauras firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reactive power software (ORMIN) is a commercialized Windows-based software package sold to French industry and used within EdF to calculate the optimal configuration of reactive power compensation equipment at an industrial load site. It also computes the return on investment in such equipment. Current version is adapted only for the French network. (12)
Contact: Annie Diet email@example.com
Vendor is HAND-EL, fax 33-1-47-65-32-18
General Contacts at EdF:
Gerard Gambier, at EPRI, Palo Alto, CA 415-855-2644
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
SME: M. Jacques Jouaire, Director
M. Alain Pons, Chief, Electrical Machines Department
M. Alain Le Du, International Affairs Manager
Worldwide Web Site at http://www.edf.fr/DER
(A good starting point for the English version) http://www.edf.fr/DER/CATALOG/cgi-bin/wises.cgi?url=/DER/CATALOG/DOCS/COULEURE.HTM
Here you'll see a list of seven series of catalogs (also available in hardcopy), each one covering an area of electric utility R&D. (The following material is copied directly from the web site)
List of Catalogs:
blue series : Energy production (hydraulic, thermal and nuclear) ;
**red series : Electrical equipment, energy transport and supply ;
yellow series : Mathematics, computing, telecommunications ;
mauve series : Uses of electricity ;
green series : Biology, terrestrial and environmental sciences ;
orange series : Organisation, information, social environment and economics ;
Each one in turn is broken down into categories, As an example, the red series offers:
Electrical equipment, energy transport and supply
Energy transport and supply
Electric Networks **
quality of electricity supply
uses of electricity
A list of document titles is given for each of these subcategories, and an abstract (in English) is then available for each document cited. Here are some of the titles for Electric Networks:
Issue 7 (september 1996)
Impact of embedded generation connection on MV protection : study of reference situations
CHILARD O. / 96NR00008
Facts equipment and power system dynamics
LACOSTE J. / CHOLLEY P. / TROTIGNON M. / DANIEL D. / NATIVEL G. / 96NR00009
Power system requirements and associated services at generator level in France
FOURMENT C. / LEFEBVRE H. / TESSERON J.M. / 96NR00013
Modelling with EMTP of overhead lines illuminated by an external electromagnetic field
BARATON P. / XEMARD A. / BOUTET F. / 96NR00019
Factors affecting the power-frequency characteristic of a system and the distribution of regulatory effort among partners; BENEJEAN R. / 96NR00035
Issue 6 (april 1996)
What is the main disadvantage of high-voltage power lines? Analysis of responses to an open question in the EDF-R&D D Environment Survey
BEAUDOIN V. / HAMMER B. / 95NO00035
Toward a global harmonic simulation of the French network: statistical models and simulation tools; DEFLANDRE T. / RIOUAL P. / LACHAUME J. / MARTINON J. / 95NR00074
EDF strategy for power system restoration; HOURY M.P. / TROTIGNON M. / 95NR00076
Coordinated defence plan. An integrated protection system; FAUCON O. / DOUSSET L. / BOISSEAU J. / HARMAND Y. / TROTIGNON M. / 95NR00077
Training simulators for control center operators: EDF's past experience and projects for the future; MEYER B. / LOGEAY Y. / MACREZ J. / 95NR00080
Distribution automation. Functions and data
HARMAND Y. / 95NR00082
Implementation of a new harmonic initialization method in the EMTP
LOMBARD X. / MAHSEREDJIAN J. / LEFEBVRE S. / KIENY C. / 95NR00088
Development of Medium Voltage network structures in the rural field
ROMANELLO E. / 95NR00096
Frequency quality of Eastern European and Western European power systems in 1992 and 1993 BENEJEAN R. / SEVESTRE J.M. / BONDARENKO A. / GUERIKH V. / 95NR00097
The Help Page offers the following:
The management of the Research and Development Division of Electricité de France intends to expand or strengthen international contractual ties with laboratories and industrial firms. Reflecting both the competence and resources of the Division, the Collection de notes internes constitutes a pertinent scientific communication vector in this context.
The Collection comprises seven series covering different areas, featuring a selection of our best research reports.Each series is composed of chapters, each chapter of themes. You can, for a given theme, access to a bibliographical notice of each concerned note.
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Phone : 33-1-47-65-43-21
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Email : Jean-Marie.Lecoeuvre@der.edfgdf.fr