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Final report RSE 15000391

Project T&D: Transmission and distribution of electricity. Synthesis Report of 2014

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The project "Transmission and distribution of the electric energy" has been established to develop studies, tools, technological solutions, methodologies and data acquisition, in order to foster the management of the T&D grid according to efficiency, security, safety and quality of the supply objectives, as well as to promote its development taking into account environmental and societal constraints, the increasing integration of the renewable sources, within a grid structure conceived in the past century in a technological, environmental and social context completely different from the present one.

In this framework particularly important are the research activities carried out in the 201 Realization Plan in collaboration with the Italian national TSO, Terna, aimed at increasing the electricity transport capacity: about High Voltage High Temperature Low Sag conductors for overhead lines, the knowledge and experience gained with the tests, performed both in the laboratory and on operating lines could be transferred as preliminary work to the Standardization bodies. Another field of activities is aimed at minimizing the out-of-service situations, with the development and maintenance of tools and systems that can give warnings about the approaching of potentially dangerous conditions for the insulations withstand (with particular reference to RTV coating) and with the experimental characterization of technologies for live line maintenance activities, with particular reference to insulator field measuring devices, insulating clothing shielding effectiveness, robots for live line inspection.

Assuming that the use of High Voltage DC transmission (HVDC), will increase more and more in the future, the development of some tools and diagnostic and monitoring methods applicable in this context have been developed. In particular the development of technologies for the detection of surface contamination and insulation defects on insulators DC has been addressed, both in laboratory and onsite.

Particularly significant have also been the research activities aimed at an optimal management of the T&D assets, by preventing degradation or failure events.

In this framework, in direct collaboration with Italian utilities and Distribution System Operators, it has been possible to assess diagnostic and monitoring methodologies for MV cables, after many years ageing in service conditions (in partnership with ACEA and A2A), to test on-site a prototype system for vibration monitoring of power transformers (in cooperation with SORGENIA). Moreover, methodologies and sensrors have been specifically developed for diagnostic or measuring purpose, such as transformers insulation conditions, partial discharges, electrooptical voltage sensors.

The project has also taken into consideration the innovation in T&D equipment, and research and study were carried out and devoted to the manufacturing, in the framework of applications based on hightemperature superconductors, of a three-phase Short-circuit Fault Current Limiter (SFCL) having higher performance with respect to the one presently installed in the A2A MV grid; the laboratory short-circuit tests on the single-phase prototype have been successfully carried out and the equipment is therefore now ready for completion. In the meanwhile, a first time for Italy, the three-years on-site test campaign in service conditions of a 9 kV/220 A SFCL have been successfully concluded by the tests for assessing the behavior of the equipment in real short-circuit conditions. Furthermore, modeling studies have been carried on about the design aspects for the development of other components based on superconducting technology, with particular reference to generators for off-shore Eolic application.

Last but not least, the research activities aimed at the improvement of the quality of supply, not only with reference to the mere continuity of supply, but also to the improvement of the measurement of parameters characterizing it, researches and studies for the development of methods of metrological characterization of inductive measuring transformers, capacitive and low power, both in frequency, both in the presence of harmonics or phenomena that impact on power quality.

Furthermore, the project has provided scientific support to regulatory activities; primary importance in this area has the coordination, entrusted to RSE, of the "working table" set up by AEEG, the Italian Authority for Electricity, Gas and hydric system with the participation of all the Italian Distribution System Operators; the activity led to the first year of functioning of the national monitoring system of power quality, extended to the entire set of primary substations of the national MV grid. This system is now working in parallel with the experimental monitoring system (QuEEN) managed by RSE and operating now snce many years.

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