T&D World Magazine
Earthquake damage

Earthquake damage

New Seismic Shock System Helps Protect Power Grid

The companies’ engineering teams have created and qualified custom seismic damping and isolation systems for high-voltage components.

ITT Corp.’s Control Technologies business is partnering with the Power Transmission Division of Siemens AG to engineer new seismic damping and isolation systems that use ITT’s Enidine brand technologies to help protect high-voltage transmission substations from earthquakes and other earth vibration. The companies’ engineering teams have created and qualified custom seismic damping and isolation systems for high-voltage components – such as live-tank circuit-breakers and fixed series capacitors (FSCs) – that reduce stress by up to 50 to 80 percent.

Transmission substations are critical for moving electricity long distances. If a seismic event damages these substations, wide-ranging outages can occur. According to the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, “The major causes of outages during past earthquakes were the catastrophic failures of circuit breakers, transformer bushings and disconnect switches at the substations.”

The seismic damping and isolation systems include an interconnected and finely tuned set of viscous dampers and wire rope isolators to isolate the high-voltage components’ base from shock and vibration coming from the earth. The new seismic damping and isolation systems created by ITT and Siemens can be customized for each project, anywhere in the world seismic activity is of concern. The partners’ work focuses on eliminating or greatly reducing the motion that travels from the earth through the base supporting the high-voltage components and, ultimately, to the components themselves.

“We’re able to customize, recommend and fine tune these systems because we have experience with preventing the structural failure of power plant turbines as well as bridges, high-rise buildings and stadiums,” said Peter Bauer, managing director for ITT Control Technologies EMEA GmbH.

The high-voltage components ITT and Siemens are helping protect range in weight from 5 tons for a circuit breaker to 50 tons for an FSC. Because of differing heights (some as high as 6 m) each component creates varying centers of gravity for each base and its seismic damping and isolation system to support.

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