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New Smart Wires Software to Boost Transmission Reliability

Sept. 18, 2023
NYSERDA’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Future Grid Challenges program will support the project.

A new project by Smart Wires, funded through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will develop advanced software to identify the optimal use of modular power flow control technology to support transmission system outage management.

NYSERDA’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Future Grid Challenges program will support the project.

The complex asset outage schemes required to commission new transmission lines and grid equipment and maintain existing infrastructure are common hindrances to the power sector today, according to Smart Wires.

However, grid enhancing technologies such as modular power flow control (MPFC) technology can alleviate grid congestion while improving grid reliability, particularly during outages, thereby facilitating faster and more effective project completion.

This project aims to develop a software plug-in designed to identify the optimal locations for such MPFC deployments. These deployments can be quickly installed and relocated between sites, enabling the system operator to use them to address critical short-term network needs that can occur during both scheduled and unplanned outages.

The plug-in will be developed using a New York Transmission Owner’s existing outage management program as an example case. The software development will aim to account for various factors, including seasonal dispatch patterns, substation site feasibility, and different outage conditions to optimize a solution that aligns with the user’s specific criteria. 

The mobile MPFC devices that the plug-in is primarily intended for are modular static synchronous series compensators (M-SSSCs) that inject a voltage in quadrature with the line current to synthesize a capacitive or inductive reactance. This means the devices can push power off overloaded lines or pull power onto underutilized lines to resolve thermal constraints and other grid issues, unlocking capacity on the existing grid. 

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