June 16, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Science And Technology

Capacitor-coupled substations revolutionize rural energy supply

Electricity has become an essential part of modern life, boosting economies and improving quality of life around the world. However, in sparsely populated rural areas, conventional distribution networks are often too expensive and impractical. To address this challenge, innovative technologies such as capacitor coupled substations (CCS) are being explored. These substations can harness high-voltage power lines to provide much-needed electricity to remote regions. But how do multiple CCS units, located at different distances from each other, impact the stability and performance of the overall transmission network? This question drives research to ensure that the benefits of CCS technology can be harnessed without disrupting existing power systems.

Researchers have investigated the impact of multiple CCS units on transmission networks to ensure minimal disturbances, a study led by Sinqobile Nene, with contributions from Dr Bolanle Abe and Dr Agha Nnachi of the Tshwane University of Technology. Their work, published in e-Prime – Advances in Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Energy, reveals valuable information for the future of rural electrification.

The main objective of the study was to analyze how multiple CCS units, located in different proximity to each other, affect the transmission line voltage. Using MATLAB/Simulink, the team modeled a typical electrical transmission network with a fixed supply voltage of 230 kVac. They simulated the system response when CCS units were connected or disconnected, both individually and in combination, at different distances.

Nene explained: “Our main objective was to provide information on the possible application of CCS technology in rural electrification by examining its impact on the transmission network.” This research involved creating three CCS models and placing them at specific distances, first at 500 km and then at 100 km, represented by different electrical resistances in the simulation.

The results were encouraging. When any CCS unit was connected or disconnected, only negligible interruptions were observed in the transmission network. The system stabilized quickly after any initial disturbance caused by turning the CCS units on or off.

In practical experiments, three prototypes were built to validate the simulation results. Each prototype consisted of different configurations but maintained similar parameters to the simulated models. Voltage and current behaviors were monitored using a True-RMS digital multimeter and oscilloscope, ensuring complete data collection.

“Consistent results between our simulations and practical experiments indicate that the deployment of CCS units does not significantly affect the overall performance of the transmission network,” Nene said. This finding is important for rural electrification efforts as it suggests that CCS technology can be seamlessly integrated into existing power systems without causing substantial interference.

Further analysis confirmed that the impact of the capacitance of the CCS units on the electrical transmission network was negligible. The researchers concluded that this technology could be a viable solution to supply electricity to rural areas, especially those near high-voltage lines. Their study also highlighted the importance of considering the proximity of CCS units to each other as it affects network stability and performance.

The study results are promising for the future of rural electrification, as they demonstrate that CCS technology can be implemented without significant disruptions to the electrical grid. This opens up new possibilities for expanding electricity access to remote and underserved areas, contributing to overall economic development and improving living standards.

Nene emphasized the importance of further research, stating: “Future studies should focus on different load conditions and the maximum capacity of CCS units that can be connected without causing significant interference.” Additionally, examining downstream system behavior in more detail could provide deeper insights to optimize CCS implementation.

In conclusion, Nene and colleagues' research provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact of multiple CCS units on transmission networks. Their findings support the feasibility of using CCS technology for rural electrification, paving the way for more efficient and cost-effective solutions for electricity access in remote areas.

Magazine reference

Nene, Sinqobile Wiseman, Bolanle Tolulope Abe and Agha Francis Nnachi. “System modeling of the impact of multiple capacitor-coupled substations located in different proximities on a transmission network.” e-Prime – Advances in Electrical, Electronic and Energy Engineering (2024): 100481. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prime.2024.100481

About the Author

Mr. Sinqobile Wiseman Nene obtained the South African Government Certificate of Competency (GCC) in Electrical Engineering in 2015. He received his Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Electrical Power Engineering from the Durban University of Technology in 2018, which focused on the evaluation of energy efficiency in bagasse. gasification field. Additionally, she obtained her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Management College of Southern Africa, in 2018, focusing on the effectiveness of organizational structure with an article published in Financial Risk and Management Reviews, Conscientia Beam, Vol. 5 (1) in 2019. As of May 2024, she is currently a student at Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa, in the Department of Electrical Power Engineering, pursuing a PhD in engineering. in Electrical Power Engineering. She is a member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and the Southern African Asset Management Association (SAAMA). Her research areas are electrical engineering, power generation and energy systems. He can be contacted at email: wnene@hailienene.com

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