The MIIS Eprints Archive

Simplified methods of assessing the impact of grid frequency dynamics upon generating plants

Hunt, R. and Fowler, A. and Hanche-Olsen, H. and Drye, T. and Gilmour, I. and McSharry, P. and Please, C.P. and Smith, S.L. (1996) Simplified methods of assessing the impact of grid frequency dynamics upon generating plants. [Study Group Report]



The frequency of the national electricity grid is affected by fluctuations in supply and demand, and so continually "judders" in an essentially unpredictable fashion around 50 Hz. At present such perturbations do not seemingly affect Nuclear Electric as most of their plant is run at more or less constant load, but they would like to be able to offer the national grid a mode of operation in which they "followed" the grid frequency: i.e., as the frequency rose above or fell below 50 Hz, the plant's output would be adjusted so as to tend to restore the frequency to 50 Hz. The aim is to maintain grid frequency within 0.2 Hz of its notional value. Such a mode of operation, however, would cause a certain amount of damage to plant components owing to the consequent continual changes in temperature and pressure within them.

Nuclear Electric currently have complex computational models of how plants will behave under these conditions, which allows them to compute plant data (e.g., reactor temperatures) from given grid frequency data. One approach to damage assessment would require several years'-worth of real grid data to be fed into this model and the corresponding damage computed (via "cycle distributions" created by their damage experts). The results of this analysis would demonstrate one of three possibilities: the damage may be acceptable under all reasonable operating conditions; or it may be acceptable except in the case of an exceptional abrupt change in grid frequency (caused by power transmission line failure, or another power station suddenly going off-line, for instance), in which case some kind of backup supply (e.g., gas boilers) would be required; or it may simply be unacceptable.

However, their current model runs in approximately real time, making it inappropriate for such a large amount of data: our problem was to suggest alternative approaches. Specifically, we were asked the following questions:

- Can component damage be reliably estimated directly from cycle distributions of grid frequency? i.e., are there maps from frequency cycle distributions to plant parameter cycle distributions?

- Can a simple model of plant dynamics be used to assess the potential for such maps?

- What methods can be used to select representative samples of grid frequency behaviour?

- What weightings should be applied to the selections?

- Is it possible to construct a "cycle transform" (Fourier transform) which will capture the essential features of grid frequency and which can then be inverted to generate simulated frequency transients?

We did not consider this last question, other than to say "probably not".

We were supplied with data of the actual grid frequency measurements for the evening of 29/7/95, and the corresponding plant responses (obtained using Nuclear Electric's current computational model). A simplified nonlinear mathematical model of the plant was also provided.

Two main approaches were considered: statistical prediction and analytical modelling via a reduction of the simplified plant model.

Item Type:Study Group Report
Problem Sectors:Energy and utilities
Study Groups:European Study Group with Industry > ESGI 29 (Oxford, UK, Mar 18-22, 1996)
Company Name:Nuclear Electric
ID Code:323
Deposited By: Dr Kamel Bentahar
Deposited On:06 Jun 2011 11:13
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:56

Repository Staff Only: item control page