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[Episode #55] – Voltage Stability

Energy transition on the power grid is much more complicated than simply replacing fossil fuel and nuclear generators with wind and solar generators. Maintaining high-quality, reliable power will require a lot more than simply adding batteries to a high-renewables grid. Engineers have to maintain stable voltage, current, and real power… which involves manipulating elusive factors like reactive power and frequency, while implementing technologies to compensate for various kinds of instability. It’s very technical, and we don’t claim to really understand it, but in this episode we’re going to take an initial whack at it anyway with the help of a systems engineer with ABB, in an attempt to understand a little bit more about the arcane art of power engineering, and in particular, voltage stability.

Geek rating: 11

Guest: Martin Wästljung has a Masters in Energy Systems Engineering and a Masters in Renewable Electricity Generation from Uppsala University, Sweden. He works for ABB, a major power and automation supplier, in their Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) unit. FACTS supplies systems for improved power and voltage quality, which increase reliability, utilization and performance of the power system. His background includes working with power system studies related to voltage stability and control and power quality issues.

On the Web:  LinkedIn profile for Martin Wästljung

Recording date: October 9, 2017

Air date: November 1, 2017