An Electric Power Systems refers to all the elements that form a network to generate electrical energy and transmit the generated energy to different end users such as Mining & Minerals, Agriculture, Construction, Power and Energy, Manufacturing, and many more. An electric power system can be categorized into three parts: power generation, transmission, and distribution.
Power generation is that which converts one form of energy into electrical energy. Electrical energy can be produced from various natural sources such as solar, wind, wave, and hydroelectric. Earlier, D.C generators were developed to generate power in bulk. However, due to limitations of D.C machines to generate voltage beyond a few hundred volts, it was not economical to transmit a large amount of power over a long distance. To overcome this limitation, companies have shifted towards A.C system, making the transmission of power in bulk a reality by using transformers.
Power transmission systems transmit power from the power station where the power is generated to the location of the customer. Some of the products that are used in the transmission of power are conductors, motors, and many others.
Power distribution systems distribute power to end users in voltages, which can be used by the user's equipment.
The demand for electricity is rising and modern society would cease to function without access to electricity. The different products that are used for power generation, transmission and distribution of electricity are as follows.
- Electric buses
- Static VAR compensator
Among all the components that are used in electric power systems, the static VAR compensators, which regulate and control the voltage, are expected to be in high demand in the near future. These systems are used to improve power system transmission and distribution performance in various industries. Static VAR compensators can benefit the transmission and distribution systems by stabilizing the voltage in weak system, reducing the transmission losses, offering higher transient stability limit, decreasing harmonic distortion, and reducing voltage fluctuations and light flicker.
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Some of the end users of Electric power systems are Mining & Minerals, Agriculture, Construction, and Manufacturing.
In 2018, New York announced the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative with the objectives of increasing distributed energy resources (DER) deployment and improving energy system efficiency, reliability, and resiliency. As part of REV, state policymakers are trying to reshape the traditional roles of utilities and regulators, creating space for third-party DER providers and a market platform for distribution-level electricity service transactions.
Drivers of Electric Power Systems
- Declining Cost of Utility-Scale Renewables and Battery Storage Combined with Policy Incentives
Over the past decade, the capital cost to install wind and solar PV systems has declined significantly due to a mix of government incentives, ongoing research and development, and economies of scale. In many cases, declining capital costs have been accompanied by improved technical performance resulting in higher capacity factors and lower outage rates. These performance improvements are expected to continue in providing uninterrupted power supply in the coming years.
- Low-Cost Natural Gas Generation
In recent years, the technical performance of natural gas-fired generation units has improved. Abundant natural gas supplies and persistent low prices coupled with improvements in gas generation technologies have contributed to dramatic changes in the electric power systems.
Challenges in Power Systems
- The modern interconnected power system network is a highly nonlinear and stressed system. Being one of the most complex man-made dynamical systems, its operation and control in stable, secure, economic and reliable manner has always been challenging. On-line analysis and monitoring of stability and security of the system is still a challenging task. To overcome this, companies are focusing on developing online applications with several available tools, which can handle the stress in the power systems.
- If the products that are used in the power sector are not properly regulated or the products fail to meet the standards that are set by the government, the products may lead to more emission. Thus, utility regulators must understand the environmental implications while making decisions in resource selection and in reform process. To electricity, regulators should establish a close, consultative relationship with environmental regulators to achieve the required environmental objectives.
Some of the companies that are involved in the manufacturing of power system products are ABB, Siemens, GE, RXPE, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and many more. Recently, ABB and SUSI partnered to develop clean microgrid and energy storage solutions. The development of these solutions is expected to provide access to reliable and cost-effective electricity in remote locations.
To overcome the challenges to provide secure, economic, and reliable power, more companies are planning to implement the high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology in their systems. The implementation of these systems, which are used to interconnect separate power systems, is expected to boost the power distribution process in the near future.
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