GridRadar.net - independent grid monitoring
Gridradar - a monitoring-system covering the European UCTE grid
Source: wikipedia.org, own inscription
GridRadar.net and the European electric grid
The European electric grid is a tightly knit network of power plants and loads, all connected transnationally by transmission lines and close-meshed distribution grids. The nominal frequency of this interconnected system is 50 Hz with the grid spanning from Portugal to Turkey. The mains frequency is always subject to short-term deviations having their cause in trading artefacts, power plant failures or line faults.
In order to gain more insight into the complex processes taking place within the grid, we primarily use the grid's frequency as a measure. Because consumption and generation must be in balance at all times the frequency will provides insight into the current status of the grid. If, for example, the grid frequency falls below 50 Hz, this means that there is a production shortfall or higher consumption than forecast. However, if the frequency is above 50 Hz, there is an excess generation or too little consumption. Thus, the system must be constantly stabilized and readjusted in order to remain in a corridor close to 50 Hz.
Due to the large number of connected power plants and loads, there are always minor deviations from the nominal frequency of 50 Hz. In order to prevent frequency "overshoot" the grid and its connected generators have a frequency controller droop of +/- 10 mHz. Within this deadband (i.e. 50.01 and 49.99 Hz) the frequency control loop is inactive. Outside this dead band, the so-called primary control is activated and is powering to compensate the deviation. The minimum primary control power reserve to be maintained according to the ENTSO-E manual (Load Frequency-Control and Performance) is 19500 MW/Hz. This frequency containment reserve is provided by power plants participating in the operation in the network.
But what exactly does GridRadar.net measure in the UCTE grid?
We continuously meter the grid frequency through a large number of phasor measurement stations throughout Europe and record these values. In addition to the grid frequency, the voltage angle, also known as the phase angle, is also recorder. The voltage angle gives insight into power flows between individual regions as well as helps us see the start-up and shutdown of individual power plants. All records are time-stamped using highly precise GPS time-synchronized phasor measurement units. Hence statements such as intensity and direction of load flows between two locations can be made.
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