IEEE Electrification Magazine - December 2015 - 53

Accelerating Green Development with Low Carbon
Emissions," in which the strategic vision of a "global
energy Internet" raised global attention. Should this
concept ever be brought into reality, the key technologies to support it will be those for the development of
large-scale power grid, which comprises the ultrahighvoltage (UHV) grid and smart grid as its main body.
For a large-scale power grid, a fault in the grid could
cause a chain reaction that eventually results in a major
blackout and consequent economic losses. Thus, in the
planning phase of a large-scale power grid and in the
maintenance during its operation, one of the key tasks
is to protect power devices from malfunctions as well as
threats from natural disasters. The mechanisms of natural disasters, about which we currently know very little, and disaster prevention for the power grid have
become cutting-edge areas of science and technologies
for power-grid development. Among them, power-grid
disasters caused by extreme space weather are a major
challenge for the development of large-scale power
grids. Although many investigations have been made
into space weather, geomagnetic
storms, and geomagnetically
induced current (GIC), with
achievements in power-grid GIC
research in high-latitude countries in northern Europe and
North America, the research still
has certain limitations. Research
for high-latitude areas does not
reflect the GIC problem around
the globe.
From a global perspective, time
sequence and economics are two
key words that best describe the
development process of power
sources and power grids. It is now
a worldwide phenomenon that
countries have come to a point where resources for
power generation near developed areas and load centers are almost exhausted. Many countries, therefore,
have turned to the option of ac/dc UHV technology for
long-distance power transmission to transmit hydroelectric or wind power from distant areas to load centers. For instance, China and India, which are both midto low-latitude countries with large populations and
fast economic growth, have each made development
plans for the construction of ac/dc UHV power grids.
Figures 1 and 2 show, respectively, the blueprint of
the 1,000-kV Sanhua ac UHV power grid scheduled to
be built in China in 2020 and that of India's UHV power
grid scheduled for 2025. The planned Chinese grid in
Figure 1 has a power capacity of up to 700 GW that will
realize nationwide optimized resource allocation of
thermal and hydroelectric power. It serves the function
of power transmission and network interconnection by

transmitting electric power generated from coal mines
in central China and bulk hydroelectric power in western China to developed areas in eastern China to meet
its rapidly increasing power demand. The planned Indian grid shown in Figure 2 uses its dc network for power
transmission and the 1,200-kV ac network for transmission and network interconnection to realize nationwide distribution of electric power generated from bulk
hydroelectric power in the east area.
Obviously, it is necessary that comprehensive investigations be made into whether GIC will have an impact
on these large-scale power grids and, if it will, how large
it will be. To assess such problems, GIC data in China
have been monitored and collected. The collected data
were from monitors in the neutral points of 500-kV
transformers, including GIC values from Guangdong
Lin'ao nuclear power plant (22.6°N, 114.6°E) during
seven geomagnetic storms between November 2004 and
September 2005 and Guangdong Lin'ao nuclear power
plant and Jiangsu Shanghe substation (33.4°N, 119.2°E)
during the geomagnetic storm from 14 to 16 December
2006. The data suggest that the
peak GIC value during the storm
on 9 November 2004 was 75.5  A
(Liu, IEEE Power Delivery, 2009).
According to the data, Liu and his
colleagues started research on a
GIC calculation method that
applies to the power grid in midand low-latitude areas (Liu, Space
Weather, 2009). Later, with data of
the geomagnetic storm in
November 2004, they came to the
calculation result of GIC values in
the 2010 Shan-Gan-Qing-Ning
planned grid (Liu, 2011). This
result shows that the GIC value is
larger in the 750-kV power grid
with 400-mm 2 six-bundle conductors than in the
500-kV grid with 400-mm2 four-bundle conductors. The
quantitative analysis suggests that Weinan substation,
which suffers from the "edge effect," has the largest GIC
value among all substations in the 750-kV grid, and its
value, 101.538  A, is 1.345 times the largest value in the
Lin'ao 500-kV grid.
Further research was carried out, and with data from
the geomagnetic storm in November 2004 and the magnetotelluric data of the Xinjiang area, the geoelectricfield intensity along the Xinjiang 750-kV grid was calculated (Liu, Proceedings of the IEEE Power & Energy Society
General Meeting, 2013). The result suggests that the
direction and intensity of the geoelectric field keeps
changing during a geomagnetic disturbance, and there is
no certainty or any kind of pattern to the change. In
addition, it was discovered that the northward component of the geoelectric field was larger than the eastward

A fault in the
grid could cause a
chain reaction that
eventually results
in a major blackout
and consequent
economic losses.

IEEE Elec trific ation Magazine / d ec em be r 2 0 1 5

53



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