IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 12

guest editorial

Mike Henderson

shocking tales
a look at the strange and unexpected

E

ExpEct thE unExpEctEd! try
as we might to anticipate and prepare
for power system contingencies, it
seems impossible to predict some of
the strange events that affect power
system operations. poor designs, fail-
ures of equipment, and human error
can cause interruptions of service and
loss of equipment. under unstudied
conditions, even the "proper" operation
of equipment can produce unimagi-
nable consequences. I do not wish to
disclose the companies, but I'm aware
of some strange events that include
the following:
✔ prior to physical security require-
ments, the loud sound resulting
from circuit breaker operations
proved irresistible to vandals who
entered a substation and opened
almost all breakers in a ring bus
configuration. One breaker was
left closed because the indicator
light was burned out in the con-
trol house.
✔ As part of a ceremony energizing
a new facility, all of the control
room mimic board lights were lit
up to impress dignitaries. cries
of "Oh no!" could be heard by
staff who were unaware that the
state of alarms had been tempo-
rarily changed to indicate lit as
normally in service.
✔ An overly enthusiastic employee
wished to test the ability of a new
corporate vehicle to perform
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2016.2598088
Date of publication: 19 October 2016

12

ieee power & energy magazine

✔

✔

✔

✔

under adverse conditions. the
employee drove into a pumped
storage reservoir during low wa-
ter conditions, the vehicle got
stuck, system operations covered
it with water, and human resourc-
es took some personnel actions.
In spite of all the preparations
for y2K, drunken drivers caused
damage to utility structures.
An engineer running a stability
case made a typographical er-
ror, which simu-
lated the fault in
a distant system.
the engineer in-
advertently dis -
covered an in-
terrelationship
between distant
interface flows.
normally calm
system operators
who were unfa-
miliar with solar
magnetic distur-
bances panicked
when their ana-
log meters began sweeping like
windshield wipers.
phase angle regulators under
automatic tap changing con-
trol improved thermal transfer
limits to an area of the system.
this worked fine until a paral-
lel free f lowing circuit was
removed from service, which
created zero degrees of free-
dom and hunting in the over-
controlled system.

Fact can be stranger than fiction. An
analysis of system events, even unusual
ones, can help identify better opera-
tions and maintenance procedures and
the need for system upgrades.

In This Issue
the theme of shocking tales describes
some unexpected system events. It is my
hope that you find the issuing interest-
ing and also can apply lessons learned
by thinking beyond the usual routinized
system contingencies.
Attention to standards,
procedures, and train-
ing are vital to the op-
eration of the system.
System planners and
engineering depart-
ments should carefully
consider the addition
of needed facilities that
can improve the robust
design and operation of
the system.
"tales of power Sys-
tem Failures" describes
the importance of ani-
mal control, vegetation management,
and lessons learned from system events.
Following standards, including IEEE
standards, and taking additional care
in system design would reduce the like-
lihood of these types of events,
"On the road to Wind power" pro-
vides an interesting case study of the
rapid development of wind generation
and the changing nature of the power
system. Improved reliable opera-
tion and planning can be achieved by

Under unstudied
conditions, even
the "proper"
operation of
equipment
can produce
unimaginable
consequences.

november/december 2016



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 2
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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