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In the Loop

Australia’s substantial contribution to the 2020 CIGRE Paris Session.

There has been a record acceptance of 32 Australian Papers for the 2020 Paris Session.  These papers are focussed on many of the critical issues facing Australian and regional power supplies in the changing technical environment.  They should contribute toward generating significant debate over the week of the Paris Session. 

The CIGRE Paris Session is a week-long event where each of the sixteen Study Committees runs open discussions on their predetermined preferential subjects using Special Reporters to guide the interactions.  In this forum, the papers are not presented.  Instead, the Special Reporters can ask questions and examine issues that have been raised by the various papers.  In addition, the delegates can prepare formal and informal contributions in response to the questions.  

The intention is to generate a broad discussion on these issues and enable the sharing of practical solutions and emerging trends.  Paper authors can also have detailed discussions with delegates at a separate poster session.  This process allows more than 700 papers to be discussed over a 5-day period, which is well in excess of a traditional conference that would typically have around 80 papers over a 3-day period. 

Half of the papers contribute to issues related to the broad impact of the changing nature of the power system, particularly in relation to the rapid increase in intermittent generation.  The remaining papers cover the ongoing technical challenges associated with asset management and a range of specific aspects related to the design and operation of power systems. 

A wide range of issues has been raised in the papers, from the use of variable speed diesel generators to enable more efficient use of batteries with wind farms, to the changing demands for ancillary services and their influence on market rules and systems.  Other aspects discussed include how to manage the impact of locally reduced fault levels and the associated cost impacts.  One paper discusses the role of price signals in economically integrating demand response and distributed energy resources.  Another interesting paper relates to the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in cyber security management. 

The trends in relation to the various modelling tools available to analyse the changing power system are examined by one author.  The enhancements that have been made to the South Australian grid to support the operation as an isolated network as well as when it is integrated with the much larger National Energy Grid is covered in another paper.  This includes the use of large-scale batteries and a virtual synchronous generator. 

In some cases, papers have challenged the status quo.  For example, whether the continued reliance on synchronous machines is appropriate as renewable generation continues to grow rapidly.  This recognises that the nature of loads is changing such that many are immune to large variations in frequency and that inverters are being supplemented with other technologies to support consequential impacts such as low fault levels.  Yet another paper discusses how FACTS based power flow control can be used to help deal with evolving changes to power flows.  

The authors of these accepted papers will spend the next month or so finalising their papers so that the appointed special reporters have time prior to the Paris Session in August 2020 to develop and distribute the questions to guide each discussion. 

Papers are made available to registered delegate to the Paris session.  Keep a watch on the CIGRE Australia website and our twitter and Linkedin platforms for up to date information when registrations open.