Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grid Collapses in Northern Grid: Windmills may be the cause

Grid collapse in India, 30 July and 31 July 2012.

The dynamics of stability are very different now compared with the time when wind energy was not being used. This drastically increases the stress on the grid because of 1) the behaviour of windmills(Ref 1), 2) the consequent weakening of an already weak monsoon causing reduced hydro capacity to meet changing demand,3) the spike created by possible sudden drop in windmill power output collapsing the grid in the face of a sudden demand. One can see the seriousness of the situation by the following numbers(Table GC):

What was the Northern Region drawing at the time of the collapse? 5400 MW from Table OD below:

Source: How and Why the Indian Power Grid Collapsed , Economic Times, 
Monday August 06, 2012, 03:38 PM(For the percentages; the actual values derived from CEA Daily Report).
Another newsreport
"The data shows that the failure was due to electricity overdrawal by some northern states and excess power supply from the western region. Conclusions can be drawn only after detailed investigations by the three member committee constituted by the power ministry on Monday," a senior official in the power ministry said.
These numbers and some energy interchange data convert to a possible set of facts to build an emerging picture of what actually could have happened.
The 5400 MW overdrawal in the Northern grid met a possible collapse of windmill power as winds collapsed.  The hydro capacity was possibly not enough to respond to the windmill power supply collapse. The dynamics of load generation balance then might have led to instability and the generators ran away creating a shutdown.
A comparison of the energy capacity of energy interchange with windmill capacities from Western Region to Northern Region shows that there is plenty scope for instability and grid collapse, prima facie(EIWN).

Source:Derived from Inter Regional Energy Exchanges, June 2012. Reproduced below from CEA Monthly Report.

1. Ashok Kumar R.2004.Dark satanic mills at


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