Technology Research Area:
Smart Wire Grid Demonstration Project
TVA is constantly looking for ways to improve the reliability and effectiveness of the transmission grid. With TVA's generation mix changing in the future, regulating power flow becomes very important to be able to shift electrical power loads to underused portions of the grid.
TVA has been an early supporter and now hosts a demonstration of Smart Wire Grid Inc. technology designed to provide congestion relief by redistributing power flow.
TVA has installed 99 Smart Wire units covering 17 tower spans on a 161-kV transmission line near Knoxville, Tenn. These units convert the existing transmission system to a smart asset that can bring extensive monitoring capability; regulate power flow; and effectively shift overloads to underused portions of the network.
The units can be installed or redeployed to meet changing demands and contain a high performance control, sensing and communications module. A Smart Wire system manager manages the devices and communicates status, field data, device health and provides data archiving.
The demonstration project is sponsored by the National Electric Energy Testing, Research and Applications Center (NEETRAC) and includes the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Electric (ARPA-E) and Smart Wire Grid Inc.
This demonstration will give the team performance data that should support Smart Wire technology deployment, allowing TVA to carry more power, reduce potential overloads, support the integration of renewable generation to the grid, lower maintenance costs and possibly defer line upgrades.