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Technical & economic assessment of a superconductor fault current limiter

Casey, Timothy (2018) Technical & economic assessment of a superconductor fault current limiter. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Modern societies depend on the continuous supply of electricity, which has become a key focus for power system engineers. It is critical to the economy that a high quality and an uninterruptable power supply is maintained to ensure there are no costly losses.

This thesis looks at addressing two network issues: security and reliability, by incorporating the use of a Resistive Superconductor Fault Current Limiter (R-SFCL) device. The technical analysis investigates the two scenarios independently. The first case assesses the installation of a peak-lopping diesel generating facility with a series installed R-SFCL to address the shortfall forecasted in the future. The second case evaluates the functionality of the R-SFCL as a busbar coupler to improve the substation’s reliability performance. Both applications of the R-SFCL are to reduce the fault current levels on the network to within manageable levels. An economic assessment is handled to provide the most inexpensive and reliable solution for addressing the network drivers for a review time of 25 years.

The fault analysis is conducted in a steady-state assumption to evaluate the efficiency of reducing the fault current under contingency conditions. The simulations are conducted on two real 132/22 kV substation networks to investigate the fault current levels experienced on the network. The results from the simulations were then used for an economic assessment of the device against traditional network solutions.

The device proved effective in limiting the fault current for the two scenarios, but the economic assessment impacted the application of the R-SFCL. The economic assessment proved that the R-SFCL is beneficial for improving the reliability performance of a substation that has outage difficulties, but to address network security, the application of a R-SFCL is not the favourable option today.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Arefi, Ali and Ristovski, S.
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