Power grids and distribution networks currently face challenges such as increased urbanization and integration of renewable energy sources and related storage possibilities. These factors will lead to previously unconsidered energy flows as well as totally new concepts when it comes network infrastructure. Other key issues these days are higher transmission capacity, more compactness required in line designs – especially near urban areas – even as system downtime has to be kept to a minimum and versatility to a maximum.
Given these constraints and requirements, flexible and modular concepts will be critical. Nevertheless, long-term reliability and safety are still top requirements and efficiency on the technical side and in financial aspects is crucial. Pluggable systems that offer the possibility to use different connection types, including cable connectors as well as bushings for overhead line connections and on additional devices for surge protection, offer a solution to meet these challenges. For example, one approach is to use a dry-type plug-in high voltage connection system that supports easy interchangeability, as well as rapid expansion and flexible connection possibilities.
Moreover, power supply systems are often exposed to overvoltage events where voltage levels exceed insulation capability. Transient overvoltages in particular are critical for insulation of high voltage equipment and surge arresters are used to prevent damage by limiting these. The combination of an arrester and a pluggable system is realized in a pluggable surge arrester that combines the advantages of both systems.
Moreover, there is a clear trend to higher system voltages that allow greater transmitted power with reduced losses. Transmission via underground cable allows for considerable increase in transmitted power with only limited or no increase in required space.
Attend the 2017 INMR WORLD CONGRESS in Barcelona-Sitges from November 5 to 8 to hear Michael Zerrer of Pfisterer present the technology of dry pluggable solutions that have been developed to meet these types of industry challenges.