Preview of 2018 CIGRE

A review of the program for the upcoming CIGRE General Session in Paris suggests record attendance, with more than 8000 participants expected from 93 countries. In addition, some 240 exhibitors will display new products, services and technologies over three floors. The Technical Sessions will be conducted using the traditional Special Reporter system, and can now be downloaded from CIGRE’s web site. On the basis of questions addressed in these Special Reports, each participant can make a contribution during the Technical Session. This year, it is important that any proposed contribution be sent to the Study Committee Chairman, Secretary and Special Reporter no later than August 7. Note that this deadline might be somewhat different for various Study Committees, e.g. it is July 23 in the case of SC B2. Given the expected number of contributions, any document submitted after these dates will probably not be considered. This applies for Poster Sessions as well.

Looking into the Special Report of Study Committee B2 on Overhead Lines, a particularly interesting Technical Session is expected. There will be three Preferential Subjects (PS) covering a broad range of topics:

• PS1 Overhead Lines & Information Technology

– PS1/1 Dynamic Line Rating: forecasting and operational experience (3 Papers)
– PS1/2 Innovations to improve line performance and safety (4 Papers)

• PS2 Experience Leading to Improvements of OHL

– PS2/1 Studies and research to define electrical and mechanical parameters for OHL design (3 Papers)
– PS2/2 New methods and tools for design and inspection of overhead lines (5 Papers)
– PS2/3 Methods for increasing reliability of overhead lines (3 Papers)

• Joint PS3 B2&C3 Technical and Environmental Aspects of Overhead Lines

– PS3/1 Vegetation and right-of-way ROW (2 Papers)
– PS3/2 Public acceptance and Tower design (6 Papers)
– PS3/3 EMF, corona noise and insulation coordination (7 Papers)
– PS3/4 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) (1 Paper)

The general content of PS1 deals with the fact that erecting new transmission lines these days can be particularly challenging. For example, high costs could be involved due to the need to meet local laws and regulations. Moreover, receiving permission for a line through a new corridor can prove time consuming. For these reasons, utilities in many countries are trying to optimize their systems within existing line corridors. Aside from application of alternative conductors such as HTLS-conductors, methods are being investigation to increase line capacity by monitoring conductor temperature along with local weather. One interesting question in this regard: What are the principal advantages and cost implications of using direct measurement of e.g. conductor temperature, sag, etc. versus indirect measurements involving ambient temperature, wind speed, etc. for calculating line rating?

The general content of PS2 covers availability and recent progress in technologies and software that optimize design of new lines and as well as improvement in reliability of existing lines. This includes new methods and tools for diagnostics. This PS will also provide information about long-term experience with HTLS conductor.

Joint PS3 is interdisciplinary. Each overhead line has an impact on the environment, from visual and public acceptance to mechanical factors to electrical aspects. Similarly, design of a new transmission line has seen an increase in number of stakeholders, including architects for landmark-like tower designs and environmental managers. For these reasons, Study Committees B2 and C3 initiated collaboration to cover these aspects and identify further synergies. Thanks go to Special Reporters Bertie Jacobs (South Africa), Kjell Halsan (Norway), Cécile Rozé (France) and Warren Funston (South Africa) for reading papers in advance and compiling the Special Report.

Dr. Frank Schmuck