EPRI Testing New Device To Aid Local Power Generation

A new solid-state current limiter (SSCL), designed to restrict potential fault current caused by local generating equipment from entering a utility distribution system, is heading for field testing later this year, according to developers at the Electric Power Research Institute. EPRI researchers hope the SSCL will help maintain distribution system reliability, as independent generating facilit...

09/01/2004


A new solid-state current limiter (SSCL), designed to restrict potential fault current caused by local generating equipment from entering a utility distribution system, is heading for field testing later this year, according to developers at the Electric Power Research Institute.

EPRI researchers hope the SSCL will help maintain distribution system reliability, as independent generating facilities—and customers' own distributed-generation resources—are connected to larger systems. The new device is seen as a possible alternative to simply replacing substation circuit breakers with higher-rated systems. The unit alleviates short-circuit conditions in downstream and upstream devices and gradually phases in current after the fault has been removed.

Supporters also see the technology as minimizing potential roadblocks to future superconducting cable installations, by mitigating fault currents and associated recovery times for the cryogenic systems needed to cool the cables.





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