Protecting Uruguay’s 500 kV System

Summary

Solution

UTE collaborated with SEL to design a unique remedial action scheme (RAS), the first of its kind in Latin America, to trip loads in subcycle times and keep the power system from getting overloaded, hence avoiding any cascading outages.

Most notably, after load is shed, the RAS solution monitors the system voltage and reactive power flow and ensures that the power factor, voltage, and reactive power compensations are met. Monitoring these compensation factors reduces transmission losses and improves power quality. However, most other RASs do not monitor compensation factors.

SEL and UTE also installed phasor measurement units (PMUs) that can measure synchrophasor data throughout the Uruguayan power grid, providing more detailed analysis to help UTE optimize system performance.

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Results

With the RAS in place, UTE is now able to reliably shed loads in the winter and maintain the power supply to key cities, such as the capital city of Montevideo. UTE predicts that the impact of having dependable power will not only affect individuals and their families, but also their enterprises, companies, and society as a whole. With the RAS complete, UTE plans to incorporate their new schemes to support network growth and to maintain and improve the quality of the service they provide.

...the technology we’re incorporating based on what we purchased from SEL—I think this places us among companies with the best programs of this kind worldwide.
Gonzalo CasaravillaChairman of the Board, UTE

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