The events in Delhi and Vadodara attracted over 150 people representing transformer manufacturers, utilities, and consultancy firms who wanted to find out more about variable shunt reactors from the MR experts. The risk of transmission losses is especially high with long overhead transmission lines. The intelligent control provided by shunt reactors can minimize these losses and the risk of overvoltage that accompanies large load fluctuations. This technology is already common in Europe and is gaining in importance in India too.
MR and EASUN-MR worked with GETCO (Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited) to undertake extensive grid analyses, giving Indian grid operators a better understanding of variable shunt reactors. When transmitting power, many utilities in India are still using fixed reactors, which provide only rough estimates for compensation in overvoltage situations resulting from capacitive influences in the grid, especially at low transmission rates. Here, the control mechanism is provided by several switchboard sections with reactors that can only be engaged via circuit breakers. Using a tap changer-controlled variable reactor (variable shunt reactor) for this task brings numerous advantages. For example, control can be achieved much more precisely and there is a far smaller impact on the system and operating voltage. In many cases, a much smaller voltage range can be selected than with fixed reactors. This also reduces losses and improves grid quality and profitability. Since numerous tap-change operations are expected with shunt reactors, MR vacuum technology is recommended: the VACUTAP® OLTC´s have an extended maintenance interval of 300,000 tap-change operations.
GETCO and the state energy provider PGCIL (Power Grid Corporation of India Limited) have already shown an interest in the MR technology. The two seminars and another presentation given at the 7th annual conference on "Power Transmission in India" in Delhi in July 2014 have also prompted interest among other energy providers and OEMs.