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Spatial scales of geomagnetically induced currents in B.C. Hydro's power transmission system Butler, David Buchanan


Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GIC's) in B. C. Hydro's 500 kV transmission system have in the past been responsible for the generation of harmonics of 60 Hz, system voltage drops, and misoperation of relay units. Characterization of the associated magnetic storms' spatial scales would further the understanding of GIC generation in the area, and allow advanced warning of potential problems in future power transmission projects. Data collected in 1984 at four substations were analysed to determine lateral variations in geomagnetically induced earth surface electric fields. Inversion techniques were employed to find a variety of solutions that would reproduce the data. Results suggested that the magnetic storms were larger than the area monitored, and that resultant electric fields seen by a large portion of the transmission grid were uniform. Departures from this uniformity in other portions of the electric field models were felt either to be due to earth induction effects, or in some cases, to be artifacts of the data analysis techniques. An experiment designed to determine the controlling factors behind GIC's is outlined. Considerable effort would be required to explicitly determine all electric fields affecting the transmission system

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