Energy Systems, Automation of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Energy Systems, Automation of


the use of various devices in energy systems to control the processes of generating, converting, and distributing electric power and heat according to the operating and adjustment programs of the devices used. Automation ensures normal operation of equipment in electric power plants, substations, and power transmission lines, provides for economical and reliable operation of the energy system as a whole, and guarantees the required quality of the electric power and heat supplied. The automatic equipment used may be classified according to its primary purpose and field of application as being power automation or systems automation equipment.

Power automation equipment provides automatic regulation of the basic parameters of the technological processes in power units of fossil-fuel-fired steam, atomic, and hydroelectric power plants and in substation equipment under normal and emergency conditions (for example, automatic regulation of the rotation speed of turbines, the excitation in generators, and the combustion process in the fireboxes of boiler units). General plant automation equipment is also used for automatic control of electric power plants as a single, integrated, controlled object; control actions are applied to automation equipment governing power units or power blocks. Such equipment, in turn, can serve as the actuating mechanisms of systems automation equipment, to include equipment for economical distribution among units or power blocks of power delivered by electric power plants.

Systems automation equipment automates the process of managing the operation of a power system as a whole under normal and emergency conditions. Control equipment for normal conditions is designed to function with relatively small and slow changes in conditions and is therefore relatively slow-acting. Such equipment includes means for automatic frequency control of an energy system and for automatic voltage control of an electric power supply system. Equipment for automatic control of emergency operating modes under large disturbances exerts strong control actions on the system. It includes local-action devices for relay protection, which function during short circuits, devices for switching in reserve equipment to restore interrupted electric power supply, and automation equipment that repeatedly switches in power transmission lines and transformers after they have been automatically disconnected. In addition, automatic counteremergency devices are used to unload power transmission lines automatically during dangerous increases in power, to isolate sections of an energy system automatically when their synchronous operation is disrupted or threatened, and to disconnect some of the least critical consumers in order to prevent a dangerous reduction of frequency.

The unified and interconnected energy systems of the USSR make wide use of local automation equipment together with a centralized system of counteremergency automation equipment that uses remote control facilities.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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