Toshiba. Protection relay training simulators in Pakistan
Toshiba. Protection relay training in Pakistan

Given the rapid growth of electric power demand in emerging countries, increasing the number of operators by simulator training is necessary for a stable power supply.

This article first appeared in ESI Africa Issue 2-2020.
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Grid system operators must understand and interpret changing grid situations correctly and operate transmission facilities with precise operating procedures. However, the response time and accurate diagnosis depend on the skill level of the operator and impacts on how quickly the system will recover from a blackout and alleviate further power cuts.

Therefore, improving the skill of existing operators and increasing the number of skilled operators are crucial. The challenge is that many transmission and distribution companies do not have training facilities and therefore have only conducted such training with the actual operational facilities at the times of planned loadshedding or power outages.

Taking control of training through simulated scenarios

In Pakistan, the grid is expanding at a tremendous rate and, therefore, to ensure the stable operation of the grid it is essential to train skilled system operators within a short period of time.

To meet this requirement, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) delivered two types of power grid operation training simulators to Pakistan’s National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC), which began using them for operator training in October 2018. To date, 120 operators have been trained using these training simulators.

The training simulators comprise the operation training system for a substation monitoring and controlling system, and a protection relay operation simulation system.

Substation simulation training by Toshiba at NTDC in Pakistan.

The substation operation training simulator shows operation engineers how to operate substations and trains them in handling power system incidents and securing recovery. This realistic operation training is performed under normal and emergency conditions using power flow and frequency calculations as well as relay response simulation.

The protection relay operation training promotes better understanding of protection relays – which quickly isolate the affected part of the power systems in the event of faults – and provides training for their operation. This includes practical training to respond to various power system faults using real protection relays with a real-time digital simulator (RTDS).

These simulators are useful for enhancing operators’ capabilities. They are expected to help improve the reliability of the power supply and thereby contribute to further economic growth of emerging countries.

Accommodating training scenarios for fluctuating grid situations

The electricity grid needs to be operated in accordance with changes in demand and changes in the grid condition. With training simulators, users can create and update training scenarios according to the conditions of how the grid performs in real situations. It is an effective system that can be used not only in the grid operation department, but also in the planning department.

In addition to the training simulators, Toshiba ESS has developed a compact system consisting of a PC that can easily introduce high-performance training simulators for educational institutions such as universities and training centres at power companies.

With this simulator, operators can train not only for normal operating conditions but also for system recovery from an accident by using grid training simulators. An added benefit is the increase in skilled operators who can recover the system at the time of an accident – resulting in a shorter time of loadshedding, fewer power outages, and an improved electricity grid system.

Toshiba ESS is proud to contribute to supporting education for engineers and stable power supplies around the world by providing operation training simulators. ESI

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