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Topic Title: Black Starting the Grid
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Created On: 14 March 2019 12:22 pm
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 14 March 2019 12:22 pm
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Joined: 19 July 2002

I was loking at this ET article and wondering how realistic it is?

Can you actually synch two separate grid sections or do you have to start somewhere and synch everthing to that?
When several of the Switzerland - Italy interconnects tripped the phase angle in Italy had drifted too far to allow reclosing and Italy had to be black started.

Best regards

 14 March 2019 12:45 pm
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Yes, it is possible to synchronise two grid sections and this has been done.

The UK national grid normally operates as a single system, but under certain rare fault or failure conditions, may become divided into two sections, known as a "system split".
It is certainly possible to synchronise the two parts and reconnect.
Voltage and phase angle would be monitored, adjusted, and when correct the relevant national grid circuit breaker be closed.

Once the two sections are connected via a single grid line, then other connections are made to provide reliability/redundancy.
These subsequent connections are easier since the two portions are already synchronised.
 14 March 2019 01:08 pm
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IMHO, the real problem is not likely to be synchronising two running parts of the grid that have become separated.

The problem is in black starting a dead system. Wind, solar, and nuclear sources are not usually suitable for this.

Hydroelectric plant is often suitable as it is quick starting and needs no significant energy to start generating.
Diesel and gas turbine plant is often suitable as it starts quickly from batteries or air bottles.
SOME coal burning plant can be black started, but this is a slow process, usually achieved by diesel generators that can supply auxiliary plant until steam is raised to run one main generating unit.
Run up times from cold are often 24 hours or more, much quicker if it was running before the emergency and still hot, and fully staffed.

Most DC interconnectors wont feed into a dead system, they require a functioning grid at the load end.

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