First steps to improved power transmission in Nigeria

Small World Carbon's ongoing research aims to contribute to the stability of Nigeria power system

Nigeria's high-voltage electricity transmission system is a crucial piece of infrastructure operated under challenging conditions.  Small World Carbon is engaging with local experts to pilot some innovative measurement and communication solutions to support better network operations.

The high voltage transmission system is close to or beyond its stability limits most of the time- yet system operators have very little visibility, due to a measurement system that is only partially functioning and currently being refurbished. Without appropriate records and current information, the task of operators to make the best operational and planning decisions is made more difficult.  At the moment, half-hourly record are kept- but many significant events can happen in-between these readings that may deserve attention.

Last year, Small World Carbon conducted a demonstration of a mobile synchrophasor measurement unit (PMU)  with mobile-phone communication capability.  This device, designed by Studio Elektronike Rijeka (STER), allows operators to view live trends about voltage, frequency, and power measured at any point in the network. The trial demonstration captured events experienced at a typical compound (Image A), and at  Apo Substation near Abuja (Image B).  The compound recording here reveals both a disturbance (event A) and a subsequent collapse (event B) before the compound shifted to backup power.  The substation recording indicates the type of frequency range that can be compiled as statistics and used as a baseline for demonstrating system performance and improvement.  

IMAGE A: Measurement at compound

This year, Small World Carbon plans to conduct an extended trial with an installation of the STER PMU  at Oshogbo National Control Centre.  By building a baseline of grid voltage and frequency performance, and providing live feed of power flow on critical lines, Small World Carbon and Studio Elektronike Rijeka aim to demonstrate how an ad-hoc synchrophasor network can contribute to improved restoration times following blackouts,  more effective operational interventions, and valuable information for blackout and system performance analysis.

IMAGE B: Measurement at substation

IMAGE B: Measurement at substation