In order to introduce new technological and plant solutions, new tools and methods aimed improving grid reliabilityThe fulfilment of two conditions:• availability: capability to respond, statically and in every moment, to the customers’ global demand for power and electrical energy at the connection points, taking into account planned and forced going off-line of the components of the electricity system; • security: capability torespond to sudden disturbances such as short-circuits or forced loss of components of the electricity system. Thus, this aspect specifically considers transition effects which are not covered by the first criterion. and service quality, Terna mainly uses its own internal technicians who closely monitor and analyze the performance of systems and plants and who are constantly finding new improved solutions. Terna also relies on specialized support from builders, from the Universities and from CESI SpA, a specialized research center of which it owns 24.4%.

Internal research activity is based on continuous contact between technicians in Italy and in Brazil. In March 2007, an international conference was held in Rio de Janeiro where Terna presented to experts from the electricity sector throughout the world the results of its research conducted on the effects of corrosive sulphur. This substance, identified in the insulating oil of certain transformers in Brazil, is capable of causing serious damage; its effects and action had been unknown prior to Terna's research. All the world electricity operators can now benefit from the information that has emerged for the electricity service's safety.

With regard to studies for innovation and developmentWorks on the electricity grid which lead to the adjustment or upgrading of the transport, transformation,connection and interconnection capacity, or an increase in operating flexibility of the grid, or the removal ofgrid elements. of new engineering solutions, four fields of research have emerged:

  • Optimization of structures

    • Pylons with reduced dimensions
      Purpose: designing smaller-sized pylons (reduced visual impact) without losing their operational characteristics and maintenanceOperations and works for the maintenance or recovery of efficiency, and smooth operation of the electricplants, taking into account any decrease in performance. features and the ability to work under high voltage (safety distance from the conductors).
    • Activity carried out: 90% of the structural calculations have been completed for the pylons that can be used whose presence strongly affects the landscape, as in Parks. It is expected that they can be installed starting in 2009. Furthermore, during 2007, an international bid was launched for designing and planningDefinition of the usage plans, for a specific period of time, for the available means of production andtransmission, in order to satisfy the energy requirements with respect to quality and continuity of service. new pylons that have a very low environmental impact while respecting engineering standards
    • Strengthening existing pylons in critical areas
      Purpose: preventing pylons from falling and interrupting power. Power lines that were built several years or even decades ago had levels of reliability and resistance that were far lower than today: back then, the priority was the rapid electrification of the country. The pylons to be strengthened are identified according to the vulnerability of the power lines (based on a geographic analysis), to the type of event (e.g. snowfalls) that caused the fall, and to the seriousness of the damage to the end users.
      Activity carried out: criteria were defined for strengthening pylons. A study is presently underway for examining areas that present greater critical aspects, requiring priority measures.
    • Reduction of losses on conductors (reduction of corona effect)
      Purpose: reducing noise, reducing electromagnetic fields.
      Activity carried out: a project was developed for reducing losses that will use 4 conductors in place of the 3 presently being used.
    • Feasibility study for light structures to rapidly replace fallen pylons
      Purpose: quickly take action on the power lines
      Activity carried out: the study was completed. 6 pylons were ordered that will be installed in Terna's personnel training school.
  • Device diagnostics
    • New sensors on devices (transformers and other equipment insulated in SF6)
      Purpose: identifying at an early stage any emerging technical problems in critically-important systems and systems that make use of oils and gases that could have potential environmental impacts.
      Activity carried out: sensors along the systems were defined, built and installed in the Brugherio station that will be under experiment for a lengthy period of time in view of a potentially widespread use.
  • New devices
    • Compact integrated substation devices
      Purpose: reducing space and increasing reliability, as in "armored" devices, by reducing the use of gas and avoiding that the malfunctioning of a single element causes the entire substation apparatus to breakdown.
      Activity carried out: work will soon begin for building two new plants in Tuscany and in Sicily.
  • Safety of the devices
    • Increased automation in placing the systems in a safe condition
      Purpose: enabling systems to be placed in a safe condition from a remote location, reducing time and implementation costs.
      Activity carried out: special devices have been planned, built and are being installed that will replace the operator and will render work carried out along the system to be conducted quickly and safely.

In order to introduce new technological and plant solutions, new tools and methods aimed improving grid reliability and service quality, Terna mainly uses its own internal technicians who closely monitor and analyze the performance of systems and plants and who are constantly finding new improved solutions. Terna also relies on specialized support from builders, from the Universities and from CESI SpA, a specialized research center of which it owns 24.4%.

Internal research activity is based on continuous contact between technicians in Italy and in Brazil. In March 2007, an international conference was held in Rio de Janeiro where Terna presented to experts from the electricity sector throughout the world the results of its research conducted on the effects of corrosive sulphur. This substance, identified in the insulating oil of certain transformers in Brazil, is capable of causing serious damage; its effects and action had been unknown prior to Terna's research. All the world electricity operators can now benefit from the information that has emerged for the electricity service's safety.

With regard to studies for innovation and development of new engineering solutions, four fields of research have emerged:

  • Optimization of structures

    • Pylons with reduced dimensions
      Purpose: designing smaller-sized pylons (reduced visual impact) without losing their operational characteristics and maintenance features and the ability to work under high voltage (safety distance from the conductors).
      Activity carried out: 90% of the structural calculations have been completed for the pylons that can be used whose presence strongly affects the landscape, as in Parks. It is expected that they can be installed starting in 2009. Furthermore, during 2007, an international bid was launched for designing and planning new pylons that have a very low environmental impact while respecting engineering standards
    • Strengthening existing pylons in critical areas
      Purpose: preventing pylons from falling and interrupting power. Power lines that were built several years or even decades ago had levels of reliability and resistance that were far lower than today: back then, the priority was the rapid electrification of the country. The pylons to be strengthened are identified according to the vulnerability of the power lines (based on a geographic analysis), to the type of event (e.g. snowfalls) that caused the fall, and to the seriousness of the damage to the end users.
      Activity carried out: criteria were defined for strengthening pylons. A study is presently underway for examining areas that present greater critical aspects, requiring priority measures.
    • Reduction of losses on conductors (reduction of corona effect)
      Purpose: reducing noise, reducing electromagnetic fields.
      Activity carried out: a project was developed for reducing losses that will use 4 conductors in place of the 3 presently being used.
    • Feasibility study for light structures to rapidly replace fallen pylons
      Purpose: quickly take action on the power lines

Activity carried out: the study was completed. 6 pylons were ordered that will be installed in Terna's personnel training school.

  • Device diagnostics
    • New sensors on devices (transformers and other equipment insulated in SF6)
      Purpose: identifying at an early stage any emerging technical problems in critically-important systems and systems that make use of oils and gases that could have potential environmental impacts.
      Activity carried out: sensors along the systems were defined, built and installed in the Brugherio station that will be under experiment for a lengthy period of time in view of a potentially widespread use.
  • New devices
    • Compact integrated substation devices
      Purpose: reducing space and increasing reliability, as in “armored” devices, by reducing the use of gas and avoiding that the malfunctioning of a single element causes the entire substation apparatus to breakdown.
      Activity carried out: work will soon begin for building two new plants in Tuscany and in Sicily.
  • Safety of the devices
    • Increased automation in placing the systems in a safe condition
      Purpose: enabling systems to be placed in a safe condition from a remote location, reducing time and implementation costs.
      Activity carried out: special devices have been planned, built and are being installed that will replace the operator and will render work carried out along the system to be conducted quickly and safely.

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