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An investigation into space weather impacts on UK power station transformers

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Poster

Publication date19/07/2021
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventNational Astronomy Meeting 2021 - Virtual, Bath, United Kingdom
Duration: 19/07/202123/07/2021


ConferenceNational Astronomy Meeting 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


It is well documented that space weather may impact electricity infrastructure, and several widespread blackouts have been observed in the past few decades and directly linked to the largest geomagnetic storms (e.g. the Hydro Quebec incident in 1989). However, less is known about the impact of lower-level GICs on the health of transformers in the long term. In this study, the long term impact of geomagnetic activity on 13 power station transformers in the UK was investigated. Dissolved gas measurements from 2010-2015 were used to look for evidence of a link between degradation of the transformer insulation and heightened levels of SYM-H and dB/dt as measured at Eskdalemuir magnetometer station. Firstly, case studies were examined of the most significant storms in this time period using dissolved gas analysis (DGA) methods, specifically the Low Energy Degradation Triangle (LEDT). The case studies were then augmented with a statistical survey, including Superposed Epoch Analysis (SEA) of multiple storm events. No evidence of a strong space weather impact can be found during this time period, likely owing to the relatively quiet nature of the Sun during this epoch and the modernity of the transformers studied.