Differential Magnetometer Measurements of Geomagnetically Induced Currents in a Complex High Voltage Network

Huebert, J. ORCID:; Beggan, C.D. ORCID:; Richardson, G.S. ORCID:; Martyn, T.; Thomson, A.W.P. ORCID: 2020 Differential Magnetometer Measurements of Geomagnetically Induced Currents in a Complex High Voltage Network. Space Weather, 18 (4), e2019SW002421.

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Space weather poses a hazard to grounded electrical infrastructure such as high voltage (HV) transformers, through the induction of geomagnetically induced currents (GICs). Modelling GIC requires knowledge of the source magnetic field and the Earth's electrical conductivity structure, in order to calculate the geoelectric fields generated during magnetic storms, as well as knowledge of the topology of the HV network. Direct measurement of GICs at the ground neutral in substations is possible with a Hall‐effect probe, but such data are not widely available. To validate our HV network model, we use the Differential Magnetometer Method (DMM) to measure GICs in the 400 kV grid of Great Britain. We present DMM measurements for the 26 August 2018 storm at a site in eastern Scotland with up to 20 A recorded. The line GIC correlate well with Hall probe measurements at a local transformer, though they differ in amplitude by an order of magnitude (a maximum of ~2 A). We deployed a long‐period magnetotelluric (MT) instrument to derive the local impedance tensor which can be used to predict the geoelectric field from the recorded magnetic field. Using the MT‐derived electric field estimates, we model GICs within the network, accounting for the difference in magnitude between the DMM‐measured line currents and earth currents at the local substation. We find the measured line and earth GICs match the expected GICs from our network model, confirming that detailed knowledge of the complex network topology and its resistance parameters is essential for accurately computing GICs.

Item Type: Publication - Article
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Additional Keywords: Geomagnetically induced currents
Date made live: 16 Apr 2020 11:04 +0 (UTC)

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