Blackouts are always a nuisance when they occur. However, the black start capability ensures that the power providers can restore electricity to the grid, in the shortest time possible.
Black Start Capability Definition
When was the last time you experienced prolonged partial or even total electricity blackout? To some its never, while to others a few times. Well, although these events are unlikely, grid and utility providers have put up a backup plan know as the black start capability.
The backup plan aims to protect the power consumers from long periods of either partial or total blackout if it occurs. The power grid is always built in a way that it can quickly recover from major breakdowns. Let’s look at the definition of some terms to understand this more.
What is Black Start Capability
This is the recovery ability of a power generation module from a complete power shutdown, using a dedicated supplementary power source. The process happens without the need for any power supply from external sources. This is based on “Article 2(45) of the Network Code on requirements for grid connection of generators (NC RfG).”
What is The Meaning of Black Start?
The process through which an electric power plant or a section of a power grid is restored to resume its operations after a blackout is what we refer to as a black start. The process does not rely on any external power source to help the power plant resume operations.
It is the last process necessary to help bootstrap the electricity power plant or grid. The electrical power grid is built in such a way that it includes backups and even backups to the backups. This way, the blackouts do not significantly affect the consumer.
The grid operators have to have a black start system which helps them guarantee that power comes back, when a part of, or an entire grid goes dark. When there is a blackout, the operators use the black start resources to bring back online, the rest the grid.
Black Start Sequence
The process of power restoration in a power plant or a certain grid section is not an abrupt action. It takes a sequence of activities that result in the restoration of electrical power. For example, the process may occur as follows:
- A small black start battery is used to power a diesel generator that is connected to a hydroelectric generating plant.
- The generator, in return, powers the generating station and brings it back to operation.
- After this, the main transmission lines that connect the station and other areas get energized.
- The station is then used to power and start a fossil-fuel-fired/nuclear baseload plant.
- From there, the power that comes from that baseload plant powers other multiple power stations in the grid system.
Through the sequential black start restoration procedure, electrical power is finally restored in the electricity delivery network and back to consumers.
Conclusion On Black Start Capability
In the event of a blackout, whether a complete or partial one, the black start capability enables an easy power restoration process. In such an event, the power providers use their main generator to initiate the energization of some sections of the power grid. This helps, in turn, to restore power in the entire distribution network.
Did you find this definition of black start capability useful? Let us know in the comments area.
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