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Rafael Idiatulin

Stable operation of the whole country power system. Think over these words. The first association is the incomprehensible scale and enormous load of responsibility for uninterrupted provision of electric current to each consumer, from large manufacturing enterprises through a rural hospital or an individual apartment.

One of the wide-spread nets in movies about Apocalypse is the cities plunging into darkness, district after district. Many people have heard about the August, 14, 2003 blackout in the USA and Canada. On that day hundreds of thermal power plants and about ten nuclear power plants with dozens of reactors shut down, 50 million people in two provinces of Canada and eight states of the USA remained without power supply, 10 airports were closed for more than 24 hours, 350 thousand people were blocked in New-York underground. They managed to restore power supply only in 44 hours. In the same year 2003 accidents also happed in Italy, London, Finland and Denmark. There are many examples of such black-outs over the world. Why do such accidents happen? How can they be prevented or their consequences minimized? Our interlocutor knows the answers to these questions. Rafael Idiatulin is a dispatcher of the United Dispatcher Directorate of the Mid-Volga Region Power Systems, Candidate of Engineering Sciences, Associate Professor of Samara State Technical University.

About power system and many other things

— I need to warn you that my knowledge of power industry is limited to household level: there is a socket, there is current in it, and domestic appliances work due to this current. In the street there are poles with wires on them, and somewhere faraway a hydroelectric power plant operates. But it is difficult to imagine how this system operates in the framework of the whole country.

— Then, let us start with the power industry definition. The whole power industry system is the electric power manufacture and delivery to the consumer by electrical power transmission line. There are facilities manufacturing electric power (for instance, hydroelectric power plants, nuclear or thermal power plants), there are facilities transmitting it (power grid companies – they own all the electric power economy: wires, supports, transformer substations etc.). There are bodies responsible for control of electric power transmission modes - it is a specialized organization that performs dispatching control.

Previously all these functions were concentrated in the hands of a single organization RAO UES (Unified Energy System of Russia): both the grids and generation and repair. Now the market is separated. Today, each field has its owner. For instance, Public Joint Stock Company Rosseti (PJSC ROSSETI) unites all the power grids. Dispatching control is performed by the state company System Operator of the United Power System where I work. No equipment may be shut down for repair or connect to the United Power System without our permission.

It is very important to understand that power cannot be put on the shelf, left in the garage and forgotten about for some time. It is being currently manufactured, and, also currently, is transmitted and consumed. Electric current has its characteristics. Frequency, for instance. In power system it is determined by the balance between generated and consumed power. In Russia and Europe the value of the alternative electric current is 50 Hertz, and in the USA and Canada – 60 Hertz. Power plant does not generate so much power as it wants, and power grids cannot transfer more than they are designed for. A dispatcher must provide electric current transportation with due regard to the regions consumption, repair works or accidents and provide that balance.

— So, we have approached the notion of System Operator.

— A system operator operates the modes of operation of United Power System of Russia. It works as follows. All over the country a certain number of dispatchers are working in the shift; they control the power current through the power supply lines, power plants loading up and own in the real-time mode, make the necessary switchovers and eliminate process disturbances. The structure of the System Operator in the United Power System (UPS) of Russia is a three-lever vertical structure with clear separation of powers. The upper level is the Main Dispatching Center in Moscow performing operative and dispatching control of the whole United Power System of Russia. It is from this level that the united power systems operation and parallel operation with the foreign power systems is coordinated, and the Russian UPS development is planned. The second level is 7 Company’s branches called United Dispatching Directorates (UDD). They control the united power systems operation modes, negating and grid objects, coordinate the third-level branches activity. The third level of the vertical structure is the regional dispatching directorates (RDD), there are 50 such directorates. They control power systems of one or several subjects of the country. I am a representative of the second level of the dispatching control, since 2006 I have been working as a dispatcher of United Dispatcher Directorate of the Mid-Volga Region situated in Samara.

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— That is, United Dispatcher Directorate of the Mid-Volga Region comprises RDD, doesn’t it?

— Yes, United Dispatcher Directorate of the Mid-Volga Region comprises nine power systems: Mariiskaya, Mordovskaya, Nizhnenovgorodskaya, Penzenskaya, Samarskaya, Saratovskaya, Chuvashskaya, Ulianovskaya and Tatarstan. The electric power complex of the United Directorate consists of 64 power plants of total rated capacity of 26.9 thousand MW, 688 110-500 kV electric substations and 1105 110-500 kV power transmission lines of total length 35911 km. Nobody knows the number of end consumers, there are many of them.

— Does the United Power System of the Mid-Volga Region have any specific features?

— Its specific feature is the transit location in the central part of the United Power system of Russia. It shares borders with the united power systems of the Center, South and Urals as well as with Kazakhstan power systems. It is an interlink between the largest united power systems of Center and Urals. The main transit power flows go through the United Power System of the Mid-Volga Region by the transmission lines providing smoothing of daily load peaks in the United Power System between its European and Ural parts. The power flow direction changes twice a day, the change amplitude may reach 2000MW. At night and in morning time the flow moves to Urals because Moscow falls asleep, and in the Ural region, on the contrary, people wake up and industry starts its operation. In daytime and evening time the flow turns back and returns to the direction of the capital, because at that time they have maximum consumption.

One more distinguishing feature is the five hydroelectric power plants of the Volga-Kama Cascade providing the current frequency control, where the main automatic current frequency controller in the UPS of Russia is Zhigulevskaya HPP. All the five HPPs constitute 15% of the total rated power of the hydroelectric power plants of the UPS of Russia. This unique feature of the United Power System of the Mid-Volga Region provides operative generation change in the range up to 4880 МW for frequency control in the UPS and for maintaining the value of the transit flows from the United Power System of the Center, Urals and Siberia within the set limits.

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— What does your work place look like?

— A large room with control panels and telephones. The United Power System of the Mid-Volga Region wall diagram consists of 24 large interconnected electronic projectors. It displays the full information in the real-time mode: all the United Power System of the Mid-Volga Region consisting of the power transmission lines, power stations and substations equipment. Information on the electric current frequency, power flows, voltage levels, current capacity and other parameters are instantly updated. Besides, each dispatcher has two individual computers with four displays for work with the necessary program complexes and a telephone with direct communication channels.

— What do you do first when you come to work?

— I arrive to work 30 minutes before the acceptance of the shift. At that time I need to study the logs and instructions in the log-books and all the changes that occurred in my absence. I study the current situation, the mode of the power system operation, look through the dispatching orders for equipment, which is taken out of operation for repair or is put into operation after repair during my shift. The person handing over the shift tells about all the problems in the operation of the equipment requiring special control. After that I accept the shift. If any accident occurred and its elimination is controlled by the personnel handing over the shift, these specialists will not leave their work place, and the shift handover and acceptance are not permitted. After that I accept the reports of the directly subordinate dispatcher personnel of RDD, personnel of the power industry objects and the duty personnel of the United Power System of the Mid-Volga Region structural subdivisions. After that I report to the senior dispatcher of the Main Dispatching Center in Moscow.

— It is all so difficult.

— To some extent, the difficulty and the responsibility of the united power system directorate can be compared to the operation of the spacecraft flight control center.

— What exactly does the dispatcher’s work involve?

— Dispatcher controls the modes of interconnected operation of the power stations generators, power grids and power consumers adhering to the planned dispatching schedule, and controls the grids switchovers. That is a dispatcher controls the integral process of electric power generation, transformation, transmission and consumption. Because electric power is a special product, which, as I have already told, cannot be touched by hands or seen by eyes, it cannot be accumulated somewhere or stored after manufacture. The amount of electric power generated over a certain period of time must equal to the amount needed by the consumer. Therefore, the dispatcher controls the balance so that the power generation and consumption is equal. If the generated power is lower than the consumption value, the current frequency in the grid will fall down. Otherwise, the current frequency will increase.

Power system is like a live organism with permanent change of generation and consumption. For instance, a generator emergency shutdown has occurred somewhere, or a powerful consumer changes its consumption due to the process considerations etc. The dispatcher’s task is to prevent the frequency value exceeding the set limits using the power plant load up and load down margins. In Russia such work is controlled by a dispatcher of the Main Dispatching Center in Moscow and the dispatcher of the UDD of East in his/her operation area operating separately from the United Power System of Russia. All the functions and responsibility areas are clearly distributed, and operative cooperation of all the power industry subjects – power plants, electric grids, distribution companies, large power consumers - is set. We can maximally quickly and accurately response to the various emergency situations and minimize the negative consequences.

— What can affect the power system operation mode?

— Weather, for instance. If Moscow is overclouded the consumption may immediately increase by 500 МW. It is the value of an average thermal power plant capacity. To balance the mode, a dispatcher has to give command for loading up the operating power plants generators for the same value if they have the load margin. If such margins are not enough, it is necessary to put into operation the generating equipment of the “cold margin”. If it is the reverse situation, and the power supply has abruptly dropped it is necessary to partly unload the operating power plants generators and put them to the backup margin.

— Nevertheless, we are not immune to the accidents. Many people remember the blackouts in the USA and Canada, in Moscow. Have any conclusions been made?

— First of all, in my opinion, Dispatching Directorate in the USA is not quite adequate to the marker power industry conditions. The united system was operated as a set of individual elements. It is still necessary to have a common system control, have a general control of all the elements. The system did not have emergency control tools, the amount of load connected to the automatic frequency load shedding (AFLS) constituted only 25% of the total power being absolutely deficient. Generator protections from frequency exceeding were not coordinated, automatic facilities of the power plants transfer to the balanced load were not available. The global experience proves that the damage from major accidents is constantly growing with the growth of the power system. The same global experience proves that the reason of occurrence and development of major accidents are in most cases not the natural disasters or cataclysms but imperfect approaches to the power system reliability provision. That is why I believe that to improve the US dispatching control reliability and safety they have to adopt the national standards of operation reliability of the computing devices installed in the dispatching centers. Besides, they have to change the regulatory documents providing higher freedom and legal protection to dispatching personnel that gives commands to consumers switch-off in emergency situations. It is necessary to implement automatic emergency response system to provide power balances and maintain the stability and implementation of AFLS and voltage-determined loading down. For instance, in Russia automatic emergency response system devices make it possible to minimize consumers power loading switch-off, cut the time for electric grid restoration after accident. To some extent, automatic emergency response system is a kind of protection from dispatcher’s incorrect actions. Moreover, in our country dispatchers have wider discretion in the process of decision-making related to the consumers switch-off in case of an accident. In the USA, as far as I know, dispatchers are not so free, they are bound by legal risks, they are afraid of claims for compensation of damage. The main reason of the Moscow accident in May 2005 was obsolete equipment that needed substitution as well as the absence of voltage control and voltage-determined loading down devices. The conclusions have been made: the appropriate programs for electrotechnical equipment modernization and implementations have been adopted.

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We and they

— Is there any other difference in American, European and Russian power systems?

— In my opinion, dispatching control in Russia is more efficient. The advantage of the Russian power industry is, as I have already told, the centralized dispatching control. In the United Stated there are local system operators. There are some of them. They cover the whole power system, but there is no such centralized agency as we have in Russia (I mean the Main Dispatching Center in Moscow). Imagine an incomplete pyramid – it is the way the US system looks. However, such centralized agency is urgently important, I would say, it is of vital importance, especially in the cases of large-scale black-out during major accidents like, for example, the 2003 accident in the North America. It is one of the key moments why in Russia the emergency situations elimination takes much less time than in the USA.

I will try and explain it in simple terms. Each area of one system operator service is followed by another system operator area. That service area is followed by one more area of the next system operator. However, the first system operator cannot see the third system operator. The united centralized control would eliminate this gap.

I believe that in the USA they will adopt it sooner or later. The example is the Western Europe. The Europeans also unite the state power systems. They started this process in 1960th despite the originally declared decentralization principle, each individual power system was controlled by its own dispatching center. Such centers cooperated according to the specially developed rules and regulations. For some period they operated without any problems, later, the accidents started to occur one after another. After that the Europeans made a conclusion that the existing cooperation systems in the operative and dispatching control do not provide reliable operation of the power complex, and today they pass through the process of creating a single dispatching center to coordinate the operation of the national dispatching centers and provide the reliable cooperation of all the Europe power systems in normal and emergency modes. That is only now they are adopting the principles existing in Russia for a long time. Hence, the conclusion is: for power industry centralization is a positive phenomenon, even necessity. However, correct distribution of duties among the power industry subjects must be provided. For proprietors must also be responsible for their facilities, regardless whether it is power grids or power stations. They must understand that their equipment is not only a profit-making facility but also an object playing enormous role in the provision of the whole power system reliability, provision of the country’s safety and normal life conditions of people.

Once again I would like to point out that in the USA the main voltage class for power transmission lines is 345 kV. The mass power stations construction and grids development has started as early as in 1930th. Power transmission lines were built based on the necessity of power supply to the nearest to the power station consumers. Higher voltage transmission lines do not form the system-making grid as they do in Russia. There is almost no emergency control system. Some US power companies work in parallel with each other, the other part of the power companies operate through direct current inserts. In Russia power plants were built in the regions of the country where cheap resources – peat, coal, gas, fuel-oil residual, water - are available. This factor predetermines the problems of the Russian power industry in terms of power supply to large distances to the load consumer centers. Today, the system operator successfully copes with these problems.

— In the recent decades alternative power sources are often discussed. Is it important for our countries?

— Yes, there are alternative sources, but the point is that for Russia they are almost not important, because, as I have already told, we have many cheap power sources. Other countries do not have such power sources, therefore, they promote alternative generation – wind turbines, solar batteries, small HPP, geothermal and tidal stations. In Russia, also for the reason of the climate conditions, such power sources are not so popular but they can also be important in the remote areas where expenses for organic fuel supply to the conventional power plants are senseless from the economic viewpoint. The USA, though possessing significant raw materials sources, is actively working on renewable power sources implementation. There solar and wind power plants have been predominating in the recent years in terms of the capacities put into operation. Using power from the wind turbines and solar accumulators is becoming more and more profitable. Now the price affordability will be determined by the state subsidies but later they will decrease. In any case, in my opinion, the power from the renewable natural sources will later challenge the conventional power industry. In this context the USA occupy the leading positions in the world. Being a person close to science I am seriously interested in it. Alternative power industry development gives a powerful impact to scientific and technical progress.

In the Russia regions where the centralized power supply is not available, for instance in the Extreme North regions, in the insular part of the country, diesel power plants may cost cheaper than power transmission lines installation and serving in the severe climate conditions.

In the Arctic areas of Russia and the USA, unlike the central regions or states, the problems of power supply are most pressurizing due to the climate, complicated load delivery and its expensiveness, remoteness from the supply centers. Therefore, in the nearest decade the main task will be the decrease of fuel consumption at diesel power plants – there are no ready for implementation alternative power sources there. I suggest implementing a new technology of concurrent operation of the reactive power source and diesel power pants synchronous generators as a technical solution for fuel consumption decrease. The use of this source will make it possible to decrease the number of operating diesel-generators to cover the daily schedule of the consumers’ electric load, decrease the diesel power plants fuel consumption by 3-5% per day and reduce the volume of pollutants emission into the atmosphere.

The personal space

— How many accidents in average may occur during a dispatcher’s working shift?

— Accidents do not necessarily occur every day. In power industry there is an accident definition. For instance, in the 500kV grid one accident per year or quarter may occur. The weather determines a lot, for instance, several subsequent shut-downs per shift may occur during a thunderstorm, strong wind, ice glaze on wires, during forest or grassland fire, when smoke together with the products of burning rises up, and this mass acts as a conductor, and short circuit occurs. It results in shutdown of power transmission lines and, possibly, some generators at power plants. In case of such accidents the power system provides power margins at power plants. They make it possible to avoid the negative consequences for power system - to prevent the further development of abnormalities with the damaged equipment localization, to prevent other power equipment overloading, and if there are disconnected consumers - to connect them as soon as possible. There may occur many shut-downs per shift in many voltage classes all over the UPS of the Mid-Volga Region.

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Speaking about the average number of accidents per each dispatcher… Some dispatchers have more accidents, some have less. Anyway, each of us passes through accidents. For instance, a major accident which, according to statistics, occurs in the UPS of the Mid-Volga Region once per 30 years, happened during my shift.

— What kind of accident was it?

— November, 30, 2010, substation 500kV Kuibyshevskaia. About 40 minutes left to the end of my shift. There were adverse weather conditions. A short circuit happened in the switchgear of 500kV Kuibyshevskaia substation during squally wind and sleet precipitation. The result is a shutdown of the both transformers and all the outgoing overhead 500kV power transmission lines. At this time due to the automatic emergency response system operation, Unit 4 of Balakovo NPP of 1000MW loading shut down, and the loading of Saratov HPP went down to almost 500 MW. Following the both transformers shutdown, a special automatic emergency response system operated at 500kV Kuibyshevskaia substation and cut off the consumers in the amount of more than 300MW. This substation is one of the key objects in Samara region power supply, therefore, due to the accident many industrial enterprises, agricultural objects, railroads and residential buildings of the region were de-energized, about fifteen trains traffic was impaired, the number of de-energized citizens amounted 146 thousand people. Compared with the American city of Talsa, half of the city was black-outed. The situation was complicated by the fact that the auxiliary power supply of 500kV Kuibyshevskaia substation shut-down, telemetry information did not update, the channels of dispatcher’s communication with the substation disappeared from my dispatcher control panel. It took my colleagues and me two and a half hours to successfully eliminate the accident and restore the normal power supply to the con­sumers.

— In childhood, boys dream to become drivers, pilots, presidents, previously all to a man dreamt to become spacemen. It is difficult to imagine a boy saying: “I dream to become a power system dispatcher”.

— I chose power industry, so to say, following my father. His name is Faat, now he is retired, a Veteran of Labor. It follows that we are a dynasty. My father has worked in the power industry all his life, the experience of his work at Minenergo is 34 years. It is my father who told me that dispatchers are the most highly qualified technical specialists, and this position is prestigious and honorable. Such people are the elite of the power industry of Russia. My mother Guliza and my elder brother Albert supported me. Therefore, after completion of the secondary school in Buguruslan where I had been born and where our family had lived, I went to Samara State Technical University to study at the electrotechincal department. And now my wife Svetlana has to accept the inconveniences related to my night shifts. Nevertheless she deeply respects my profession despite the fact that she works in another field. She is a sales support manager at Samara Metallurgical Plant which belongs to the structure of American aluminum company ALCOA and manufactures various aluminum products.

— Dispatcher’s work calls for permanent concentration of attention. It is very difficult. What other qualities shall a dispatcher possess?

— In my opinion, it must be a certain talent, stress resistance, absolute cool-headedness and ability to completely concentrate on the work. In the course of time a person acquires the habit of acting calmly, without unnecessary emotions. During the job interviews with the candidates for this position it is necessary to find out both professional skills and psychological abilities. However, even the most successful job interview cannot provide the ability of working as a dispatcher. I know the cases that the candidates refused this position after their visit to the dispatching control room.

— For some reason it came to my mind that you must play chess well.

— I used to play in my childhood and did it quite well; I even participated in the street championships. I prefer moving sports. I have been playing volleyball for many years and have even completed a youth sports school in Buguruslan, after that I played in the representative students team of Samara State Technical University. Now I play for pleasure to keep myself fit. It is a smart game, and the fixed patterns, just like in our work, will not do there: like any volleyball attack, any shut-down, even of the same line, cannot repeat the previous situation, therefore, standard solutions do not exist. The plan of actions is made instantly, there is almost no time for thinking. Volleyball is one of the few sports involving all human muscles, and human brain works quickly, and if you don’t have a head upon shoulders, your physical abilities and springiness won’t help you. To learn playing volleyball well one certainly needs natural abilities and time for acquiring the technique of the game. Dispatcher’s professionalism is acquired likewise. Training of the System Operator dispatcher is serious and long. This position is not appointed for no reason. Because a dispatcher is not only an analyst, it is a specialist who, sometimes within seconds must take the only correct decision and give a clear for understanding command to subordinates.

Candidates to dispatchers (they are the best power industry workers with an experience of work in the speciality) are provided an individual training program for preparation to the position. In average, the training lasts about 9 months. The employer must master the whole material himself and by means of the remote training. He must visit the most important power industry objects of his operation area: thermal power plants, hydroelectric power plants, nuclear power plants, electric substations. Such trips are necessary for study the process technology, specific features of the equipment maintenance, to get familiarized with the operative personnel that is the people you will further communicate with only by phone. The program provides state certification subsequently performed once per five years, on-site probation at the future working place and in the lower-level dispatching centers, training and emergency and firefighting drills. There are many other training stages completed by an examination for dispatcher’s position with clearance to work unsupervised. After that we pass such exam every year, control emergency and firefighting drills and other types of qualification maintenance are performed annually. Once per three years we pass refresher training courses.

— I just imagine that with such job you must have cast-iron constitution.

— That’s right. One must have mental and physical condition. The work regime is difficult, you must do the work in day and nighttime equally well. And the shift duration is 12 hours. At that period the dispatcher survives high loads and psychological stress. It is for this reason that the dispatching personnel pass medical examination every year.

— Is scientific degree necessary for all dispatchers?

— Certainly not. I am rather exception. It is necessary to have higher electrotechnical education with quite a long experience of work in the speciality. For instance, before awarding the scientific degree I graduated from electrotechincal department of Samara State Technical University to with honors. I received an engineer diploma at the speciality “Electrotechnical Systems and Grids”. After that I was a day-time post-graduate student at the Chair of “Automatically Controlled Power Systems” of SamSTU, and the scientific specialty of “Automatically Controlled Complexes and Systems”. During the day-time postgraduate study I had always been working as a half-pay assistant at the Chair of ACPS. After the post-graduate study completion I continued working at the Chair as a full-time assistant, until I was invited to work for UPS of the Mid-Volga Region. Before the position of dispatcher, I have worked there as a specialist of Operative Planning and Mode Analysis Department, senior specialist, duty engineer for operative planning of the Operative Planning Department.

In general, operative personnel of power stations, electric substations and power grid enterprises are the people that become dispatchers.

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— Do you still continue your scientific work?

— I have never stopped my scientific work. Being a dispatcher of UPS of the Mid-Volga Region I have a shift work, therefore, I can carry out scientific researches. Previously I put a focus on the problems of power loads and energy-saving technologies in designing and operation of industrial enterprises power supply systems. My Candidate’s thesis, for instance, was dedicated to this problem. My scientific supervisor was a Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Professor Valentin Stepanov. The results of my thesis was implemented in the designing practice of two leading Samara design organizations, they are also used in scientific process of three Russian universities. Now I am working on research of specific features of power modes generation under reverse flows of active power by high-voltage power supply lines. My latest publications in the specialized scientific journals are devoted both to this direction and to decrease of electric power losses in the electric transmission line as well as to calculation of major electrical generation systems electric loading. Eventually, the research results must provide the decrease of errors in the calculation of dispatching schedule at the System Operator level. In turn, it will increase electric power modes cost effectiveness.

Besides, I have very interesting scientific projects and researches made together with the Candidate of Technical Sciences Evgeniy Krotkov from SamSTU. For instance, everybody knows that the most industrial mechanisms have electric motor drive, and the most common drive is an asynchronous motor invented by Mikhail Dobrovolskiy in the 19th century. It is often used in various fields of industry, and the manufacturing procedure requires its soft start, and the so-called thyristor- or transistor-based soft-starters are used for this purpose. A capacitor starter is developed and probated in industry as an alternative to the soft-starter. It is necessary to decrease the start-up current thus increasing the asynchronous motor resource, decrease the start-up impact force, reduce the load on mechanical parts etc. Capacitor soft start shows good advantage in comparison with the other types of soft start reducing cost by half. Now we are developing its application for various industries. For instance it can be used for ventilation and fluid pumping systems, including oil and gas production and processing.

— What other researches have you made?

— To start with, in each electric system normal electric modes occur most of time. However, there are emergency modes that feature with voltage decrease by 10-15% of the rated voltage and consumers’ cut-off. To determine the minimal consumers’ cut-off power it is necessary to know the voltage static characteristics of the power-intensive or powerful consumers. The voltage static load characteristic is the active and passive power dependence on voltage. Static load characteristics are used in calculation models for calculation of the established modes, static resistance and the mode optimization by voltage level and reactive power. The use of unreliable static load characteristics in the calculations may cause the power plant excess load during electric mode control and excess consumes cut-off in emergency modes if automatic emergency response system operates. In the process of calculation the typical theoretic static loading characteristics are used, but they not always and not completely display the dependence of the load value in the power system unit on the voltage levels. The use of actual load statistic characteristics will make it possible to decrease the calculation error, therefore, the voltage load static characteristics research must be made every 10 years. As of today, the methods for research of load static characteristics of industrial enterprises and residential sector depending on voltage and experimental data processing have been developed and probated in the power systems of the Mid-Volga region. In particular, I as a dispatcher of UPS of the Mid-Volga Region participated in experimental research of load static characteristics together with Evgeniy Krotkov. I believe that such researches might also be interesting for US power operators.

— How do you manage to do it all? You also work at the university.

— Yes I concurrently work as an Associate Professor at the Chair of AEPS of SamSTU, I am a full member of the State Personnel Review Board and a supervisor of the graduate qualification works for Bachelors and Masters.

— That is you are one of the teachers respected by students?

— I hope that respected indeed. After the university examinations students present only their theoretical knowledge. When the yesterday’s students come to the power industry they will face real difficulties – the real exams with practical work are much more difficult than the university study. However, it will be interesting. Dispatcher is a brain center that will never be replaced by computer.

The price of progress

— Today almost every family has several TV-sets, telephones, various devices. How much did the load on power system increase? Where is the limit?

— After the USSR collapse in 1991, the industry output began to consistently decrease its consumption, the plants closed. After that, from 1999 onwards and till now, household loading began to increase: people bought conditioners, multi-ovens, microwave ovens, and steam generators. However this gap between the industrial output decrease and the increasing household load is only now aligning. Electric power consumption in the UPS of Russia is slowly reaching the level of 1991. It is accompanied by the change of household loads electric characteristics and occurrence of new power consumers, for example, cell stations with customers telephone load, the systems of air conditioning and purification, powerful washing machines etc. It produces new problems in the power grid and electric power quality deterioration. The effect of such power consumers must be studied to eliminate negative factors. My scientific colleagues and I are working, among all, on these tasks solution. Today the equipment of the UPS of Russia is being modernized, there are development programs providing both optimistic and moderate forecasts of consumption growth, the state is attentively supervising the power industry.

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Yelena Nelinova