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Load Study & Effects Of Load


Subject: Power Generation Economics
Submitted By: Areeba Mushtaq Ahmed

Load Study & Effects of Load Variation

The function of a power station is to deliver power to a large number
of consumers. However, the power demands of different consumers vary in accordance with their
activities. The result of this variation in demand is that load on a power station is never constant;
rather it varies from time to time. Most of the complexities of modern power plant operation arise
from the inherent variability of the load demanded by the users. Unfortunately, electrical power
cannot be stored and, therefore, the power station must produce power as and when demanded to
meet the requirements of the consumers. On one hand, the power engineer would like that the
alternators in the power station should run at their rated capacity for maximum efficiency and on
the other hand, the demands of the consumers have wide variations. This makes the design of a
power station highly complex. We shall focus our attention on the problems of variable load on
power stations.
Important Terms and Factors
1. Connected load.
It is the sum of continuous ratings of all the equipment connected to supply system.
A power station supplies load to thousands of consumers. Each consumer has certain equipment
installed in his premises. The sum of the continuous ratings of all the equipment in
the consumers premises is the connected load of the consumer. For instance, if a consumer has
connections of five100-watt lamps and a power point of 500 watts, then connected load of the
consumer is 5100 + 500= 1000 watts. The sum of the connected loads of all the consumers is the
connected load to the power station
2. Maximum demand:
It is the greatest demand of load on the power station during a given period.
The load on the power station varies from time to time. The maximum of all the demands that
have occurred during a given period (say a day) is the maximum demand. The maximum demand

on the power station during the day is 6 MW and it occurs at 6 P.M. Maximum demand is
generally less than the connected load because all the consumers do not switch on their connected
load to the system at a time. The knowledge of maximum demand is very important as it helps in
determining the installed capacity of the station. The station must be capable of meeting the
maximum demand.
3. Demand factor.
It is the ratio of maximum demand on the power station to its connected load i.e.,
Demand factor=Maximum demand / Connected load
The value of demand factor is usually less than 1. It is expected because maximum demand on the
power station is generally less than the connected load. If the maximum demand on the power
station is 80 MW and the connected load is 100 MW, then demand factor = 80/100 = 0 8. The
knowledge of demand factor is vital in determining the capacity of the plant equipment.
4. Average load.
The average of loads occurring on the power station in a given period (day or month or year) is
known as average load or average demand.
Daily average load=No. of units (kWh) generated in a day / 24 hours
Monthly average load=No. of units (kWh) generated in a month / Number of hours in a month
Yearly average load=No. of units (kWh) generated in a year / 8760 hours
5. Load factor.
The ratio of average load to the maximum demand during a given period is known as load factor
i.e., Load factor=Average load / Max. demand
If the plant is in operation for T hours,
Load factor=Average load T / Max. Demand T
=Units generated in T hours / Max. Demand T hours
The load factor may be daily load factor, monthly load factor or annual load factor if the time
period considered is a day or month or year. Load factor is always less than 1 because average

load is smaller than the maximum demand. The load factor plays key role in determining the
overall cost per unit generated. Higher the load factor of the power station, lesser will be the cost
per unit generated.
6. Diversity factor.
The ratio of the sum of individual maximum demands to the maximum demand on power station
is known as diversity factor
i.e., Diversity factor=Sum of individual max. Demands / Max. demand on PowerStation
A power station supplies load to various types of consumers whose maximum demands generally
do not occur at the same time. Therefore, the maximum demand on the power station is always
less than the sum of individual maximum demands of the consumers. Obviously, diversity factor
will always be greater than 1. The greater the diversity factor, the lesser is the cost of generation
of power.
7. Plant capacity factor.
It is the ratio of actual energy produced to the maximum possible energy that could have
been produced during a given period i.e.,
Plant capacity factor=Actual energy produced / Max. energy that could have been produced
=Average demand T / Plant capacity T
=Average demand / Plant capacity
Thus if the considered period is one year,
Annual plant capacity factor= Annual kWh output / Plant capacity 8760
The plant capacity factor is an indication of the reserve capacity of the plant. A power station is
so designed that it has some reserve capacity for meeting the increased load demand in
future. Therefore, the installed capacity of the plant is always somewhat greater than the
maximum demand on the plant.
Reserve capacity=Plant capacityMax. Demand
It is interesting to note that difference between load factor and plant capacity factor is an
indication of reserve capacity. If the maximum demand on the plant is equal to the plant capacity,

then load factor and plant capacity factor will have the same value. In such a case, the plant will
have no reserve capacity.
8. Plant use factor.
It is ratio of kWh generated to the product of plant capacity and the number of hours for which
the plant was in operation i.e.
Plant use factor=Station output in kWh / Plant capacity Hours of use
Suppose a plant having installed capacity of 20 MW produces annual output of 7 3510 kWh
and remains in operation for 2190 hours in a year. Then,
Plant use factor=7.3510 / (2010) 2190
= 0 167 or 16 7%
Why is Load Study Conducted?
We should be able to analyze the performance of power systems both in normal operating
conditions and under fault (short-circuit) condition. The analysis in normal steady-state operation
is called a Load Study and it targets on determining the voltages, currents, and real and reactive
power flows in a system under a given load conditions.
The purpose of Load studies is to plan ahead and account for various hypothetical situations. For
instance, what if a transmission line within the power system properly supplying loads must be
taken off line for maintenance. Can the remaining lines in the system handle the required loads
without exceeding their rated parameters?
Basic Techniques for Conducting Load Study:
The equations used to update the estimates differ for different types of busses. Each bus in a
power system can be classified to one of three types:
1. Load bus (PQ bus)
A bus at which the real and reactive power are specified, and for which the bus voltage will
be calculated. Real and reactive powers supplied to a power system are defined to be positive,

while the powers consumed from the system are defined to be negative. All busses having no
generators are load busses.
2. Generator bus (PV bus)
A bus at which the magnitude of the voltage is kept constant by adjusting the field current of
a synchronous generator on the bus (as we learned, increasing the field current of the
generator increases both the reactive power supplied by the generator and the terminal
voltage of the system). We assume that the field current is adjusted to maintain a constant
terminal voltage V
. We also know that increasing the prime movers governor set points
increases the power that generator supplies to the power system. Therefore, we can control
and specify the magnitude of the bus voltage and real power supplied.
3. Slack bus (swing bus)
A special generator bus serving as the reference bus for the power system. Its voltage is
assumed to be fixed in both magnitude and phase (for instance, 10 p.u). The real and
reactive powers are uncontrolled: the bus supplies whatever real or reactive power is
necessary to make the power flows in the system balance.
In practice, a voltage on a load bus may change with changing loads. Therefore, load busses have
specified values of P and Q, while V varies with load conditions.
Real generators work most efficiently when running at full load. Therefore, it is desirable to keep
all but one (or a few) generators running at 100% capacity, while allowing the remaining (swing)
generator to handle increases and decreases in load demand. Most busses with generators will
supply a fixed amount of power and the magnitude of their voltages will be maintained constant
by field circuits of generators.
The controls on the swing generator will be set up to maintain a constant voltage and frequency,
allowing P and Q to increase or decrease as loads change.
Key Points for Load Study :
Load-flow studies are performed to determine the steady-state operation of an electric
power system. It calculates the voltage drop on each feeder, the voltage at each bus, and
the power flow in all branch and feeder circuits.

Determine if system voltages remain within specified limits under various contingency
conditions, and whether equipment such as transformers and conductors are overloaded.
Load-flow studies are often used to identify the need for additional generation,
capacitive, or inductive VAR support, or the placement of capacitors and/or reactors to
maintain system voltages within specified limits.
Losses in each branch and total system power losses are also calculated.
Necessary for planning, economic scheduling, and control of an existing system as well
as planning its future expansion
Pulse of the system

Different Methods in Practice for Conducting Load Study :
Classical methods
Gauss-Seidal method
Newton Raphson method
Fast Decoupled method
Other methods
Fuzzy Logic application
Genetic Algorithm application
Particle swarm method (PS0)
Effects of Load Variation :
Results in sustained frequency deviations
speed control and the subsequent responses of prime mover and energy supply
systems play a major role

often, situation compounded by high- or low-voltage conditions
Under generated condition:
frequency will decline
if sufficient spinning generation reserve is not available, frequency may reach
low levels at which thermal units are tripped by under frequency protection
therefore, under frequency load shedding used
Over generated condition:
speed governors respond to frequency rise
performance of island depends on the ability of power plants to sustain a "partial
load rejection"
Reactive power balance:
a significant mismatch could lead to high- or low-voltage conditions
generator under/over excitation, loss-of-excitation protections may be activated
Power plant auxiliaries:
decrease in power supply voltage and frequency can degrade performance of
induction motors
may lead to loss of condenser vacuum, high turbine-exhaust temperature,
insufficient condensate/feed water
many nuclear units are equipped with relays set to trip plant at low voltages (0.7
pu) and low frequency
Power system loads respond to variations in voltage and frequency


Frequency Instability Incidents due to Load Variation :
1. April 19, 1972 disturbances in Ontario
islanding of Eastern Ontario
230 kV lines east of Toronto tripped due to communication malfunction; ties to New
York at St. Lawrence tripped
generation rich island formed in eastern Ontario
(G = 3900 MW, L = 3000 MW)
frequency rose to 62.5 Hz and then dropped to 59.0 Hz due to speed governor
under frequency load shedding
frequency rose to 62.6 Hz and dropped to 58.7 Hz
significant loss of generation and load
stabilized at 60.8 Hz with 1875 MW generation
Source of problem:
overspeed controls associated with prime-mover governors

2. January 20, 1974 disturbance
islanding of Toronto area
severe ice storm caused separation of power system in Toronto area
island consisting of Lakeview GS supplying Manby and Cooksville TSs
generation rich island
(G = 1400 MW, L = 760 MW)
frequency rose to 63.4 Hz, dropped to 60.7 Hz, rose again to 62.3 Hz and oscillated for
several seconds
boiler trips occurred on 4 of the 5 units at Lakeview
frequency dropped to 59 Hz
under frequency load shedding restored frequency to 59.6 Hz

Source of problem:
Over speed controls associated with prime-mover governors
Objectives of a Power station:
The power station is constructed, commissioned and operated to supply required power to
consumer swith generators running at rated capacity for maximum efficiency.
Generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy is the fact that electrical energy
cannot be stored. It must be generated, transmitted and distributed as and when needed.
Now looking at problems associated with variable loads on power stations, and let me briefly
discuss the complexities met in deciding the make, size and capacity of Generators (Generating
units) that must be installed in a power plant to successfully meet these varying energy demands
on a day to day basis.
How to Meet Variable Load (Load Variation):
The load on a power station varies from time to time due to uncertain demands of the consumers
and is known as variable load on the station.
A power station is designed to meet the load requirements of the consumers. An ideal load on the
station, from stand point of equipment needed and operating routine, would be one of constant
magnitude and steady duration. However, such a steady load on the station is never realized in
actual practice. The consumers require their small or large block of power in accordance with the
demands of their activities. Thus the load demand of one consumer at any time may be different
from that of the other consumer. The result is that load on the power station varies from time to
Effects of variable load:
The variable load on a power station introduces many perplexities in its operation. Some of the
important effects of variable load on a power station are:


1. Need of additional equipment.
The variable load on a power station necessitates to have additional equipment. By way
of illustration, consider a steam power station. Air, coal and water are the raw materials for
this plant. In order to produce variable power, the supply of these materials will be required to be
varied correspondingly. For instance, if the power demand on the plant increases, it must be
followed by the increased flow of coal, air and water to the boiler in order to meet the increased
demand. Therefore, additional equipment has to be installed to accomplish this job. As a matter of
fact, in a modern power plant, there is much equipment devoted entirely to adjust the rates of
supply of raw materials in accordance with the power demand made on the plant.
2. Increase in production cost.
The variable load on the plant increases the cost of the production of electrical energy. An
alternator operates at maximum efficiency near its rated capacity. If a single alternator is used, it
will have poor efficiency during periods of light loads on the plant. Therefore, in actual practice,
a number of alternators of different capacities are installed so that most of the alternators can be
operated at nearly full load capacity. However, the use of a number of generating units increases
the initial cost per kW of the plant capacity as well as floor area required. This leads to the
increase in production cost of energy.
From above discussion, we conclude that the total demands on the power station to vary over a
given period of time and may necessitate the following:
Additional equipment/Generating units to meet demand
Increase in production cost to recuperate use of more material/equipment
In order to study the pattern and effect of the varying load, station engineers use load curves
Load Curves:
A load curve is a graph showing the variation of load on the power station with respect to time.
The following load curves are used in power stations:
Daily load curve: -- Load variations captured during the day (24Hrs ), recorded either
half-hourly or hourly.

Monthly load curve: -- Load variations captured during the month at different times of
the day plotted against No. of days.
Yearly load curve: -- Load variations captured during the Year, this is derived from
monthly load curves of a particular year.

Information obtained from load curves:
Area under load curve = Units generated
Highest point of the curve = Maximum Demand
(Area under curve) (by total hours) = Average load
(Area under load curve) (Area of rectangle containing load curve) = LF
Helps to select size & number of generating units.
Helps to create operating schedule of the power plant.
Selecting Generating Units for Meeting Variable Load :
Selecting generating units:
The following must be considered when selecting the number and size of Generating units
Number and size of units to approximately fit the annual load curve.
Units to be of different capacities to meet load requirements.
At least 15 - 20% of extra capacity for future expansion should be allowed for.
Spare generating capacity must be allowed for to cater for repairs and overhauling of
working units without affecting supply of minimum demand.
Avoid selecting smaller units to closely fit load curve.


Meeting Load:
The best method to meet load requirements on power station is to interconnect two different
power stations in parallel as follows:
More efficient Plant Carries Base load ( The unvarying load on the load curve ).
-- Generally thermal & nuclear power stations.
Less efficient Plant Carries Peak load (Various load peak demands on the load curve).
-- Generally Hydro Pumped Storage & Gas Turbine power stations.
Careful study of load curves must be undertaken before deciding which type of station will be
used for what purpose as this is greatly dependent on environmental issues and availability of fuel
used by a particular power station.
Power Grid for Meeting Variable Load
The power grid is constructed by connecting several generating stations together in parallel. This
method has helped solve most transmission and distribution problems facing power engineers.
Below are the advantages of using a power grid:
Economical operation:
Sharing of load among stations allows for more efficient stations to work constantly at high load
factors and less efficient stations to be used for peak supply only.
Increased diversity factor:
Different stations have different load curves thus the total maximum demand of the system is
decreased, thus effectively increasing the diversity factor of the system.
Reduces Plant Reserve Capacity:
The stand-by capacity required of individual plants is reduced when they are interconnected in a
Increased reliability:
If major breakdown occurs on one station, supply is maintained by other stations.

Exchange of peak loads:
Excess load can be shared from highly stressed plants to plant with lower peak loads ( Identified
from load curves ).
Older plants can still be used:
Older plants which are less efficient can still be used to carry peak loads of short.

Protection and Controls Necessary for Variable Load or
Load Variation:
Following protection/controls have significant influence:
Prime mover/energy supply system
turbine over speed control
turbine under frequency protection
power plant auxiliaries protection
Generator and excitation system
loss-of-excitation relay
under/over excitation limiter
volts/Hz limiter and protection
Electrical network
transmission and distribution system relays
under frequency and under voltage load shedding relays