Unit Testing

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has documented a substantial decrease in frequency response on the grids, and is projecting a further decrease with the addition of non-speed regulating generation, including wind. They are in the process of developing new standards that will be enforceable for units capable of providing frequency control.

The new standards will address three criteria; rate, amount and duration. The first two apply directly, and the third indirectly, to governors. There are several elements contributing to poor performance in these areas that can be easily corrected. Versalence provides services to test these criteria using the existing IEEE, ASME and NERC standards.

Compliance is often the primary goal, however, there are ancillary benefits resulting from this testing. The primary purpose of the governor is to provide controlled compensation for inherent characteristics of the unit, including machine time and water time. It is capable of compensating, up to a point, for other non-desirable traits such as deadband, friction and leakage. Properly testing the governors can identify issues that could affect the long term reliability of the unit.

While the issue of improving frequency response on a large scale is daunting, addressing one unit at a time is part of the solution.