The Intelligent Generation Controller System is a real breakthrough initiated by Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand’s team. The innovative system is a significant equipment to maintain the stability of the country’s entire power generation system. In addition to its efficiency, the Intelligent Generation Controller system is a great pride for all as it won the Outstanding State - Owned Enterprise (SOE) Awards 2016 - Innovation Awards. This prestigious award is given to an organization with outstanding learning process and innovation that enhances operation efficiency. The award was presented by Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha at the recent State Enterprise Day.

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          Background

          National power transmission system plays a significant role in transmitting electricity from power plants nationwide and in neighboring countries to all users. The system was designed to properly support contracted capacity of different power plants. Each transmission line, however, has power reception limit. If the transmission exceeds the limit, the transmission line can be damaged, leading to a widespread power outage and severe impact on users. EGAT, therefore, has to carefully calculate and ensure that power reception from all power plants corresponds with contracted capacity and will not exceed the limit. Considering this fact, new power plants, such as Hongsa, Nam Ngum and Nam Theun power plants in Lao PDR or Chana Power Plant in southern Thailand, which have high capacity but low cost, will have to keep electricity generation and transmission limit in order that thetransmission does not exceed contracted capacity. To enable EGAT to efficiently manage electricity system, a research was conducted and the “Intelligent Generation Controller” innovative system was created.

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          How it works

          The Intelligent Generation Controller was created under the cooperation between the Department of Electricity System Analysis, the Department of Control Center Technology and the Department of the Prevention System under the Control and Prevention Division. The system comprises hardware and software which control electricity generator, all in one unit. Each unit can handle up to 16 units of electricity generator. Information fed into the unit comes from two sources; 1) information system installed at all power stations that detect problem in the transmission system and report back in real time manner; and 2) Processing program of the National Control Center (NCC) at EGAT Headquarters that analyzes electricity consumption nationwide. When the control unit detects a problem, it will send the signal, which was earlier prepared, to fix the problem within 0.03 second.

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          To make this clear and easy to understand, let’s look at this example. If one transmission line has 95% maximum power reception and transmission, EGAT will allow only up to 80% capacity to ensure that the power in the transmission line does not get too close to the maximum capacity. This is because if the maximum capacity is challenged, the transmission line will be damaged. With the Intelligent Generation Controller, EGAT can transmit maximum power into the transmission line automatically for the maximum capacity. The Intelligent Generation Controller can analyze all factors related to the power system and detect problems real time. As a result, the power plants can fully generate electricity and the transmission line can receive power at nearly full capacity, leaving electricity system security and stability to the Intelligent Generation Controller’s responsibility.

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          When a problem occurs in a transmission line and cannot perform its task, electricity will all flow to other remaining transmission lines. If this exceeds capacity of other lines, all will be damaged, and widespread outage can be expected. This will not happen with Intelligent Generation Controller in place. The Intelligent Generation Controller can immediately detect the problem and control and keep electricity flow within handling capacity, reducing impact and limiting damage in case the transmission line has a problem.

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Intelligent Generation Controller Hardware and Software Operation

          EGAT first created this innovation in 2012. It started from analyzing and collecting all the problems that may occur in the national transmission system caused by over contracted capacity reception. Khon Kaen Province, a high-risk area, was selected for the system test. One unit of the system was installed to control power reception from Nam Ngum 2 Power Plant and Nam Theun 2 Power Plant in Lao PDR. The system was later installed in Lampang Province to control electricity received from Hongsa Power Plant in Laos and Mae Moh Power Plant. Another three units were installed at Chana Power Plant and three at Nakhon Si Thammarat to monitor 17 transmission lines in the south of Thailand.

          Finally, the Intelligent Generation Controller won many big awards not only the SOE Award 2015 - Innovation Award. In 2014, EGAT showcased this system and won Bronze Medal at the 42nd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva Switzerland. The software has been copyrighted while the hardware patent is underway. EGAT is working to improve the system and increase efficiency in power stability and security controller. More importantly, the improvement will reduce and prevent loss caused by power outage while enhancing public confidence in sustainable supply.

          EGAT will continue to work relentlessly. Our people move on to create innovations. All we have done is for the sustainability and electricity generation efficiency improvement for the happiness of all Thais.

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