Can phase-shifting transformers solve EU loop flow problems?
Germany: German grid operator 50Hertz will be installing phase-shifting transformers on Germany’s borders with Poland and the Czech Republic to regulate the power flow and reduce loop flows via these countries.
“The phase-shifting transformers are expected to contain the problem of loop flows at the mentioned borders and not create new loop flows,” a spokeswoman for Germany’s 50Hertz said.
This means the phase-shifter transformers will not shift the problem of loop flows to the country’s western borders, and should not affect commercial power transmission capacity and flow-based market coupling, which relies on adequate cross-border capacity to allow power prices to equalise where possible – the model which is a key part of the EU’s push for a single electricity market, reports ICIS.
However, it is still unclear how big an effect the transformers will have on loop flows. There seems to be an agreement that the transformers are not a permanent solution to grid stability problems in the region.