Transformer Capability under Geomagnetic Disturbances (GIC)

Trafoexperts Transformer Consulting Services

Geomagnetic disturbances due to solar activity may lead to geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) in power system networks. These GICs are quasi-DC (0.01Hz to 0.5Hz) and can saturate the core of power transformers.

The saturation of the core due to GICs leads to increased magnetizing current peaks that are up to several time the nominal current of the transformers. The high magnetizing currents significantly increase the reactive power demand of the transformers and high amounts of harmonic are injected into the power system.

Moreover, these high quasi-DC flux on the core and the associated high magnetizing currents overheat transformer windings and clamping structure, increasing overall losses.


IEEE guide

 IEEE issued the standard IEEE Std C57.163-2015 – IEEE Guide for Establishing Power Transformer Capability while under Geomagnetic Disturbances. Guidelines are provided to evaluate a transformer design’s resilience to GICs.

Our GIC verification service

Given the relevance of this topic, our team of transformer consultants have developed a methodology to calculate a transformer capability under GIC conditions as per IEEE Std C57.163. We can now provide this transformer consulting service. Contact us for more information.

Dr. Ing. Ugo Piovan

Dr. Ing. Ugo Piovan

Transformer Consultant
Trafoexperts GmbH

Heusser-Staub-Strasse, 10
8610, Uster, Switzerland