A dispatcher has no right to be mistaken

Control of Belarusian power system will become more popular in 2008
The notorious cutout of domestic power engineers is located at the “National dispatcher center” in Minsk. All energetic arteries of our country and its accurate “cardiogram” being renewed every 12 hours are located on the mnemonic dispatcher panel of the size of a double-storey house. Any duty shift is started every 12 hours but the level of its responsibility can be estimated only by aircraft dispatchers and Baykonur Mission Control Centre operators. Should something get wrong the crew in orbit will suffer and here we are speaking about 10 million of suffered electric consumers. The whole country.

— The united energetic scheme of Belarus is placed on the mnemonic scheme: electric power lines of various electric voltage classes, distribution stations and 12 major power stations that produce electric energy and feed the whole republic by their energy supply. Look, here they are: Minsk Thermal Power Plant 3, 4, 5, Berezovskaya State District Power Station and our flagman — Lukomlskaya State District Power Station, — Valery Gorovikov, the Head of Dispatcher Service is showing. — Radiofrequency communication with all energetic objects is performed in online mode. In case of a slightest failure we shall speak in a second with responsible persons in Minsk, Bereza, Mogilev or let’s say in Novopolotsk. If situation is critical, a dispatcher will bear full responsibility. He is the one to make the only correct decision within several seconds. One mistake — and several countries would stay without electricity. And those are not ordinary words.

On August 9, 2005 bad weather played a bad trick with Belarusian power engineers. Downpours and wind with force of 25 meters per second disabled electric 330 kV power lines: several falling trees in a second broke the link between Russia and Estonia. As a result, all energy capacity being transferred to three Baltic countries by this route laid down onto one Belarusian communication link. And the load of power link has immediately increased twice at once (and that at the time of mode repair!). What’s to be done? If the dispatcher had lost and had not managed to operate reserve link in a time, the isolated energetic ring would have appeared — and more than 60 percents of energy consumers in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Belarus would have been left without electric energy.

Though such force-majeure circumstances happen once in a decade, they considered as an emergency of the national level. As usual dispatchers are dealing with ordinary “energetic accounting”. Let me explain what it is. Daily Belarus generates 102 thousands of 250 mW-hour and consumes 113 thousands of 700 mW-hour for production and domestic needs. Every day we buy the difference of eleven thousands megawatt-hours from our neighbor Russia. Electric energy is very unusual product — we can buy neither more than determined amount nor less. The dispatchers strictly observe the compliance of perjured proportions. Debit must certainly congregate credit at 24:00.

— The separate dispatcher points are located in each regional center in present time. They are responsible for energy distribution down to vertical: from regional transformer substation to district consumers. Such system works without failure.

Ivan Tsyrkunov
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