Space Science Reviews

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 195–205 | Cite as

Impacts of solar and auroral storms on power line systems

  • Wolfgang-M. Boerner
  • James B. Cole
  • William R. Goddard
  • Michael Z. Tarnawecky
  • Lotfallah Shafai
  • Donald H. Hall


Geoelectromagnetic activity gives rise to electric potential differences between different points on the Earth's surface (Earth surface potentials) which cause extraneous quasi DC currents to enter electric power transmission systems through their grounding points. These geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) which may exceed 100 A can cause half-cycle saturation of magnetic devices such as power and current transformers, seriously shortening their operational life-times, and GICs can also cause misoperation of protective devices such as relays and circuit breakers, thus resulting in systems shutdown. Similar systems deteriorating effects are also observed on long metallic grounded pipe lines particularly if extending into subauroral and auroral regions. It has also been observed that due to transformer core saturation power line harmonics radiation (PLHR) is created which increases during periods of increased geoelectromagnetic activity. This VLF radiation may cause electromagnetic systems interference (ESI) with neighbouring or earth-satellite communications links, and it may also interact with the magnetosphere and affect chorus activity and electron slot precipitation. The after-effects of these magnetospheric activities may subsequently propagate from the ionosphere through the mesosphere and modulate weather, particularly thunderstorm activity which then may lead to a closed cycle of disturbing events affecting both natural and man-made systems.


Power Transmission Circuit Breaker Current Transformer Electric Potential Difference Thunderstorm Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang-M. Boerner
    • 1
    • 4
  • James B. Cole
    • 1
  • William R. Goddard
    • 2
  • Michael Z. Tarnawecky
    • 2
  • Lotfallah Shafai
    • 2
  • Donald H. Hall
    • 3
  1. 1.Communications Laboratory, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, SEO-1141University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Electrical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Geophysics Division, Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Electrical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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