Skip to main content

Analysis of the impact of geomagnetic disturbances on the Austrian transmission grid


Transmission system operators are responsible for security and reliability of their grid. An important topic is the analysis of possible risks for the transmission system network. Because of problems with unexpected noise at some transformers, investigations were started, which gave an indication that DC could be the source of this noise.

The paper presents investigations about geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) in the Austrian transmission system. Because of the particular geological structure of the country, the influence of GIC in Austria is higher than for the most other countries in Central Europe. A simulation model to compute GIC was set up and compared to the measured DC transformer neutral current.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 4.


  1. North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) (2012): Effects of geomagnetic disturbances on the bulk power system, Feb. 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Kappenman, J. G. (2006): Great geomagnetic storms and extreme impulsive geomagnetic field disturbance events—an analysis of observational evidence including the great storm of May 1921. Adv. Space Res., 38(2), 188–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Pulkkinen, A., Lindahl, S., Viljanen, A., Pirjola, R. (2005): Geomagnetic storm of 29–31 October 2003: geomagnetically induced currents and their relation to problems in the Swedish high-voltage power transmission system: geomagnetically induced currents. Space Weather, 3(8), n/a–n/a.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Wik, M., Pirjola, R., Lundstedt, H., Viljanen, A., Wintoft, P., Pulkkinen, A. (2009): Space weather events in July 1982 and October 2003 and the effects of geomagnetically induced currents on Swedish technical systems. Ann. Geophys., 27, 1775–1787.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. EURISGIC—home. Online available: Accessed: 29-January-2016.

  6. Bachinger, F., Hackl, A., Hamberger, P., Leikermoser, A., Leber, G., Passath, H., Stoessl, M. (2012): Direct current in transformers: effects and compensation. In CIGRÉ session 2012, SC A2, Paris (pp. 27–31).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bachinger, F., Hamberger, P., Leikermoser, A., Geber, L., Passath, H. (2013): Direct current in transformers: experience, compensation. In CIGRE SC A2 & C4 joint colloquium 2013, Zurich.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Kovan, B., de Leon, F. (2015): Mitigation of geomagnetically induced currents by neutral switching. IEEE Trans. Power Deliv., 30(4), 1999–2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Thomson, D. J., Weaver, J. T. (1975): The complex image approximation for induction in a multilayered Earth. J. Geophys. Res., 80(1), 123–129.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Wait, J. R. (1954): On the relation between telluric currents and the Earth’s magnetic field. Geophysics, 19, 281–289.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Cagniard, L. (1953): Basic theory of the magneto-telluric method of geophysical prospecting. Geophysics 18, 605–635).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Boteler, D. H. (1994): Geomagnetically induced currents: present knowledge and future research. IEEE Trans. Power Deliv., 9(1), 50–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. Online available: Accessed: 28-January-2016.

  14. Ádám, A., Prácser, E., Wesztergom, V. (2012): Estimation of the electric resistivity distribution (EURHOM) in the European lithosphere in the frame of the EURISGIC WP2 project. Acta Geod. Geophys. Hung., 47(4), 377–387.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Forschungsstelle Energienetze (FEN) (2013): Geomagnetically induced currents in the Swiss transmission network, Zürich.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Halbedl, T., Renner, H., Sakulin, M., Achleitner, G. (2014): Measurement and analysis of neutral point currents in a 400-kV-network. In Electric power quality and supply reliability conference (PQ) (pp. 65–68).

    Google Scholar 

  17. Passath, H., Hamberger, P., Leber, G., Bachinger, F. (2014): Direct current compensation—field experience under service conditions. In 3rd international colloquium transformer research and asset management, Split (pp. 1–10).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Bailey, R., Leonhardt, R. (2016): Real-time automated geomagnetic storm detection using satellite data, Earth Planets Space.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thomas Stefan Halbedl.

Additional information

Paper submitted for the CIGRE Session 2016, SC C3, Paris, France, August 24–29, 2016.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Halbedl, T.S., Renner, H. & Achleitner, G. Analysis of the impact of geomagnetic disturbances on the Austrian transmission grid. Elektrotech. Inftech. 134, 67–70 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • geomagnetically induced current
  • GIC
  • transformer
  • transmission grid