Analysis of long-term GIC measurements in transformers in Austria

Dennis Albert*, Philipp Schachinger, Rachel L. Bailey, Herwig Renner, Georg Achleitner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geomagnetically induced currents (GICs), a result of solar wind interaction with the Earth's magnetic field and the resistive ground, are known to flow in power transmission grids, where they can lead to transformer damage and grid operation problems. In this study we present an analysis of five years of continuous GIC measurements in transformer neutral points in Austria. Seven self-designed stand-alone measurement systems are currently installed in the Austrian 220 and 380 kV transmission levels, measuring currents up to 25 A. We identify recurrent geomagnetic activity in the measurements, and also find man-made sources of low frequency currents using frequency analysis. In order to support the transmission grid operators, two GIC simulation approaches are used to simulate GICs in the power grid. The first model uses measurements to derive the sensitivity of the location to northward and eastward geoelectric field components (which requires no detailed grid data), and the second model uses the detailed grid model to compute GICs from a geoelectric field. We evaluate two geomagnetic storms from September 2017 and May 2021 to discuss the effects of GICs on the power transmission grid and its assets.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021SW002912
JournalSpace Weather
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • GIC
  • Geomagnetically Induced Currents
  • Geomagnetic field
  • Geomagnetism
  • Transformers
  • Power Transformers
  • Measurement
  • Measurement System
  • geomagnetically induced current
  • power system simulation
  • transformer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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