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AC/DC Interference Study for a Solar Park and Gas Pipeline System

Analysis and evaluation of the possible AC/DC interferences of a solar park near a buried natural gas pipeline system.


Latin America


Renewable Energy Company

  • Solar
  • Natural Gas
  • AC/DC interference Analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Technical Documentation
  • Mitigation Recommendations

Project Background

A solar park located in Colombia, Latin America, has a capacity of 9.9 MW and consists of over 19,000 solar panels with 4077 support piles of galvanized steel  buried between 1.5 to 2m. In the same location, a gas pipeline crosses the lot where the solar park is located north to south and is buried between 2-3 meters deep. Two crossing points are evident: one with the medium-voltage AC overhead line and the second with buried low-voltage cables, communications, and grounding.

The client, a renewable energy company, would like to explore the situations of possible interference of the Solar Park on the Gas Pipeline, both by alternating current and direct current, and evaluate possible inductive and conductive interference from the presence of alternating current distribution lines. In addition, to also be issued with recommendations and specifications for the Construction and Monitoring of the interferences found in the study, including the estimated mitigation budget.

Services Provided

Team Penspen analysed and evaluated the influence caused by the parallelism or crossing of the medium voltage line, piling of solar table supports, and other structures like grounding systems that may represent a source of interference on the section of the gas pipeline system using AC software modeling: AC ACTB GIS of Technical Toolboxes PowerTools and Beasy DC software modeling.

The structures considered as possible sources of interference generation were:

– Medium and low voltage power transmission lines

– Grounding systems

– Crossings with pipes and parallelism

– Cathodic protection units

Result & Value

An in-depth report on AC/DC interference was provided to the client, outlining the necessary required actions to improve the safety, integrity, and reliability of the natural gas pipeline and solar park. This will allow the continuation of the country’s solar resources to be utilised for the purpose of meeting domestic demand and transforming local communities through the creation of balanced employment and wealth.

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