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General Line Ampacity State Solver (GLASS)

Dynamic Line Rating solution based on Computation Fluid Dynamics

Idaho National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Wind power researchers at Idaho National Laboratory believe moving more electricity through existing transmission and distribution lines is both possible and practical. In areas where wind plants are being developed, there is potential to take advantage of wind cooling on transmission and distribution lines concurrent with wind power generation, while identifying additional capacity, line sag and clearance concerns. The key is to pay close attention to the weather. The more electric current a line carries, the hotter it gets. After a certain point, a line operator cannot add additional current without overheating and damaging the line. However, an increase in wind speed blowing at a right angle to a high-voltage line can cool the line enough to safely increase the amount of current it can carry by 10 to 40 percent. INL researchers are funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind Energy Technology Office and collaborate with regional power companies to research these efficiency gains.


INL researchers have developed a Java-based software package called General Line Ampacity State Solver (GLASS) to compute real-time limits based on current conditions at sparsely located weather stations. It does this by using actual Geographic Information System (GIS) data along with previously measured weather conditions and advanced computational models. GLASS can help the enduser determine, in real-time, the limiting ampacities and thermal ratings for any given transmission line segment. This capability enables utility companies to use dynamic line rating (DLR) to adjust power production throughout their grid network according to these computed restraints.


GLASS enables the DLR methodology to be used as a low-risk, low-cost, low-maintenance solution that can be deployed system wide without service interruption, offering results as accurate as high-resolution instrumented approaches. Other methods for establishing transmission line capacity in real time rely on expensive line clearance and conductor temperature monitoring devices deployed on high-current spans. GLASS offers similar accuracy and resolution on a broader scale, and is lower-cost, lower-maintenance, and doesn’t require utilities to directly install sensors or monitoring equipment on the energized transmission lines.

Applications and Industries

Power Transmission

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To: Ryan Bills<>