In the context of power system engineering, ‘Blackout’ is a technical word no-one wants to hear. The island-wide blackout that occurred in Sri Lanka on 17 August 2020 was eye-opening global news. It took about seven hours to restore the system completely. The topic was analysed as part of Cardiff University’s CIREGS discussion series, due to its significance. (CIREGS stands for Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation & Supply.)
As a former system planning engineer at Ceylon Electricity Board, Sri Lanka, Gayan Abeynayake was happy to co-moderate the session, contributing his knowledge of the Sri Lankan power transmission system. The following questions were considered:
- What happened and how did it happened?
- What kind of a technological problem was it?
- Why did it take seven hours to restore the system?
- What impact did the blackout have on society?
- What solutions are available to avoid this problem in the future?
Gayan enjoyed discussing such a complex issue with fellow colleagues and answering their questions.