OpenDSS can perform geomagnetically induced current (GIC) analysis of power systems. Currently, the analysis capability is limited to three-phase systems, and cannot be integrated into other types of simulations, e.g. load flow. The GIC analysis takes advantage of the N-phase modeling capability of OpenDSS to perform the analysis on a three-phase basis as opposed to a single-phase basis used in transmission system analysis programs.

GIC are quasi-dc; thus, GIC simulations involve performing a low frequency (typically 0.1 Hz) analysis of the resulting dc network. The driving force behind the flow of GIC in the network is the induced voltage in the transmission lines1. The induced voltage is generated by the coupling of the transmission lines with the induced geoelectric field at the surface of the earth. Specialized quasi-dc models, which are described in other sections of the manual, have been added to the program circuit element models for transmission lines, transformers, substation ground grids, and GIC blocking devices.

Once the dc model of the network has been constructed the following two OpenDSS commands are used to perform the analysis:

Set frequency=0.1


The solution frequency is set to 0.1 Hz and then a standard OpenDSS snapshot solution is performed. The sources in the problem at this frequency are the voltages induced along the lines. These sources are contained in the GICLine model. Transformers are modeled by special transformer models using the GICTransformer element.

The GIC modeling is under active investigation and changes are likely before the end of 2018.


[1] D.H. Boteler, R.J. Pirjola, “Modeling Geomagnetically Induced Currents Produced by Realistic and Uniform Electric Fields”, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 1303-1308, October 1998.