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HVDC

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The global high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations market growth is set to more than double from US$3.24bn in 2018 to US$6.88bn in 2023, primarily driven by growth in China, according to GlobalData.

HVDC technology is a key enabler for grid transformation. The need for high-voltage and long distance power lines for transmission of bulk power from remote generation and integration of renewable energy capacity with the main grid will accelerate the demand for HVDC converter stations globally.

The company’s latest report ‘HVDC Converter Stations, Update 2019 – Global Market Size, Competitive Landscape and Key Country Analysis to 2023’ reveals that growing demand for power, increasing cross-border power transmission, various global initiatives to encourage implementation of renewable smart grids and the need to restrict carbon emissions are set to drive the aggregate value of the global HVDC converter stations market to US$32.88bn between 2019 and 2023.

China led the global HVDC converter stations market with an aggregate market value of US$14.50bn between 2013 and 2018. Brazil ranked second with an aggregate market value of US$2.11bn during the period. During the forecast period, China is expected to continue to hold its leading position, followed by India and the UK.

A significant increase in renewable energy generation, supported by the government’s objectives, has driven the HVDC converter stations market in India. As a result, the country was ranked third during the historical period with an aggregate market value of US$1.49bn.

Increasing requirement for power, rapid economic growth, initiatives promoting smart grids and renewable energy development are spurring investments towards transmission network upgrades. Remote power generation from renewables and transmission of electricity over long distances, as with wind farms, support the deployment of HVDC convertor stations. Moreover, the enhanced reliability and efficiency of HVDC systems will also aid in the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Source: GlobalData

ABB’s Power Grids business has been awarded an order from the Aibel/Keppel FELS consortium, which will design, construct, and build the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission system for the offshore wind connection project DolWin5. ABB is the HVDC technology provider. This project will deliver 900 megawatts of zero-carbon electricity – enough to power around 1 million homes – from three wind farms some 100 km off the German coast. It is scheduled for completion in 2024.

The order includes the converter platform in the North Sea, as well as an on-shore converter station located in Emden, in the Lower Saxony region of Ger-many. TenneT, a leading European electricity transmission system operator, with activities in the Netherlands and in Germany, is responsible for providing power links to the offshore wind farms in this cluster.

ABB’s HVDC solution is used to transport the power generated by offshore wind farms very efficiently by converting the alternate current (AC) to direct current (DC) on the converter platform. That makes it possible to transmit the power through a 130-kilometer-long DC cable system with very low losses to the mainland. In the onshore converter station, the power is converted back to AC and then integrated into the transmission grid. ABB HVDC’s offshore wind connection solutions are compact and modular to specifically address the challenges of the offshore wind industry and support a substantial improvement in LCOE (Levelized Cost Of Electricity), as well as carbon foot-print.

With the use of ABB’s voltage source converter technology, commercialized under the name HVDC Light®, it is possible to keep the conversion losses very low. Additionally, the order will also include the ABB Ability™ Modular Advanced Control for HVDC (MACHTM), which is instrumental in controlling the complex connection between wind farms and the on-shore AC grid.

As part of its energy transition (“Energiewende”), Germany’s plans to generate 65 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030. A rapidly growing pro-portion of this clean energy is generated in huge offshore wind farms in the North Sea. In just 10 years, Germany’s offshore wind production has grown from zero to 6,382 MW, making it the world’s second largest offshore wind pro-ducer after the UK.

Source: ABB

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Group ACS, through Dragados Offshore, has been awarded with the development, construction and supply of the HVDC electric power converter platform for Dolwin 6 project in the North Sea. This project will be developed in partnership with Siemens, and it will be able to transmit enough electricity to initially supply one million German homes.

The system with 900 megawatts of power consists of a HVDC offshore converter platform in the German North Sea and an onshore HVDC substation, in Emden area.

 

Particularly, Dragados Offshore will be in charge of the design, supply, construction, transportation and installation of the platform, while Siemens will cope with the design and supply of HVDC equipment for both substations, and the development of the onshore substation. They will together commission the facilities so as to test them and put them to work.

The offshore conversion platform transforms the electrical energy of incoming wind turbines by high-voltage 155 kV AC power cables to high voltage direct current of 320 kV, exporting it to the ground substation. The platform will be connected to the existing Dolwin Beta platform.

The contract is considered as an important milestone for ACS, and subsequently for Dragados Offshore, as it strength’s their activities in the providing of platforms for the offshore wind industry by building a state-of-the-art megaproject in its sector, consolidating it in a Leading position in the offshore market.

ABB has announced the latest development in high voltage direct current (HVDC) Light, a breakthrough technology it pioneered 20 years ago, making it possible to reliably transmit large amounts of electricity over ever greater distances, economically and efficiently.

The next level of ABB’s HVDC Light will enable more than doubling the power capacity to 3,000 MW. System design enhancements will bring a step change in compactness, with a potential to deliver 350% more power per square meter of space used – a big benefit in applications like offshore wind or interconnections, in terms of converter station footprint be it on offshore platforms or onshore installations. ABB’s latest advances, doubling power and distance capability, were made possible with the development of semiconductor-based power electronic devices that provide greater control and make smaller HVDC systems economical.

 

ABB’s HVDC Light technology revolutionizes the transmission of large amounts of electricity over longer distances, underground, underwater and on overhead lines. Due to its versatility, it is an ideal solution for applications with space limitations. It enabled interconnections between countries to support the integration and balancing of renewables while facilitating electricity trading. It has also been deployed to integrate offshore wind energy and bring the power to shore, via converter stations positioned on offshore platforms.

The last two decades have seen significant advances in this technology. Power capacity has gone up nearly 30 times from 50 to 1,400 MW – enough electricity to power several million households. Voltage levels have gone up from 80 to 525 kV, and distance capability from 70 to over 1,000 km. At the same time transmission losses have been brought down to less than 1%.

Today, ABB leads the way with HVDC Light technology, having delivered 18 out of 24 VSC HVDC projects commissioned in the world, including several world records such as the world’s longest underground link, the most powerful offshore wind connection and the first overhead link deploying this technology.

With a higher voltage capability of up to 640 kV, the latest technology extends distance capability – doubling it to 2,000 km – making it possible to transmit electricity over even longer distances, enabling more renewables to be integrated and longer interconnections to be built. Losses have been reduced further, which when combined with the above enhancements translate to significant cost optimization benefits for owners and transmission system operators. The latest ABB Ability-based MACH control and protection system will provide greater efficiency and reliability and the latest converter stations also feature several design and aesthetics improvements.

ABB pioneered HVDC technology more than 60 years ago and is the global market leader with over 110 HVDC projects, representing a total installed capacity of more than 120,000 MW, accounting for around half the world’s installed base.

Source: ABB

ABB has won an order worth around $75 million to supply advanced converter transformers for the Belo Monte 800 kV ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link. The 2,518 km link will transmit clean power generated in the north of Brazil, from the Xingu substation, to the Rio Substation in the southeast. It will be capable of transporting up to 4000 MW of electricity – enough to meet the needs of around ten million people. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2016.

ABB supplies for the Belo Monte UHVDC link include fourteen 400 MVA, 400 kV converter transformers and other related equipment. Converter transformers are among the most vital components in a transmission system, enabling grid stability and power reliability, while minimizing losses.

 

UHVDC is an advancement of HVDC, a technology pioneered by ABB over 60 years ago, and represents the biggest capacity and efficiency leap in over two decades. ABB was the first to successfully develop and test 1,100 kV converter transformer technology setting the record for the highest DC voltage levels ever and making it possible to increase the power transmission capacity of UHVDC links to the unprecedented level of 12000 MW.

Transformers are integral components of an electrical grid enabling the efficient and safe conversion of electricity to different voltages. ABB’s transformers are designed for reliability, durability and efficiency with a portfolio that includes power transformers rated up to 1,200 kV, dry- and liquid-distribution transformers, traction and special application transformers and related components.

Source: ABB

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