High-voltage direct current

High-voltage direct current

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A high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission
Electric power transmission
Electric-power transmission is the bulk transfer of electrical energy, from generating power plants to Electrical substations located near demand centers...

 system uses direct current
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

 for the bulk transmission of electrical power, in contrast with the more common alternating current
Alternating current
In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

 systems. For long-distance transmission, HVDC systems may be less expensive and suffer lower electrical losses. For underwater power cables
Submarine power cable
Submarine power cables are major transmission cables for carrying electric power below the surface of the water. These are called "submarine" because they usually carry electric power beneath salt water but it is also possible to use submarine power cables beneath fresh water...

, HVDC avoids the heavy currents required by the cable capacitance
Capacitance
In electromagnetism and electronics, capacitance is the ability of a capacitor to store energy in an electric field. Capacitance is also a measure of the amount of electric potential energy stored for a given electric potential. A common form of energy storage device is a parallel-plate capacitor...

. For shorter distances, the higher cost of DC conversion equipment compared to an AC system may still be warranted, due to other benefits of direct current links. HVDC allows power transmission between unsynchronized AC distribution systems, and can increase system stability by preventing cascading failures from propagating from one part of a wider power transmission grid to another.

The modern form of HVDC transmission uses technology developed extensively in the 1930s in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 at ASEA. Early commercial installations included one in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in 1951 between Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and Kashira
Kashira
Kashira is a town and the administrative center of Kashirsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia, located on the Oka River south of Moscow. Population:...

, and a 10–20 MW system between Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

 and mainland Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 in 1954. The longest HVDC link in the world is currently the Xiangjiaba-Shanghai 2071 km (1,286.9 mi) 6400 MW link connecting the Xiangjiaba Dam
Xiangjiaba Dam
The Xiangjiaba Dam is a large hydroelectric dam on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze River in Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province, southwest China. The facility runs on eight turbines, each with a capacity of , totalling the generating capacity to . When completed, it will be the...

 to Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, in the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. In 2012, the longest HVDC link will be the Rio Madeira link connecting the Amazonas to the São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 area where the length of the DC line is over 2500 km (1,553.4 mi).


High voltage transmission


High voltage
High voltage
The term high voltage characterizes electrical circuits in which the voltage used is the cause of particular safety concerns and insulation requirements...

 (in either AC or DC electrical power transmission applications) is used for electric power transmission to reduce the energy lost in the resistance
Electrical resistance
The electrical resistance of an electrical element is the opposition to the passage of an electric current through that element; the inverse quantity is electrical conductance, the ease at which an electric current passes. Electrical resistance shares some conceptual parallels with the mechanical...

 of the wires. For a given quantity of power transmitted and size of conductor, doubling the voltage will deliver the same power at only half the current. Since the power lost as heat in the wires is proportional to the square of the current, but does not depend in any major way on the voltage delivered by the power line, doubling the voltage in a power system reduces the line-loss loss per unit of electrical power delivered by a factor of 4. Power loss in transmission lines can also be reduced by reducing resistance, for example by increasing the diameter of the conductor; but larger conductors are heavier and more expensive.

High voltages cannot easily be used for lighting and motors, and so transmission-level voltages must be reduced to values compatible with end-use equipment. Transformer
Transformer
A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

s are used to change the voltage level in alternating current
Alternating current
In alternating current the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. In direct current , the flow of electric charge is only in one direction....

 (AC) transmission circuits. The competition between the direct current
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

 (DC) of Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

 and the AC of Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer...

 and George Westinghouse
George Westinghouse
George Westinghouse, Jr was an American entrepreneur and engineer who invented the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry. Westinghouse was one of Thomas Edison's main rivals in the early implementation of the American electricity system...

 was known as the War of Currents
War of Currents
In the "War of Currents" era in the late 1880s, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison became adversaries due to Edison's promotion of direct current for electric power distribution over alternating current advocated by several European companies and Westinghouse Electric based out of Pittsburgh,...

, with AC becoming dominant.

Practical manipulation of high power high voltage DC became possible with the development of high power electronic rectifier
Rectifier
A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current , which periodically reverses direction, to direct current , which flows in only one direction. The process is known as rectification...

 devices such as mercury arc valve
Mercury arc valve
A mercury-arc valve is a type of electrical rectifier used for converting high-voltage or high-current alternating current into direct current . Rectifiers of this type were used to provide power for industrial motors, electric railways, streetcars, and electric locomotives, as well as for...

s and, more recently starting in the 1970s, high power semiconductor devices such as high power thyristor
Thyristor
A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating N and P-type material. They act as bistable switches, conducting when their gate receives a current trigger, and continue to conduct while they are forward biased .Some sources define silicon controlled rectifiers and...

s and 21st century high power variants such as integrated gate-commutated thyristors (IGCTs), MOS controlled thyristor
MOS Controlled Thyristor
MOS Controlled Thyristor is voltage controlled fully controllable thyristor. The MCT is similar in operation with GTO thyristor, but it has voltage controlled insulated gate. It has two MOSFETs in its equivalent circuit. One is responsible for turn-on and the another is responsible for turn-off...

s (MCTs) and gate turn-off thyristor
Gate turn-off thyristor
A gate turn-off thyristor is a special type of thyristor, a high-power semiconductor device. GTOs, as opposed to normal thyristors, are fully controllable switches which can be turned on and off by their third lead, the GATE lead.-Device description:...

s (GTOs). A similar high power transistor device called the insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) has recently been used in these applications.

History of HVDC transmission





The first long-distance transmission of electric power was demonstrated using direct current in 1882 at the Miesbach-Munich Power Transmission
Miesbach-Munich Power Transmission
Miesbach–Munich Power Transmission was the firsttransmission of electrical energy over a large distance.It took place in 1882 between a steam engine situated near Miesbach and the glass palace of Munich, where world's first international electricity exhibition took place. The voltage used was 2000...

, but only 2.5 kW was transmitted. An early method of high-voltage DC transmission was developed by the Swiss engineer René Thury
René Thury
René Thury was a Swiss pioneer in electrical engineering. He was known for his work with high voltage direct current electricity transmission and was known in the professional world as the "King of DC." -Biography:...

 and his method was put into practice by 1889 in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 by the Acquedotto De Ferrari-Galliera company. This system used series-connected motor-generator
Motor-generator
A motor-generator is a device for converting electrical power to another form. Motor-generator sets are used to convert frequency, voltage, or phase of power. They may also be used to isolate electrical loads from the electrical power supply line...

 sets to increase voltage. Each set was insulated from ground and driven by insulated shafts from a prime mover. The line was operated in constant current mode, with up to 5,000 volts on each machine, some machines having double commutators
Commutator (electric)
A commutator is a rotary electrical switch in certain types of electric motors or electrical generators that periodically reverses the current direction between the rotor and the external circuit. In a motor, it applies power to the best location on the rotor, and in a generator, picks off power...

 to reduce the voltage on each commutator. This system transmitted 630 kW at 14 kV DC over a distance of
120 km. The Moutiers-Lyon
Lyon-Moutiers DC transmission scheme
The Lyon–Moutiers DC transmission scheme was the most powerful mechanical high voltage direct current electric power transmission scheme ever built...

 system transmitted 8,600 kW of hydroelectric power a distance of 124 miles, including 6 miles of underground cable. The system used eight series-connected generators with dual commutators for a total voltage of 150,000 volts between the poles, and ran from about 1906 until 1936. Fifteen Thury systems were in operation by 1913 Other Thury systems operating at up to 100 kV DC operated up to the 1930s, but the rotating machinery required high maintenance and had high energy loss. Various other electromechanical devices
Mechanical rectifier
A mechanical rectifier is a device for converting alternating current to direct current by means of mechanically-operated switches. The best-known type is the commutator, which is an integral part of a DC dynamo but, before solid-state devices became available, independent mechanical rectifiers...

 were tested during the first half of the 20th century with little commercial success.

One conversion technique attempted for conversion of direct current from a high transmission voltage to lower utilization voltage was to charge series-connected batteries
Rechargeable battery
A rechargeable battery or storage battery is a group of one or more electrochemical cells. They are known as secondary cells because their electrochemical reactions are electrically reversible. Rechargeable batteries come in many different shapes and sizes, ranging anything from a button cell to...

, then connect the batteries in parallel to serve distribution loads. While at least two commercial installations were tried around the turn of the 20th century, the technique was not generally useful owing to the limited capacity of batteries, difficulties in switching between series and parallel connections, and the inherent energy inefficiency of a battery charge/discharge cycle.

The grid controlled mercury arc valve
Mercury arc valve
A mercury-arc valve is a type of electrical rectifier used for converting high-voltage or high-current alternating current into direct current . Rectifiers of this type were used to provide power for industrial motors, electric railways, streetcars, and electric locomotives, as well as for...

 became available for power transmission during the period 1920 to 1940. Starting in 1932, General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 tested mercury-vapor valves and a 12 kV DC transmission line, which also served to convert 40 Hz generation to serve 60 Hz loads, at Mechanicville, New York
Mechanicville, New York
Mechanicville is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population is 5,196 as of the 2010 census. It is the smallest city by area in the state. The name is derived from the occupations of early residents....

. In 1941, a 60 MW, +/-200 kV, 115 km buried cable link was designed for the city of Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 using mercury arc valves (Elbe-Project), but owing to the collapse of the German government in 1945 the project was never completed. The nominal justification for the project was that, during wartime, a buried cable would be less conspicuous as a bombing target. The equipment was moved to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and was put into service there. Introduction of the fully static mercury arc valve to commercial service in 1954 marked the beginning of the modern era of HVDC transmission. A HVDC-connection was constructed by ASEA between the mainland of Sweden and the island Gotland.

Mercury arc valves were common in systems designed up to 1975, but since then, new HVDC systems have used only solid-state devices.
On March 15, 1979, a thyristor
Thyristor
A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating N and P-type material. They act as bistable switches, conducting when their gate receives a current trigger, and continue to conduct while they are forward biased .Some sources define silicon controlled rectifiers and...

 based direct current connection between Cabora Bassa and Johannesburg (1410 km, ±533 kV, 1920 MW) was turned on. Though the electronics were built in 1974 by AEG, and BBC (Brown Boveri Company) and Siemens were partners in the project, the late turn on was a result of the civil war.

After 1975 mercury valves in HVDC began to be replaced by solid state valves, and as of 2011 the Inter-Island HVDC
HVDC Inter-Island
The HVDC Inter-Island link is a high-capacity, bipolar high-voltage direct current transmission system connecting the electricity transmission networks of New Zealand's two main islands to form the National Grid. The HVDC link is owned and operated by state-owned transmission company Transpower...

 (high voltage direct current) link between the North and South Islands of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 is the last major operating mercury arc HVDC not yet replaced with a solid state system (this is being planned for 2012).

From 1975 to 2000 arc valves were replaced by so-called line-commutated converters (LCC) using simple thyristor valves with gates activated by line voltage. According to Sood, the next 25 years may well be dominated by "force commutated converters" (i.e., thyristor or thyristor-like semiconductors with gates that are actively controlled by separate switching circuitry, for smoother switching response). This era has already begun with "capacitor commutated converters" (CCC), which are simple thyristor networks with gates operated from an external capacitive circuit, drawn from the AC line.

Such externally-controlled thyristor-based circuits are expected to eventually be replaced by "self-commutated converters" based around more complex semiconductor switching devices. These "self-commutating converters" will finally largely supplant today's externally-commutated systems entirely, after self-commutating solid-state devices in the required power ranges become economically viable. Such self-commutated devices include the insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT)  and variant thyristors called integrated gate-commutated thyristors (IGCT), and gate turn-off thyristors (GTO)
Thyristor
A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating N and P-type material. They act as bistable switches, conducting when their gate receives a current trigger, and continue to conduct while they are forward biased .Some sources define silicon controlled rectifiers and...

. All these devices are used now in medium power high-voltage DC systems, and are capable of being scaled-up in power to the point that they (or other similar variants of multilayer solid-state high-power devices) will probably eventually replace all simple thyristor-based systems now in use, even for very highest power transmission DC applications.

Since thyristor-based switches (i.e., solid-state rectifiers) were incorporated into them, hundreds of HVDC sea cables have been laid, and have worked with high reliability, usually better than 96% of the time.

Advantages of HVDC over AC transmission


The advantage of HVDC is the ability to transmit large amounts of power over long distances with lower capital costs and with lower losses than AC. Depending on voltage level and construction details, losses are quoted as about 3% per 1,000 km. High-voltage direct current transmission allows efficient use of energy sources, remote from load centers.

In a number of applications HVDC is more effective than AC transmission. Examples include:
  • Undersea cables
    Submarine power cable
    Submarine power cables are major transmission cables for carrying electric power below the surface of the water. These are called "submarine" because they usually carry electric power beneath salt water but it is also possible to use submarine power cables beneath fresh water...

    , where high capacitance causes additional AC losses. (e.g., 250 km Baltic Cable
    Baltic Cable
    The Baltic Cable is a HVDC power line running beneath the Baltic Sea that interconnects the electric power grids of Germany and Sweden.The Baltic Cable uses a transmission voltage of 450 kV – the highest operating voltage for energy transmission in Germany...

     between Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

     and Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    , the 600 km NorNed
    NorNed
    NorNed is a long HVDC submarine power cable between Feda in Norway and the seaport of Eemshaven in the Netherlands, which interconnects both countries' electricity grids. It is the longest submarine power cable in the world. Budgeted at €550 million, and completed at a cost of €600m, the...

     cable between Norway and the Netherlands, and 290 km Basslink
    Basslink
    Basslink is a high-voltage direct current cable link crossing Bass Strait, connecting the Loy Yang Power Station, Victoria on the Australian mainland to the George Town substation in northern Tasmania...

     between the Australian mainland and Tasmania)
  • Endpoint-to-endpoint long-haul bulk power transmission without intermediate 'taps', for example, in remote areas
  • Increasing the capacity of an existing power grid in situations where additional wires are difficult or expensive to install
  • Power transmission and stabilization between unsynchronised AC distribution systems
  • Connecting a remote generating plant to the distribution grid, for example Nelson River Bipole
    Nelson River Bipole
    thumb|right|Nelson River Bipoles 1 and 2 terminate at Dorsey Converter Station near [[Rosser, Manitoba]]. The station takes [[HVDC]] current and converts it to [[alternating current|HVAC]] current for re-distribution to consumers...

  • Stabilizing a predominantly AC power-grid, without increasing prospective short circuit current
  • Reducing line cost. HVDC needs fewer conductors as there is no need to support multiple phases. Also, thinner conductors can be used since HVDC does not suffer from the skin effect
    Skin effect
    Skin effect is the tendency of an alternating electric current to distribute itself within a conductor with the current density being largest near the surface of the conductor, decreasing at greater depths. In other words, the electric current flows mainly at the "skin" of the conductor, at an...

  • Facilitate power transmission between different countries that use AC at differing voltages and/or frequencies
  • Synchronize AC produced by renewable energy sources


Long undersea / underground high voltage cable
High voltage cable
A high voltage cable - also called HV cable - is used for electric power transmission at high voltage. High voltage cables of differing types have a variety of applications in instruments, ignition systems, AC and DC power transmission...

s have a high electrical capacitance
Capacitance
In electromagnetism and electronics, capacitance is the ability of a capacitor to store energy in an electric field. Capacitance is also a measure of the amount of electric potential energy stored for a given electric potential. A common form of energy storage device is a parallel-plate capacitor...

, since the conductors are surrounded by a relatively thin layer of insulation and a metal sheath while the extensive length of the cable multiplies the area between the conductors. The geometry is that of a long co-axial capacitor
Capacitor
A capacitor is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy in an electric field. The forms of practical capacitors vary widely, but all contain at least two electrical conductors separated by a dielectric ; for example, one common construction consists of metal foils separated...

. Where alternating current is used for cable transmission, this capacitance appears in parallel with load. Additional current must flow in the cable to charge the cable capacitance, which generates additional losses in the conductors of the cable. Additionally, there is a dielectric
Dielectric
A dielectric is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field. When a dielectric is placed in an electric field, electric charges do not flow through the material, as in a conductor, but only slightly shift from their average equilibrium positions causing dielectric...

 loss component in the material of the cable insulation, which consumes power.

However, when direct current is used, the cable capacitance is charged only when the cable is first energized or when the voltage is changed; there is no steady-state additional current required. For a long AC undersea cable, the entire current-carrying capacity of the conductor could be used to supply the charging current alone. The cable capacitance issue limits the length and power carrying capacity of AC cables. DC cables have no such limitation, and are essentially bound by only Ohm's Law
Ohm's law
Ohm's law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points...

. Although some DC leakage current continues to flow through the dielectric insulators, this is very small compared to the cable rating and much less than with AC transmission cables.

HVDC can carry more power per conductor because, for a given power rating, the constant voltage in a DC line is the same as the peak voltage in an AC line. The power delivered in an AC system is defined by the root mean square
Root mean square
In mathematics, the root mean square , also known as the quadratic mean, is a statistical measure of the magnitude of a varying quantity. It is especially useful when variates are positive and negative, e.g., sinusoids...

 (RMS) of an AC voltage, but RMS is only about 71% of the peak voltage. The peak voltage of AC determines the actual insulation thickness and conductor spacing. Because DC operates at a constant maximum voltage, this allows existing transmission line corridors with equally sized conductors and insulation to carry more power into an area of high power consumption than AC, which can lower costs.

Because HVDC allows power transmission between unsynchronized AC distribution systems, it can help increase system stability, by preventing cascading failure
Cascading failure
A cascading failure is a failure in a system of interconnected parts in which the failure of a part can trigger the failure of successive parts.- Cascading failure in power transmission :...

s from propagating from one part of a wider power transmission grid to another. Changes in load that would cause portions of an AC network to become unsynchronized and separate would not similarly affect a DC link, and the power flow through the DC link would tend to stabilize the AC network. The magnitude and direction of power flow through a DC link can be directly commanded, and changed as needed to support the AC networks at either end of the DC link. This has caused many power system operators to contemplate wider use of HVDC technology for its stability benefits alone.

Disadvantages


The disadvantages of HVDC are in conversion, switching, control, availability and maintenance.

HVDC is less reliable and has lower availability than alternating current (AC) systems, mainly due to the extra conversion equipment. Single-pole systems have availability of about 98.5%, with about a third of the downtime unscheduled due to faults. Fault-tolerant bipole systems provide high availability for 50% of the link capacity, but availability of the full capacity is about 97% to 98%.

The required static inverters
Static inverter plant
A static inverter station, also known as an HVDC Converter Station, is the terminal equipment for a high-voltage direct-current transmission line, in which direct current is converted to three-phase alternating current, and, usually, the reverse...

 are expensive and have limited overload capacity. At smaller transmission distances, the losses in the static inverters may be bigger than in an AC transmission line. The cost of the inverters may not be offset by reductions in line construction cost and lower line loss.

In contrast to AC systems, realizing multiterminal systems is complex, as is expanding existing schemes to multiterminal systems. Controlling power flow in a multiterminal DC system requires good communication between all the terminals; power flow must be actively regulated by the inverter control system instead of the inherent impedance and phase angle properties of the transmission line. Multi-terminal lines are rare. One is in operation at the Hydro Québec – New England transmission from Radisson to Sandy Pond.
Another example is the Sardinia-mainland Italy
HVDC Italy-Corsica-Sardinia
The HVDC Italy–Corsica–Sardinia is used for the exchange of electric energy between the static inverter plant Suvereto on the Italian mainland, the static inverter plant Lucciana on Corsica and the static inverter plant Codrongianos on Sardinia.First used in 1965 as mono-polar line, today this...

 link which was modified in 1989 to also provide power to the island of Corsica.

HVDC circuit breaker
Circuit breaker
A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to detect a fault condition and, by interrupting continuity, to immediately discontinue electrical flow...

s are difficult to build because some mechanism must be included in the circuit breaker to force current to zero, otherwise arcing and contact wear would be too great to allow reliable switching.

Operating a HVDC scheme requires many spare parts to be kept, often exclusively for one system, as HVDC systems are less standardized than AC systems and technology changes faster.

Costs of high voltage DC transmission


Normally manufacturers such as Alstom
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

, Siemens
Siemens AG
Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company....

 and ABB
Asea Brown Boveri
ABB is a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, and best known for its robotics. ABB operates mainly in the power and automation technology areas. It ranked 143rd in Forbes Ranking ....

 do not state specific cost information of a particular project since this is a commercial matter between the manufacturer and the client.

Costs vary widely depending on the specifics of the project such as power rating, circuit length, overhead vs. underwater route, land costs, and AC network improvements required at either terminal. A detailed evaluation of DC vs. AC cost may be required where there is no clear technical advantage to DC alone and only economics drives the selection.

However some practitioners have given out some information that can be reasonably well relied upon:
An April, 2010 announcement for a 2,000 MW line, 64 km, between Spain and France, is 700 million euros; this includes the cost of a tunnel through the Pyrenees.

Components


Most of the HVDC systems in operation today are based on Line-Commutated Converters. Early static systems used mercury arc rectifiers, which were unreliable. Two HVDC systems using mercury arc rectifiers are still in service (as of 2008). The thyristor
Thyristor
A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating N and P-type material. They act as bistable switches, conducting when their gate receives a current trigger, and continue to conduct while they are forward biased .Some sources define silicon controlled rectifiers and...

 valve was first used in HVDC systems in the 1960s. The thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor
Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity due to electron flow intermediate in magnitude between that of a conductor and an insulator. This means a conductivity roughly in the range of 103 to 10−8 siemens per centimeter...

 device similar to the diode
Diode
In electronics, a diode is a type of two-terminal electronic component with a nonlinear current–voltage characteristic. A semiconductor diode, the most common type today, is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material connected to two electrical terminals...

, but with an extra control terminal that is used to switch the device on at a particular instant during the AC cycle. The insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) is now also used, forming a Voltage Sourced Converter, and offers simpler control, reduced harmonics and reduced valve cost.

Because the voltages in HVDC systems, up to 800 kV in some cases, exceed the breakdown voltage
Breakdown voltage
The breakdown voltage of an insulator is the minimum voltage that causes a portion of an insulator to become electrically conductive.The breakdown voltage of a diode is the minimum reverse voltage to make the diode conduct in reverse...

s of the semiconductor devices, HVDC converters are built using large numbers of semiconductors in series.

The low-voltage control circuits used to switch the thyristors on and off need to be isolated from the high voltages present on the transmission lines. This is usually done optically. In a hybrid control system, the low-voltage control electronics sends light pulses along optical fibres to the high-side control electronics. Another system, called direct light triggering, dispenses with the high-side electronics, instead using light pulses from the control electronics to switch light-triggered thyristors (LTTs).

A complete switching element is commonly referred to as a valve, irrespective of its construction.

Rectifying and inverting systems


Rectification and inversion use essentially the same machinery. Many substations (Converter Stations) are set up in such a way that they can act as both rectifiers and inverters. At the AC end a set of transformers, often three physically separated single-phase transformers, isolate the station from the AC supply, to provide a local earth, and to ensure the correct eventual DC voltage. The output of these transformers is then connected to a bridge rectifier formed by a number of valves. The basic configuration uses six valves, connecting each of the three phases to each of the two DC rails. However, with a phase change only every sixty degrees, considerable harmonics remain on the DC rails.

An enhancement of this configuration uses 12 valves (often known as a twelve-pulse system). The AC is split into two separate three phase supplies before transformation. One of the sets of supplies is then configured to have a star (wye) secondary, the other a delta secondary, establishing a thirty degree phase difference between the two sets of three phases. With twelve valves connecting each of the two sets of three phases to the two DC rails, there is a phase change every 30 degrees, and harmonics are considerably reduced.

In addition to the conversion transformers and valve-sets, various passive resistive and reactive components help filter harmonics out of the DC rails.

Monopole and earth return



In a common configuration, called monopole, one of the terminals of the rectifier is connected to earth ground. The other terminal, at a potential high above or below ground, is connected to a transmission line. The earth
Ground (electricity)
In electrical engineering, ground or earth may be the reference point in an electrical circuit from which other voltages are measured, or a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the Earth....

ed terminal may be connected to the corresponding connection at the inverting station by means of a second conductor.

If no metallic conductor is installed, current flows in the earth between the earth electrodes at the two stations. Therefore it is a type of single wire earth return
Single wire earth return
Single wire earth return or single wire ground return is a single-wire transmission line for supplying single-phase electrical power from an electrical grid to remote areas at low cost...

. The issues surrounding earth-return current include:
  • Electrochemical corrosion of long buried metal objects such as pipelines
    Pipeline transport
    Pipeline transport is the transportation of goods through a pipe. Most commonly, liquids and gases are sent, but pneumatic tubes that transport solid capsules using compressed air are also used....

  • Underwater earth-return electrodes in seawater may produce chlorine
    Chlorine
    Chlorine is the chemical element with atomic number 17 and symbol Cl. It is the second lightest halogen, found in the periodic table in group 17. The element forms diatomic molecules under standard conditions, called dichlorine...

     or otherwise affect water chemistry.
  • An unbalanced current path may result in a net magnetic field, which can affect magnetic navigation
    Navigation
    Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

    al compass
    Compass
    A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

    es for ships passing over an underwater cable.


These effects can be eliminated with installation of a metallic return conductor between the two ends of the monopolar transmission line. Since one terminal of the converters is connected to earth, the return conductor need not be insulated for the full transmission voltage which makes it less costly than the high-voltage conductor. Use of a metallic return conductor is decided based on economic, technical and environmental factors.

Modern monopolar systems for pure overhead lines carry typically 1,500 MW. If underground or underwater cables are used, the typical value is 600 MW.

Most monopolar systems are designed for future bipolar expansion. Transmission line towers may be designed to carry two conductors, even if only one is used initially for the monopole transmission system. The second conductor is either unused, used as electrode line
Electrode line
An electrode line is an electrical connection from a static inverter plant of a high voltage direct current transmission system to the earth grounding electrode...

 or connected in parallel with the other (as in case of Baltic-Cable).

Bipolar


In bipolar transmission a pair of conductors is used, each at a high potential with respect to ground, in opposite polarity. Since these conductors must be insulated for the full voltage, transmission line cost is higher than a monopole with a return conductor. However, there are a number of advantages to bipolar transmission which can make it the attractive option.
  • Under normal load, negligible earth-current flows, as in the case of monopolar transmission with a metallic earth-return. This reduces earth return loss and environmental effects.
  • When a fault develops in a line, with earth return electrodes installed at each end of the line, approximately half the rated power can continue to flow using the earth as a return path, operating in monopolar mode.
  • Since for a given total power rating each conductor of a bipolar line carries only half the current of monopolar lines, the cost of the second conductor is reduced compared to a monopolar line of the same rating.
  • In very adverse terrain, the second conductor may be carried on an independent set of transmission towers, so that some power may continue to be transmitted even if one line is damaged.


A bipolar system may also be installed with a metallic earth return conductor.

Bipolar systems may carry as much as 3,200 MW at voltages of +/-600 kV. Submarine cable installations initially commissioned as a monopole may be upgraded with additional cables and operated as a bipole.
A bipolar scheme can be implemented so that the polarity of one or both poles can be changed. This allows the operation as two parallel monopoles. If one conductor fails, transmission can still continue at reduced capacity. Losses may increase if ground electrodes and lines are not designed for the extra current in this mode. To reduce losses in this case, intermediate switching stations may be installed, at which line segments can be switched off or parallelized. This was done at Inga–Shaba HVDC.

Back to back


A back-to-back station (or B2B for short) is a plant in which both static inverters and rectifiers are in the same area, usually in the same building. The length of the direct current line is kept as short as possible. HVDC back-to-back stations are used for
  • coupling of electricity mains of different frequency (as in Japan; and the GCC interconnection between UAE [50 Hz] and Saudi Arabia [60 Hz] under construction in ±2009–2011)
  • coupling two networks of the same nominal frequency but no fixed phase relationship (as until 1995/96 in Etzenricht
    Etzenricht
    Etzenricht is a municipality in the Upper Palatinate, ca. 6 km southeast of Weiden in the district of Neustadt in Bavaria in Germany.Etzenricht has 1721 inhabitants and various small industries. East of Etzenricht toward Rothenstadt is a transformer station of the E.ON AG with the GKK...

    , Dürnrohr
    GK Dürnrohr
    The GK Dürnrohr was a HVDC back-to-back scheme west of Dürnrohr substation, which was used for the energy exchange between Austria and Czechoslovakia between 1983 and 1996. The GK Dürnrohr had a nominal transmission rating of 550 MW...

    , Vienna
    GK Wien-Southeast
    The GK Vienna–Southeast was a back-to-back HVDC station linking the electric power grids of Austria and Hungary. It operated between June 1993 and October 1996.- Facility :...

    , and the Vyborg HVDC scheme).
  • different frequency and phase number (for example, as a replacement for traction current converter plant
    Traction current converter plant
    A traction substation or traction current converter plant is an electrical substation that converts electric power from the form provided by the electrical power industry for public utility service to an appropriate voltage, current type and frequency to supply railways, trams and/or trolleybuses...

    s)


The DC voltage in the intermediate circuit can be selected freely at HVDC back-to-back stations because of the short conductor length. The DC voltage is as low as possible, in order to build a small valve hall and to avoid series connections of valves. For this reason at HVDC back-to-back stations valves with the highest available current rating are used.

Systems with transmission lines


The most common configuration of an HVDC link is two inverter
Inverter (electrical)
An inverter is an electrical device that converts direct current to alternating current ; the converted AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits....

/rectifier
Rectifier
A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current , which periodically reverses direction, to direct current , which flows in only one direction. The process is known as rectification...

 stations connected by an overhead power line
Overhead power line
An overhead power line is an electric power transmission line suspended by towers or utility poles. Since most of the insulation is provided by air, overhead power lines are generally the lowest-cost method of transmission for large quantities of electric energy...

. This is also a configuration commonly used in connecting unsynchronised grids, in long-haul power transmission, and in undersea cables.

Multi-terminal HVDC links, connecting more than two points, are rare. The configuration of multiple terminals can be series, parallel, or hybrid (a mixture of series and parallel). Parallel configuration tends to be used for large capacity stations, and series for lower capacity stations. An example is the 2,000 MW Quebec - New England Transmission
Quebec - New England Transmission
The Quebec – New England Transmission is a long-distance high-voltage direct current line between Radisson, Quebec and Sandy Pond in Ayer, Massachusetts...

 system opened in 1992, which is currently the largest multi-terminal HVDC system in the world.

Tripole: current-modulating control


A scheme patented in 2004 (Current modulation of direct current transmission lines) is intended for conversion of existing AC transmission lines to HVDC. Two of the three circuit conductors are operated as a bipole. The third conductor is used as a parallel monopole, equipped with reversing valves (or parallel valves connected in reverse polarity). The parallel monopole periodically relieves current from one pole or the other, switching polarity over a span of several minutes. The bipole conductors would be loaded to either 1.37 or 0.37 of their thermal limit, with the parallel monopole always carrying +/- 1 times its thermal limit current. The combined RMS
Root mean square
In mathematics, the root mean square , also known as the quadratic mean, is a statistical measure of the magnitude of a varying quantity. It is especially useful when variates are positive and negative, e.g., sinusoids...

 heating effect is as if each of the conductors is always carrying 1.0 of its rated current. This allows heavier currents to be carried by the bipole conductors, and full use of the installed third conductor for energy transmission. High currents can be circulated through the line conductors even when load demand is low, for removal of ice.

, no tri-pole conversions are in operation, although a transmission line in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 has been converted to bipole HVDC.

Cross-Skagerrak consists of 3 poles, from which 2 are switched in parallel and the third uses an opposite polarity with a higher transmission voltage. A similar arrangement is HVDC Inter-Island
HVDC Inter-Island
The HVDC Inter-Island link is a high-capacity, bipolar high-voltage direct current transmission system connecting the electricity transmission networks of New Zealand's two main islands to form the National Grid. The HVDC link is owned and operated by state-owned transmission company Transpower...

, but it consists of 2 parallel-switched inverters feeding in the same pole and a third one with opposite polarity and higher operation voltage.

Corona discharge


Corona discharge
Corona discharge
In electricity, a corona discharge is an electrical discharge brought on by the ionization of a fluid surrounding a conductor that is electrically energized...

 is the creation of ion
Ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

s in a fluid
Fluid
In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually deforms under an applied shear stress. Fluids are a subset of the phases of matter and include liquids, gases, plasmas and, to some extent, plastic solids....

 (such as air
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

) by the presence of a strong electric field
Electric field
In physics, an electric field surrounds electrically charged particles and time-varying magnetic fields. The electric field depicts the force exerted on other electrically charged objects by the electrically charged particle the field is surrounding...

. Electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

s are torn from neutral air, and either the positive ions or the electrons are attracted to the conductor, while the charged particles drift. This effect can cause considerable power loss, create audible and radio-frequency interference, generate toxic compounds such as oxides of nitrogen and ozone, and bring forth arcing.

Both AC and DC transmission lines can generate coronas, in the former case in the form of oscillating particles, in the latter a constant wind. Due to the space charge
Space charge
Space charge is a concept in which excess electric charge is treated as a continuum of charge distributed over a region of space rather than distinct point-like charges...

 formed around the conductors, an HVDC system may have about half the loss per unit length of a high voltage AC system carrying the same amount of power. With monopolar transmission the choice of polarity of the energized conductor leads to a degree of control over the corona discharge. In particular, the polarity of the ions emitted can be controlled, which may have an environmental impact on particulate condensation. (particles of different polarities have a different mean-free path.) Negative coronas
Corona discharge
In electricity, a corona discharge is an electrical discharge brought on by the ionization of a fluid surrounding a conductor that is electrically energized...

 generate considerably more ozone than positive coronas
Corona discharge
In electricity, a corona discharge is an electrical discharge brought on by the ionization of a fluid surrounding a conductor that is electrically energized...

, and generate it further downwind of the power line, creating the potential for health effects. The use of a positive
Electrical polarity
Electrical polarity is present in every electrical circuit. Electrons flow from the negative pole to the positive pole. In a direct current circuit, one pole is always negative, the other pole is always positive and the electrons flow in one direction only...

voltage will reduce the ozone impacts of monopole HVDC power lines.

Overview


The controllability of current-flow through HVDC rectifiers and inverters, their application in connecting unsynchronized networks, and their applications in efficient submarine cables mean that HVDC cables are often used at national boundaries for the exchange of power (in North America, HVDC connections divide much of Canada and the United States into several electrical regions that cross national borders, although the purpose of these connections is still to connect unsynchronized AC grids to each other). Offshore windfarms also require undersea cables, and their turbine
Turbine
A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work.The simplest turbines have one moving part, a rotor assembly, which is a shaft or drum with blades attached. Moving fluid acts on the blades, or the blades react to the flow, so that they move and...

s are unsynchronized. In very long-distance connections between just two points, for example around the remote communities of Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and the Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n North, the decreased line-costs of HVDC also makes it the usual choice. Other applications have been noted throughout this article.

AC network interconnections


AC transmission lines can interconnect only synchronized AC networks
Wide area synchronous grid
A wide area synchronous grid, also called an "interconnection" in North America, is a power grid at a regional scale or greater that operates at a synchronized frequency and is electrically tied together during normal system conditions...

 that oscillate at the same frequency and in phase. Many areas that wish to share power have unsynchronized networks. The power grids of the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Northern Europe and continental Europe are not united into a single synchronized network. Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 has 50 Hz and 60 Hz networks. Continental North America, while operating at 60 Hz throughout, is divided into regions which are unsynchronised: East
Eastern Interconnection
The Eastern Interconnection is one of the two major alternating current power grids in North America. The other major interconnection is the Western Interconnection...

, West
Western Interconnection
The Western Interconnection is one of the two major alternating current power grids in North America. The other major wide area synchronous grid is the Eastern Interconnection...

, Texas
Texas Interconnection
The Texas Interconnection is one of the three minor alternating current power grids in North America. The other two minor interconnections are the Québec Interconnection and the Alaska Interconnection...

, Quebec
Québec Interconnection
The Québec Interconnection is one of the three minor alternating current power grids in North America. The other two minor interconnections are the Texas Interconnection and the Alaska Interconnection...

, and Alaska. Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, which share the enormous Itaipu Dam hydroelectric plant, operate on 60 Hz and 50 Hz respectively. However, HVDC systems make it possible to interconnect unsynchronized AC networks, and also add the possibility of controlling AC voltage and reactive power flow.

A generator
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

 connected to a long AC transmission line may become unstable and fall out of synchronization with a distant AC power system. An HVDC transmission link may make it economically feasible to use remote generation sites. Wind farms located off-shore may use HVDC systems to collect power from multiple unsynchronized generators for transmission to the shore by an underwater cable.

In general, however, an HVDC power line will interconnect two AC regions of the power-distribution grid. Machinery to convert between AC and DC power adds a considerable cost in power transmission. The conversion from AC to DC is known as rectification
Rectifier
A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current , which periodically reverses direction, to direct current , which flows in only one direction. The process is known as rectification...

, and from DC to AC as inversion
Inverter (electrical)
An inverter is an electrical device that converts direct current to alternating current ; the converted AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits....

. Above a certain break-even distance (about 50 km for submarine cables, and perhaps 600–800 km for overhead cables), the lower cost of the HVDC electrical conductors outweighs the cost of the electronics.

The conversion electronics also present an opportunity to effectively manage the power grid by means of controlling the magnitude and direction of power flow. An additional advantage of the existence of HVDC links, therefore, is potential increased stability in the transmission grid.

Renewable electricity superhighways



A number of studies have highlighted the potential benefits of very wide area super grid
Super grid
A super grid is a wide area transmission network that makes it possible to trade high volumes of electricity across great distances. It is sometimes also referred to as a "mega grid".-History:...

s based on HVDC since they can mitigate the effects of intermittency by averaging and smoothing the outputs of large numbers of geographically dispersed wind farms or solar farms. Czisch's study concludes that a grid covering the fringes of Europe could bring 100% renewable power (70% wind, 30% biomass) at close to today's prices. There has been debate over the technical feasibility of this proposal and the political risks involved in energy transmission across a large number of international borders.

The construction of such green power superhighways is advocated in a white paper
White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...

 that was released by the American Wind Energy Association
American Wind Energy Association
Formed in 1974, the American Wind Energy Association is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, service providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry.With over 2,500...

 and the Solar Energy Industries Association
Solar Energy Industries Association
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national nonprofit trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America...



In January 2009, the European Commission proposed €300 million to subsidize the development of HVDC links between Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, as part of a wider €1.2 billion package supporting links to offshore wind farms and cross-border interconnectors throughout Europe. Meanwhile the recently founded Union of the Mediterranean has embraced a Mediterranean Solar Plan to import large amounts of concentrating solar power into Europe from North Africa and the Middle East.

Voltage Sourced Converters (VSC)


The development of insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) and gate turn-off thyristors (GTO)
Thyristor
A thyristor is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating N and P-type material. They act as bistable switches, conducting when their gate receives a current trigger, and continue to conduct while they are forward biased .Some sources define silicon controlled rectifiers and...

 has made smaller HVDC systems economical. These may be installed in existing AC grids for their role in stabilizing power flow without the additional short-circuit current that would be produced by an additional AC transmission line. The manufacturer ABB calls this concept "HVDC Light", while Siemens calls a similar concept "HVDC PLUS" (Power Link Universal System). They have extended the use of HVDC down to blocks as small as a few tens of megawatts and lines as short as a few score kilometres of overhead line. There are several different variants of Voltage-Sourced Converter (VSC) technology: most "HVDC Light" installations use pulse width modulation but the most recent installations, along with "HVDC PLUS", are based on multilevel switching.
The latter is a promising concept as it allows reducing the filtering efforts to a minimum. At the moment, the line filters of typical converter stations cover nearly half of the area of the whole station.

See also



  • List of HVDC projects
  • High voltage cable
    High voltage cable
    A high voltage cable - also called HV cable - is used for electric power transmission at high voltage. High voltage cables of differing types have a variety of applications in instruments, ignition systems, AC and DC power transmission...

  • Electrode line
    Electrode line
    An electrode line is an electrical connection from a static inverter plant of a high voltage direct current transmission system to the earth grounding electrode...

  • Electrical pylon
  • European super grid
    European super grid
    The European super grid is a possible future super grid that would ultimately interconnect the various European countries and the regions around Europe's borders – including North Africa, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, etc...

  • Lyon-Moutiers DC transmission scheme
    Lyon-Moutiers DC transmission scheme
    The Lyon–Moutiers DC transmission scheme was the most powerful mechanical high voltage direct current electric power transmission scheme ever built...

  • Static inverter plant
    Static inverter plant
    A static inverter station, also known as an HVDC Converter Station, is the terminal equipment for a high-voltage direct-current transmission line, in which direct current is converted to three-phase alternating current, and, usually, the reverse...

  • Submarine power cable
    Submarine power cable
    Submarine power cables are major transmission cables for carrying electric power below the surface of the water. These are called "submarine" because they usually carry electric power beneath salt water but it is also possible to use submarine power cables beneath fresh water...

  • Uno Lamm
    Uno Lamm
    August Uno Lamm was a Swedish electrical engineer and inventor, sometimes called "The Father of High Voltage Direct Current" power transmission....

  • Valve hall
    Valve hall
    A valve hall is a building which contains the valves of the static inverters of a HVDC plant. The valves consist of thyristors, or at older plants, mercury arc rectifiers. Mercury arc rectifiers are usually supported by insulators mounted on the floor, while thyristor valves may be either...



External links