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Europe’s First MVDC Link to Use AC-to-DC Converters from GE

GE Energy Connections will deliver Europe’s first medium-voltage direct current (MVDC) link as part of Scottish Power Energy Network’s Angle-DC project in Anglesey and North Wales. The technology will be a critical asset of the project. The Angle-DC project aims to demonstrate a novel network reinforcement technique by converting an existing 33-kV AC circuit to DC operation.

As the electricity demands in the region increase, uncontrolled power flows are putting the system at risk by exceeding thermal limits of the cables and overhead lines. The MVDC link will enable improved power flow and voltage control. Converting AC assets to DC operation will also enhance the thermal capability of the circuit.

Kevin Smith, Future Networks Lead Engineer at Scottish Power Energy Networks, said, “As electricity demand and the connection of renewable generation continues to grow, the existing network infrastructure struggles to cope and additional reinforcement becomes necessary. The Angle-DC project, being the first of its kind, will hopefully demonstrate that using MVDC on existing assets can be a more innovative alternative to simply building more substations along with the connecting underground cables and overhead lines. We are pleased to have engaged with GE who are playing a key part in the successful delivery of this important MVDC trial project”.

GE’s Power Conversion AC-to-DC converters will be located at a 33-kV substation in Bangor and at a similar substation on the Isle of Anglesey. The 12 units of MV7000 converters at each substation will convert 33 kVAC to ±27kVDC using the existing AC lines between the two substations.

GE will also be including VISOR 2.0*, an asset management tool that provides remote connectivity to improve service responsiveness, and Data Historian, a data management software that allows data collection, processing and storage, as part of the installation. This ability to capture and analyze data will allow SP Energy Networks to review the capabilities of the MVDC system and gather insights to develop optimum control algorithms for the distribution system.

Sascha Heinecke, industry segment leader, GE’s Power Conversion, commented, “The project is first of its kinds in the UK and Europe. This is a significant step forward in the power transmission and distribution segment. With the deployment of digital tools such as Visor and Historian, the success of this project could impact how grids across the world are future-proofed.”

 

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