HVDC circuit breaker testing
DNV GL developed widely accepted requirements for the testing of HVDC circuit breakers
Renewable energy sources are located remote from end users and need to be efficiently and reliably integrated into the existing electricity infrastructure. HVDC transmission offers a viable solution for the transportation of renewable energy. DNV GL pays special attention to the testing of HVDC switchgear with a focus on HVDC circuit breakers.
DNV GL’s KEMA Laboratories has conducted extensive research to develop test methods, design and realization of adequate test circuits, and taking the lead to define and characterize well established test requirements of HVDC circuit breakers.
In the absence of internationally recognized standards specifying test requirements, a systematic study of an artificial HVDC grid has led to the development of well-defined test requirements that these crucial components of future HVDC grids must fulfill. This approach, and the research results, have gained wide acceptance among the international community and have been published at international conferences, in international working groups such as Cigré and in top-class peer reviewed journals such as IEEE.
Using these test requirements, a guideline and an adequate test circuit has been built at DNV GL’s KEMA Laboratories. The designed test circuits have been verified and demonstrated by testing actual prototypes of HVDC circuit breakers. So far, two different technologies of HVDC circuit breakers rated up to 160 kV and 16 kA DC short-circuit current have been tested successfully in our laboratory through participation in the biggest European Union PROMOTioN project. Within the framework of the same project, a test of a 350 kV HVDC circuit breaker with current interruption capability of 16 kA is planned at the beginning of 2020.
Meanwhile, future-proof tests have been performed to verify the capability of our test facility with respect to testing high-rated HVDC circuit breakers. In this regard, we can test HVDC circuit breakers up to 500 kV with a transient interruption voltage up to 800 kV in our laboratories. We have also developed test methods other switchgear in HVDC substations including:
- Transfer switches: metallic/earth return transfer switch, neutral bus switch, etc.
- Disconnector switches
- Earthing switches