High-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission systems offer several advantages over high-voltage, alternating current (HVAC) systems, including financial advantages when used across long distances or with underground or underwater cables. HVDC enables greater power density, improved power flow control, and more efficient use of energy sources than HVAC. Changing the voltage from AC to DC in an HVDC transmission, however, requires complex converter stations.
The line-commutated converters commonly used today require multiple filter banks, which can be expensive and quite large. For HVDC applications that need compact site layouts, such as offshore and onshore wind farms where space is limited, voltage source converters (VSCs) provide a better solution.
Engineers at Alstom Grid built a 24 megawatt demonstrator system to support development and testing of VSC technology, prepare for large-scale production, and enable potential customers to visit a fully functioning VSC facility. The team used Model-Based Design to accelerate development. “Model-Based Design enabled us to manage the complexity of the VSC system, verify our control design early in development, and meet our reliability, quality, and time-to-market targets,” says Anthony Totterdell, Deputy Control Systems Manager – VSC Expert at Alstom Grid.