MW size DC/DC converters and DC circuit breakers


Description of impact

The power systems laboratory at the University of Aberdeen has developed new converter topologies that have applications in connecting MW size DC power sources with DC transmission/distribution grids. These converters resolve very challenging questions of fault isolation on high-power DC networks. Scottish Enterprise funded a proof of concept project which developed a prototype, and confirmed the feasibility for various applications with interconnecting renewable power sources. Impact from the research is ongoing. Initial impact has been on public policy and services, where policy debate has been informed by our research evidence; and where decisions, regulations or guidelines have been informed by our research. Impact has also been generated for practitioners and professional services, where both a professional body and a company have used research findings in the conduct of their work, their practices have changed, and new or improved processes have been adopted as a direct result of research findings.

The technology has attracted the attention of George Adamowitsch, European Coordinator for the working group for offshore and onshore grid development. He has described the Aberdeen research in his annual report to EU parliament in 2010, and the lead academic, Professor Dragan Jovcic, now sits on the Working Group for onshore/offshore grid development, developing plans for the European DC supergrid. In addition, this research has contributed to Working Group B4.52 of the International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE), and their major technical brochure "HVDC Grid Feasibility study". Finally, the research has been analysed by the French power company RTE (Réseau de Transport d'Electricité). As a result of the research findings the company has adapted their approach to the planning of major offshore wind farm developments, resulting in a re-definition of the company research and development strategy.
Impact statusOpen