HVDC grid rollout in the European context: Current status and challenges of HVDC grid protection

Dragan Jovcic* (Corresponding Author), Geraint Chaffey, Willem Leterme, Takashi Inagaki, Simon Nee, Ilka Jahn, Yongtao Yang, Serge Poullain, Kamran Sharifabad, Kees Koreman, Pierre Rault, Dirk Van Hertem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article provides an up-to-date overview of technologies and explores key barriers on the path to implementing High Voltage DC (HVDC) grid protection in the European context. It brings together a wide range of stakeholders
including key equipment manufacturers, grid operators, developers, testing laboratories, consultants, research institutes and academia to evaluate the readiness of HVDC grid protection technology and to present a broad range
of challenges for deployment. The paper reports on the latest full-scale testing of 3 different DC Circuit Breaker (DCCB) technologies from different
vendors at an independent laboratory, reaching a high technology readiness level (TRL). Hardware IEDs (intelligent electronic device) or protection relays for HVDC grids have been developed by academia and industry and are tested
in a real-time hardware in the loop environment with grid operators utilizing different protection algorithms. The outstanding challenges, including interoperability, are presented. The overview of multiple HVDC grid protection algorithms which have now been demonstrated in a real-time environment on detailed industrial case studies, is given. It is shown that the functional performance at system and component level is confirmed and initial harmonisation work is discussed. The paper further presents the latest work on developing cost models for HVDC grid protection, and discusses the
opportunities for cost reduction for various components. It is concluded that HVDC grid protection CAPEX is dominated by DCCB costs, but this also depends on the adopted protection strategy. Different grid operators present their views on HVDC grid protection deployment challenges related to grid planning and practical aspects of installations in offshore environment. The overview of DCCB models including real time modelling and model verification is provided. The emerging research trends on HVDC grid protection and DCCB technologies are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCIGRE Science & Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Oct 2020


  • DC Transmission Grids
  • HVDC
  • HVDC Grid protection
  • DC Circuit Breakers


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