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HVDC Systems
Improve power quality, stability and maximize grid performance

High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) solutions are ideal for supporting existing AC transmission systems or for building new power highways. HVDC systems interconnect two AC networks, converting AC voltage to DC voltage, and DC voltage to AC voltage utilizing power electronics technology. HVDC systems enable utilities to move more power further, interconnect grids, integrate renewables, and improve network performance.

GE is globally recognized for designing, manufacturing and delivering customized HVDC solutions for utilities worldwide. GE offers two HVDC technologies, Line Commutated Converters (LCC) and Voltage Source Converters (VSC), for a broad range of applications and available in a range of schemes including overhead line (point to point), back to back, submarine/land cable and offshore.

Every HVDC solution is tailored and designed based on a project-by-project assessment of the customers' individual requirements, whether it's for long distance power transmission, energy trading between independent networks or connection between asynchronous networks.

Overview
GE Advantage
Technologies
Schemes
Applications
References
HVDC improves power quality and maximizes grid performance. Learn how with the interactive HVDC Explorer

GE Advantage

Robust leading edge technology designed and built in advanced automated manufacturing and testing facilities to maximize quality and system performance

  • Customer value driven innovation built on foundational engineering practices that have been developed for more than 50 years
  • New, advanced automated manufacturing and test facilities delivering precision, repeatability and quality to meet the exacting requirements of the HVDC industry
  • Significant investment in quality systems and resources including one of the largest VSC HVDC demonstration laboratories in the world, state-of-the-art valve test facilities and one of the only HVDC cable ageing laboratories in the industry, ensuring superior technical performance of installed systems
  • Pioneered reliable HVDC control methods, hybrid combination of HVDC with FACTS, utilization of FACTS devices for de-icing and multi-terminal HVDC

State-of-the-art Model Based Design Control System that minimizes project risk and ensures optimal and accurate performance by direct deployment into the system software

  • Model based design provides rapid technical responsiveness and support to the customer throughout the project life
  • Intuitive graphical interface allows fast, automatic, and error free code generation from control models, providing a greater level of confidence to the customer
  • Easy integration of control system software with power system modelling tools such as PSCAD providing an accurate representation of the power system performance for planning and troubleshooting analysis
  • Control system hardware utilizing a modular design, based on commercial-off-the-shelf components, which provides extensive scalability to any project rating while maintaining quick system delivery time and simple life-cycle management

Trusted project partner with a collaborative customer engagement model, extensive technical domain expertise resulting in optimized solutions that exceed customer expectations

  • Recognized in the industry as having one of the most flexible, engaging and educational collaborative customer models among all HVDC providers, ensuring transparency in all aspects of project execution
  • Deep domain expertise, including multiple Uno Lamm award recipients across our global HVDC centers in the USA, India and South Korea, coordinated from our HVDC Center of Excellence in Stafford, UK
  • Global EPC capability that leverages GE's combined transmission and power generation project execution excellence through shared partner networks, localized supply chain and industry leading project management practices

HVDC thyristor valve

HVDC Technologies

HVDC enables bulk transfer of power, interconnect grids, integrate renewables and maximize grid performance

Line Commutated Converter

Line Commutated Converter (LCC)

Line Commutated Converter is a mature cost effective HVDC technology based on thyristor power semiconductors, which enables the bulk transfer of power of up to 8 GW with lower losses and inherent DC fault protection.

LCC is available as point to point overhead line and submarine/land cable and is ideally suited for back to back schemes.

Voltage Source Converter

Voltage Source Converter (VSC)

Voltage Source Converter is a newer technology based on power transistors with a reduced footprint compared to LCC technology. VSC is an ideal technology for submarine/land cable interconnection, integrating renewables, offshore and urban infeed applications.

VSC is available as point to point, back to back, submarine/land cable and offshore schemes.

VSC has distinct technical advantages over the traditional LCC schemes because it creates an AC waveform that allows the scheme to control real and reactive power independently and transmit real power into a very weak AC network, which is not possible with LCC.

HVDC Schemes

Back to Back Scheme

Suitable for frequency changing and asynchronous connections. This scheme provides fast accurate power flow, limiting the spread of cascading faults and provides increased system flexibility and prevents the need to build a new generation network. Once interconnected, the two systems' daily and seasonal cost differences can also be optimized.

Point to Point Scheme

Commonly used for bulk transfer of power applications utilizing overhead lines over long distances providing low cost, fully functional, reliable and environmentally friendly way to transmit power.

Submarine/Land Cable Scheme

Where the power exchange or transmission crosses water, or an environmentally sensitive region, cables may be the favored method of interconnection between the HVDC Converter Stations. HVDC transmission is particularly attractive and may be the only technically feasible method of transmitting power using cables.

HVDC back to back scheme

Back to back scheme is suitable for frequency changing
and asynchronous connection

HVDC point to point submarine cable

Point to point submarine cable bulk transmission underwater
or underground

HVDC point to point overhead line

Point to point overhead line is suitable for bulk
transmission overland

HVDC offshore wind

Submarine scheme provides bulk transmission from
offshore platform to shore

Applications

Transferring Bulk Power Over Long distances

Challenge
Transfer large amounts of power from distant power sources, such as hydro plants, to a load centre.

GE's solution
GE's HVDC LCC point to point scheme is ideal for the bulk transfer of power utilizing overhead lines over long distances providing a fully flexible, controllable and environmentally friendly solution for transmit power.

Benefits include

  • Maximizing transmission of substantial power utilizing UHVDC up to 800kV
  • Improves environment impact as a result of the smaller towers and right of way requirements
  • Increasing power capacity up to 3 times more than AC circuits
HVDC bulk power transfer

Interconnecting Grids

Challenge
Interconnect asynchronous AC electricity grids to enable energy exchange, which provides dynamic reserve power support, relieve energy bottlenecks and maximize the efficient use of available power.

GE's solution
GE's HVDC back to back schemes are ideal for interconnecting grids operating at different frequencies, not synchronized, operating at high power and in extreme temperatures up to +55° C.

Benefits include

  • Exchanges energy between two unsynchronized AC systems
  • Provides fully controllable and flexible dynamic reserve power support
  • Manages fault propagation providing a power "firewall" between the interconnected networks
HVDC interconnecting grids

Connecting Offshore Wind

Challenge
To bring power from wind farms to the onshore grid.

GE's solution
GE's HVDC VSC technology is the most economical and feasible solution for connecting submarine cable applications, such as offshore wind farms. GE's solution gives full control and flexibility in managing the intermitted and variable generation to the load.

Benefits include

  • Provides lowest loss solution, with the most efficient method of transmission technology
  • Enables the controllability of intermittent power
  • Maximizes the submarine cable capacity
DolWin Gamma during jacking-up

Infeed Urban Areas

Challenge
To get power into congested cities to address increasing demand, lack of power highways and difficulties with establishing rights of way for a new grid.

GE's solution
GE's VSC HVDC technology is ideally suited to provide controllable and efficient power into congested areas where small footprint and environmentally acceptable solutions are essential.

Benefits include

  • Provides a low loss solution, with the most efficient method of transmission technology
  • Enables the controllability of intermittent power
  • Improves environment impact as a result of the smaller towers and right of way requirements
  • Increasing power capabilities up to 3 times more than AC circuits
HVDC urban infeed

Connecting Renewable Generation

Challenge
Bring power from remote renewable sources to load centres

GE's solution
GE's HVDC LCC and VSC are amongst the most economical and feasible solutions for connecting renewable generation applications, such as wind, hydro and solar power. GE’s solution gives full control and flexibility in managing the power flow from the intermittent and variable generation to the load.

Benefits include

  • Minimizes the visual impact of the power infeed on the local landscape
  • Provides high levels of power injected directly to where it is needed
  • Manages fault propagation providing a power "firewall" between the interconnected networks
  • Provides lowest loss solution, with the most efficient method of transmission technology
HVDC renewables connection

Multi-terminal HVDC systems and DC Grids

Challenge
Interconnect three or more regions and power systems to facilitate power exchange and trading, and to provide added system security, efficiency and flexibility to the benefit of the overall grid.

GE's solution
GE's HVDC enables the interconnection of multiple HVDC converters providing controllability of power flow and facilitates the future expansion into HVDC grids.

Benefits include

  • Better management and integration of renewable energy generation
  • Increases grid security
  • Enables cross border energy trading
  • Provides more efficient network by reducing reliance on thermal generation
HVDC multi-terminal

GE's HVDC References

GE has designed, delivered and supports an installed HVDC capacity of more than 35 GW globally in a broad range of applications and environments. The below details are a selected representation of HVDC projects, a complete reference list is available upon request. You can also read our case studies for additional information on select HVDC projects.

HVDC global references
  1. Canada
    Project: McNeill
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating: 150MW
    Status: Ongoing
  2. Canada
    Project: Nelson River
    Scheme: Overhead Line
    Rating & Year: Bipole1-1.6GW, 1973/93
    Rating & Year: Bipole2-2GW, 1978/85
  3. Canada
    Scheme: De-icer+SVC
    Rating & Year: 250MW, 2008
  4. Canada
    Project: Lower Churchill
    Scheme: Cable & Overhead Line
    Rating: 900MW Bipole
  5. Brazil
    Project: Rio Madeira
    Scheme: Overhead Line, 2375 km
    Rating: 3150MW, 600kV
    Status: Ongoing
  6. Brazil-Uruguay
    Project: Rivera
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 70MW, 2000
  7. Brazil-Uruguay
    Project: Melo
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 500MW, 2016
  8. Sweden
    Project: Konti-Skan 1
    Scheme: Cable & Overhead Line
    Rating & Year: 380MW, 2006
  9. Sweden
    Project: South-West Link
    Scheme: 3-Terminal Cable & Overhead Line
    Rating & Scheme: 2 x 720MW (VSC)
    Status: Ongoing
  1. UK-France
    Scheme: Cable
    Rating & Year: 2000MW,
    1986/2012
  2. Germany
    Project: DolWin3
    Scheme: Offshore
    Rating: 900MW (VSC)
    Status: Ongoing
  3. France-Italy
    Project: France Italy Link
    Scheme: Cable
    Rating: 2 x 600MW (VSC)
    Status: Ongoing
  4. Sardinia-Corsica-Italy
    Project: SACOI
    Scheme: Cable & Overhead Line
    Rating & Year: 380MW, 3-Term, 1967/85/93
  5. Saudi Arabia
    Project: GCCIA
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 3 x 600MW, 2009
  6. South Africa-Mozambique
    Project: Cahora Bassa
    Scheme: Overhead Line
    Rating & Year: 1920MW, 1978
  7. India
    Project: Chandrapur
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 2 x 500MW, 1997
  8. India
    Project: Champa-Kurukshetra I/2
    Scheme: Overhead Line 1305 km
    Rating: 2 x 3000MW/800kV
    Status: Ongoing
  9. India
    Project: Vizag
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 500MW, 1999
  1. India
    Project: Sasaram
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 500MW, 2001
  2. China
    Project: Lingbao 2
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 750MW, 2009
  3. China
    Project: 3G-Shanghai 2
    Scheme: Overhead Line 970 km
    Rating & Year: 3000MW/500kV, 2010
  4. China
    Project: Nindong-Shandong
    Scheme : Overhead Line 1355km
    Rating & Year: 4000MW/660kV, 2011
  5. South Korea
    Project: Buk-Dangjin-Godeok
    Scheme: Cable 34 km
    Rating: 1500MW/500kV
  6. South Korea
    Project: Jeju-Jindo
    Scheme: 122 km Cable
    Rating & Year: 400MW/250kV, 2013
  7. South Korea
    Project: Jeju-Haenam
    Scheme:100km Cable
    Rating & Year: 300MW/180kV, 1999
  8. China-Russia
    Scheme: Back to Back
    Rating & Year: 750MW, 2009