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China Ready for Large-scale Construction of UHV

China Ready for Large-scale Construction of UHV

China Ready for Large-scale Construction of UHV 2014-04-25

The test run meeting of the Xiangjiaba - Shanghai ±800kV UHV DC project was held in Beijing on 9th November. Deputy Director of Electric Power Department of National Energy Administration, Qin Zhijun pointed out that in spite of large capacity and technological difficulty of UHV DC projects, with independent innovation, SGCC successfully tackled a series of worldwide technological problems through comprehensive and solid scientific research and cooperation. National Energy Administration supports the development of UHV DC technology and hopes that SGCC can summarize its past experience so as to better push forward UHV DC technology.

Not only the Xiangjiaba – Shanghai UHV DC project, projects including 1000kV Jindongnan-Nanyang-Jingmen UHV AC project, Jinping-Sunan ±800kV UHV DC project, 1000kV Huainan-Zhebei-Shanghai UHV AC project, and Southern Hami-Zhengzhou ±800kV UHV DC project in adjustment as well as the East Shore of Xiluodu -Jinhua ±800kV UHV DC project and 1000kV Zhebei-Fuzhou UHV AC project that are under construction, are the results of scientific innovations as SGCC has tackled down problems that the world is now facing.

UHV DC realized domestic production

It is learned that SGCC first invented the 6-inch thyristor and applied it in the Xiangjiaba - Shanghai project. The 800kV, 4500A, 1.8GW thyristor valves that SGCC made updated the world record in voltage, current, and capacity. The DC technology can now transmit in 8GW-level over 200km instead of 3GW-level within 1000km. Meanwhile SGCC created the first UHV converter transformer of the highest voltage and largest capacity but with the same transmission constraints as a 500kV converter transformer.

Experts of the test run said that the technology of the UHV was successful and could be popularized in application. The project has maintained a stable operation since its launch 3 years ago, transmitting 47.3TWh of power in total, which provided a solid foundation for transmitting excessive hydropower from Xiangjiaba power station and the Southwest to other places, especially during summer peak time in 2013 when the machines were running overtime and with overload. The project greatly eased the pressure of power demand from East China such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai that suffered high temperature.

In technology innovation, SGCC was never satisfied. It accelerated the development of UHV technology on the basis of the stable operation of Xiangjiaba–Shanghai project. Deputy Director of Department of DC Construction, Gao Liying introduced that with self-innovation, the company had another breakthrough in Jinping-Sunan project. The UHV DC system was completely domestically designed and the low-end converter transformer was also domestically researched and developed. China-made converter bushing was applied for the first time. PolarⅡ low-end stations also used independently developed UHV converter valves and control software for the first time. DC equipment was supplied by domestic manufacturers in set. All these signified that China was ready for systematic and domestic construction of ±800kV UHV projects.

In addition, the Southern Hami-Zhengzhou ±800kV UHV DC project to be put into operation at the end of this year and the East Shore of Xiluodu -Jinhua ±800kV UHV DC project under construction have larger transmission capacity, more advanced technology and are more domesticized. They will further validate the advantages of UHV AC transmission with high capacity and high efficiency over long distances.

Equip China with strong DC technology instead of just large DC capacity  

"While bringing the economic and social benefits of UHV into play, SGCC also made a breakthrough in the core technology of high-end products based on construction of UHV  projects which helped to realize leapfrog development of manufacturing power transmission equipment. The most representative example is the research and application of UHV converter valve,”said Tang Guangfu, Director of the DC Department of the Institution of Smart Grid Research of SGCC and the general manager of CLP Power Engineering CO., Ltd, Purell, “A sophisticated system based on power electronic devices which combines knowledge of different sciences is difficult to control. To a certain extent, it represents the level in equipment manufacturing as well as scientific and technological innovation ability of a nation. So developing the UHV converter valve with full independent intellectual property rights is a strategic demand to construct the Strong and Smart Grid.”

It is known that UHV converter valve is the core equipment of a UHV DC project, the electric power equipment that realizes large-capacity electricity transformation. But the manufacturing of the equipment used to be monopolized by multinationals like ABB and Siemens for a long time. In order to tackle this problem, SGCC developed the valve prototype with full independent intellectual property rights with reference to the experience in major DC projects, cooperation and collaboration, and solid scientific research. Now a test platform for converter valve with the highest test parameters in the world has been established.

The prototype has a rated voltage level of ±800kV, a rated flow of 4500-5000A, and a fault current of 50kA. All these core technical parameters excel similar products from home and abroad while the cost was 20% less than that of the foreign ones. The demonstration devices of the valve has the highest test voltage of 80kV, the highest steady-state DC test current of 6kA and the maximum fault current of 55kA, all representing the highest level in the world. The successful test of the converter valve can save 2 million yuan for each DC project in our country.

Tang Guangfu pointed out that the research and application of UHV converter valve made China the third country to master the core technology of UHV DC converter valve following Sweden and Germany, which altered the pattern in the international DC market and realized three transformations of China’s DC industry. Now equipment was not just made in China, but created by China. And the country is now leading in the industry instead of learning from other countries. The industrial pattern has changed from large DC capacity to strong DC technology.

Domestic UHV equipment realized mass production

While continuing making progress in solving the problems in UHV DC technology, the development of UHV AC technology attracts worldwide attention.

The 1000kV Jingdongnan-Nanyang-Jingmen AC transmission project is the first commercially operated 1000kV line in the world, which was commissioned five years ago. Before that, countries like the former Soviet Union, the United States, Italy and Japan have tried to develop such technology but failed to form mature technology and standards, not to mention system electrical equipment. However, this project conquered worldwide challenges in high voltage, strong current electromagnetism and insulation technology, breaking new records in six aspects including voltage control, external insulation technology, system equipment manufacturing, electromagnetic environment management, construction of demonstration projects, and experimental capability.

Chen Weijiang, Deputy Director of AC Construction of SGCC, said that the project greatly enhanced China’s  scientific technology in electric power, upgraded power transmission and transformation equipment manufacturing industry, gained bigger voice for China on the international arena in the electrical technology industry, and established China’s leading role in world’s UHV industry.