We research and develop technologies to overcome many of the DC grid technical challenges including DC grid protection, DC voltage transformation, and power ﬂow controllability in a meshed system or in a system which incorporates LCC and VSC technologies. Principals of the grid architecture must provide for the co-existence of various technologies and manufacturers and also for a stepwise development philosophy. We develop control and protection concepts for HVDC systems, and define requirements for key components of the system.
Designing the technical performance of future DC grids or combined AC-DC power systems through simulation is the way forward:
DC grid stability involves much faster dynamics, precise electromagnetic transient simulation as well as accurate power electronics converter control systems
Real-time simulation is a must in order to demonstrate the system’s performance when integrating new technologies into the grid
We focus on Direct Current High Voltage substation equipment including the many challenges around these technology. Studying the capability of a circuit breaker to interrupt fault currents within a meshed DC network is essential. We develop technologies in association with protection strategies allowing for infrastructure cost reduction while maintaining the stability and availability of the networks.
Gas-insulated substations for DC applications is an essential part of future DC networks. Our research focuses on the understanding, modelling and optimization of the insulation systems applied for substation components design. Furthermore, performances of disconnectors, earthing switches and instrument transformer must be adapted to the operating constraints of DC networks.
Special attention is provided in our research to the development and integration of new solid and gas insulation systems to achieve environmentally friendly, high electrical performance and resilience interruption principals.
Developing specific technological bricks for HVDC cable systems and studying materials with advanced performances for network cable components.
Meshed grids can require specifics that have consequences on the material requirements and on the cable systems such as:
New types of power ﬂow variation, transient modes and harmonics
New architecture configurations and deployment (in particular oﬀshore)
We explore and develop accurate modelling of HVDC cables, taking into account physical phenomena of direct current. Focusing on monitoring and diagnostic of HVDC cable system testing. With our Hyperbaric test platform we develop new approaches for submarine links including the technical feasibility of the underwater nodes.
When integrating and managing massive intermittent renewable energy, we bank on the usage of innovative storage and hybrid solution. We develop solutions to support grid ﬂexibility including adaptive storage.
Kicking oﬀ with Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS), the most mature concept in terms of installed capacity and storage volume where we’ve developed and designed a new hydraulic form ensuring safer behavior in turbine mode during transient sequences.
In our laboratory we test all types of reversible pump turbine in all four quadrants to deliver efficiency, cavitation, or dynamical behavior data within IEC 60193 standard requirements. We focus on developing hybrid solutions either for new HVDC projects or for existing AC framework.