IEEE Toronto Section


Response of voltage source HVDC systems to DC-side faults, HVDC fault characterisation and DC protection options

Friday August 25, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Prof. Stephen Finney of University of Edinburgh School of Engineering, will be presenting “Response of voltage source HVDC systems to DC-side faults, HVDC fault characterisation and DC protection options”.

Day & Time: Friday August 25, 2017
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Speaker: Prof. Stephen Finney
University of Edinburgh School of Engineering

Location: Bahen Centre, Room BA 7180
40 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4

Contact: Sanaz Kanani

Organizers: IAS & PELS Joint Chapter


Agenda: 2:00 pm: Light Refreshment
2:10-2:50 pm: Presentation (40min)
2:50 pm – Q&A (20min)

Abstract: The emergence of high performance, high voltage, voltage source converters (VSC) such as the modular multi-level converter (MMC ) has resulted in increased deployment of voltage source HVDC transmission both for interconnection of AC networks and integration of remote and offshore renewable energy resources. The improved functionality and suitability for networked operation make VSC-HVDC attractive for future power networks. However, the low impedance of voltage source HVDC makes is highly susceptible dc faults, resulting in rapid collapse of system voltage and extreme over currents. For the majority of converter topologies, fault current cannot be controlled by the converter switching with the potential for high current flows in the anti-parallel diodes. Protection devices are, therefore, required to operate with sufficient speed to avoid device failure. In current point-point connections this may be achieved through shunt protection of converter diodes coupled with AC side fault clearance which must be activated at all VSC terminals.

There is growing interest in the exploitation of VSC-HVDC in multi-terminal configurations, with a number of large scale pilot projects. (For example the Zhoushan 5 terminal scheme).

Conductor faults in such VSC-HVDC networks will result in rapid network-wide voltage collapse and over currents. In these cases the application of proven point-point protection with AC fault clearance, whilst effective, will result in the loss of power flows at all converter stations. This may be avoided by the use of DC circuit breakers (DCCB), however implementation of such circuit breakers presents challenging compromises in speed, complexity and losses.

Biography: Prof. Stephen Jon Finney graduated with a Master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Loughborough University in 1988. He worked for the (U.K) Electricity Council research Centre Laboratories before joining the Power Electronics research team at Heriot-Watt University in 1990, obtaining his PhD in 1994. In 2005 he transferred to the University of Strathclyde where he contributed to the formation of the power electronics, drives and energy conversion group. This research group now includes 4 academic staff, five postdoctoral research fellows and 14 postgraduate researchers. The group’s research spans power semiconductor devices, circuits and system level applications. His work in the area of power electronics has resulted in the supervision 15 PhD completions and publication of over 150 research papers with over 30 in IEEE Transactions.

During his time at Strathclyde Professor Finney has been responsible for developing research into the application of power electronic systems energy systems. Work in this field includes HVDC transmission, Multi-terminal HVDC, Renewable generator interface and Energy collection architectures. The group recently completed work on the European Union funded ‘Twenties’ program, a multi-partner project which investigated the use of HVDC for the integration of large scale wind generation. This work will be extended through a number of successor projects focusing on overcoming technical barriers to HVDC networks offshore wind integration.

Besides HVDC Professor Finney’s team is involved in a broad range of Power Electronics research which include work on High Voltage IGBT Modules and advanced gate drives and U.K China Collaboration on Power Electronic Devices for the Network Integration of Electric Vehicles.

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