Ultra-high voltage grids transmit electricity more efficiently than current networks but require new methodologies
Electricity travels over transmission networks as alternating current (AC) at high voltages to help minimise energy losses, currently equivalent to 150 million tons of CO2 per year. To reduce this and meet future demand transmission levels are increasing to ultra-high voltage (UHV) levels of 1000 kV or above and changing to direct current (DC) which is more efficient over long distances. Established measurement methods currently used for AC, however, do not yet cover ultra-high voltage direct current (UHV-DC).
New methods and hardware will be developed within the project to extend the traceable measurements for UHV-DC from 1600 kV to 2000 kV. It will apply techniques currently used for AC to UHV-DC, including ‘partial discharge’ measurements, effective in preventing component degradation. ‘Lightning impulse’ tests, used to ensure network components can withstand high, transient voltages, will be extended above 2.5 MV. At its completion in 2023 project outputs will aid the development of UHV-DC grids, reducing CO2 emissions and helping to provide a cleaner environment in Europe.