HVDC transmission : technology review, market trends and future outlook

Alassi, Abdulrahman and Bañales, Santiago and Ellabban, Omar and Adam, Grain and MacIver, Callum (2019) HVDC transmission : technology review, market trends and future outlook. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 112. pp. 530-554. ISSN 1364-0321

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    Abstract

    HVDC systems are playing an increasingly significant role in energy transmission due to their technical and economic superiority over HVAC systems for long distance transmission. HVDC is preferable beyond 300–800 km for overhead point-to-point transmission projects and for the cable based interconnection or the grid integration of remote offshore wind farms beyond 50–100 km. Several HVDC review papers exist in literature but often focus on specific geographic locations or system components. In contrast, this paper presents a detailed, up-to-date, analysis and assessment of HVDC transmission systems on a global scale, targeting expert and general audience alike. The paper covers the following aspects: technical and economic comparison of HVAC and HVDC systems; investigation of international HVDC market size, conditions, geographic sparsity of the technology adoption, as well as the main suppliers landscape; and high-level comparisons and analysis of HVDC system components such as Voltage Source Converters (VSCs) and Line Commutated Converters (LCCs), etc. The presented analysis are supported by practical case studies from existing projects in an effort to reveal the complex technical and economic considerations, factors and rationale involved in the evaluation and selection of transmission system technology for a given project. The contemporary operational challenges such as the ownership of Multi-Terminal DC (MTDC) networks are also discussed. Subsequently, the required development factors, both technically and regulatory, for proper MTDC networks operation are highlighted, including a future outlook of different HVDC system components. Collectively, the role of HVDC transmission in achieving national renewable energy targets in light of the Paris agreement commitments is highlighted with relevant examples of potential HVDC corridors.