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ABB sets the world's most powerful HVDC seashore transformer substation

ABB sets the world's most powerful HVDC seashore transformer substation

11 September 2013, 12:46
Tags: ABB

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Seashore platform, which will accumulate the energy of wind turbines in the North Sea and deliver it to the German power grid, has been installed successfully by the world's largest floating crane.

The platform weighing more than 16 million metric tons (topsides weighing 9,300 tonnes) is one of the main components of the project to integrate power grids, called DolWin1. Alternating current (AC) in three wind turbines installed on the platform, will be converted into high-voltage direct current (HVDC), so that electricity can be distributed with minimal losses and without interrupting the network.

A leading European power transmission system operator TenneT ABB received project of ABB, design, supply and installation of DolWin1. The project includes the seashore transformer substation, marine and terrestrial cable network, as well as onshore converter station. The system includes ABB's latest generation of power semiconductors of high performance that provide high availability and low transmission losses.

The platform with length of 62 m, a width and a height of 42 m was delivered by barge from the city Schiedam (near Rotterdam) to the destination, 75 km from the coast of the East Frisian Islands. Topsides were made by Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) on the Dutch production site in Zwijndrecht, then were raised by the world's largest floating crane «Thialf» and placed on top of an already established base of the structure. Lifting and placing become the most difficult part of the three-day operation.

Ecologically Clean Energy

"Successful installation of the marine substation is an important stage in the construction of seashore wind power plants, it will provide the efficient transfer of energy from renewable sources to the grid in Germany", - said Hanspeter Fässler, the head of business line ABB Power Systems, responsible for the construction of the platform and the subsequent installation of electrical equipment.
The support base and topsides are welded together and are connected to the submarine cables to operating.

The decisive object

Electricity from wind power on the platform will be converted to DC and then transmitted to the converter station on the shore at a distance of 75 km across the sea HVDC cables and another 90 km through the ground HVDC cables. At the substation the energy will be converted back into alternating current and supplied into the grid in Germany. Transmission line has a capacity of 800 MW.

ABB is using HVDC Light, the latest HVDC technology, which helps to transmit electricity over long distances underground and under water. This technology has broad application, it has become possible to combine energy from onshore and offshore wind farms. Thanks to HVDC Light the supply of electricity to the islands and offshore oil and gas platforms to the mainland is done, as well as to the inner cities, where lack of space is a major problem. The technology allows to make the transmission of electricity through submarine cable networks over long distances. ABB is a leader in this field. 13 of 14 operating HVDC transmission lines based on VSC technology were designed and installed by ABB.