China And Russia Hooking Up

Yes. It is true. They are hooking up their electrical grids.

AREVA's Transmission and Distribution (T&D) division has signed a multi-million Euro contract to supply H400 High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) thyristor valves to interconnect the Chinese and Russian power grids.

The contract, the first of its kind awarded to AREVA T&D in China, is signed with the Xuji Group Corporation and China Electric Power Research Institute for the end customer, State Grid of China Corporation.

The valves will be installed in the Sino-Russian converter station located in China's Heilongjiang province. To overcome the countries' grid incompatibility, the station will convert alternate current into direct current and inversely.

AREVA T&D was awarded the contract thanks to its new high profile generation H400 Valve technology developed in collaboration with the China Electric Power Research Institute and the Xuji Group Corporation. The company's ability to meet both China's localization policy requirements and a tight installation schedule were also key factors in this success. The installation of the valves will begin in 2008.

HVDC technology is used to connect power networks and to transmit large amounts of electricity over long distances with minimal losses. With plans to transmit more than 130 GW of electricity over the next five to ten years, China's needs in HVDC are booming. This success will strengthen AREVA T&D's position on the domestic HVDC market and demonstrates the company's ability to meet the country's needs.
I know. It sounds like a press release for the H400 valve. In fact it is a press release for the H400 valve.

It does reinforce my point about new long distance transmission of power in the US. DC is the way to go.

Here is another bit from the company making that same point:

Ultra High Voltage Direct Current (UHVDC) transmission, with voltages of up to 800 kV, is the choice being made by many energy managers around the world for the future network developments.

With generation sites becoming farther and farther away from load centers, HVDC is particularly economical for transmission distances greater than 700 km.

HVDC can transmit three times as much power per tower compared with conventional AC. This means a substantial reduction in land costs and often no new right-of-way (ROW) access permits, particularly difficult in densely populated regions.

UHVDC transmission maintains all the technical advantages associated with HVDC transmission: back-to-back or point-to-point connections for synchronized or asynchronous networks, regardless of voltage or frequency. Fully controllable, all HVDC systems prevent faults from propagating and reduce overall associated transmission losses.

So why isn't DC being pushed in the USA? My guess is that there are no HVDC equipment companies in the US who own enough politicians.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

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posted by Simon on 02.14.09 at 04:19 PM


The story is from Sep 2007 with installation to start in 2008. I wonder how that's going?

As I said elsewhere, IMO HVDC has been held back by the small scale of the many independent US utilities.

In general they have not needed long distance transmission. Still, some could have benefited.

Most utilities are regulated by state commissions and innovation is suspect if a large investment must be made.

I think this barrier is about gone.

K   ·  February 14, 2009 8:47 PM

Who are the big players in HVDC equipment? I think I remember Siemens is one of them?

david foster   ·  February 15, 2009 2:12 PM

AREVA, Siemens and ABB

As far as I know there are no significant American companies doing this kind of work.

Diversified Technologies Inc. seems to be an up and comer though.

M. Simon   ·  February 15, 2009 3:31 PM

Pacific DC Intertie

mercury arc rectifiers replaced in 2004 by photothyristors. Original supplier ASEA/GE. 1989 upgrade by ABB.

M. Simon   ·  February 15, 2009 3:54 PM

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