High voltage converter cells for HVDC/STATCOM swegrids-logo

SweGRIDS research area CIPOWER Controllable Power Components
SweGRIDS project code CP8
Project type PhD
Status completed
Researcher Matthijs Heuvelmans   (webpage)
University KTH (EPE)
Project period 2013-09-01 to 2018-   
Project supervisor Staffan Norrga   (webpage)
Industrial sponsors ABB


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Project abstract

The long term objectives of this project are equipment cost reduction and power loss reduction in HVDC and STATCOM installations. This will result in life cycle cost reduction of the installations, making the technology more commercially attractive and reducing energy waste. This should be achieved by using semiconductor devices with radically higher operating voltage. This will reduce the number of cells required to sustain a certain grid voltage whereby the amount of hardware required is lowered. Since the on-state voltage of bipolar power semiconductors increases sublinearly with the blocking voltage the power losses can also be reduced. Furthermore, with fewer cells, there will be fewer points of failure, thus increasing reliability and reducing maintenance cost. A number of prospective tracks will be pursued to be able to operate with devices with higher blocking voltage.


Summary of work

2014. The ARCP topology is indicated as a soft switching solution that has the potential of a substantial efficiency improvement in the case of a HVDC converter and an increase in switching frequency in the case of a STATCOM, which can be an advantage in the case of rapidly changing loads such as arc furnaces. Furthermore, design and planning of a test setup has started and a number of key components are ordered. Some ideas have been conceptualized for developing fault tolerant soft-switching cells.

2015. Test setup completed. Design of heating system for elevated temperature testing initiated. Start of testing during this year. One invention disclosure written; second invention disclosure in the making.

2016. Design of heating system for elevated temperature testing finished and a synopsis is submitted on the used transformer. The transformer insulation is tested as well as the driver PCB’s and circuit. Test setup is automated (controlling setup and acquiring data from scope via graphical user interface on PC). Safety systems are designed and added to the test setup. Test setup operated up to 2800V / 1500A. A snubber circuit has been put in place to prevent unwanted triggering of auxiliary switch. Work on a paper on different snubber circuits for an ARCP converter has started. Modifications are needed to overcome EMC problems (which cause the FPGA to freeze). Preparations for increasing the operating voltage to 5000V are being carried out.


Event log

2014. Matthijs Heuvelmans won the "Best Presenter Award, Power Electronics" at the "14th International Symposium topical problems in the field of electrical and power engineering" and "Doctoral school of energy and geotechnology II" (a single event, in Pärnu, Estonia January 13-18 2014).

2016. Research visit to Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ), Estonia, for two days in May.


Project reference-group

Jan R. Svensson,  ABB
Kalle Ilves,  ABB
Mohammad Nawaz,  ABB
Frans Dijkhuizen,  ABB
Nan Chen,  ABB
Antonios Antonopoulos,  ABB


Publications by this researcher

See alternatively the researcher's full DiVA list of publications, with options for sorting.
Publications in journals and conferences usually will not show until a while after they are published.

A Modular Medium Voltage IGCT Gate Driver Supply
Matthijs Heuvelmans.
2018,   27th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics, ISIE 2018, Cairns Converntion Centre, Cairns, Australia, 13 June 2018 through 15 June 2018

Cost-effective Cells for High-power Modular Multilevel Converters
Matthijs Heuvelmans.
2018,   Thesis (PhD), Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, TRITA-EECS-AVL 2018:85

A High-Frequency Semi Co-Axial Transformer With High Insulation Voltage
Matthijs Heuvelmans.
2017,   19th European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications (EPE ECCE Europe), SEP 11-14, 2017, Warsaw, Poland

Snubber Circuits for an Auxiliary Resonant Commutated Pole Converter with Auxiliary Thyristors
Matthijs Heuvelmans.
2017,   19th European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications (EPE ECCE Europe), SEP 11-14, 2017, Warsaw, Poland

Power Semiconductors for Voltage Source Converters in HVDC and STATCOM Applications
Matthijs Heuvelmans,   Tomas Modéer,   Hans-Peter Nee,   Tomas Jonsson.
2015,   Cigré international symposium: Across Borders - HVDC systems and market integration,May 27-28, 2015,Malmö, Sweden

Modelling of Solar Irradiation on PV Cells and Panels
Matthijs Heuvelmans.
2014,   14th International Symposium Topical Problems in the Field of Electrical and Power Engineering & Doctoral School of Energy and Geotehcnology II,January 13 - 18, 2014, Pärnu, Estonia

Soft-Switching Cells for High-Power Converters
Matthijs Heuvelmans,   Tomas Modéer,   Staffan Norrga.
2014,   IECON'2014, The 40th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society,Dallas, TX - USA, October 29 - November 1, 2014

Publication list last updated from DiVA on 2021-09-18 21:59.


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