Ultra-fast and robust novel HVDC circuit breaker as key enabler for future HVDC grids swegrids-logo

SweGRIDS research area Flexible Power Systems
SweGRIDS project code FPS6
Project type PhD
Status completed
Researcher Tim Augustin   (webpage)
University KTH (EPE)
Project period 2015-10-06 to 2021-05-19    migrated from earlier Elektra funding
Project supervisor Hans-Peter Nee   (webpage)
Industrial sponsors Hitachi ABB Power Grids


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Project abstract

HVDC grids are needed to integrate as many renewable energy resources as possible into the existing electricity infrastructure, but HVDC grids rely on the availability of appropriate DC circuit breakers (DCCBs). Currently marketed DCCBs are either too expensive, too slow or not available for the needed ratings. In this project, novel DCCBs developed at KTH will be investigated. These novel DCCB concepts combine the advantages of existing DCCB concepts. In total, these novel DCCB concepts will be as fast as the fastest existing hybrid DCCBs that use power electronics switches as well as cheaper, more robust, and available for higher current ratings. This is mainly achieved by replacing IGBTs with simpler devices without turn-off capability. The functioning of the concepts has been verified with extensive simulation studies. However, several issues remain and these are supposed to be solved in the remainder of the PhD project by experimental studies on a down-scaled prototype.


Summary of work

2018. Experiments on down-scaled advanced test circuit for DC circuit breakers.
Investigation of the usage of active damping in Thomson coil actuators with FEM simulations.
Work initiated on up-scaling the test circuit.

2019. Work on up-scaling test circuit finished.

2019. Successful preliminary tests of the conceived DCCB concepts in advanced test circuit

2019. Construction of Thomson-coil actuator system with active damping for a vacuum interrupter. Several custom PCBs were prototyped and all subcomponents were installed in an industrial control panel.

2020. Implementation of software to control Thomson-coil actuator system

2020. Extensive experimental study of Thomson-coil actuator system with active damping for a vacuum interrupter. A novel circuit was conceived and tested that improves the efficiency of Thomson-coil actuators.

2020. Experimental study of the conceived DCCB concepts to characterize their properties. Several relevant operating modes were tested. In the latest experiments, the vacuum interrupter with Thomson-coil actuator was integrated in the DCCB prototype and the tests, including auto-reclosing, were successful.


Event log

2018. 50% Seminar, February

2018. Poster presentation at EPE'18 ECCE Europe in Riga, September

2018. Oral presentation at ISDEIV 2018 in Greifswald, September

2019. 80% Seminar, June.


Project reference-group

Hongbo Jiang,  Hitachi ABB Power Grids
Baoliang Sheng,  Hitachi ABB Power Grids
Urban Axelsson,  Vattenfall
Göran Engdahl,  KTH
Jesper Magnusson,  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.

Enhanced Active Resonant DC Circuit Breakers Based on Discharge Closing Switches
Tim Augustin,   Marley Becerra Garcia,   Hans-Peter Nee.
2020,   IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery

Enhanced Active Resonant DC Circuit Breakers for HVDC Grids
Tim Augustin.
2021,   Thesis (PhD), KTH Royal Institute of Technology, TRITA-EECS-AVL 2021:25

Advanced Test Circuit for DC Circuit Breakers
Tim Augustin,   Marley Becerra,   Hans-Peter Nee.
2018,   EPE'18 ECCE Europe, Warsaw, September 18-20, 2018

System Design of Fast Actuator for Vacuum Interrupter in DC Applications
Tim Augustin,   Marley Becerra,   Jesper Magnusson,   Hans-Peter Nee,   Mrunal Parekh.
2018,   28th International Symposium on Discharges and Electrical Insulation in Vacuum, ISDEIV 2018, Greifswald, Germany, 23 September 2018 through 28 September 2018

Modelling of HVDC breakers for HVDC grid simulations
Tim Augustin,   Staffan Norrga,   Hans-Peter Nee.
2017,   13th IET International Conference on AC and DC Power Transmission, AC/DC 2017, Manchester, United Kingdom, 14 February 2017 through 16 February 2017

Transient Behaviour of VSC-HVDC Links with DC Breakers Under Faults
Tim Augustin,   Ilka Jahn,   Hans-Peter Nee,   Staffan Norrga.
2017,   EPE'17 ECCE Europe, Warsaw, September 11-14, 2017

Publication list last updated from DiVA on 2021-09-18 22:00.


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Page started: 2018-01-01
Last generated: 2021-09-18