Mitsubishi Electric Launching Voltage-Source Converters for Global HVDC Market

November 19, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) verification facility (pictured above) that the company has built at its Transmission & Distribution Systems Center in Amagasaki, Japan will launch operation on November 26. The new verification facility will support the company's entry into the global market for voltage-source converters systems (VSCs).

Mitsubishi Electric is targeting more than 50 billion yen (approx. US$450 million) in global orders for HVDC-Diamond® systems by 2020.

HVDC systems help to reduce CO2 emissions by enabling the efficient integration and expanded use of renewable energies, including photovoltaic and offshore wind power. Mitsubishi Electric estimates that the global market for HVDC systems was worth about 770 billion yen (approx. US$7 billion) in 2017 and is expected to grow by approximately 6 percent per annum.

There are two types of HVDC systems ─ VSC systems and line-commutated converter (LCC) systems ─ of which the former does not require an external power source for commutation and the latter does. VSC-based HVDC systems are expected to attract greater demand because they require fewer conditions for connecting transmission lines.

HVDC-Diamond® systems will utilize the company's own high-voltage insulated gate bipolar transistors (HVIGBT). HVIGBT devices are insulated for high voltage and designed for large current ratings to reduce the number of sub-modules, resulting in space and cost savings.

The parallel connectivity of the HVIGBT devices in each sub-module allows for a flexible design to meet wide-ranging needs for power transmission capacities in the global market for VSC-based HVDC systems.

HVDC-Diamond® will offer high reliability through the use of high speed control and protection systems. Optimized control functions with appropriate hardware configuration will comply with system requirements for stable and continuous operation, even during faults on the ac network such as lightning strikes.

Protection systems with high speed response will ensure all equipment can be effectively protected from high currents generated at the time of dc faults within the HVDC system.

Mitsubishi Electric is launching its VSC-based HVDC business to meet needs in the global market for modern power systems. Through its new verification facility, the company will offer highly reliable systems through verifying function and operation performance including a fault on the ac network and dc network with actual scale.

(click on table to enlarge)