HVDC Transmission Using Voltage Source Converters

Rapid developments in the field of power electronic devices with turn off capability like insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) and gate turn off transistors (GTO), makes the voltage source converters (VSC) getting more and more attractive for High voltage direct current transmission (HVDC).This new innovative technology provides substantial technical and economical advantages for direct applications compared to conventional HVDC transmission systems based on thyristor technology. VSC Application for HVDC systems of high power rating (up to 200MW) which are currently in discussion for several projects are mentioned. The underlying technology of VSC based HVDC systems, its Characteristics and the working principle of VSC based HVDC system are also presented. This paper concludes with a brief set of guidelines for choosing VSC based HVDC systems in today’s electricity system development.


The development of power semiconductors, especially IGBT's has led to the small power HVDC transmission based on Voltage Source Converters (VSCs). The VSC based HVDC installations has several advantages compared to conventional HVDC such as, independent control of active and reactive power, dynamic voltage support at the converter bus for enhancing stability possibility to feed to weak AC systems or even passive loads, reversal of power without changing the polarity of dc voltage (advantageous in multi terminal dc systems) and no requirement of fast communication between the two converter stations .Each converter station is composed of a VSC.The amplitude and phase angle of the converter AC output voltage can be controlled simultaneously to achieve rapid, independent control of active and reactive power in all four quadrants. The control of both active and reactive power is bi-directional and continuous across the operating range. For active power balance, one of the converters operates on dc voltage control and other converter on active power control. When dc line power is zero, the two converters can function as independent STATCOMs.Each VSC has a minimum of three controllers for regulating active and reactive power outputs of individual VSC.

Characteristics of VSC-HVDC

The principal characteristic of VSC-HVDC transmission is its ability to independently control the reactive and real power flow at each of the AC systems to which it is connected, at the Point of Common Coupling (PCC). In contrast to line-commutated HVDC transmission, the polarity of the DC link voltage remains the same with the DC current being reversed to change the direction of power flow.

The 230 kV, 2000 MVA AC systems (AC system1 and AC system2 subsystems) are modeled by damped LR equivalents with an angle of 80 degrees at fundamental frequency (50 Hz) and at the third harmonic. The VSC converters are three-level bridge blocks using close to ideal switching device model of IGBT/diodes. The relative ease with which the IGBT can be controlled and its suitability for high-frequency switching has made this device the better choice over GTO and thyristors. Open the Station 1 and Station 2 subsystems to see how they are built.