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(National Geographic)   Shocking breakthrough with high voltage DC could boost renewable energy   (news.nationalgeographic.com) divider line 49
    More: Plug, potential energy, direct current, renewable energy, Alternating Current, Josh Gorges, electrical resistance, Institute of Electrical, power stations  
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5198 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Dec 2012 at 7:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-07 03:11:33 PM
Those towers look remarkably like 3-phase HVAC.
 
2012-12-07 03:14:10 PM
But advances in transformer technology ultimately made it possible to transmit DC at higher voltages.

LOL. One of the commenters pointed out that one. Those new DC transformers are a marvel.
 
2012-12-07 03:20:03 PM
Tesla is inconsolable.
 
2012-12-07 03:21:51 PM

HST's Dead Carcass: Tesla is inconsolable.


He has the last laugh, we still need HVAC.
 
2012-12-07 03:32:10 PM
Sure had to shovel a lot of words out of the way to find out that the thing is a high-voltage DC circuit breaker, marketed by ABB.
 
2012-12-07 03:33:05 PM

This About That: Sure had to shovel a lot of words out of the way to find out that the thing is a high-voltage DC circuit breaker, marketed by ABB.


Yep. Which is pretty important, but hardly a game changing sort of thing.
 
2012-12-07 06:56:56 PM
BTW, here's a far more informative article on HVDC for those who are interested:

HVDC
 
2012-12-07 07:12:43 PM
Goddamn Tesla was a complete farking hack - always trying to hold back progress... If only Edison had caught a break.
 
2012-12-07 07:47:35 PM
Take that Tesla, dam furrigner
 
2012-12-07 07:48:45 PM
 
2012-12-07 07:50:47 PM
What a marvel of technology.
 
2012-12-07 07:52:10 PM
Ohm my God!
 
2012-12-07 07:52:52 PM
DONE DIRT CHEAP!!
 
2012-12-07 08:03:43 PM

CaptainBeefheart: DONE DIRT CHEAP!!


MY HERO!
 
2012-12-07 08:04:09 PM

CaptainBeefheart: DONE DIRT CHEAP!!


Wrong album.
 
2012-12-07 08:10:47 PM
Tee-hee. Wait 'til they try to actually build a HVDC transmission line. Snort.
 
2012-12-07 08:11:55 PM

St_Francis_P: HST's Dead Carcass: Tesla is inconsolable.

He has the last laugh, we still need HVAC.


Yeah its hot in here
 
2012-12-07 08:19:03 PM

plutoniumfeather: Tee-hee. Wait 'til they try to actually build a HVDC transmission line. Snort.


They've been around for decades, unless you are referring to your doubts about the Chinese being able to build such a system.
 
2012-12-07 08:21:52 PM

St_Francis_P: But advances in transformer technology ultimately made it possible to transmit DC at higher voltages.

LOL. One of the commenters pointed out that one. Those new DC transformers are a marvel.


They're more than meets the eye!

/wait we weren't making comic book jokes here?
 
2012-12-07 08:40:07 PM

plutoniumfeather: Tee-hee. Wait 'til they try to actually build a HVDC transmission line. Snort.


Um, that is what is already used to transmit large amounts of power from one grid to another.
 
2012-12-07 09:04:55 PM
Great use of the Plug Tag.
 
2012-12-07 09:18:44 PM

St_Francis_P: But advances in transformer technology ultimately made it possible to transmit DC at higher voltages.

LOL. One of the commenters pointed out that one. Those new DC transformers are a marvel.


It's another name for a saturable core reactor, but those aren't used to transmit large amounts of power. They were AC, but used a DC current to control core saturation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturable_core_reactor

Another possible use of the term would be for a DC clamp-on current probe. But these are measurement instruments.
 
2012-12-07 09:40:01 PM

Flappyhead: CaptainBeefheart: DONE DIRT CHEAP!!

Wrong album.


You're not much of a AC/DC fan are you.
 
2012-12-07 09:41:55 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: St_Francis_P: But advances in transformer technology ultimately made it possible to transmit DC at higher voltages.

LOL. One of the commenters pointed out that one. Those new DC transformers are a marvel.

It's another name for a saturable core reactor, but those aren't used to transmit large amounts of power. They were AC, but used a DC current to control core saturation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturable_core_reactor

Another possible use of the term would be for a DC clamp-on current probe. But these are measurement instruments.


Those examples feature a DC component of magnetization in the cores; but no DC is produced at the output leads (of course), so I wouldn't call them DC transformers.
 
2012-12-07 10:09:12 PM

dennysgod: Flappyhead: CaptainBeefheart: DONE DIRT CHEAP!!

Wrong album.

You're not much of a AC/DC fan are you.


High Voltage, both Aussie and international release, didn't have Dirty Deeds and was released in 1975. Dirty Deeds came out in '76.
 
Slu
2012-12-07 10:29:05 PM

Calico_Jack: Great use of the Plug Tag.


Exactly.
 
2012-12-07 10:29:27 PM
I read this about a month ago on company home page.
This is now my desktop on work laptop

new.abb.com

/Another link to story - I live near 'the boyhood home of Thomas Edison' - or 'the town that Thomas Edison did everything he could to get away from'
//Getting double kick from this.
 
2012-12-07 10:30:35 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: been around for decades

,

pciszek: to transmit large amounts of power


well, yeah, it's technically feasible. i did rtfa. i'm considerably less optimistic about routing a line from, say, a wind farm in a sparsely populated region to some place the power is needed. such projects attract lawyers and "environmentalists." look at what's happened to proposed low-head hydro projects (on existing dams!), solar farms, and wind farms.
 
2012-12-07 10:35:06 PM

plutoniumfeather: Quantum Apostrophe: been around for decades, pciszek: to transmit large amounts of power

well, yeah, it's technically feasible. i did rtfa. i'm considerably less optimistic about routing a line from, say, a wind farm in a sparsely populated region to some place the power is needed. such projects attract lawyers and "environmentalists." look at what's happened to proposed low-head hydro projects (on existing dams!), solar farms, and wind farms.


environmentalists seriously need to die in a fire.

without religion and protests we would probably have 100% clean energy

/It might kill a bird
//It should evolve or die. like we did.
 
2012-12-07 10:48:21 PM

Flappyhead: dennysgod: Flappyhead: CaptainBeefheart: DONE DIRT CHEAP!!

Wrong album.

You're not much of a AC/DC fan are you.

High Voltage, both Aussie and international release, didn't have Dirty Deeds and was released in 1975. Dirty Deeds came out in '76.



While you are correct, just listen to the lyrics of Dirty Deeds towards the end of the song and you'll see that posting "done dirt cheap" is quite acceptable.
 
2012-12-07 10:54:53 PM
I wonder when the Assassins will step in to put a stop to this Templar plot to discredit their buddy Tesla.
 
2012-12-07 11:03:38 PM
A farking circuit breaker is a major advancement? WTF?

There's still the pesky problem with boosting the voltages to transmission levels. DC transformers don't exist...

And the hardware to convert low voltage DC to high voltage DC is a wee bit more complex than a circuit breaker....
 
2012-12-07 11:17:12 PM

St_Francis_P: Those towers look remarkably like 3-phase HVAC.


Those are 3-phase DC lines.

/ducks
 
2012-12-07 11:18:56 PM
And, it's only useful over very long distances because so much power is lost converting it to usable AC. I still don't see the problem with a wind farm running AC. There's normally a fair number of them close together. Don't see why they can't run underground cable like most everything is already. I doubt the small difference in required insulation really makes a difference when burrying the cable.

And, like others have said changing the voltage level of DC can be difficult. Low current and low voltage it isn't bad, doesn't work well at high power though. Then the article also gives light to massive sections of the grid going down from a power surge or lightning strike. Sure they say if the breakers work it'll disconnect it and only loose a small piece, but I'd rather not have a lightning strike take down an entire power grid.
 
2012-12-07 11:36:41 PM

St_Francis_P: Quantum Apostrophe: St_Francis_P: But advances in transformer technology ultimately made it possible to transmit DC at higher voltages.

LOL. One of the commenters pointed out that one. Those new DC transformers are a marvel.

It's another name for a saturable core reactor, but those aren't used to transmit large amounts of power. They were AC, but used a DC current to control core saturation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturable_core_reactor

Another possible use of the term would be for a DC clamp-on current probe. But these are measurement instruments.

Those examples feature a DC component of magnetization in the cores; but no DC is produced at the output leads (of course), so I wouldn't call them DC transformers.


Correct. I'm just saying there are some odd outliers of technology that do combine DC and magnetic transformers in some way so that the expression "DC transformer" is not entirely meaningless. The DC clamp-on current probe combines a molecule-thin Hall sensor sandwiched between ferrite parts... the Hall sensor *does* output DC. :) And it is a transformer, the primary is the wire you're clamping to. No power output, and you need to power the sensor at any rate.
 
2012-12-07 11:42:19 PM

HeliumAddict: A farking circuit breaker is a major advancement? WTF?

There's still the pesky problem with boosting the voltages to transmission levels. DC transformers don't exist...

And the hardware to convert low voltage DC to high voltage DC is a wee bit more complex than a circuit breaker....


1. Yes, a DC circuit breaker is a big farking deal. You try clearing a 40,000 amp fault when the current never crosses zero. Opening a fault on an AC system is ridiculously easy in comparison.

2. Boosting voltages to transmission levels with DC is so easy they could do it 50 years ago. These days, that's a relatively easy thing to do. Not cheap but well understood with multiple vendors building the equipment.

3. What's your basis for stating converting low voltage DC to high voltage DC is more complex than a DC circuit breaker? Additionally, the article doesn't appear to advocate DC-DC conversion. Instead it discusses integration of DC networks within the existing AC network. The DC breaker is necessary, as otherwise a fault would require clearing the entire network (or possibly just the faulted pole).

I'm only aware of two multiterminal HVDC lines worldwide. There's one between Quebec and Boston; I think it's three terminal. It was originally intended to be five terminals, but without a DC breaker (because while HVDC transmission was a snap, an HVDC breaker was beyond the technology of the time), they couldn't make all five terminals coordinate correctly. The other is a small installation in Italy running out to an island, as I recall. A reliable DC breaker would allow simpler DC networks.

/currently involved in an HVDC project
//fascinating, expensive stuff
///Edison was a hack
 
2012-12-08 01:05:31 AM

dennysgod: Flappyhead: dennysgod: Flappyhead: CaptainBeefheart: DONE DIRT CHEAP!!

Wrong album.

You're not much of a AC/DC fan are you.

High Voltage, both Aussie and international release, didn't have Dirty Deeds and was released in 1975. Dirty Deeds came out in '76.


While you are correct, just listen to the lyrics of Dirty Deeds towards the end of the song and you'll see that posting "done dirt cheap" is quite acceptable.


Ah now I see. An oversight on my part, apologies.
 
2012-12-08 03:27:43 AM

wrenchboy: St_Francis_P: HST's Dead Carcass: Tesla is inconsolable.

He has the last laugh, we still need HVAC.

Yeah its hot in here


I hate running the AC in December. But here I am.
 
2012-12-08 05:34:24 AM
Descendants of Nikolai Tesla to start a smear campaign portraying DC as being more dangerous than AC.
 
2012-12-08 07:21:57 AM

St_Francis_P: Those towers look remarkably like 3-phase HVAC.


Might be because wires look like wires, regardless of how the electricity flows through them.
=Smidge=
 
2012-12-08 07:25:20 AM
Solid state switches work for HVDC but they incur as much as 30% power loss as heat.
Ultra fast mechanical switches work but they are big and expensive and need huge capacitor banks to push back the current long enough to make it stop flowing.

Solution:
Run a solid state switch in parallel with a big "regular" switch. When a fault occurs, open the big mechanical switch first, dumping all the load through the solid state switch which begins heating up with alarming rapidity.
Use the solid state switch to break the circuit, shutting everything down in 5 milliseconds before it melts.
Profit?
 
2012-12-08 10:37:34 AM
This is bad news for environmentalists. Because while this can be used for getting far-off renewables to load centers, it can also be used for putting new coal and nuclear plants farther away from load centers.

From what I've seen, this is the position that the Sierra Club takes. Nearly any new transmission is bad because it is as good, if not better, for non-renewables than it is for renewables. So they seem only approve of solar panels (in/near homes not in far-off locations), offshore wind, and conservation/demand response.
 
2012-12-08 10:46:41 AM

Smidge204: St_Francis_P: Those towers look remarkably like 3-phase HVAC.

Might be because wires look like wires, regardless of how the electricity flows through them.
=Smidge=


DC towers generally run in bipolar pairs, although they don't have to. Of course, these towers may have been originally designed for 3-phase AC and adapted afterward.
 
2012-12-08 10:47:55 AM
Old DC:

Edison lost the war of currents because you can't make a solid-state DC transformer. DC/DC step up/down required a spinning motor/generator machine with brushes and bearings, so lots of ongoing maintenance. AC is just simply cheaper to operate, very low maintenance.

Edison's generators made power at the required voltage, no step up/down, so 240v sent for a mile had severe voltage drop. Try running an air compressor with 500 ft of 12 gauge wire, and you'll probably burn out the motor due to voltage drop.

New DC:

The advantage of high voltage DC vs AC is that DC runs at full amperage at the max voltage all the time. AC is a sine wave constantly turning on and off, and only carries about 70% (root mean square - AC RMS) the power of DC.

So HVDC is inherently 30% more energy efficient than HVAC, on the same diameter of wire, with the same high voltage insulators.

AC transformers are over 90% efficient, and the active electronic DC/DC converter circuits used in place of transformers need to be extremely efficient to retain that 30% savings that HVDC can provide.
 
2012-12-08 11:14:09 AM
ABB says the unit is capable of stopping a surge equivalent to the output of a one-gigawatt power plant, the sort that might provide power to 1 million U.S. homes or 2 million European homes, in significantly less time than the blink of an eye.

suck·er punch (Noun) - An unexpected punch or blow. 

/damn, we suck.
 
2012-12-08 03:41:07 PM

StingerJ: HeliumAddict: A farking circuit breaker is a major advancement? WTF?

There's still the pesky problem with boosting the voltages to transmission levels. DC transformers don't exist...

And the hardware to convert low voltage DC to high voltage DC is a wee bit more complex than a circuit breaker....

1. Yes, a DC circuit breaker is a big farking deal. You try clearing a 40,000 amp fault when the current never crosses zero.


That price madagascar guy can do it. He shuts. down. EVERYTHING!
 
2012-12-08 04:00:15 PM
The difficulty has always been with the cost of the conversion equipment; HVDC has been around forever, but we run actual stuff on AC. The cost of converting HVDC to usable AC is insanely expensive compared to even the losses incurred in an HVAC system.

Basically, it's more economical to run the HVAC system at a loss, than build the HVDC conversion systems, until the conversion stuff is cheap enough to change that. This new breaker is a part of it, in that it will allow clearing faults on the HVDC grid, but it's not really the solution.

Though wow, ABB is everywhere. They do some wicked stuff, look up Static Var compensator installations if you want to be impressed, I worked in/with one for a few months before I swapped positions.
 
2012-12-08 06:44:11 PM
Shocking breakthrough with high voltage DC could boost renewable energy

woobicha.com
 
2012-12-10 06:11:51 AM

St_Francis_P: DC towers generally run in bipolar pairs, although they don't have to. Of course, these towers may have been originally designed for 3-phase AC and adapted afterward.


And it looks like they have four conductors per set (times six sets), which would make for 2 conductors per pair. Not seeing the problem here.
=Smidge=
 
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