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Siemens to increase power transmission capacity between England and Scotland
Major order for low-loss HVDC technology
"This order to connect National Grid's and Scottish Power's transmission networks underscores our technological leadership in the HVDC field by using the as yet unrivaled voltage level of 600 kilovolts for a submarine interconnector with an also unmatched transmission capacity of 2200 megawatts. Raising the voltage level in the cable by 20 percent also enhances its transmission capacity by one-fifth. The transmission losses in the cable are simultaneously reduced by one-third," says Udo Niehage, CEO of the Power Transmission Division of Siemens Energy. Higher voltage levels in the cables allow higher power transmission capacity with the same diameter of copper in the cable and thus reduce the cost of material used. They also mean lower transmission losses. The total power loss in the link, caused by the two conversions - from AC to DC and back to AC - as well as by the ohmic resistance of the cables will be less than 3 percent.
The consortium comprising Siemens and Prysmian is responsible for turnkey supply of the link. This includes coordination and logistics efforts for cable installation along the 420-km-long route and HVDC converters in Hunterston, Scotland and the Wirral area in North West England.
The 400-kV alternating current used in the transmission grids will be converted into direct current in the Siemens HVDC converter stations. The electric power will be transmitted between these stations at a voltage of ±600 kV via a submarine high-voltage cable supplied by Prysmian and reconverted to AC for further transmission and distribution. The link can transmit energy in both directions, north and south.
High-voltage direct current transmission technology significantly reduces transmission losses. HVDC is the only viable solution for economical, low-loss transmission of power via cable over distances in excess of 80 kilometers, because in an alternating current cable of that length a large part of the electrical energy transmitted would be lost in the form of reactive power.
Energy-efficient grid HVDC transmission technology is part of Siemens' Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2011, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR30 billion, making Siemens one of the world's largest suppliers of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, our products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 320 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of Berlin, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.
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