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HVDC Substation in Baxias

HVDC Substation in Baxias

Today, on June 20, 2019, I took the opportunity to look at the French side of HVDC Substation. In Baxias, 15 kilometers, about 10 miles west of Perpignan in France.
The first thing that struck me was that much more stringent security measures were being built here than on the Spanish side. However, my ringing at the entrance gate remained unanswered again.
Siemens AG actually constructed the power converter stations for the HVDC link between Baixas in France and Sant Llogaia in Spain, southwest of Figueras.
The system can transmit a rated power of 2000 megawatts (MW) in both directions. The stations use HVDC Plus technology from Siemens with a transmission voltage of +/- 320 kilovolts (kV) direct current (DC). The distance between the two power converter stations is around 65 kilometers. Underground DC cables in an 8 km tunnel that leads into the Pyrenees Mountains will transmit the power in both directions. INELFE (Interconnexion Electrique France Espagne), a project joint venture between the grid operators Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (RTE), Paris,
and Red Eléctrica de Espana (REE), Madrid, awarded the contract for the construction of the HVDC link.
The contract has a total investment volume of approximately
€700 million.
It is partially funded by the EU Commission.

If someone is converting 2x 1.000 MW, that is 2x 1 GW,
from 400 kV AC to 320 kV DC,
there is a lot of heat occurring in this process.
By the laws of thermodynamics.
Here you can see, what's happening to this heat:
It is blown into the French atmosphere rather thoughtless by huge fans. Compare them to the size of the red car, please.

I learned the profession of an Electromechanics in Hamburg, Germany. It is a dual education, you make a training contract
with a company and at the same time, you go to a vocational school.
Mostly once a week.
Normally, this training, which varies by job, lasts three and a half years. I could shorten to three years.
However, I would never allow me to deliver such a cable salad
as seen here!
My instructors would never accept that either.
But the times have obviously changed.
I did my training in 1962 to 1965, but still remember Ohm`s law.

This is the input side of the 400 kV High voltage AC Alternating Current from the French electricity grid. Going into the building on the left.
According to Siemens AG, the HVDC Plus technology used here is based on self-commutated voltage-sourced converters (VSC) in a modular multilevel converter configuration (MMC) that convert Alternating Current (AC) into Direct Current (DC) and direct current at the other end back into Alternating Current. In contrast to grid-commutated power converter technology,
the HVDC Plus system works with power transistors that can be switched off (IGBT), enabling the computation processes in the power converter to run independently of the grid voltage. The very fast control and protective intervention capabilities of the power converters provide for a high level of stability in the transmission system, which primarily serves to reduce grid faults and disturbances in the three-phase AC network.
Source: Siemens AG

This is the output end, where the formerly 400 kV AC high tension is leaving the conversion building in the state of 320 kV DC.
From here, it goes underground 65 km south to Santa Llogaia in Spain, to be converted back to 400 kV AC there.
At an investment cost of 7000 million Euro, partially funded by the European Commission, which also includes money from taxpayers in Bulgaria and Romania.


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