High power laboratory expanded to facilitate super grids by DNV KEMA


Arnhem, The Netherlands, Burlington, MA,U.S.A. and Høvik, Norway — (METERING.COM) — November 29, 2012 – DNV KEMA is to invest approximately €70 million in the expansion of its High Power Laboratory in Arnhem, the Netherlands to create the first laboratory in the extreme testing segment for the upcoming super grid market of bulk energy transport at 800 kV+ levels.

The development of super grids – wide, trans-national, or trans-continental transmission networks that facilitate the transport of high volumes of electricity across great distances – are one of the major trends pertaining to future electricity supply, according to DNV KEMA. Examples include the long distance, ultra highvoltage connections between the hydropower stations in the western part of China and the load centers on the east coast of the country, such as Beijing and Shanghai. Other examples can be found in Canada and India, and the possible connection between continental Europe and large-scale solar farms in the Sahara desert in Africa.

While the new super grid technologies are focused on safety and reliability, there is always a risk of outage. The impact of outages in super grids is huge, both from economic, social, and technical points of view, as millions or even tens of millions of people could be affected.

Under the expansion program, DNV KEMA will increase the number of short circuit generators from four to six, and extend the available testing space. As a result, the testing capacity will be technologically and physically expanded.

“The latest technology requires different ways of testing,” commented Bas Verhoeven, director, HighPower Laboratory and HighVoltage Laboratory at DNV KEMA. “Components like highpower transformers require very highpower ratings that can only be tested using six short circuit generators, with an equivalent of 15 GW testing power. This equals about two-thirds of the installed capacity in the Netherlands, a country with 16 million inhabitants.”

Once the expansion is finished in 2015, DNV KEMA’s HighPower Laboratory will be the only facilities in the world capable of extreme highpower short circuit testing at 800 kV levels and above.