|Project name:||New generation of HVDC insulation materials, cables and systems|
|Type of action:||HORIZON-RIA|
|Project starting date:||1st October 2022|
|Project duration:||48 months|
HVDC underground and submarine cables constitute an essential technology for the long-distance transmission of electrical power with minimal losses, thereby enabling European decarbonization and reaching climate neutrality by 2050 in accordance with the European Green Deal. Increased physical interconnections via HVDC cable links across Europe will facilitate the grid-integration of renewable energy sources (RES) to provide clean energy, create a more competitive European transmission system, and reduce electricity prices for consumers and businesses. Extruded HVDC cables with cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), and more recently also thermoplastic polypropylene (PP)-based insulation, represent a new generation of HVDC cables, offering several benefits over conventional mass impregnated (MI) HV cables such as mechanical robustness, easier installation due to less complex jointing, lower weight and lower price, thus making them a very compelling new alternative especially for on-shore applications typically up to ±320 kV with a capacity of 800–1,000 MW nowadays. However, while extruded HVDC cables will be a key technology moving into the future, expanding their utilization to higher power transmission capacity and ensuring their reliable operation over the expected lifetime of up to 40 years still requires new technological innovations. The reliability of the HVDC cables and systems is crucial for the reliability and resilience of the whole transmission grid, to ensure satisfactory firewall properties against disturbances in the hybrid AC/DC network, and to foster the massive integration of remote renewables into the grid.
The overall objective of NEWGEN is to develop and demonstrate new insulation materials, cable manufacturing solutions, online condition monitoring technologies, and comprehensive life and reliability modelling tools for the next-generation of extruded HVDC cables and cable systems, thereby fostering the reliability and resilience of the inter-connected European HVAC/-DC transmission grids.
NEWGEN delivers new space charge mitigating additives for extruded HVDC insulation materials, as well as new industrial cable extrusion solutions for defect-free and cost-effective manufacturing of next generation thermoplastic HVDC cables. Moreover, NEWGEN will provide online global condition monitoring and novel pre-fault detection methods and instruments for assessing the health status of extruded HVDC cable systems, as well as comprehensive tools and models for the evaluation of life and reliability of extruded HVDC cable systems (cable, joints and terminations) under realistic operation conditions within HVAC/-DC grids (model demonstration via grid-simulations). The new sustainable insulation materials and extrusion solutions will contribute to improved dielectric performance and reliability of extruded insulations needed for reaching TRL maturity for higher rated voltages up to ±600 kV. The uniqueness of the NEWGEN concept is that it is not limited to any specific insulation compound or HV cable manufacturer, but rather the results will impact the whole European HV cable industry for reaching the next generation of reliable-by-design extruded HVDC cables. Moreover, the NEWGEN innovations for online condition monitoring and reliability modelling of HVDC cable systems will allow European transmission system operators (TSOs) to perform comprehensive monitoring and proactive maintenance for their HVDC cable system assets, and to ensure satisfactory firewall properties against disturbances in the hybrid AC/DC network.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Grant Agreement No 101075592.