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4, OCTOBER 2004 1835

A 25-MW Soft-Switching HVDC Tap

for 500-kV Transmission Lines
Maurcio Aredes, Member, IEEE, Carlos Portela, Life Senior Member, IEEE, and Felipo Corra Machado

AbstractThis paper presents an optimization of a previously

proposed high-voltage dc current transmission system (HVDC)
tap system where the power rating of the soft-switching dcdc con-
verter has been increased to supply medium loads (up to 25 MW)
from 500-kV HVDC transmission lines. This dcdc converter is
connected in series with a pole of the HVDC transmission line. It
drains energy to a dc capacitor through an air-core transformer
and a single-phase diode rectifier connected at the secondary. A
pulsewidth-modulation (PWM) voltage-source converter is di-
rectly connected to this dc capacitor to supply ac loads. The HVDC
tap comprises all those components and can supply high-quality
power to isolated or interconnected load areas. The controller of
the HVDC tap is independent from the control systems of the main
HVDC converter stations. It does not need any communication Fig. 1. Basic structure of the HVDC tap.
channel to the control of the main HVDC converter stations. A
complete bipolar 500-kV HVDC system, together with a refined
model of dc transmission line were implemented to simulate the [4] and [5]. Here, a series dcdc power converter is developed,
performance of the proposed HVDC tap. It has reveled to be very employing soft-switching techniques.
robust and to be an attractive solution for feeding small loads Fig. 1 shows the basic structure of the dcdc power converter
from long dc transmission lines.
of the proposed HVDC tap. The simplicity of this approach
Index TermsDCAC power conversion, HVDC tapping, soft- is evident. A reduced number of components are directly con-
switching techniques.
nected to a pole of the dc transmission line. Since the power to
be drawn is small (it is about 1% of the power passing through
I. INTRODUCTION the main converter stations), the low-power HVDC tap should
not affect the normal operation of the main HVDC converter sta-
A LMOST ALL HVDC transmission lines have been built
as point-to-point interconnections. Many of them are de-
signed to transfer large amount of power over long distances.
tions. Faults on the HVDC tap with non-negligible probability
should not interrupt the energy transmission through the main
power corridor. On the other hand, the HVDC tap should with-
A drawback of HVDC transmission systems is the difficulty of
stand short-circuit currents and overvoltages that may appear
delivering energy at low cost to small and isolated ac loads that
during faults involving the HVDC transmission system and, as
may be located in the vicinity of the HVDC power corridor [1],
much as possible, do not transmit their effects into the small ac
[2]. The HVDC tap is an alternative solution to overcome the
load. All of these issues are investigated through simulations.
difficulty of delivering energy to relatively small, isolated ac
A complete digital model of the system was implemented in a
digital simulator, the Saber package. Additionally, a bipolar
At the beginning, studies on tapping HVDC systems were
HVDC system was developed based on [6]. Moreover, a refined
carried out considering only inverters based on ordinary
model of 500-kVdc transmission line was implemented to in-
thyristors [1][3]. At that time, the series-tapped inverter ar-
vestigate the influence of the dcdc soft-switching converter of
rangement was considered to be the more favorable solution
the HVDC tap on the bipolar HVDC system.
since the shunt-tapped inverter can impact the operation of
The main aim of this paper is to show the practical feasi-
the main HVDC converter stations and was considered viable
bility of supplying small loads from a long distance dc trans-
only for power ratings over 20% of the main stations. Later,
mission system without interfering in main transmission system
particular attention has been given to gate turn-off thyristor
conceptual choicestechnical and economic parameters and re-
(GTO)-based HVDC taps. Interesting results about parallel
liability. This paper is an extension of previous works listed in
tap-off using GTO voltage source converters are reported in
[7][10]. In [7], a soft-switching dcdc converter topology for
tapping HVDC systems is first proposed. An analytical model
Manuscript received February 27, 2003; revised May 30, 2003. Paper no. of this HVDC tap was developed from the differential equa-
TPWRD-00085-2003. This work was supported in part by Coordenao
de Aperfeioamento de Pessoal de Nvel Superior (CAPES) and in part by tions that describe the sequential operation modes [8]. This an-
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientfico e Tecnolgico (CNPq). alytical model was useful for better understanding the influence
The authors are with COPPEProgram of Postgraduation in Electrical Engi- of meaningful system parameters on the drained power and al-
neering of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-972,
Brazil (e-mail: lowed its optimization. In [9], the switching frequency of the
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPWRD.2004.835053 soft-switching dcdc converter was reduced from 5 to 1 kHz
0885-8977/04$20.00 2004 IEEE

pole drops down to 0.1 p.u. When the dc current becomes higher,
the firing of the pairs of bypass thyristor valves is removed and
the synchronized, sequential firing of the converter valves starts
The transmission-line model considers the longitudinal
impedance and transversal admittance among all line conduc-
tors as a function of frequency. The frequency dependence of
them, including ground wires and soil, are computed without
simplifications and considering frequency-dependent soil pa-
rameters (electric conductivity and electric permittivity). There
is an important coupling between poles. The coupling parame-
Fig. 2. Tapping of an HVDC transmission system. ters are highly frequency dependent. The simulation of the line,
considering an accurate frequency dependency of parameters
and line propagation behavior, requires some artifices that are
and still draining 5 MW. Further developments allowed the rise quite simple, but impose the use of a high number of circuit
of rating voltage to 500-kV HVDC links, as well as reductions elements. The procedure consists in considering several sec-
in voltage and current stresses. A routine was developed to de- tions, each one obtained using only R, L, and C linear elements
sign the air-core transformer. Further, a new HVDC tap control to reproduce, within a chosen frequency range and desired
strategy was developed. Together, with a new set of parameters accuracy, the parameters frequency dependency, propagation
in the power circuit, the new control strategy allowed lowering behavior, and coupling between poles. An algorithm was de-
the switching frequency to less than 420 Hz and still draining 5 veloped to define the R, L, and C elements. Each section
MW [10]. Here, recent studies, which allowed the rise of power represents 10 km of line with high accuracy in a range from
rating from 5 to 25 MW, are reported. dc to 7 kHz and has six capacitances, 30 inductances, and 30
The controlled switch in Fig. 1 is composed by diodes, resistances. A 340-km line is considered. Hence, 2244 elements
GTOs, and snubber capacitors in H-bridge configuration, in are used to represent this line. Its accuracy was verified with
order to allow soft switching. It was redesigned based on hybrid time-frequency domain simulations, whose results are
actual power ratings of semiconductor devices like GTOs, not discussed here.
insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), and insulated gate
commutated thyristors (IGCTs), as well as on practical values
of capacitors for medium voltages. III. SOFT-SWITCHING DCDC CONVERTER OF THE HVDC TAP
The dcdc soft-switching converter of the HVDC tap system
II. HVDC SYSTEM CONFIGURATION transfers energy from a dc-current source to a dc-voltage source,
galvanicaly insulated through a low magnetizing inductance air-
Fig. 2 shows the bipolar HVDC system and the dcdc con- core transformer. A single-phase diode rectifier is used in the
verter of the HVDC tap inserted in series with the positive pole, secondary side to charge a dc capacitor, as shown in Fig. 1.
at the middle of the dc transmission line. The main HVDC When the switch is kept turned on, no voltage is induced on
system parameters are derived from the first HVDC Bench- the primary side of the transformer and no power is drawn from
mark [6], but adapted here for bipolar converter stations, 500 the HVDC line. Thus, the HVDC tap is bypassed. When it is
kV, and 2-GW rating power. This new HVDC system is imple- switching, an ac voltage is generated on the transformer termi-
mented in the Saber simulator. The filtering performance is nals and power is drained. From the dc capacitor, dc-voltage
kept the same, but the ac filters provide double reactive power transmission lines at medium dc-voltage level may be derived,
support. The short-circuit ratio (SCR) is equal to 2.5 at both con- or voltage source converters (VSCs) may be directly connected.
verter stations. A great advantage of using VSC is that weak ac systems or even
The HVDC system control includes -angle measurement, fully isolated ac loads without any power generation can be sup-
inverter -angle control, dc-link current control, voltage-depen- plied. Only a small local power system is needed for the sta-
dent current-order limiter (VDCOL), and synchronizing circuits tion auxiliary services. In case of feeding a weak ac system, the
for the firing control [phase-locked-loop (PLL) circuit]. The VSC controls the active and reactive power flow. If the HVDC
positive and negative pole controls are fully independent from tap is the only feeding source for passive loads, the VSC re-
each other, but the current order is set the same. Monopolar or alizes voltage-frequency control. In this case, under short-cir-
bipolar operation is possible. cuit conditions, the voltagecurrent relationship is not adequate
For simplicity, the implemented model of the HVDC system for usual protection relays and a nonconventional protection
contains only two kinds of protection schemes in the inverter scheme is needed.
station (no protection scheme in the rectifier): 1) ac undervoltage Fig. 3 summarizes the principal parameters of a configuration
protection, and 2) low dc-current protection. The first scheme of power circuit that can drain 25 MW from a 2-kA dc trans-
forces the firing angle of all converters in the inverter station mission line. Later, in Section V, a second set of parameters is
to go to 90 as the ac voltage drops below 0.85 p.u. The second used for comparison with the configuration of Fig. 3 and to give
scheme fires a pair of thyristor valves in each six-pulse converter an idea how the parameters can be modified to comply with a
to force a bypass of the faulty pole, when the dc current of this specific performance requirement. Next, design details of the

Fig. 5. Soft-switching and regenerative snubber characteristics of the


B. Soft-Switching H-bridge
Fig. 3. Power circuit of the dcdc soft-switching converter.
The H-bridge of Fig. 3 is composed by two controlled power
switches and , two diodes and , and a snubber ca-
pacitor . The controlled switches open and close simulta-
neously. Hence, in the case of using several H-bridges in series
and/or parallel, all power switches should be pulsed together.
The H-bridge has two principal characteristics.
1) The transition between ON to OFF state happens at zero
voltage switching (ZVS).
2) During the transition between OFF to ON state, the stored
energy in the snubber capacitor is fed back to the system
(regenerative snubber).
The whole switching cycle of the H-Bridge is shown in Fig. 5.
Fig. 4. Dimensions of the air-core transformer.
During the ON state, the voltage at snubber capacitor is zero
and the two branches D1-S1 and S2-D2 share the current. The
opening of switches occurs at zero voltage (ZVS), since the tran-
air-core transformer and the composed soft-switching H-bridge sition from ON to OFF state occurs with the diodes closed and
are given. at zero voltage on the snubber capacitor. Since the current
does not interrupt instantaneously, the snubber capacitor
A. Air-Core Transformer charges again. The switches and close simultaneously at
zero current [zero current switching (ZCS)], since the induc-
The air-core transformer has a low coupling ratio
tances of the air-core transformer limit the increasing of .
Note that the transition from OFF to ON state occurs with the
diodes reverse biased and the energy stored in flows back
(1) to the system.
1) Dimensioning of the H-Bridge, for convenience, was per-
The self and mutual inductances of the air-core transformer are formed first by replacing device of Fig. 1 by a single H-bridge
limited to values that can be obtained by winding short lengths structure as in Fig. 3. Several simulations were carried out to
of dc cables, fixed by supports and mounted on the earth, in a determine optimal values of snubber capacitor (10 ),
cylindrical arrangement as shown in Fig. 4. Present technologies main capacitor (45 ), and inductances of the air-core trans-
of 500-kV dc cables for the primary, and 20-kV dc cables for the former, for the new 25-MW HVDC tap. The series (main) ca-
secondary, are considered, without the need of any additional pacitor is also sized small enough to allow its installation in an
preparation. Using actual dimensions of such cables, a routine insulated platform, together with the H-bridges.
was developed to calculate accurately the self and mutual induc- Fig. 6 shows the snubber capacitor voltage and current for a
tances at 1 kHz. As a result, a design of an air-core transformer single H-bridge as in Fig. 3, and shows the voltages and currents
with about 1243 m of 500-kV cable and 253 m of 20-kV cable of the air-core transformer. The HVDC link has a stiff line cur-
is provided. The induced electromagnetic (EM) forces and the rent of 2 kA, the H-bridge is switching at 587 Hz and the dcac
influence of the soil on the inductances were also calculated. converter of the HVDC tap (see Fig. 2) is delivering an average
For maximum currents at the primary, , and at the power of 26 MW to the ac load. If a single H-bridge based on
secondary, , the calculated maximum forces do not diodes and GTOs or IGBTs was used, very high voltage stresses
exceed 100 N/m in the conductor of primary winding. For the would appear and several GTOs and high-power diodes should
secondary winding, a maximum of 150 N/m in the radial direc- be connected in series. Instead, the series connection of several
tion and 50 N/m in the axial direction were determined. H-bridges composed by only two single diodes and two GTOs is

Fig. 7. HVDC tap controller.

starts ZVS state in Fig. 5), charging the snubber capac-

itor again until the primary current is completely vanished.
The main capacitor starts to charge as soon as the current
becomes less than the HVDC link current (kept constant at
2 kA). Mode IV corresponds to the time where there
Fig. 6. Main capacitor voltage, snubber capacitor voltage, and current for a is current flowing through the secondary , demagnetizing
single H-bridge and voltages and currents in the air-core transformer. the air-core transformer and the HVDC link current is flowing
through the main capacitor . Before the secondary current
preferred. In Fig. 6, the maximum of is about 94.3 kV. The becomes zero, the HVDC link current flowing through the main
root mean square (rms) of the primary current is 2.58 kA, capacitor charges it at a desired level, determined by the HVDC
but the current that flows through the snubber capacitor ( in tap controller, and the next cycle starts.
Fig. 6) corresponds to parts of and its rms value is as low as
1.68 kA. Therefore, no parallel connection of GTOs is needed, IV. HVDC TAP CONTROLLER
if a 6-kV/4-kA GTO type is considered. On the other hand, ca- Fig. 7 shows the controller of the HVDC tap. Its purpose is to
pacitors for medium voltages may have typical rated power of generate the ON-OFF pulses of the GTOs of the series H-bridges
about 1 Mvar. For instance, if a 5-kV, 200-A capacitor type is to keep the dc voltage ( in Fig. 3) around its reference value
chosen, at least ten such capacitors would be necessary in par- (5 kVdc). The dynamics of two control signals and are
allel in each H-bridge, to carry . Finally, if 5 kV is adopted very important to the whole performance of the HVDC tap. The
as a nominal blocking voltage of each H-bridge, at least 19 such signal determines the level of charging of the main se-
bridges connected in series are necessary. In this case, the capac- ries capacitor (45 ) and the duty cycle determines the
itance in each H-bridge should be 190 to keep the total time interval in which the GTOs are kept closed. The trapezoidal
equivalent capacitance equal to 10 as the single H-bridge in wave that is compared with is generated by an integrator with
Fig. 3. Therefore, each capacitor requires a rating of 5 kV, 200 reset and hold capabilities. A comparator holds the integrators
A, 19 . output when it reaches 0.8, until the monostable vibrator sends
a new pulse to the reset port. When the voltage on the main
C. Principle of Operation capacitor becomes greater than the dynamic level of charging
, the monostable vibrator with a short pulse width (1 ),
An entire operation cycle can be identified in Fig. 6. The resets the integrator, and the controller closes the GTOs ( in
converter operation is done in four modes. Before the beginning Fig. 6). After the reset pulse returns integrators output to zero,
of mode , the switches and and the diodes are the integrator is released and its output starts to ramp again.
not conducting. The snubber capacitor is charged with its When it becomes greater than , the GTOs are turned off ( in
maximum value and the dc link current is flowing through Fig. 6). The snubber capacitor, , starts to charge and forces
the series capacitor , charging it. At , the switches and the current to decrease until zero. When the current be-
are turned on, but due to the voltage polarity in capacitor , the comes smaller than 2 kA that corresponds to the dc line current
diodes do not conduct (a regenerative snubber state in Fig. 5). ( in Fig. 3), the main capacitor starts to charge again, until
An oscillation begins, discharging the main capacitor and , when a next cycle begins.
the snubber capacitor . At , mode II starts. The The voltage input signals to the controller are normalized, that
voltage on snubber capacitor reaches zero and the diodes is, the measured voltages are divided by their nominal values:
start to share the air-core transformer current (ON state in Fig. 5). , MW/2 kA = 12.5 kV. A stable set
At , the switches and are turned off and mode III of gains is obtained with and for the PI

controller that determines , for the integrator of

, and for the integrator of the ramp signal. In
case of drained power increase, the capacitor (see Fig. 3)
tends to discharge and the error signal in Fig. 7 be-
comes negative. In this case, the HVDC tap controller forces the
main capacitor to charge increasingly (the negative gain of
the integrator increases the output signal ), as the drained
power rises. Simultaneously, the duty cycle ratio decreases
accordingly since the drained power increases with decreasing
[7], [8]. The minimum value of (0.23) is set at the limit
of soft-switching operation. If the controller would allow to
become smaller than 0.23, the small time interval in which the
GTOs are kept closed ( in Fig. 6) could not be large
enough to completely discharge the snubber capacitor, , and
would not be zero at the opening of the GTOs. In this case, Fig. 8. DC line positive pole to ground fault.
undesired hard switching would occur. The upper limit of
(0.81) is slightly greater than the maximum of the ramp signal
(0.80) to allow the controller to close permanently the GTOs
(bypass state) and to stop draining power.

The following analysis of the systems dynamic was carried
out with a complete model of bipolar HVDC system and a re-
fined model of dc-transmission line, as described in Section II.
The converter stations are connected to very weak ac systems.
The short-circuit ratios (SCRs) in the rectifier (345 kV) and in-
verter (230-kV) systems are only 2.5. Thus, short-circuit power
at the ac bus is about 5000 MVA, since the power rating of the
HVDC link is set to 2000 MW (rated dc current is 2 kA and the
dc voltage is 500 kV).
A PWM converter with constant modulation factor and Fig. 9. Start of the HVDC tap and its operation during dc line positive pole
switching at 2 kHz is used to supply power to the small ac load. to ground fault.
Thus, the ac output voltage of the PWM converter is regulated
only by the HVDC tap controller that keeps around 5 kV. type of fault. High-induced overvoltages can appear in the other
For simplicity, a pure passive ac load, a three-phase RL load, is pole (negative pole). The currents in this figure represent the
directly connected at the converters output. A low power factor positive and negative pole currents in the rectifier station. The
ac load is selected, , action of the VDCOL control circuit is evident, which forces the
at 50 Hz. At nominal voltage, this ac load draws 26 MW. The current in the faulty pole to down to 0.5 p.u. (1 kA) during fault.
HVDC tap was inserted in the positive pole at the middle of the For the simulation case described above, Fig. 9 shows the
dc transmission line. principal curves of the HVDC tap. Before the start of the HVDC
First, a set of parameters as shown in Figs. 3 and 7 is used tap, all of the H-bridges of the dcdc converter are permanently
in the HVDC tap. Two simulation cases are presented. The first closed. A bypass circuit breaker (CB) on the main capacitor is
one illustrates a positive pole to ground fault and, the second also closed and the HVDC tap is fully out of operation. Then,
one, a short-circuit on dc bulk capacitor ( in Fig. 3). Then, at , this CB is opened. A first swing of current pumps
a second set of parameters is used in the HVDC tap. This second energy to the dc capacitor of the HVDC tap and the voltage
configuration may be preferred if harmonic interaction between raises suddenly to 3.2 kV. Only after , the HVDC tap
HVDC tap and main converter stations must be minimized. controller releases pulses to the 19 H-bridges. It is not easy to
The total simulation time is 1.2 s. During the simulation, the identify in Fig. 9, but closer inspection around this period shows
following events occur: i) start of bipolar HVDC system at 150 that only six cycles of operation of the H-bridges are enough
ms; ii) start of the soft-switching dcdc converter of the HVDC to push the voltage beyond 5 kV, since no load is con-
tap at 450 ms; iii) start of the PWM inverter that supplies the nected during this period. Then, the duty cycle in the con-
small ac load at 550 ms; iv) positive pole-to-ground fault, during troller (Fig. 7) reaches the upper limit (0.81), which is greater
at the middle of the dc line at the right side than the ramp signal, and forces the nineteen H-bridges to stay
of the HVDC tap. permanently closed (bypass mode of operation), until 0.55 s,
Fig. 8 shows the positive and negative pole voltages and when the PWM converter starts to feed the full ac load.
, respectively, at the middle of the dc line (point of fault ap- An interesting feature can be observed in Fig. 9: during the
pliance). It is well known that this point is a critical one for this pole to ground fault, the HVDC tap continues to drain power,

Fig. 10. Short-circuit at dc capacitor of the HVDC tap: dc capacitor voltage

( D V
), duty cycle ( ), and charging level of the main capacitor ( ).

and decreases proportionally to the dc line current. This hap-

pens because the dcdc soft-switching converter of the HVDC
tap does not have any dependency on the dc line voltage and the
fault is located on the right side of the HVDC tap. Note that a
step down in the dc-link voltage would not affect the maximum Fig. 11. Short-circuit at dc capacitor of the HVDC Tap: voltage on the snubber
power drained by the HVDC tap. Besides this, very long dis- v
capacitor of a H-bridge ( V
) and main series capacitor voltage ( ); primary
tance transmission systems may be economically adequate for i i
current ( ) and secondary current ( ).
large transmitted power (e.g., a few gigawatts or more) and with
relatively regular transmitted power (e.g., a load factor of 0.8 or The snubber capacitor voltage is always positive, whereas the
higher). voltage on the main series capacitor can reach high negative
The curve in Fig. 9 is the voltage on one snubber ca- values during fault. Fig. 11 shows also the currents on the pri-
pacitor (190 ) of a single H-bridge and the current is the mary and on the secondary sides of the air-core transformer. It
primary current of the air-core transformer. In fact, all curves is reasonable to conclude that the overvoltages and overcurrents
in Fig. 9, including , were sampled down to 2500 plotted that appear during the most severe kind of fault in the HVDC
points. Although it was verified that always has reached tap do not represent a very hard challenge, which confirms the
zero at least for a very short time in every operation cycle of the feasibility of the proposed approach.
H-bridges, unfortunately, this downsampled curve gives a false The 25-MW HVDC tap inserts an average voltage in series
idea that hard switching might be occurring during the fault pe- with the positive-pole link that is five times greater than that of
riod. the 5-MW HVDC tap presented in [10]. Neglecting losses, the
The next simulation case involves a short circuit in the dc power drained by the HVDC tap corresponds to the product of
capacitor ( in Fig. 3). All events as in the previous case the dc line current (2 kA) and the average value (12.5 kV) of the
occur here in the same time instants; only event iv) is replaced voltage on the main capacitor. Now the influence concerning
by a short circuit on the dc capacitor, during . resonance effects and harmonic interactions with the main con-
For the HVDC tap, this kind of fault is the most severe one, verter stations controls have to be more carefully investigated.
since the controller does not include any protection scheme and Nevertheless, in all investigated simulation cases (not shown
tries to keep around its reference value (5 kV). This forces here due to lack of space), involving faults at different points
control signal to reach the lower limit (0.23) and charging of the HVDC link, as well as other kinds of faults at the HVDC
level of the main capacitor to reach the upper limit (2.15), tap, the operation of the main HVDC link remained stable. For
as shown in Fig. 10. It is interesting to note that the HVDC tap the positive pole of the inverter station, Fig. 12 shows the dc
controller can find different points of operation depending on the current , the dc voltage at the end of dc line , and
initial conditions before a transient. After the ac-load connection the 12-pulse dc voltage . The difference between
at s, a dc-voltage sag occurs and the faster dynamic of and corresponds to the voltage drop across the smooth
signal increases quickly, while decreases slowly, both reactor). It is possible to identify an increment of harmonic pol-
trying to increase the dc voltage again. Contrarily, after fault lution in the line terminal voltage even for normal operation of
clearing at s, the dc voltage increases very quickly, the HVDC tap, comparing the ripples in voltage before
beyond its reference value. This small overshoot causes and after the start of the PWM converter (full ac-load connec-
signal to decrease quickly, while increases slowly, both trying tion) at 0.55 s. The harmonic pollution increases dramati-
to keep the voltage around 5 kV. A different operating point and cally during the fault.
the steady state are reached within 15 ms. During normal operation of the HVDC tap at full loading,
Fig. 11 shows the voltage stresses on the snubber capacitor Fig. 13 shows a zoom of the series voltage inserted by the
of one H-bridge and on the main series capacitor . HVDC tap and its effects on the rectifier station. The positive

Fig. 14. Short circuit at dc capacitor of the HVDC tap: influence on the main
Fig. 12. Short circuit at dc capacitor of the HVDC tap: influence on the main HVDC link (new set of parameters).
HVDC link.

of 500-kV line and frequency-dependent soil parameters, each

170 km line section represents a quarter of wavelength for the
frequency 458.7 Hz, in the nonhomopolar mode of propagation,
and for the frequency 353.6 Hz if in homopolar mode of prop-
agation. Since the operating frequency of the HVDC tap varies
with its loading conditions, it can excite harmonic interactions
between the controllers of the HVDC tap and the main converter
According to the specific conditions, it must be verified if
eventual constraints related to telephonic interference are com-
plied with. Most present day telephonic lines are not very sensi-
tive to interference. However, eventual corrective measures may
be justified. In most cases, quite cheap changes in telephonic
systems may be the adequate solution. For some particular con-
ditions, constraints in the dc system may justify adjustments in
Fig. 13. Resonance excited by the HVDC tap.
the HVDC tap parameters and in the control system. To exem-
plify the effect of eventual parameter changes, if the focus is to
pole ( and ), as well as the negative pole ( and minimize harmonic interferences introduced by the HVDC tap,
) are affected. Although still stable, this is clearly an unac- the next simulation case uses a new set of parameters as an ex-
ceptable level of interference. ample of an alternative configuration. Now, the priority is to re-
In the above configuration, the set of parameters is chosen to duce the voltage ripple on the main capacitor voltage . An
keep the switching frequency as low as possible (543 Hz). How- increment is also added to the operating frequency of the dcdc
ever, here, not only is the average value of far greater, but soft-switching converter. With respect to the previous configu-
also the oscillating component of . As shown in Fig. 13, this ration, the following parameters are changed:
oscillating component has a peak-to-peak magnitude of 32 kV. main series capacitor is increased to ;
This oscillating voltage component cannot be neglected and it total equivalent snubber capacitance reduced to 8 ;
is sensed by the control system in the main HVDC converter nineteen H-bridges in series is used and in each H-bridge
stations. This problem must be well investigated and certainly the snubber capacitor is ;
different solutions will be found out for different application primary self inductance is reduced to 5 mH;
cases. Next, another set of parameters is used as an example of secondary self inductance is reduced to 0.25 mH;
a possible alternative to minimize this problem. Moreover, fur- mutual inductance is 0.84 mH 0.75).
ther studies should consider the problem in a model of a bipolar In the controller (Fig. 7), for the integrator of the
HVDC system that reflectsl an actual HVDC system well, in- ramp signal; the limits of the dynamic level of charging
cluding dc filters and optimized smooth reactors (230 mH is are 0.1 and 1.8 and the limits of are 0.31 and 0.81.
used in the present HVDC model). The principal results for the rectifier station are shown in
For very long distance transmission, instead of only 340 km Figs. 14 and 15. Comparing Fig. 14 with Figs. 12 and 15 with
of dc line as considered, the harmonic voltage introduced by the Fig. 13, the improvements on harmonic mitigation are evident
HVDC tap may not represent a serious problem. However, in although there are still some harmonic interactions during the
the present study, the HVDC tap is located 170 km far from the fault on the bulk dc capacitor of the HVDC tap. A fu-
main converter stations. Thus, there are two sections of 170 km ture inclusion of a protection scheme in the HVDC tap will cer-
of dc transmission line in the positive pole and a unique 340-km tainly further minimize this problem. The higher operating fre-
section for the negative pole. For the considered structure model quency of the dcdc soft-switching converter was achieved by

[5] H. Jiang and Ekstrm, Multiterminal HVDC systems in urban areas

of large cities, IEEE Trans. Power Delivery, vol. 13, pp. 12781284,
Oct. 1998.
[6] M. Szechtman, T. Wess, and C. V. Thio, First benchmark model for
HVDC control studies, Electra, no. 135, pp. 5473, Apr. 1991.
[7] M. Aredes, C. Portela, and E. H. Watanabe, HVDC Tapping using soft
switching techniques, Elect. Eng. Res. J.Archiv fr Elektrotechnik,
vol. 83, no. 1/2, pp. 3340, January 2001.
[8] A. F. C. Aquino and M. Aredes. Analysis of a new soft switching HVDC
Tap. presented at Proc. CBA 2000XIII Congresso Brasileiro de Au-
[9] A. F. C. Aquino, M. Aredes, C. Portela, and E. Watanabe, A soft
switching HVDC Tap (in Portuguese), in Proc. IX ErlacIX Encontro
Regional Latino-Americano da Cigr, Foz do Iguau, Brazil, May
2001, Paper IX/FI-14.5, pp. 16.
[10] M. Aredes, C. Portela, A. F. C. Aquino, and C. A. O. Peixoto. A 500
kV soft-switching HVDC Tap. presented at Proc. 39th Session of the
CIGR. [CD-ROM]Paper 14-115
Fig. 15. Influence of dcdc soft-switching converter on the HVDC link.

Maurcio Aredes (S94M97) was born in 1961.

reducing the self-inductances at both sides of the air-core trans- He received the B.Sc. degree from Fluminense
former. As a consequence, the current stresses at both sides are Federal University, Rio de Janeiro State, Niteri,
greater, but still feasible with the present state of the art in power Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1984, the M.Sc. degree
in electrical engineering from Federal University
semiconductor devices. The greater the main series capacitor, of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1991,
the smaller is its peak-to-peak ripple. However, this tends to re- and the Dr.-Ing. degree (Hons.) from Technische
duce again the operating frequency. A compromise in accepting Universitt Berlin, Berlin, Germany, in 1996.
Currently, he is an Associate Professor with the
greater voltage and current stresses against increasing of the op- Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where he
erating frequency and reducing of the main capacitor voltage teaches Power Electronics. From 1985 to 1997, he
ripple were achieved by the above list of parameters changes. was an R&D Engineer, working on some major projects and within Centro de
Pesquisas de Energia Eltrica (CEPEL), Rio de Janeiro. His main research area
includes HVDC and flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS) systems, active
VI. CONCLUSION filters, custom power, and power-quality issues.

An HVDC tap system for 500-kV systems is optimized to

drain 25 MW from a pole of the dc-transmission line. A re-
duced number of components are connected at the dc-transmis- Carlos Portela (LS60) was born in 1935. He
received the electrical engineer degree and the
sion line, which reduces costs and increases reliability. Soft- doctorate in electrical engineering from Instituto
switching capability and regenerative snubber were provided in Superior Tcnico of the Lisbon Technical University
the dcdc converter of the HVDC tap. The power circuit pa- (IST) in 1958 and 1963, respectively.
Currently, he is Titular Professor at Program
rameters are optimized and the switching frequency is reduced of Postgraduation in Engineering of the Federal
drastically if compared to the original approach presented in [7]. University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE)/Federal
Hence, the used HVDC tap topology proved to be suitable for University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. He was Cathedratic Professor at IST and
a large range of rating power, from 500 kW to 25 MW. The worked in several countries, in major power systems
authors are now working further to achieve a new topology of projects, as a Consultant, and in power utilities, in research, system planning,
HVDC tap that allows bidirectional power flow. and equipment design and operation. His main interests relate to power systems
nonconventional technologies, study, and modeling of transient phenomena
and their consequences.
[1] U. Lamm, E. Uhlmann, and P. Danfors, Some aspects of tapping of
HVDC transmission systems, Direct Current, vol. 8, May 1963.
[2] M. P. Bahrman, M. H. Baker, J. Bowles, R. Bunch, J. Lemay, W. F. Long, Felipo Corra Machado was born in Petropolis,
J. McConnach, R. W. Menzies, J. R. Reeve, and M. Szechtman, Inte- Brazil, on May 11, 1979. He received the B.Sc.
gration of small taps into (existing) HVDC links, IEEE Trans. Power degree in electrical engineering from the Federal
Delivery, vol. 10, pp. 16991706, July 1995. University of Rio de Janeiro, (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro,
[3] J. P. Bowles, H. L. Nakra, and A. B. Turner, A small series tap on an Brazil, in 2003. He is currently pursuing the M.Sc.
HVDC line, IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-100, pp. 857862, degree in power electronics at Program of Postgrad-
Feb. 1981. uation in Engineering of the UFRJ (COPPE)/UFRJ.
[4] Z. Zhao and M. R. Iravani, Application of GTO voltage-source inverter He has been with the Power Electronics Labora-
for tapping HVDC power, Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng., Gen. Transm. Distrib., tory at COPPE/UFRJ since 2001.
vol. 141, no. 1, pp. 1926, Jan. 1994.