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ELEC97045 (EE4-53) HVDC Technology and Control

Lecturer(s): Dr Balarko Chaudhuri; Dr Adria Junyent-Ferre


High voltage direct current (HVDC) is often the preferred technology for overhead power transmission over long distances and under-ground/sub-sea cables for relatively shorter distances because HVDC has overall better transmission efficiency, higher transmission power density and can seamlessly interconnect asynchronous AC networks. This course will introduce some advanced concepts of power systems, power electronics and control theory necessary to fully understand the key aspects of the HVDC technology. Important topics such as, converter technology and control, operation of DC networks and AC-DC interactions will be covered. The course will focus on the two main classes of HVDC. First, the traditional Line Commutated Converter (LCC) based HVDC part will cover converter operation and control, operation of point-to-point links, harmonics and interaction with the host AC systems. Second, the Voltage Source Converter (VSC) based HVDC part would cover different converter topologies starting from the 2-level to the state-of-the-art Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) including various forms of fault-blocking converters. Challenges and possible solutions for realising future DC grids would be discussed.

Learning Outcomes

The students would be able to appreciate the key aspects associated with HVDC technology for bulk power transmission, differences between LCC and VSC technologies and their application areas. They are expected to develop a basic understanding about the implications of HVDC projects in terms of design, operation and control. 


1. Introduction to HVDC: AC vs. DC 

2. Line Commutated Converter (LCC) based HVDC
• 6/12-pulse converter operation and control
• Control of point-to-point HVDC links
• Interaction with host AC systems
• AC-DC power flow
• Harmonics 

3. Voltage Source Converter (VSC) based HVDC:
• 2-level converter operation and control
• Modular Multi-level Converter (MMC) operation and control
• Advanced MMC topologies
• VSC-HVDC grids
• HVDC circuit breakers
Exam Duration: 3:00hrs
Coursework contribution: 20%

Term: Autumn

Closed or Open Book (end of year exam): Closed

Coursework Requirement:
         The VSC coursework element involves continuous evaluation through questionnaire, design examples, cases studies etc. to be undertaken within the scheduled lecture slots.
         The students would have to listen to the pre-recorded lecture material and revise before coming to the lectures to participate in individual and group exercises.

Oral Exam Required (as final assessment): N/A

Prerequisite module(s): None required

Course Homepage:

Book List:
Please see Module Reading list