Our Hardware Capabilities

Our key hardware capabilities at the Centre comprises: RTDS System, Multi-Terminal Replicas, Protection Relays, Amplifiers, GPS Clocks, Communications Emulator and an IED.


RTDS System

The Centre has significant real-time digital simulation (RTDS) capabilities (with 8 x RTDS NovaCors, 3 x PB5 racks,18 FPGA units, and a wide range of  input/output interfaces); provided by RTDS Technologies. This system enables large sections of the AC network together with HVDC schemes to be simulated in real-time, and connected to hardware devices, to perform detailed tests.

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Multi-Terminal HVDC Replicas 

The Centre hosts replicas of the control and protections system of the Caithness-Moray-Shetland (CMS) scheme, the first multi-terminal scheme in Europe. These are replicas of the same control system installed in the converter stations; which enable us to perform detailed studies of the performance of the system.

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Wide Range of Protection Relays

The HVDC Centre hosts a range of protection relays to undertake protection coordination and protection implementation verification studies. The relays are connected to the RTDS system using the OMICRON and Doble amplifiers.

Voltage and Current Amplifiers

The HVDC Centre has four voltage and current amplifier from renowned manufacturers namely, Omicron and Doble. These amplifiers are used to connect critical high burden equipment to the RTDS system.

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GPS Clock

The HVDC Centre has a GPS clock (from General Electric). This clock provides a precise time to enable synchronisation for the hardware under study.

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Comms emulator (Netropy 10G2)

The Centre has a comms emulator that enables the simulation of communications and individually control for impairments, such as bandwidth constraints, latency, jitter, and loss.

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Intelligent Electronic Device (IED)

The Centre hosts the IED that was developed by KTH as part of the PROMOTioN project. This IED enables the protection of a meshed DC-grid as part of a simulated network. The Centre hosts the IED that was developed by KTH as part of the PROMOTioN project. The IED is design to detect and discriminate the faulty line of the DC grid and provides appropriate trip signal to relevant the DC Circuit breaker. The IED is programmed with one or more line protection algorithms, and can execute the same algorithm(s) within multiple functional units.

“The United Kingdom is going to become one of the world’s centres of HVDC. Ideally, these centres will all work perfectly well together, but this is not the case in an ideal world. We need some way to study this, some way to analyse it and a way to protect us against the future; and the National HVDC centre is the ideal venue for this. It has experimental facilities that can help anticipate and mitigate the problems of the future. The National HVDC Centre is one of the most important assets we have in this country in the field of power transmission”.  
                             Norman McLeod, Technical Director of HVDC, WSP.