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Expanded KEMA lab performs 1st-ever UHV component tests


 The Netherlands, Arnhem: DNV GL is helping the power industry move into the era of the “super grid” with the announcement that testing of ultra-high-voltage (UHV) grid components has started at its recently expanded KEMA High-Power Laboratory (HPL) in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

Following a €70 million, multi-year investment, the KEMA HPL is the first facility in the world for testing UHV electrical grid components including power transformers up to 800 kV and switchgear up to 1200 kV. The expanded lab has now successfully completed dynamic short-circuit testing on 800-kV class power transformers.

The first component to successfully pass testing at the expanded KEMA HPL was a 315 MVA, 765-kV single phase generator step up transformer (GSU) manufactured by ABB. “Utilities around the world are looking to use UHV technologies to meet the growing demand for energy and they need to rely on transformers that are designed to the highest standards” said Kieran Kenealy, Global Product Group Manager Large and Medium Power Transformers at ABB. “Facilities such as the KEMA HPL to help us demonstrate our best in class short circuit performance and being the first to complete dynamic short-circuit testing on a 765-kV transformer is a major milestone.”

Electricity is essential to every aspect of modern life. Consequently, demand is growing fast – globally, regionally and nationally. To deal with this, power systems are being asked to do more and more: to carry higher volumes of electricity over longer distances. This is leading to the emergence of so-called super grids, large-scale electricity transport networks operating at voltages of 800 kV and above.

The importance of electricity means that the social and financial consequences of a power outage are huge, making grid reliability critically important. Most power outages are due to the far-reaching impact of a single failed grid component. Standards-based equipment certification allows component manufacturers, power utilities and network operators to verify the quality of a component before it is installed and thus reduce the risk of outages. Effective certification relies on having testing facilities capable of delivering high enough power and voltage levels to accurately recreate the conditions components will face during operation.

To support the electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) industry as it transitions to higher transport voltages and super grids, DNV GL took the decision to expand its KEMA High-Power Laboratory (HPL) in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The KEMA HPL was already the highest-power testing lab in the world, and the expansion extended the available testing power to 15 GVA. The upgrade also allows the facility to test power transformers and circuit breakers up to 800 kV, and increases its testing capacity for all components.

“We are very pleased to announce the start of testing at the expanded KEMA HPL,” said Jacob Fonteijne, Executive Vice President KEMA Laboratories at DNV GL. “Throughout our long history, DNV GL has always believed in investing to support the industries we serve as they adopt new technologies and ways of working. In expanding the KEMA HPL in Arnhem, we have created the world’s first facility capable of testing 800-kV-plus power components, helping the T&D industry move into the super grid age with confidence.”

Learn more at www.dnvgl.com/energy