CIGRE releases an important new Technical Brochure: Medium Voltage DC Distribution Systems

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  • 2nd August 2022
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We are excited to welcome the publication of another international engineering insights, MVDC Distribution Systems (TB875), edited by our CIGRE UK members: James Yu (Convener of JWG C6/B4.37, ARM of B4), Jun Liang (Secretary of the JWG, RM of C6), and supported by 27 members from 6 countries.
Power Electronics is a critical enabler for an accelerated transition to achieve a net-zero carbon electricity network. Such technology provides controlled power flow as DC couplers, point-to-point connections as DC links and meshed DC grids with multiple points of connection. Medium-voltage DC (MVDC) can be viewed as acting in the same way as high-voltage DC (HVDC) systems in transmission grids, just on a smaller scale and over comparatively shorter distances or at a specific site. MVDC systems allow much more controlled and flexible ways of grid operation beyond the scope of conventional AC systems, and can be a disruptive alternative to a $88billion market globally.
Embedded as part of distribution grids, MVDC systems are expected to facilitate a growing number of distributed renewable energy sources, which require power electronics interfaces largely, and a growing number of DC loads. MVDC systems are envisaged to collect power from renewable resources (such as the collection system of the onshore and offshore wind farms and solar farms) and to distribute power to DC loads such as hydrogen, power-to-gas, high power charging and energy storage systems.
Based on the previous efforts from CIGRE working groups of both Study Committee C6 (Active Distribution Systems and Distributed Energy Resources) and Study Committee B4 (DC Systems and Power Electronics), the working group: C6/B4.37 ‒ Medium Voltage DC Distribution Systems was established to produce a Technical Brochure at the international level, particularly driven by Angle DC, an international ground breaking UK flagship Network Innovation Competition Project.
In this Technical Brochure, key findings and engineering standards regarding the planning and design, project delivery, operation and protection, and grid interconnection of MVDC distribution systems have been discussed. This brochure reflects the latest industrial insights and the effective interactions between research communities and the industry at the international level to uplift the readiness of MVDC market. The potential advantages of MVDC networks as an integrated part of and an alternative to AC distribution networks are explored. MVDC standards are summarised. MVDC drive systems and their applications are also provided. To this end, the publication of TB will accelerate the MVDC future roll out as a new device and practice in the low carbon energy transition.
To achieve a future power electronics based MVDC system, a lot of efforts are still needed: low-cost, high-efficient and reliable power converters, fast and reliable DC protection equipment, system control and protection approaches, holistic planning criteria and tools, etc. The research and demonstration efforts are estimated about 3% of the market size. This technical brochure will contribute to promoting the development of DC technology in distribution systems from both research and industrial practices.

Members of CIGRE can find and download this Technical Brochure, along with a wealth of other technical publications, at e-cigre.

CIGRE Central Office is coordinating an international webinar on 18-Oct-2022, we will share the details once it is available with CIGRE community and beyond.