Opportunities & Challenges for HVDC & Power Electronics in the UK – 15th September 2021

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About this event

This event has 4 speakers:-

Speaker: Mark Osbourne

Title: ‘The evolution of FACTS applications in the GB Transmission System’

Abstract: The presentation will discuss the range of Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) based Power Electronic solutions that have been employed in GB to increase the Transmission network capacity and their likely role in meeting our Net Zero ambitions. It will introduce the latest FACTS application to be installed in the transmission system – modular static synchronous compensators (SSSC) called ‘Smartvalves’ which when operated in a coordinated manner facilitate optimise the power flow control on constrained circuits to improve the overall transmission boundary capacity. The material will also highlight some of the emerging design and asset management challenges that need to be considered as more power electronics-based converter applications are used across all aspects of power system applications.

Speaker: Dechao Kong

Title: ‘GB Transmission System Operability Considerations for HVDC and PE Applications’

Abstract: The presentation will discuss:-

1. The potential roadmap of HVDC and PE developments in support of UK’s ambitious Net-Zero Targets by 2050;

2. Potential impacts and challenges for GB transmission system operability with increasing integration of HVDC and PE applications;

3. Potential opportunities from HVDC and PE applications to help maintain and/or enhance GB transmission system operability;

Also highlighting some on-going collaborative activities across the UK to co-address challenges and/or co-explore opportunities for HVDC and PE applications in the UK.

Speaker: Theodor Heath

Title: ‘HVDC and PE – Technology, Market & Outlook’

Abstract: The presentation will provide an overview of the sector market size, current trends and future outlook for HVDC and PE in the UK. It will include an analysis of technology readiness regarding multi-terminal HVDC grids, followed by a discussion on reduced inertia due to higher penetrations of power electronic interfaced generation; this will be supported by a brief case study. Finally, the key remaining challenges in power electronic integration will be summarised.

Speaker: Chidinma Agwu

Title: ‘Acoustic noise considerations on HVDC Converter Stations’

Abstract: The presentation will provide an overview of an HVDC converter station, with a focus on the primary plant. It will discuss the regulations/guidelines which will inform the noise restrictions applied to the converter stations. Finally, the presentation will highlight the acoustic noise consideration in terms of the design, modelling and operation of the HVDC converter station. Examples of some of the challenges faced at different stages of the project life cycle will also be explored.

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Speaker Bios

Theodor HeathTheodor Heath received the B.Eng. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the Ph.D. degree from The University of Manchester, U.K., in 2015 and 2019, respectively. Both degrees were sponsored by National Grid, through the IET Power Academy, and then an EPSRC iCASE. During his PhD, Theodor designed and built a laboratory scale modular multilevel converter to investigate the impact of a distributed control architecture on internal converter communication. Between late 2019 and early 2021 Theodor worked for GE Renewable Energy as a power electronics engineer in the HVDC R&D department of Grid Solutions in Stafford, U.K. His work was on the development of next generation submodules for modular multilevel converters. As of early 2021, Theodor is now a teaching focussed lecturer in power and energy at The University of Manchester, with continued interest in VSC-HVDC.


IDDechao Kong is the elected UK Regular Member of CIGRE B4 Study Committee since August 2020. He is currently a Power System Engineer and the Subject-Matter Expert in DC Systems and Power Electronics in National Grid ESO, UK. Dechao has been getting heavily involved in the UK’s academia and industry since 2008, contributing his such subject-matter expertise in technical strategy & policy development, new technology & innovation, engineering and asset management in the areas of DC Systems and Power Electronics. Dechao obtained his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK. He is a Chartered Engineer and an IET member in the UK. He is also an active member with multiple roles in several CIGRE SC B4 & B5 Working Groups.


Mark OsborneDr. Mark Osborne is a Chartered Engineer and joined National Grid in 1997. He works in Electricity Transmission in the Engineering and Asset Management sector. Key activities include substation life-cycle design and development to incorporate new concepts in technology to meet the challenges facing the Electricity supply industry. He is active in the CIGRE B3 Substations Study Committee as a Strategic Advisory Group member, Special Reporter and UK Regular Member.



chidinma-agwu-6ee8591aChidinma Agwu graduated from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) with a Master in Engineering with Honours. She had over 10 years’ experience with GE where she was heavily involved in large LCC and VSC HVDC projects such Rio Madeira and Dolwin 3. She joined WSP in 2017 and now works as a Principle engineer within the Interconnectors team at WSP and has been involved in several HVDC Interconnector projects such as Greenlink and Aquind. Her work ranges from technical involvement in the Planning processes, to specification and design of aspects of HVDC projects, through to support work involved in operational HVDC projects. She is an active member of the IET and Cigre and was previously a committee member of the CIGRE Next Generation Network and currently the B4 Technical Panel secretary.