Dull Revolutions: HVDC Power Transmission
Sea Breeze Power Corp is involved in a project to bring HVDC power across the San Juan de Fuca Strait. The map below shows the Siemens underground/submarine HVDC project to supply power to San Francisco.If you know anything about electricity, you know that high voltage power transmission is more efficient than lower voltage transmission. And since only AC power can be transformed from low to high voltage (for transmission) and back (for residential, commercial, and industrial use), AC has been the "power of choice" for most utilities and transmission companies. But now that power electronics technology is able to rectify and invert AC to DC and back with very high efficiency, we are able to take advantage of the many advantages of HVDC transmission (PDF).
HVDC transmission incurs less than half the I^2R transmission losses that HVAC incurs. HVDC can be more safely and reliably buried underground and laid undersea. HVDC can be used to link large HVAC grids that are not synchronous with each other. And the list goes on and on.
The addition of HT superconducting cable to HVDC would be even better, but we do not need to wait for large scale rollout of superconducting transmission cable to begin experiencing huge savings in our transmission grid. HVDC is a mature technology that can save billions of dollars for electrical utilities and grid systems.
Labels: electrical power